We were busy in the classroom this week. Since it’s starting towards the end of the semester, we have all of our big projects to complete. We’ve been working on a skit for our Chinese class for a while now. We had complete creative freedom in creating our skit so because our class only has one male in it, I suggested doing a Chinese version of the very popular American TV show “The Bachelor”. Everyone loved it so we wrote our own “Bachelor” TV show, complete with crazy characters, drama, and a surprise comeback contestant at the final rose ceremony.
It was a lot of fun for everyone. My characters name was “Tao Tao” 桃桃 (peach peach) which is a nickname derived from my Chinese name Chun Tao 春桃 meaning spring peach. My character was that of an Instagram influencer/gold-digger and needless to say, I did not win.
Next on our class schedule was a debate. There are two 311 classes, (311 is our Chinese level), and we went head-to-head on topics including “If a well-educated woman (someone who has a professional degree) chooses to be a full-time stay-at-home mother, is it a waste?” and “Is a single person ‘a dog’?”, meaning is it noble to be single or not. My classmates and I thought the topics were interesting and all remarked that these would never be academic debate topics in the United States.
Outside the classroom we had the Peking U cup, which was a game I was fortunate enough to see my friend Aili play in. She joined Peking University’s women’s soccer team and we all went to cheer her on for her final game of the season.
Although her team didn’t win, everyone still had a great time, and she’s the real winner in our hearts. It’s a little difficult to become involved in activities at Peking U because our program is segregated from the main school’s classes. We only have classes with people within CSI, and we only live with people within CSI, so it can be hard and scary to venture out to join other groups or student organizations. I’m really proud of Aili for doing this, since she loves playing soccer. Definitely was worth it for her!
Another program update: we’re all obsessed with mahjong. Yes, the game that old Chinese people play. This has quickly became the favorite game of us students within the program. Our fantastic teacher Tan Laoshi taught us how to play and we haven’t stopped since.
To show how serious we are, now all of us have our own mahjong sets. Yes, our own personal mahjong sets. We often joke that we are like a couple of Chinese aunties 阿姨 (ayis) because this game is often played by older people as gambling. This is a very popular game among Chinese women throughout history, and women played to win money and respect among their social circles.