So, OK, last semester I was at the top level of classes offered by Beida’s Chinese as a Foreign Language College. Once you hit the advanced level at the 对外汉语学院, you’re best off 入系’ing – entering the Chinese department – unless you’re a fan of stupefyingly blah language textbooks.
So this time around, when it came time for the placement test, I checked the little ‘I am thinking of entering the Department’ box and crossed my fingers.
Sure enough, I placed in, meaning that I am now a one-semester student in the Chinese department of Beijing University, on the Literature major track.
Panic set in this morning – holy shit, what was I thinking? I read at, like, an eighth-grade level! Oh shit oh shit oh shit! Undo! Undo! – but after going, getting the course catalog, and sitting down with a cup of coffee and a blank roster sheet, I’m feeling good about this.
There are some classes – 古代汉语文学, the one listed as being for 研究生 (Graduate Student Classical Chinese Literature) and 目录学 (Bibiliographic Studies?), anyone? – which are obviously not options for me, but then there are others – 《老》《庄》导读 (Guided Readings in the Laozi and Zhuangzi), 鲁迅研究 (Lu Xun Studies)， 汉语方言调查 (Looking at Chinese Topolects) – that look doable.
I feel like a kid in a candy store here.