Well, just like many of my friends back in the States, I too am back to school once again! Well, maybe not just like them...

On Friday, Ali and I had our first long-anticipated day of language school. We are our class of two, and our teacher wears lots of glitter and laughs a lot. The laughter is interesting...sometimes it means that I've said something correctly (I think), and sometimes it clearly means that I've screwed something up.

Friday we mostly worked on pronunciation. So, basically, we we re-learned the ABCs. Except that in Vietnamese, the letters do not sound at all the way I think they should. Actually, most of them sound remarkably similar to each other. For example, "gi," "d," and "r" all make the "z" sound. Once we had all the letters down(ish), we started learning the tones. Vietnamese has 6 tones, which are indicated by markings above and below the vowels. The three-hour lesson was, to put it in a nutshell, overwhelming. However, I did have one small victory:

During our break, I went downstairs to get some coffee. The women in the kitchen asked me what I wanted, whether I wanted it hot or cold, and whether I wanted sugar. I shook my head to the sugar, but then I had a brilliant idea! "Sua!" I said (this is the word for milk, minus the marks that go above it that I don't know how to make on my computer. We had just learned this word). They all looked shocked, then burst out laughing--which, I'm beginning to be convinced, can only be a good thing.

It's amazing how exhausted I was after our three-hour session. I thought I would be really gung-ho about studying after that; rather, I felt like I never wanted to hear Vietnamese again in my life. I should recover before Tuesday, I expect, and hopefully even manage to prod myself into studying a bit!..

For now, though, I will go continue making peanut butter cookies (special request of Derek's). And maybe I will dunk them in sua.

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