This past week has dumped a lot on my shoulders. On one hand, there were extra homework assignments that needed doing, on the other, the weather got suddenly worse, and as an extra push, it hit me that I only have 3 weeks left of classes before finals, study trips, and then my time in China is over.

First the homework. On top of our regular schedule, we had a new assignment, where we were to take a video and dub over it in Chinese. It’s not really due until next week, but the suggestion was to get a first draft done, in order to send it in for corrections. I decided that instead of worrying about tones, I wanted to do a song, which at first seemed easier. Then I realized that some of the fast lines have difficult dipthongs, and that the recording window was slightly off from the music in some cases, and I somewhat regretted my decision. Still, I got at least a first draft done, although it might end up being my final draft, depending on how I feel about the rest of this week. Additionally, we got an extra assignment to do a performance (first thing tomorrow morning) of a story or movie. We chose Shrek 2, which has been amusing, but we have had very little time to work on it, with a written test on Friday pushing everything to the weekend, and one of our members signing up for activities last week, before she knew about our performance, and so the bulk of the work was done today, which also means that we have had no real rehearsal time and we only have tonight to learn our lines. I’m not super optimistic about this performance, and at this point I just want it to be over.

In addition, the weather has gotten terrible. It’s been smoggy all week, with today being by far the worst. The reason is that last week there was an important government meeting, so all the factories were shut down to create a beautiful blue sky while all the important people were here, and that has made this week’s weather that much more oppressive. I’m grateful for my mask, but I miss the blue sky.

But I have had some fun this week. I went to a Beijing Opera mask painting activity, and painted my own mask, although I used very little actual paint. There was a limited amount of it, and almost no black, which was the main color my chosen mask used, so instead I drew on the lines with marker and only painted the red accents. In the evening I went out with some friends to see the live action Beauty and the Beast, which I really enjoyed. We saw it in IMAX 3D, which I think was a little overwhelming for my eyes, as I couldn’t focus during the big sweeping shots, but it was a beautiful movie. I also got to watch Shrek 2 with a friend (as the fun part of our homework). I know I need to buckle down and get everything done, but after my lack of a real break this weekend, I feel like this week is going to be rather long.

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Me wearing my mask. The black and white represents evil characters, which is why it’s so intimidating.

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