Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chopstick Practice

During last night's class we learned some Mandarin words and phrases which I think will be particularly important during our visit. These were useful food phrases, like "menu," "waiter," "eat," "thirsty," "water," "pork," "too spicy," and "I don't want that." We also learned about etiquette and the culture surrounding meals so we won't be caught off guard when we get overseas.

Some of the students in the class have never used chopsticks, so we learned how to use them and spent a little time practicing. He Laoshi devised a game in which students retrieve and move as many glass beads as they can in 30 seconds. Here, some students give it a shot:

video

David later demonstrated how an expert does it, using a longer set of chopsticks (making the task more difficult).

video

Next week we plan to gather after class for a meal at a local Chinese restaurant, so we'll get some more practice in before we leave.

Another thing we learned during class this week are the characters used to indicate an Internet cafe. With that knowledge, I suspect some of our students will now be able to email home and update their Facebook statuses from abroad. I'm planning to blog every day if I can. It's amazing to realize that we leave in just over three weeks!

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