A typical Monday (by far my busiest school day) at East China Normal University goes a little something like this…
9:00 a.m.: Wake up, check all my social media apps and begin to look like a human.
So many Snapstories and new pictures on Instagram to check because of this time difference…there’s just not enough time.
9:30 a.m.: Head over to the cafeteria right across the dorms with my roommate Rachel for breakfast. Not much conversation occurs, as Rachel and I are always studying for our daily Chinese quizzes.
Hmm…should I be healthy and get fruit or should I get an oily pancake? OK, oily pancake it is. It’ll be my reward for doing well on this quiz.
9:55 a.m.: I take my seat in my five-person Chinese class and get ready for my daily vocab quiz.
10:50 a.m.: 休息 (xiu xi, also known as break time)
11:00 a.m.: Resume Chinese class and attempt to make it through the last hour.
12:00 p.m.: Chinese class ends, and my friends and I either go out the front gates to grab a quick lunch (street food style) or to the on-campus Korean restaurant for an overpriced, mediocre meal.
What am I going to do when I get home and food this good isn’t $1?
12:55 p.m.: Head over to my “Issues in Chinese Society” class with my friend Sandra.
OK…so when’s the next break?
2:30 p.m.: Break time! Since all classes besides Chinese are in the Global Education Building, most people head to the CIEE floor to snack on Oreos, eat scary amounts of Skippy peanut butter and chat with Chinese teachers. While on the CIEE floor, we’re only allowed to speak Chinese. The teachers yell at us if they catch us speaking English.
So I’m just going to eat my Oreos and stand with this group of fluent Chinese speakers and pretend I understand everything they’re talking about with the Chinese teachers.
2:45 p.m.: Resume class.
3:50 p.m.: “Issues in Chinese Society” class ends.
But wait, there’s more.
4:00 p.m.: Go up a floor to my “Chinese Film” class with my friend Sandra. This class is truly the best class ever. We watch one movie a week and spend maybe five minutes discussing it.
Last week’s movie was kind of like a Chinese version of The Hangover. I hope we watch something similar.
6:30 p.m.: Class ends and I head over to the cafeteria with Sandra. Clearly, we spend a lot of time together.
7:15 p.m.: I finally return to my dorm room after being in class since 10 a.m.
Just kidding, look at all this homework I have.
7:30 p.m.: I finally get to start my Chinese homework and begin studying for the next day’s vocab quiz.
9:00 p.m.: My friends and I do an hour-long Insanity workout in the hallway of the fifth floor, making fools of ourselves for everyone to see.
1:00 a.m.: I finish my homework and studying and finally get to go to bed.