Sorry for dragging my feet on updating. When I got here on April 5th it was freezing cold. The government had turned off central heating to buildings in mid-March, so the first few days were challenging. In a few days, I was able to get a small heater for my room so I could sit at my desk to study without shivering.
Because I had already studied some Chinese, I was placed in an intermediate class. But my independent study had not really prepared me for that level. I was allowed to drop back into the beginning class which was what I needed. Both teachers are great, and have fun teaching beginners. I'm learning words I had skipped, re-learning words, correcting pronunciation and getting plenty of conversation practice. The other students are fun, too. They are from Venezuela, Italy, Germany, Malaysia and the United Kingdom. Students in other classes are from several other countries.
School events have included a welcome party, the Great Wall, martial arts, acrobats, and Fragrance Hill. I went to Tian'anmen Square on my own yesterday. With only two weeks until I go to Shanghai, I have to choose what's most important for the 2 free days I have left.