You know those white medical masks that you see nurses and doctors wear in hospitals? Back when I lived in Canada, I never saw anyone wear one in public. But here in Asia, they are pretty common. In Hong Kong, it’s generally an indication of people who are sick – doctors usually instruct their patients to wear one until they get better. But in mainland China, these masks are commonly used to combat air pollution, China’s biggest environmental problem.
Though China’s bigger cities (like Beijing and Shanghai) typically have the worst pollution, smaller cities can also experience days where the pollution is pretty bad. I’ve become far more appreciate of days where I can look up to a blue sky, as we only get to see this a few times per month.
Photo courtesy of Flickr.com/lylo0u
Though there is little that we can do to control the air quality outside our home, there are ways to improve the air quality inside our home. Perhaps the most common method is by obtaining some sort of air purifier.
In many of our life endeavors, we will often face this thing we call the wall. For long-distance runners, this is that moment when they’re so tired that they feel like they need to slow down or stop running altogether. Writers experience this wall in the form of “writer’s block” where they feel like they’ve lost the ability to create.
Photo courtesy of Flickr.com/JPott
I hit a wall earlier this week. But it wasn’t the wall I expected.
Have you ever started a long-term endeavor and then completely lost track of how and when you started? This is how I feel about my Chinese studies. Sometimes it seems like I’ve been going at it for about a year, while other times it seems like I just started yesterday.
Whatever the case may be, I’m convinced that learning a new language is one of the most rewarding processes you’ll ever go through. It’s difficult. It’s exhausting. But it’s not something you will ever regret.
Photo courtesy of Flickr.com/TheJuniorPartner
I’ve been amazed at how much I’ve learned already. And I’m not just talking about the Chinese language. Sometimes the true lesson isn’t what you learn in class, but what you learn in-between classes. That’s definitely been the case for me.
Here are six lessons that I’ve learned after six weeks of language learning: