This has been an awesome week, and I felt like I really learned a lot. First of all, for some reason I am still unable to upload photos. I have sent Roddy a message and so hopefully by next week I can put some up.
I got my reading/writing midterm back, and it turns out I actually did write 容 correctly, and I got 100％! Obviously I am over the moon with that, but it led to something even more cool. There were 9 of us who did really well on the midterm, and so our teacher said that after looking at our results, attendance, and homework each week, we don't need to attend class between now and our final exam in January if we don't want to. She said we are welcome to come, but our time is probably better spent devising and studying our own 内容。 She said we obviously still need to take the final exam, and we need to make sure we cover what's in the book as that will all be on there. Each week we have to send photos via Wechat showing that we have been studying, and we have to produce 3 paragraphs/articles each week, on whatever we choose. We can either send photos of those to her, or leave them in the classroom the night before and she will correct them for us (I am definitely doing the latter so that I actually continue to learn). I am really pumped about this. The remaining Hanzi in the book that will be on the final are fairly common, and so shouldn't take long to learn. Most of them I can read, I just need to remind myself how to write them. But it means I have more time to study personal vocabulary, and writing the articles will be really fun and allow for a lot more experimentation with new words and grammar. Finally she said after our final exams she will reassess and let us know whether she wants us to return to class, or we can continue to do our own thing.
I just started a thread on sentence structure, so I won't repeat it here, but one of our teachers gave me a brilliant revelation when he was teaching this week - basically, if we know general sentence structures (subj + v + obj) and all that, then when we discover a new word, in most cases we can work out how to use that word by just checking what type of word it is. I have always struggled with this when looking up words in the dictionary! Now it seems so simple, why on earth was I finding it so hard, I should have just checked what kind of a word it was and then I would know how to put it into a sentence!
I spent some time hanging out with my friends at the tattoo place on Friday which was fun. They wrote me a list of vocabulary as I walked around the shop pointing out things I didn't know, and then trying to explain things. I think (I haven't actually checked them all in the dictionary yet though) I managed to get outline and shading, which I was quite proud of, or at least I will be if they are right hah!
Aside from Chinese study, the weather here has been getting very cold. Today was -16C, which is the coldest it has been so far this winter. There has also been some snow which is nice! Some rather unfortunate news is that we may have to move house. Our landlord is letting us know by the end of this month whether or not she wants to sell the place (I naively just assumed we'd be here for 4 years). It's annoying because this place has 3 bedrooms which is perfect with our kids, the location is also fantastic. It's not too far from uni and we are right by a big supermarket and a great kindergarten for the kids. The silver lining is that our contract is up mid-Feb, so we will most likely move in January, right in the middle of my holiday! I think I will stop there for this week, before the post gets too long!