Since I was little I’ve been taught that oranges, specifically Mandarin oranges are a symbol of prosperity, good fortune, and longevity. It’s why my relatives always share orange slices with each other after getting together for important meals. It’s also why, every year around this time, my mother puts a bowl of oranges in each bedroom and on the dining room table. This year I don’t have oranges, but it’s okay. In keeping with the citrus family, I have lemons to give myself a citric start to the new year.
This week I found myself wishing that I could have time off so that I could go home and celebrate Chinese New Year with my family especially as a lot of my friends on the other side of the world have a few days off for the holiday. Instead the university canceled classes for today because of inclement weather i.e. the northeastern storm that’s been named Nemo. I still can’t go home, but, nonetheless, it was nice to have the day to sleep in and do everything somewhat languidly – a feeling that has long disappeared since spring semester started.
What was also a nice round off to the end of the week was that my Chinese professor treated the beginner and intermediate classes to dinner because of Chinese New Year this weekend. Not everyone could go and two people brought friends, so it was a interesting mix of people. We had to give short introductions in Chinese, but otherwise we used English. I remember around this time last year, I was determined to start learning a new language (knowing Latin and a sparse number of words in Cantonese can only get you so far.) I’m not sure if you can notice…but I can now string somewhat proper sentences together (hence the short summary at the end), even if they’re somewhat colloquial. I still have a lot to learn, but I like it. A lot.
明天就是新年了。因为下雪，所以我不可以回家。不过昨天晚上 （六点半）我中文老师请我和我的同学们吃除夕晚饭. 我们一边吃饭，一边练习说一点中文。（可是我们平常用营文。）我除了吃好意外，还跟朋友笑。因为我们晚才笑，我们十点回大学宿舍。今天我很累，可是还很高兴！