Just a Thought… Expectations

My Chinese teacher scares the pants off me. She’s very… . That’s not to say I don’t like her–I do! I just also live in terrible fear of the possibility I could miss one of the torrent of assignments I’d have to do to pass the class. Especially when finding out what homework is actually due is a pain. Or what the readings for the pop quiz are going to be (because I kid not, she will not give us a scheduled list).

241055-bubblegumtableflip-header (Am I overreacting? Maybe I’m overreacting. Somehow I don’t think so, though.)

I wasn’t completely incapacitated going into that class, however. This is mostly in thanks t the teacher herself–she’s very good at communicating her expectations, if nothing else. And that’s what really got me thinking this week.

Moving into a new place, living with people I know not at all, has forced me to adjust my expectations of people. In that situation, specifically not to have many expectations at all. One of my favorite talks (about marriage, incidentally) states that unhappiness in a relationship stems from an unmet expectation. Other than not being super sketchy murderers, I decided not to have a ton of expectations so far as roommates were concerned. And it’s actually turned out great–I’ve been able to set boundaries as we go and nobody’s taken offense to anybody else.

I tried to do much the same thing with my Chinese class, despite the bad reputation ratemyprofessor and word-of-mouth had given the teacher. I just wanted a class I could study Chinese in. Unfortunately, my one requirement will not be met there. As a class more focused on performance and memorization than actual learning, with a teacher who’s nature would try my massive love for the language, I realized I would learn more Chinese on my own than in that class.I don’t want my passion for Chinese to die because of a teacher… and so I dropped it. Our expectations didn’t meet up with one another–and I don’t have to the time to figure it out in the week left before the add drop deadline. So rather than struggle with it the entire year I decided to get rid of it.

The same cannot–should not–be said of relationships. Burning a bridge often takes little to no time, and it’s hard to rebuild. (Hopefully by dropping the class now I saved the bridge and can cross it at a later date–sometime when I’m a bit more mature and she’s opened up a bit). My relationships with people should never fall second to my selfish desires: while me time is good and boundaries are important, people are a necessary part of life. Work with them, find your common ground–build upon each other until you reach a place you can live with. Getting rid of someone in your life can be freeing, but the reasons to cut ties are few and far between, in my opinion. Whenever reasonably possible, it’s better to adjust your expectations of people than stop assiciating with them. If you lose all contact, you lose the opportunity not only to know them, but also to help them (if they need it). Just a thought, I guess.

Thanks for reading,



3 responses to “Just a Thought… Expectations

  1. Unfortunately Chinese is a language that is very hard to learn because so much of it is by rote memory. There isn’t any alphabet so every word has to be memorized both in pronunciation and how it is written. Drove me BATS while I was studying it. As much as the 成语 or 歇后语 are fun. I actually enjoyed learning the 歇后语 more because they almost tell a story.
    I’m glad that you got out of your lessons before you got too jaded. I’ve given back almost all my Chinese to my teachers because I haven’t used in much in the last 15 years! Anyway all the best for your future Chinese learning. 船到桥头,自然直- I’m sure everything will work out well! 😝

    • 谢谢你的鼓励, I’m not giving up! I’m looking into online classes and alternate routes of taking the course. 歇后语 are fun, but I’m terrible at getting the tones right when it’s all the same romanization (四是四,十四是十四 , 那样).

      • Haha. Practice some 绕口令!but yeah the tones can be difficult. But at least there are only 4 tones. There are 9 in Cantonese! I gave up trying to learn.
        I just started learning korean and it’s fun. At least they have Hangul so I can read the word even if I don’t know what it means. 😋
        Anyway 希望你这个星期过的顺顺利利!

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