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days of our lives: the lorenzo edition

In addition to my CHIN 101 class I have also registered for CHIN 105, which is a conversation class where groups of eight students meet once a week to practice their pronunciation and grammar. Students were drawn from both CHIN 101 sections and assigned to a class based on their availability. Imagine my surprise then in discovering that, with so many openings available, I was placed in the same class as Lorenzo.

One of the activities during our first (and, so far, only) day of class was to ask about the family name (姓) and full name (叫) of our fellow classmates. While exchanging names with Lorenzo our instructor, Professor Cao, came over and had me repeat my family name six or seven times to get the proper tone. Eventually he gave up and told me to keep practicing - which was really embarrassing to hear. After a few minutes more everyone was told to take their seats and Professor Cao asked if anyone had gotten names from five people. Lorenzo eagerly raised his hand and was then asked to share the names he'd recorded. When he got to mine he was stopped and Professor Cao had him repeat my family name a few times - in front of the entire class. After Lorenzo finished Professor Cao asked in a hopeful manner if anyone had managed to fill out all six lines on our worksheet, and it turned out that I was the only person who had managed such a feat. Hmm.

In other Chinese-related news, one of the girls in my CHIN 101 class is a slaveholder. Not really, but during one of our weekly class skits she forget a word that changed the meaning of her sentence from "My family has four members" to "I own four people". Ms. Luo took the time to explain the distinction to our class, presumably to avoid any international incidents that might develop if we went to China and started boasting about the number of slaves we each possessed.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 17th, 2006 03:50 am (UTC)
Hey samedi, do you own a Beemer? I saw one yesterday with the license plate "SAMADI". ;)

How've you been doing lately?
Sep. 17th, 2006 03:52 am (UTC)
whoops, that was me. Thought I guess you could tell, yeah?
Sep. 17th, 2006 04:30 am (UTC)
I've been alright, although extremely busy with classes. Plus, the internet at our apartment has been out for the past couple of days.

My taste in German cars runs more toward the Opel Astra Rally ...
Sep. 17th, 2006 07:34 am (UTC)
our instructor, Professor Cao, came over and had me repeat my family name six or seven times to get the proper tone.

Assuming the prof.'s family name is the second tone, I feel like such a 13-year-old for wondering how many times your classmates accidentally use the fourth tone when addressing him.
Sep. 19th, 2006 03:35 am (UTC)
Alright, you have me curious now - what does Cao in the fourth tone mean?
Sep. 19th, 2006 04:46 am (UTC)
Cao4 basically means "fuck." So stay away from classmates who always pronounce things with fourth tone when they say "Teacher Fuck." Ahem.
Sep. 17th, 2006 11:19 am (UTC)
It's good to know Lorenzo is still around. More silly stories to come then ;)
Sep. 19th, 2006 03:39 am (UTC)
Your wish is my command ... or misery, in this case. ;)
Sep. 19th, 2006 11:09 am (UTC)
ahah, you got stuck with Lorenzo... sorry, i shouldn't laugh..but it's too good to be true!
Sep. 21st, 2006 04:19 am (UTC)
I thought you might like hearing that, Alice! ;)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )