Yesterday, I marked a milestone in my study of Chinese: I completed book 6 of the New Practical Chinese Reader series. I started studying in book 2 when I arrived in September 2014. In March, I was finishing book 4, the end of the beginning levels. Books 5 & 6 (intermediate level) are structured a bit differently, and some other people that have studied at my school didn’t really like them. I went ahead and enjoyed most of the readings. I actually got to read selections by famous Chinese writers like Lu Xun and Lao She. And yesterday, I finished book 6.
Book 6 is the end of the series, so I am starting different books now (the ones underneath Book 6 in the photo). We’ve already been using another listening book to supplement and we’ll keep using that and continue with some books that focus on speaking and colloquial expressions. The craziest thing to me is that these books are all for “advanced level” Chinese. Day-to-day I don’t always feel like my Chinese is advanced, but it is getting better. Several of my friends commented on Sunday that my Chinese is getting better, so that’s encouraging.
Yesterday, when I finished the book, there was actually not much fanfare. It was kind of caught in the midst of doing other things. As I was thinking about it in the evening, I realized that this should be celebrated! Especially since Chinese has felt hard this fall, but the last couple of weeks it has seemed a little easier, like some sort of mental block has opened up. So for lunch today I went to a Western restaurant and had a burger and milkshake. It was delicious and a fun way to celebrate a little accomplishment.
While I had the camera out, here’s the celebratory me!