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September 1st, 2006

lozenges for lorenzo?

我叫白立陽。我是美國學生。你呢?
[Amazingly, I typed that out myself]

I asked out Ms. Luo (my Chinese teacher) at the start of the week, but I swear it was unintentional. During a break in my classes I stopped by her office to pick up a homework assignment we had turned in last Friday, and I thought it would be fun to try combining some of our vocabulary words into an original sentence. We know how to ask if something is correct or not (duì bu duì), as well as the word for good (hão), so I put the two together to ask if my homework was any good. It turns out that hão bu hão can also be used as a colloquial expression for "let's go out and do something together". Hmm. Not exactly what I'd had in mind when I paid her a visit that afternoon.

In other Chinese news, the upper level Chinese professor recognized me as we crossed paths in the hallway and Lorenzo made a fuss in class today. The first was a bit unexpected since it's been a year since I took "Masterpieces of Asian Literature" from that professor, while the second probably won't surprise anyone. After our second homework assignment Ms. Luo told the class to avoid simplified characters and only use traditional characters in our writing exercises. When our homework was returned today Lorenzo claimed she had said we should only use simple characters and it was unfair that he had been deducted points for following her directions. Now, our character book includes both types of characters in the examples, but no one else in the class was foolish enough to write in only simplified characters. Tsukasa used both and still earned full marks, so our guess is that Lorenzo had points taken off for something else and wanted to weasel his way into a better grade.

Unrelated to all of the above, a woman brought her fourteen year-old lion to the vet hospital for an exam this week. The first question to cross my mind was how she arranged its transportation. After all, it's not everyday you see a lion stretched out across the backseat of a car. In addition to that, my medical anthropology professor showed up today for just the second time in two weeks. She came down with a strain of antibody-resistant pneumonia - which is a good reason to stay home - but didn't bother to tell anyone that class was cancelled earlier in the week. Even her teaching assistant was left in the dark. You know, I somehow doubt this policy would be as effective if used by a student.