Learning Mandarin

In China, my brown skin makes me an anomaly. Chinese people stare like Americans stare at the Chinese – laugh at my pronunciation without moving their lips. I speak Mandarin shuffling the four tones like a deck of cards, the 1st tone flat and long when my pitch is good and my throat clear, the 2nd tone rising with my hope to one day learn the art of conversation, the 3rd tone falls before rising with the realization I will hit many dips in the road. The 4th tone sharp with emotion, which I rarely see publically in this Asian culture…

 

Michael D Brown, American, Professor of English at Nanjing Agriculture University, China
Award winning author of 16 books, numerous publishing credits, with 6 volumes of poetry: lectures Internationally, Recipient of the New York State Senator, John De Francisco award for poetry. Born in Syracuse, New York
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