Day 31: Time for a break!

Today is without a doubt the worst laundry day I’ve ever had since coming to Carleton. I got up at 8 a.m. to get my laundry done and out of the way before class. Laundry usually only takes about an hour and 45 minutes, so I have a good extra hour before class at 11:30 a.m. Good thing too, because it turns out I needed that one-hour buffer period today!

I threw my load into the same dryer I always use, but when I came back after an hour, everything was still completely wet! I couldn’t understand why it was so damp still! Even back when I took Jiu Jitsu and I had to wash that thick ghi (the uniform we had to wear that makes us look like Karate Kid), nothing came out completely soaked like today. At first I thought it was just some of my heavier stuff that didn’t dry all the way through, but even my socks were soaked! I had no choice but to throw them back in for another one-hour cycle.

This time, I played it safe and divided my load into two machines. I paid for both of them and got them going, only to realize … one of the dryers wasn’t spinning at all! That was the machine I had used for the first round. No wonder my clothes were still wet! They were just sitting there for an hour, with some hot air blowing across the top. I was lucky I caught it the second time around or I would have been stuck with half a load of wet clothes again! I ended up throwing everything into the one that was working (meaning I paid twice for a dryer that did absolutely nothing) – an excellent start to the day.

In Chinese class today, laoshi brought brush pens and ink for us to practice our calligraphy! She even brought in step-by-step pages that teach you how to do Chinese painting. I painted a shrimp! It definitely made up for my morning. Albeit we did have to muck through two and a half long hours of repeating the same phrases over and over, but the painting at the end put everyone in a good mood.

I figured out today what might make Chinese class more bearable for me. I think I have to find a new place to sit. I don’t have obnoxious Ryan next to me anymore yammering away, but I do have a girl named Chelsea who is always scribbling away in her notebook. I’m not sure exactly what it is about her, but something bugs me. I think it’s the way she never makes any attempts of conversation except when she has a question about Chinese grammar to throw in my face. Take today for example. I just walked into class and hadn’t even sat down yet. Chelsea was busy writing row after row of minuscule Chinese characters in her notebook. She doesn’t even say “hi,” but she suddenly shoots up from her notebook and fires a question at me, asking me to check the grammar of her sentence that she was supposed to write for homework. Well good morning to you too (intense freak).

There’s not much improvement on my left. It’s a guy named Wilson and he is just … socially awkward. He’s the laziest person I’ve ever met. Whenever we work in partners (which is always), he never participates, but takes full credit for the group mark we get. He talks in a really soft but arrogant voice and for the past week or so, he’s had a terrifying cough, which he likes to aim right at me. And on top of all that, I’m pretty sure his skull is about six inches thick because nothing goes in and nothing comes out. It took him about five tries to understand two words: jin tian (today). Goodness, my brain turns to goo every class just from working with this guy.

I have no problem with people not catching on to a new lesson, but come on, people! This is old material that we’ve been working on ever since day one. I don’t know why it’s a surprise every time when laoshi asks us what day it is in Mandarin. Everyone still has the same stupid “duh” face and we end up spending about 10 minutes at the start of every class determining what month it is. And just when I thought people were starting to get it, September became October and all hell broke loose again.

I need a change of scene. Next class, I’m sitting in a different row, which will give me a new partner (preferably one who has a brain and a slight idea of what public conduct entails.

The rest of the day was relatively nondescript. I did my best to get through all the work that needs to be done before Thanksgiving, but Thursday doesn’t seem to be getting here fast enough! Thank goodness for tap dancing, because I think I would have turned into a mess of cobwebs if I sat at my desk any longer.

On the plus side, I read all my news this morning. Good job, Past Veronica! See? Every once in a while, I do Future Veronica a favour.


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