Getting into the Routine: Steven McConville '12

Over the past few days the weather here in Shanghai has started to cool off a bit from the initial temperatures we were greeted with when we arrived.  Having settled in through our first full week of classes here at EFZ we have developed a bit of a routine; wake up, class, lunch, more class, free time, dinner, study.  Looking forward to our upcoming trip to Hangzhuo (杭州) we were informed our two day trip had been pushed back until later in the week.  Not affected by the delay, we started to feel accustomed to our lives here for the next month, though our teacher would be changing. We bid our goodbyes to Wang Laoshi, our teacher for the first week, as she set out on a family vacation. 

Unlike our previous teacher, Lin Laoshi spoke quicker and challenged the confidence we had built up in speaking with Wang Laoshi.  Though his speaking is quick and authentic, I know we are ready to improve our listening skills, the aspect of our Chinese we can all agree needs the most work.  This afternoon we enjoyed a break from cafeteria food as Lin Laoshi was nice enough to take us out to lunch in downtown Shanghai.  By lunchtime everyone of us was confidently conversing with Lin Laoshi in Chinese over a delicious mid day meal.  In the hour or so it took to eat, very little English was spoken, with one exception.  The exception was a little boy who approached our table saying "Hello, how are you", wanting to practice his English on the pair of blonde, American looking students in the restaurant.  After lunch we were free to walk around downtown Shanghai or the mall we were in, promising Lin Laoshi we would call him upon returning to school.  Like the many tourists around us, we took several pictures before heading back underground for the half hour subway ride back to school. 

We have now been here long enough to know our surrounding and feel comfortable with managing direction; both on the street and on the subway.  Having established a bit of a daily routine now all that is left to do is continue studying, and if we keep track with our studies over these next three weeks I think our fluency at lunch is a very good sign of things to come.


  1. Hi there! This is so very cool of you to pose this small update of your day in Shanghai. Now I have a proposed challenge for you:

    Can you please post the next update in Chinese, please! :-)

    Take care,
    guan ling
    PS: I am a colleague of your dad working in Woodbridge office.


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