My studies in Mandarin have gone well. By this Wednesday, the Summer Intensive Language Program will come to its conclusion and I can proudly say that I completed the equivalent of two and half semesters worth of college-level Chinese in just eight weeks.
Curiously, the textbooks that we are using intended the course to last only a semester per volume. I can’t imagine dragging out the one volume over the span of a semester. Then again, a normal semester would require a student to take more than just one class of Mandarin.
The single-minded focus on Mandarin has really improved my knowledge of Chinese characters and my fluency in oral communication. I know over 300 characters and can hold a decent conversation with my mom totally in Mandarin without resorting to Cantonese. I will miss this amount of concentration on a single subject. Even more, I will miss studying with such motivated and dedicated peers. They made for a fruitful experience as well as the instructors.