I can't believe 5 weeks of this semester have already gone by! Next week we have Thursday and Friday off, and then our midterms will be within the next 2 or 3 weeks. These last 2 weeks have had some really helpful grammar, and also helped to clarify some things I sort of knew, but never really knew why I knew!
The first was more on the usage of 还是. So far we had learned about using it when phrasing an 'or' question, but nothing else. I felt like I knew how to use it as an adverb, but not really why. The way our teacher explained it was incredibly helpful - you can use it when you have compared things and then come to a decision about which is best. You don't need to mention any thing else in the decision if you don't want to, and whatever you think the best choice is will always become evident when you use 还是.
For example: 我还是坐飞机去。 I am heading to Shanghai and, whether I have stated it or not, have compared the pros and cons of taking the train or flying. For whatever reasons, I have decided that flying is still the best option.
We also covered more on using 了, this time on the rules of using time. For example
我看电视一个小时 is wrong, but 我看电视看了一个小时 or 我看了一个小时（的）电视 are both ok. There were also various other rules/exceptions which we covered. I still find 了 to be tricky, as there just seem to be so many uses and rules regarding it, but this grammar has made me feel I understand it much more now than I did previously!
The ongoing student saga has now resulted in 3 students being kicked out, and 3 more down to a last warning, where if they miss one more class they are done. This came from admin rather than our teachers. None of them took it seriously before, but now that some have been given the boot they have come to every single class!