After completing my 4-year project of learning Chinese in northern China, I have now spent 4 years back in the United States. Although living with a Chinese spouse certainly keeps up my ordinary conversation skills, the rest of my abilities are definitely slipping: Listening is a problem. Vocabulary is shrinking. And don’t even bother asking me how to write anything outside the 50 most basic characters.
So, I feel a little like taking a cue from SpongeBob in Chinese and running in circles yelling:
But instead, I’ll start a blog.
When I first began language school in China, I met some small children and I thought, “If I can just catch up with them, and then keep up with them, I’ll be doing great.” In those 4 years, I definitely caught up. But in the past 4 years, I’ve fallen woefully behind.
So, recalling my lofty “keep up” goal, I’ve begun my wildly unrealistic “Keeping up with the Wangs” project. I’ll try to write updates on what I’m doing to keep learning. Sometimes in English, and sometimes in Chinese. In the process we’ll also discover if I can keep up with blogging!
Featured Image: Elijah Wilcott, 2015