Chinese Status Update Fall 2015

The wife hanging with our buddy's baby.
Welcome back! Two posts in a week! **pats self on back** We have been in Connecticut for about two weeks now, and tomorrow we will set off for China. While in China I won't be able to continue learning in the same way that I have here, and that is a good thing!

Below are roughly my long term goals from the last update.

  • Finish reading Ender's Game in Chinese.
  • Finish PAVC 4
  • Finish PAVC 5
  • Work through TAT volume 2
  • Work through TAT volume 3, and 4
  • Take the HSK V, and HSK VI
  • Visit China in October ( Leaving Tomorrow! )
  • Finish working through my Frequency dictionary book.
  • Use the upcoming Coursera courses to fill in some programming vocabulary.

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” – Dwight Eisenhower

Getting PAVC 4 done was a big deal for me. I have been working on it for most of this year with my iTalki teacher. Also these last three months I stepped up the pace, and got a lot of good vocab learned. 

The HSK tests are still on my list. Sadly there was no easy way for me to take them before we left. All the closest testing centers were over twelve hours drive from me. Maybe I will find a way to take it while I am in China.

The rest of these goals are still things I want to complete, but for the most part will be put on hold until the wife and I are done traveling.

Going Forward...

Max! A new European friend we made while in Connecticut.
These last two weeks I have been staying with a Chinese friend and his wife. They knew me before I spoke any Chinese, so usually we talk in English. Happily for me, his parents are also visiting, and they cannot speak English. So everyday I am getting listening and conversation practice. This got me thinking about a lot of things. One being that while in China I don't wanna keep my head a book, and miss the conversations around me. So I cut back from ten different books that could aid my Chinese study to the three that will. Two are reference books for brushing up, and one is the PAVC 5 that I will use to keep introducing myself to fresh topics and vocabulary.

While traveling I don't really have much in the way of goals. Rather I am going to adopt some best practices to help me maximize my learning experience. Most of these are just common sense. Things like don't shy away from a conversation opportunity. Don't only hang out with expats. Don't let my wife speak for me, when I can do it myself. Do be positive and honest. And so on.

See ya on the other side of the world!



The wife and I left Florida last Friday to begin traveling the world. Our first stop was the far out exotic destination of Connecticut! Well, ok, maybe just exotic to me. While I have passed through many different parts of the USA, most of the eastern seaboard was new to me. The new scenery, and seeing some of places that I had only seen in media, made for a pleasant two day drive up north.

Our last week in Florida, I worked full days and then packed and moved stuff at night, while the wife cooked, cleaned, and packed and moved stuff the whole time. We managed to time things where we were mostly not rushed, and even got to hang out with some friends before we ran off..

As soon as we arrived in Connecticut, we got to help our friend move from a small apartment into a new house. The house he is so kindly letting us crash in for two weeks. While moving we met a guy from Europe. We had some good conversations, and he was super nice. Interacting with him made me want to visit his home country. 

We have had a great time here in Connecticut with our friends, but we will soon be heading off to Asia. I will post an update on my Chinese progress before we head off. I will keep posting once a month from here on out.