I apologize for not writing last week, but I got pretty busy with finals and the end of our program. I spent last weekend writing a paper for my music class, and this week was full of closing activities.
So the semester is winding down, as we only have two weeks left. TWO WEEKS!! That's insane. This Friday we are retaking the entry placement exam to see how much progress we've made, and next Friday we have our final exams.
Hey everyone! As of this week I only have a month left on the Beijing program, and I've now been away from home for a little over 6 months. Crazy, right?! I can't believe it's been so long!
On a different note, one of the things I have noticed while I am here is that racism and stereotypes are not just something that the US struggles with. Being a more homogeneous society, racism in China is definitely less obvious, but it is very much there.
This past week was very, very cold. We've had some rain on and off for the past few weeks, but this past week we finally ended up with some snow. It wasn't much, but it was wet enough that using my umbrella in the snow didn't feel as weird as it should have.
On Saturday we (finally!) made it to 長城 (chángchéng, the Great Wall). Even I'm impressed that we have been here for over two months and have just made it to the Great Wall!
This past week was the week of midterms, so it was filled with lots of late nights (later than usual, that is). Also I will admit that there was the normal obligatory last-minute studying involved.
So the news for the week is that on Saturday I moved into my homestay! While I've known that I would be moving into the homestay for the past two weeks or so, it wasn't until lunch on Thursday that we were given any information about our families.
This past week we took a plane and met up with some of the Shanghai kids in Qinghai. Qinghai is much farther north than Beijing, and is also at a much higher elevation (on average 9,800 ft above sea level).
This past Thursday marked the beginning of China's National Holiday, meaning that we had both Thursday and Friday off, and will have no classes for the entirety of the coming week.