Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year's resolutions

1. practice more
2. study more
3. exercise
4. patience (there is no austerity like it!)
5. memorize the root text of Abhidharmakosa before classes begin, not after!
6. take more photos
7. go to puja every single 10th and 25th
8. speak more Tibetan
9. practice Tibetan speed reading everyday
10. learn a new torma each week

So, what are your resolutions?

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Little nuns

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

See Samten Study

Exams... Part 2, the revenge!

I've finished one of my five exams (Madyamakavatara- it went pretty well!), and I've got the second one tomorrow.
What's it like? At 7:15 am we enter the main temple. All the students from year one to nine write their respective exams at the same time. We bring clipboards, pens and correction fluid. We sit on mats on the floor, spaced apart and separated from our classmates. At 7:30 we receive our question papers and start writing.
We have three hours to answer at least five essay questions (up to eight questions on certain exams). The exams cover the entire text and may also include questions on topics covered in previous years. Some exams cover two or three small texts. Teachers patrol the room, making sure there is no cheating. A bell is rung every hour so we know how much time is left. At 9 am Tibetan butter tea is served, yuck! At 10:30 a bell rings, and we are given an extra 15 minutes to finish off our questions and proof-read. Then we hand in our papers and start to prepare for the next exam, which will be held four days later.
Marks are given for content, spelling, and handwriting. Most people write in kyu yig, the smallest form of Tibetan calligraphy. This year my handwriting is worse than ever, due to having broken my right arm in November. I'm trying to write a bit bigger, so it will be legible.
Why am I blogging this? I should get back to studying. Wish me luck!