Language & Culture Exchange


Man “Duh!” Rin with Mandarin Garden – Week 1

Man “Duh!” Rin with Mandarin Garden – Week 1

Ok, so after a long, painstaking search, I finally decided on a school to study Mandarin with, or maybe I should say that they finally decided to take me! After all, I’m not one of those people who can pick up languages like right away. So I’m happy that Mandarin Garden accepted me and I look forward to learning with them!

I chose Mandarin Garden for a few reasons. First, I had a really nice meeting with their Senior Course Consultant, Winnie Xu, who assured me that they have a large pool of great teachers to choose from. This was important because my schedule can be a little hectic and can change on a moment’s notice, so Winnie assured me that she could find me a class/instructor that could accommodate my schedule.

Another thing was that they put their teachers through a training course and offer certificates to individuals who want to teach Mandarin. This was a HUGE plus for me because I want to make sure and learn from someone who has at least gone through some sort of vetting process for being a teacher. Lastly, Mandarin Garden is, from what I can tell, the only school in Shanghai that offers an HSK Certificate, which is the equivalent to the TOEFL examination. There are a number of jobs in China (or abroad) that require candidates to have an HSK certificate, so that can be a fantastic resume builder. I signed up for three months and will be taking three classes a week, we’ll see how it goes.

I still don’t have a teacher yet, but I think I’m going to meet him/her this week during my first class. I will introduce this brave soul to all of you next week, after I’ve had a couple of classes. I’m not exactly sure what to expect. I’ve taken some classes on Mandarin in the past but have all but forgotten most of it. What I do remember is broken beyond repair. I’ll be attempting to learn how to speak, read and write, the last two are definitely going to be the most difficult for me. I’m up for the challenge, we’ll see how it goes. If this blog stops next week, maybe I’ll learn how to play ping pong.


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Permalink watanafghanistan:

Elusive snow leopards discovered in remote corner of Afghanistan Kabul, Afghanistan — A “surprisingly healthy” population of rare snow  leopards has been discovered in the remote northeastern stretches of  Afghanistan, one of the few areas largely unaffected by the near  decade-long war in the country. Researchers photographed the  elusive big cat using camera traps at 16 different locations across  Afghanistan’s mountainous Wakhan Corridor, according to a recent report  from the Wildlife Conservation Society. The images are the first camera trap records of snow leopards in Afghanistan, the organization noted. “This is a wonderful discovery — it shows that there is real hope for  snow leopards in Afghanistan,” said Peter Zahler, the group’s deputy  director. “Now our goal is to ensure that these magnificent animals have  a secure future as a key part of Afghanistan’s natural heritage.” The organization said the discovery “gives hope to the world’s most  elusive big cat, which calls home to some of the world’s tallest  mountains.” But the endangered animal also faces threats from poachers, shepherds and those who capture the cats for illegal trade. Their populations have declined by as much as 20% over the past 16 years, the group reported. Researchers estimate between 4,500 and 7,500 snow leopards are left in the wild, scattered across Central Asia.
Permalink Why this guy have that face?
Permalink fastcompany:

The idea that games can do good is rapidly gaining steam. Just in the past few months, we’ve covered I Heart Jellyfish, a game that rewards players for keeping a healthy heartbeat; WeTopia, a FarmVille-like game that easily allows players to contribute to nonprofits; and Global Giving, which turns aid evaluation into a game.
All of these games have one major thing in common: They’re directed toward users in the developed world. Not so with the games being developed by women’s rights movement Half the Sky and nonprofit gaming organization Games For Change. Instead of focusing on those of us equipped with smartphones and easy Internet access, these games—which focus on pregnancy education, intestinal worm prevention, and women’s rights—will home in on the millions of people outfitted with basic cell phones.
Half The Sky: Games For Change In The Developing World

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