Saturday, June 05, 2004

Job is hooked up

After staying up all night finishing my research paper, getting literally no sleep, I went to Shanghai last wednesday morning to visit the company I will be interning for this Summer. The most important thing for me on the agenda was actually setting a date for when I would start working. I got there and the day went really well. After discussing what I will be doing with my soon to be boss, and an HR person, we figured out a date (June 14) and they told me about the apartment (a three bedroom pimp's palace). I'm not getting paid, but they will be giving me the apartment to live in, and a small stipend for food that seems like a pretty reasonable amount of money. They then took me around the office and introduced me to a bunch of people, all of them really nice and welcoming. Most people spoke decent english, and a lot of them didn't catch on to my Chinese prowess cuz I kept it to english most of the time. I've found it's usually the better option to not let people know how much you understand (when they're speaking chinese) at least in the beginning. the reason is if they start speaking all this chinese to me, especially the important stuff in the beginning of the job, I may not understand all of it. So it was good to just get all the stuff in english, so I wouldn't have to worry about language barrier issues. They basically said I can work on anything I think is interesting. They gave me a few suggestions and introduced me to some people that they think i may like to work with, but encouraged me to go around and see what everyone was doing and if something looks interesting I can join them. Overall, the day made me pretty excited about working there this summer, and it seems like I should be doing some real work, for better or worse.

This program here is almost over, Monday and Tuesday are the last two finals, and Wednesday teh bus leaves for Shanghai to take people to the airport. A friend and I were thinking back on this program tonight at dinner, and basically we came to the conclusion that a lot of it sucked. Being in China was great, everything outside of the actual program was great, but the program itself just drained us and never let up. Pretty much everyone on this program, some of whom are very hard workers in college and are used to studying very hard, all have said that they are more burnt out now than they have ever been at the end of any semester. I think that it would have probably been more beneficial (along with less damaging to my GPA and about $10,000 cheaper) if I just took a semester off and travelled around china or studied here as an independent student. But I guess that's all in the past. The one thing that was actually great about the program were the teachers, both my chinese teachers were great people and now pretty much friends.

As for my personal goals of learning Chinese here, I feel like so far I have done really well, but most of that learning was done outside of the classroom hanging out with chinese people and just getting into weird situations. Right now, basic day-to-day things in Chinese are almost as easy as in english and in conversation i'm starting to understand more and more. The biggest thing I think i'm lacking right now is reading skills cuz I haven't focused on learning the characters enough, but I am going to try to work hard at that this summer, maybe even try to struggle through a book in chinese (that may be way over my head at the moment though).

OK, enough of the serious shit, here are two midgets playing basketball:


Anonymous said...


your ridiculous. enjoy living.

matthew schneid. the original.

June 16, 2004 10:45 AM  

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