Now that the new semester is in full swing, it's difficult for me to get out for Mandarin Monday events in the city--working 9-6 with only a 15 minute break is a bit tiring (good thing I only do that once a week). Fortunately, I have found another way to practice my Mandarin.
While working at the campus writing center I found three Chinese students who plan to attend regular tutoring sessions. I'm now getting in the habit of greeting these students in Mandarin and having brief conversations with them before they begin their sessions.
Yesterday, I found that I hadn't properly introduced myself to two of the students. After asking one about what she did for Spring Festival, she inquired where I was from and how I came to learn Chinese. I hadn't had to answer those questions in over two years.
Having these students around regularly should help motivate me to study more.