Monday is my long day of classes, and it was as usual hard getting up to get to school in time for that first class at 8. I think 8 AM classes should be banned. But I at least managed to stay awake this time.
I had brought my computer to school for the first time, because I realized that I could be getting a lot of things done in the two hour blocks of time I have free. It's not enough time to make it worth going all the way home and coming back again, but it is enough time to get settled somewhere and accomplish something. If only the entire campus weren't so incredibly crowded! It is just not set up to provide as many study areas as people need. Finally I found a chair in the library. It was reminiscent of the rows of seats at an airport gate, but at least it was better than sitting six inches away from the people on either side of you at one of the incredibly cramped and crowded tables, which makes me feel like I'm actually on a plane! The side-facing row of chairs (no table) was a weird place to work, but not bad. I got stuff done.
My afternoon class went very pleasantly because Prof. YHz was downright warm and friendly to me, full of more suggestions about books, and would I like to borrow such and such a series? She could give it to me if I came to her office after class. Also her class was especially useful. Yeah, everyone things research methods classes are pretty boring--until they do a project when they realize how essential all the tricks and tips are. I have done and am doing such projects, and I listen very attentively. YHz is a good teacher, and not appreciated as she should be by the undergrad exchange students, mostly rowdy Koreans!
After class, an older woman joined us in walking back to YHz's office. YHz introduced me to her with glowing praises embarrassed me. I found out later that this lady is thinking of going back to school and so has been attending classes all over the neighborhood. She suggested a class on Shiji at nearby Renda, which I subsequently went to. It's good to meet someone who's really in the know, even though it's already halfway through the semester.
Then I had a pleasant little talk with YHz, and she suggested I should try to publish something in the Beida research journal, which she edits. I agreed that I would be amenable to that. I'm sure Chinese publications don't mean as much as English ones, but they mean something, and I like the idea of reaching a Chinese audience, frankly. It's like the mother-ship. And I think it would please YHz. I have something written, just the sort of thing she'd be looking for I think; I just have to polish it, update it, and--the big kicker--translate it. That's the rough part but maybe my tutor can help and I'll probably learn a lot. We'll see. I am thinking I'll probably give her a really rough translation and the English original, and she or someone else can do the editing? Anyway, something to think about.
After I left her office, I saw this late-autumn rose blooming its red heart out in the dusk, and thought it very beautiful.
By the time I got to my last class of the day, from 5-7 PM, I was really tired. Still, I gamely chatted with a lady I had talked to several times before--it seems we are in almost all the same classes--and this time we exchange contact information. I found out that her and her friend are teachers from universities in far-flung places, and they're here for a year sitting in classes at China's most famous university and studying teaching techniques. This made them very interesting people to talk to, and although I was too tired to talk very well, I hope I gave at least a reasonably pleasant and friendly impression.
I came home to a sad event. The turtles, Yojo especially, have been very healthy and active lately, probably because of the warmer weather and the sunlight. But when I got home after being gone for something like 10 hours, Queequeg was basking as usual but Yojo was floating. And not resting--floating very still. I don't understand it because he had been doing so well. I put him in some warmer water to see if maybe he was just too cold or something, but he was totally unresponsive. I decided to leave him on the basking spot overnight to make sure... but I knew already it wasn't good. I felt very sad for Yojo, and like an extremely bad turtle owner. Colin said, sometimes little turtles just aren't meant to live. But it was so strange that it was healthy active Yojo, who has actually been eating and growing and swimming, rather than sickly little Queequeg... though I suspect Queequeg is not going to be blessed with any particular longevity either. I conclude that turtles are too hard to raise unless you have a fully equipped pet-store or a fully heated apartment. :(