My interest in Mandarin Chinese actually began way before COVID-19 became a pandemic. It had to do with the fact that China is an economic powerhouse like the United States, and, of course, like English Mandarin Chinese is a language spoken by those who wish to engage in that market. Another reason for studying Mandarin Chinese is because I have been developing a conlang with this language as one of the inspirations and would like to study more in-depth the nuances that would come with this language.
As far as where I am in my progress of learning Mandarin Chinese, I do not seem to be off the ground, since I have only taken a few Udemy courses and I have no Chinese speakers to practice with.
The reason why I created this blog was to document my progress. It is very similar to the YouTuber named Moses who has a channel called Laoshu50500, where he documents his language learning, whether through face-to-face interactions or simple readings. He has entire playlists dedicated to each language he learns.
I hope to follow his method of language-learning, though I would want to do it with a blog where I have more creative options than YouTube. Also, for all of us who have taken a language course in school, we were told to adopt a name from the language as a means of immersion. In this case, I chose the Chinese surname Sike, which is the Chinese version of my surname Scott; while the personal name Tong comes from Pang Tong who was one of the figures of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms epic.