All posts filed under: Guanxi

A language is a long way

From the guanxi substack newsletter: https://guanxi.substack.com/. If you would like to support this project, please subscribe there. This is post about working through frustration in language learning… It includes various citations from the Zhuangzi, prompted by a WeChat comment of encouragement from Liz, a language teacher who has been a coach to me ever since she assessed my level, helped me get over my fear of speaking Chinese and placed me on a year long course of Mandarin-learning adventure. Don’t worry, a language is a long way, but it’s interesting! (Liz) Teacher/Language Consultant at GoEast Mandarin: Here’s a referral link (https://goeastmandarin.referral-factory.com/RiHNMR/join). Signing up through the link gives you a free lesson, and gives me a free lesson when I renew with GoEast. ‘Way’ is the perfect word to reflect on when frustrated with anything (much better than the over-used ‘journey’), and Zhuangzi is a master of such reflection, hence all the citations… The Way cannot be treated as Something, or as Nothing either. ‘‘Way’’ as a name is what we borrow to walk it. (Chuang-Tzu, A.C. Graham – ‘Rationalising the Way: the …

Grab vegetables 抢菜, Study Notes, I.

From the guanxi substack newsletter: https://guanxi.substack.com/. If you would like to support this project, please subscribe there. The lockdown in Shanghai is a challenge for the city’s residents. For some it may be an inconvenience, for others it has caused heartache, or worse. It’s a difficult time. As ever it’s worth trying to look beyond the news. For English-language views of what it’s like living in Shanghai at present, have a look at Jaap Grolleman’s most recent posts (https://jaapgrolleman.com/). For a cheerful and optimistic yet sensitive view, see 阿福Thomas’ latest video from Shanghai. Here in the UK, lockdown is a memory. We should keep the memory alive. We must keep learning from what happened.1 Resilience builds on memory. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. What’s the first thing that you think about when you see the situation in Shanghai on the news? Does it affirm your views about China. Does it challenge them? In any case, it’s worth distinguishing between news and real life. News from China is outdated by the time it is covered by western media. …

Just begin again… Learning 中文 after the Olympics. Can Olympic inspiration change your life?

From the guanxi substack newsletter: https://guanxi.substack.com/. If you would like to support me, please subscribe there. Can the Olympics change your life? Yes, why not? Sport models life. Elite sport distills the drama of life in the way theatre does. Everything is heightened: the years of practice and dedication, the suspense, the ups and downs, the triumphs and the disappointments. It would be strange if we couldn’t find something in the grand theatre of the Olympics to inspire us. It seems that all true things must change and only that which changes remains true.1 I’ve rebooted my efforts to learn Mandarin Chinese. The following is a set of thoughts and reflections on how this happened for me. Rewinding briefly, in the Tokyo Summer Olympics last year, I was fascinated by Anna Kiesenhofer’s victory in the cycling road race. She broke away from the field early in the race, then built, and then held her advantage to the surprise and chagrin of favourites picked for the win, mainly riders of an over-confident Dutch team. Here are …