Should I take Chinese classes in college?

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crazi4law
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Should I take Chinese classes in college?

Postby crazi4law » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:45 am

I have gotten the general message that GPA should be protected at all costs, and that the difficulty of classes you take outside of your major doesn't really matter to law school admissions officials. Therefore, I have thought up the idea of taking a few relatively easy Chinese classes whose difficulty level is far from challenging for me to get easy A's. But I am actually an international student from China and possess intermediate skills in the language.

Could this strategy potentially backfire on me badly as admissions looks at it as "cheating" for good grades? Or would they probably not even take a close look at my transcript?

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Verity
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Re: Should I take Chinese classes in college?

Postby Verity » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:49 am

All that matters is good grades. Let me repeat: ALL THAT MATTERS IS GOOD GRADES.

You could major in muff diving, and all they'd care about is that 4.0.

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Dany
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Re: Should I take Chinese classes in college?

Postby Dany » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:56 am

Verity wrote:You could major in muff-diving, and all they'd care about is that 4.0.

Can we please try to refrain from being so crude in the on-topic forums? Take it to the lounge.



To OP - I don't think your transcript will ever be reviewed that closely, and if it is, it will probably just look like you're trying to learn the language of your home country. Is your first language English? I don't think it's a big deal if you're not fluent. Just as an aside, my school has rules for native speakers/international students taking certain foreign language classes, so make sure you're not violating any of those by enrolling.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Should I take Chinese classes in college?

Postby TaipeiMort » Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:15 am

crazi4law wrote:I have gotten the general message that GPA should be protected at all costs, and that the difficulty of classes you take outside of your major doesn't really matter to law school admissions officials. Therefore, I have thought up the idea of taking a few relatively easy Chinese classes whose difficulty level is far from challenging for me to get easy A's. But I am actually an international student from China and possess intermediate skills in the language.

Could this strategy potentially backfire on me badly as admissions looks at it as "cheating" for good grades? Or would they probably not even take a close look at my transcript?


I don't know if your ug school's policies are different than mine, but natives are allowed in relevant upper division classes, andd get graded really hard on things like presentation ability for oral speeches.

If you are from Hong Kong (or maybe even guangzhou) it shouldn't be a problem. If you are a native, why would you do this? There are plenty of other schiester classes you cold take, and you run a realt risk of adcomms rolling their eyes.

gens1tb
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Re: Should I take Chinese classes in college?

Postby gens1tb » Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:54 am

I'd be more worried about the professor grading you harshly than I would adcomms caring about the classes on your transcripts.

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ebeth
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Re: Should I take Chinese classes in college?

Postby ebeth » Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:03 pm

I left my home country when I was young and I took courses in my native language in undergrad; it didn't hold me back as far as law school admissions. However, I wanted to do it in order to boost my reading & writing skills, which I was lacking entirely, and I also took a placement test and placed into the third year language course. Do you really want to sit through first-year Chinese? Will you gain any benefit from it (like brushing up on grammar), aside from the easy A? If not, maybe you can find a different class it won't be too difficult to get an A in, but where you could still learn something new and thus not waste your time for the sake of law school admissions.

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pkrtbx
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Re: Should I take Chinese classes in college?

Postby pkrtbx » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:49 pm

I have taken Chinese every semester of college (had zero ability when I started as a freshman) and I use these classes as basically "gimme" As every semester. Chinese is a pretty difficult language, but every Chinese teacher that I've had or heard of in America is 1) extremely nice, almost motherly, and 2) is extremely lax with white students. Didn't do a single homework assignment all semester? No problem, turn them all in on the last day with no late deductions. Skipped a test because you had to nurse a particularly gnarly hangover on a Wednesday? Just take it during office hours (with no supervision).

Knowing Chinese has decent lay prestige and can be fun to whip out on a date at Ming's Palace, but I doubt it will give you a huge bump in admissions in its own right. But taking it is probably a good idea for GPA padding reasons, if nothing else.

Edit: I missed the part about you being Chinese. My teachers are generally a lot tougher on native speakers and I guess the whole lay prestige point is probably moot. Still not a terrible idea for GPA purposes, probably looks better and if more useful than Yoga I or Music Appreciation.

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Verity
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Re: Should I take Chinese classes in college?

Postby Verity » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:56 pm

pkrtbx wrote:I have taken Chinese every semester of college (had zero ability when I started as a freshman) and I use these classes as basically "gimme" As every semester. Chinese is a pretty difficult language, but every Chinese teacher that I've had or heard of in America is 1) extremely nice, almost motherly, and 2) is extremely lax with white students. Didn't do a single homework assignment all semester? No problem, turn them all in on the last day with no late deductions. Skipped a test because you had to nurse a particularly gnarly hangover on a Wednesday? Just take it during office hours (with no supervision).

Knowing Chinese has decent lay prestige and can be fun to whip out on a date at Ming's Palace, but I doubt it will give you a huge bump in admissions in its own right. But taking it is probably a good idea for GPA padding reasons, if nothing else.


No tiger moms?

BTW, most of the advice in this thread is terrible. OP is asking a question specific to chances of admission. The answer is to get the BEST GRADES POSSIBLE. If that means taking "Theory of Couch Potatoes" and "Abacus Studies," then that's the plan.

OP, law school admissions is completely a numbers game. The 175/4.0 communications major is going to have as good a cycle as the 175/4.0 astrophysics major.

Just get As.

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ebeth
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Re: Should I take Chinese classes in college?

Postby ebeth » Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:58 pm

Verity wrote:
pkrtbx wrote:I have taken Chinese every semester of college (had zero ability when I started as a freshman) and I use these classes as basically "gimme" As every semester. Chinese is a pretty difficult language, but every Chinese teacher that I've had or heard of in America is 1) extremely nice, almost motherly, and 2) is extremely lax with white students. Didn't do a single homework assignment all semester? No problem, turn them all in on the last day with no late deductions. Skipped a test because you had to nurse a particularly gnarly hangover on a Wednesday? Just take it during office hours (with no supervision).

Knowing Chinese has decent lay prestige and can be fun to whip out on a date at Ming's Palace, but I doubt it will give you a huge bump in admissions in its own right. But taking it is probably a good idea for GPA padding reasons, if nothing else.


No tiger moms?

BTW, most of the advice in this thread is terrible. OP is asking a question specific to chances of admission. The answer is to get the BEST GRADES POSSIBLE. If that means taking "Theory of Couch Potatoes" and "Abacus Studies," then that's the plan.

OP, law school admissions is completely a numbers game. The 175/4.0 communications major is going to have as good a cycle as the 175/4.0 astrophysics major.

Just get As.


My point was that the OP could probably find another class in which it would be just as easy to get an A, but where he/she would actually learn something new and not waste time.

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Verity
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Re: Should I take Chinese classes in college?

Postby Verity » Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:10 pm

ebeth wrote:
Verity wrote:
pkrtbx wrote:I have taken Chinese every semester of college (had zero ability when I started as a freshman) and I use these classes as basically "gimme" As every semester. Chinese is a pretty difficult language, but every Chinese teacher that I've had or heard of in America is 1) extremely nice, almost motherly, and 2) is extremely lax with white students. Didn't do a single homework assignment all semester? No problem, turn them all in on the last day with no late deductions. Skipped a test because you had to nurse a particularly gnarly hangover on a Wednesday? Just take it during office hours (with no supervision).

Knowing Chinese has decent lay prestige and can be fun to whip out on a date at Ming's Palace, but I doubt it will give you a huge bump in admissions in its own right. But taking it is probably a good idea for GPA padding reasons, if nothing else.


No tiger moms?

BTW, most of the advice in this thread is terrible. OP is asking a question specific to chances of admission. The answer is to get the BEST GRADES POSSIBLE. If that means taking "Theory of Couch Potatoes" and "Abacus Studies," then that's the plan.

OP, law school admissions is completely a numbers game. The 175/4.0 communications major is going to have as good a cycle as the 175/4.0 astrophysics major.

Just get As.


My point was that the OP could probably find another class in which it would be just as easy to get an A, but where he/she would actually learn something new and not waste time.


That's kind of lofty for TLS.

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Xifeng
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Re: Should I take Chinese classes in college?

Postby Xifeng » Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:20 pm

pkrtbx wrote:I have taken Chinese every semester of college (had zero ability when I started as a freshman) and I use these classes as basically "gimme" As every semester. Chinese is a pretty difficult language, but every Chinese teacher that I've had or heard of in America is 1) extremely nice, almost motherly, and 2) is extremely lax with white students. Didn't do a single homework assignment all semester? No problem, turn them all in on the last day with no late deductions. Skipped a test because you had to nurse a particularly gnarly hangover on a Wednesday? Just take it during office hours (with no supervision).

Knowing Chinese has decent lay prestige and can be fun to whip out on a date at Ming's Palace, but I doubt it will give you a huge bump in admissions in its own right. But taking it is probably a good idea for GPA padding reasons, if nothing else.

Edit: I missed the part about you being Chinese. My teachers are generally a lot tougher on native speakers and I guess the whole lay prestige point is probably moot. Still not a terrible idea for GPA purposes, probably looks better and if more useful than Yoga I or Music Appreciation.


I am jealous of your Chinese professors, mine weren't that nice to non-native kids :(

I'd say if you know for SURE (as in, from other native speakers who have taken that specific professor) that they won't grade you harder, then go for it if that's what you want to do. If not, like other posters have said, there are probably other easy classes where you could avoid that potential problem.

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FantasticMrFox
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Re: Should I take Chinese classes in college?

Postby FantasticMrFox » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:46 pm

I personally think it would look weird if you are taking rudimentary chinese classes when you are from China but seeing I have never known any person who did this, I don't exactly know how it will play out.

Why not start another language? Elementary classes for languages are all easy and you won't have to worry about how your transcript will look

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Dany
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Re: Should I take Chinese classes in college?

Postby Dany » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:51 pm

FantasticMrFox wrote:I personally think it would look weird if you are taking rudimentary chinese classes when you are from China but seeing I have never known any person who did this, I don't exactly know how it will play out.

I knew several people who were born in Mexico/other Spanish-speaking countries but grew up here and took Spanish because they didn't grow up speaking it but wanted to learn. If OP isn't fluent in Chinese, I don't think it's that odd.

FantasticMrFox wrote:Why not start another language? Elementary classes for languages are all easy and you won't have to worry about how your transcript will look

This is NOT always true.

PhilEconCS
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Re: Should I take Chinese classes in college?

Postby PhilEconCS » Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:16 pm

Verity wrote:
pkrtbx wrote:I have taken Chinese every semester of college (had zero ability when I started as a freshman) and I use these classes as basically "gimme" As every semester. Chinese is a pretty difficult language, but every Chinese teacher that I've had or heard of in America is 1) extremely nice, almost motherly, and 2) is extremely lax with white students. Didn't do a single homework assignment all semester? No problem, turn them all in on the last day with no late deductions. Skipped a test because you had to nurse a particularly gnarly hangover on a Wednesday? Just take it during office hours (with no supervision).

Knowing Chinese has decent lay prestige and can be fun to whip out on a date at Ming's Palace, but I doubt it will give you a huge bump in admissions in its own right. But taking it is probably a good idea for GPA padding reasons, if nothing else.


No tiger moms?

BTW, most of the advice in this thread is terrible. OP is asking a question specific to chances of admission. The answer is to get the BEST GRADES POSSIBLE. If that means taking "Theory of Couch Potatoes" and "Abacus Studies," then that's the plan.

OP, law school admissions is completely a numbers game. The 175/4.0 communications major is going to have as good a cycle as the 175/4.0 astrophysics major.

Just get As.


Tiger moms are only mean to their own kids. I have heard Amy Chua is considered an easy grader at YLS.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Should I take Chinese classes in college?

Postby TaipeiMort » Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:37 am

PhilEconCS wrote:
Verity wrote:
pkrtbx wrote:I have taken Chinese every semester of college (had zero ability when I started as a freshman) and I use these classes as basically "gimme" As every semester. Chinese is a pretty difficult language, but every Chinese teacher that I've had or heard of in America is 1) extremely nice, almost motherly, and 2) is extremely lax with white students. Didn't do a single homework assignment all semester? No problem, turn them all in on the last day with no late deductions. Skipped a test because you had to nurse a particularly gnarly hangover on a Wednesday? Just take it during office hours (with no supervision).

Knowing Chinese has decent lay prestige and can be fun to whip out on a date at Ming's Palace, but I doubt it will give you a huge bump in admissions in its own right. But taking it is probably a good idea for GPA padding reasons, if nothing else.


No tiger moms?

BTW, most of the advice in this thread is terrible. OP is asking a question specific to chances of admission. The answer is to get the BEST GRADES POSSIBLE. If that means taking "Theory of Couch Potatoes" and "Abacus Studies," then that's the plan.

OP, law school admissions is completely a numbers game. The 175/4.0 communications major is going to have as good a cycle as the 175/4.0 astrophysics major.

Just get As.


Tiger moms are only mean to their own kids. I have heard Amy Chua is considered an easy grader at YLS.



Amy Chua is hard on her own kids but not others because under Chinese culture (at least pre-cultural revolution) she is expressing her love for her children by rendering valuable service to them. Service in Chinese relationships is like words and money in America. This is also why you will commonly hear Chinese parents say things to their kids like "you are fat, you should stop eating so much so you can have more respect from your friends," but in America the parent would say "you are beautiful, just be happy with who you are."

mikejohnbob
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Re: Should I take Chinese classes in college?

Postby mikejohnbob » Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:00 pm

No, unless you want to subject yourself to this hilarity

SPAM

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cahwc12
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Re: Should I take Chinese classes in college?

Postby cahwc12 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:28 am

ebeth wrote:My point was that the OP could probably find another class in which it would be just as easy to get an A, but where he/she would actually learn something new and not waste time.


I agree with this. Don't take a gimme class. GPA is extremely important, but you should still challenge yourself. Why not just get an A in some math elective? Those typically also have pretty generous curves at many schools. Sure, you'll do a lot more work, but you'll also learn a lot more.

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nickb285
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Re: Should I take Chinese classes in college?

Postby nickb285 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:49 am

Verity wrote:You could major in muff diving, and all they'd care about is that 4.0.


If that had been offered at my UG I wouldn't have wound up with a 3.17.




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