I hope all of you (US) are getting prepared (or are prepared) for and educated on COVID-19.
For one thing, it has been good for the girls to be fluent in Chinese during China’s early battle against COVID-19, when much of the primary source of information were in Chinese. Our whole family have been keeping tab on COVID-19 development on news commentary shows from Taiwan, like 關鍵時刻 and 年代向錢看, that provide daily analysis on weekdays, with the “real story” from China, Korea, Japan, and the rest of the world. Armed with such information, we were able to start preparing early on (before price gouging on some items) and even saved some money by getting out of stock mutual fund before the stock market started crashing for our retirement account. The girls also read a couple of Chinese newspaper clips on COVID-19.
CHINESE POP BAND: COVID-19 did force the cancellation of one of our band performances in February, which was just fine, since we already performed three times over the winter. Our band’s next performance will be in May, for Mother’s Day, but that will likely be canceled with how things are going now. So, the girls are primarily working on our own band songs now.
CHINESE DEBATE: As a result of COVID-19, Debate Asia (亞洲盃中文辯論錦標賽) has not make announcement on its 6th annual competition, 六國封相. It was going to be held in China in late July but, obviously, this is now extremely unlikely to take place. The coach is looking into an alternative competition in Taiwan in July, 蘇州盃高中職辯論錦標賽. This competition was previously limited to high school teams in Taiwan, but is now open to international teams for the first time. Though Taiwan has done an exceptional job so far in her battle against COVID-19, anything can happen between now and July. By then, air travel and large gathering may still be risky and there may be travel restrictions to Taiwan from the US, at the rate this is going. So, I am not optimistic that the girls will be able to compete this summer. But, regardless, the team is still training and that’s what counts. At this point, the team is working on “Should UBI (universal basic income) replace means-tested welfare programs?”
CHINESE READING: DD#2 is pretty done with 7th grade first semester CLA textbook from Taiwan. The last lesson she practiced reading aloud was a 1925 essay “背影“ by 朱自親. It was the second to the last chapter but I have her skip the last chapter since it was just a simple short story.
Instead of having DD#2 move unto 7th grade second semester textbook, I now just ask her to do readings on the AP Chinese study guide (and typing). I figure she might as well get it started and take the AP exam either in 9th grade or 10th grade. DD#1 ended up not being able to take the AP Chinese exam this year (11th grade) since the schools that offer it locally (not available at her own school) ran out of spots early. It might as well be that way since she would have to take her AP Bio exam in the morning and then get to another school for afternoon’s AP Chinese exam. That may end up to be too much of a rush. Oh well….
CHINESE TV SERIES:
DD#2 finished watching 皓蘭傳, a 2019’s historical fictional TV series, which was loosely based on the life story of the 趙姬, the mother of 秦始王 (Qin Shi-Huang), who was the “first” emperor of China at around 200 BC. So, DD#2 learned about 呂不韋 of 呂氏春秋, 長平之戰 in which Qin buried 200,000 surrendered soldiers alive, and how 秦始王 came about.
Now, we shifted back to 金庸’s work, 鹿鼎記, which will provide DD#2 with the historical background surrounding the first phase of the Qing dynasty in the 17th century. For those of you who know this novel, you won’t find it surprising that my DD#2 is having a blast watching 偉小寶! We are watching the 2014 TV series.