Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Notes from April, May, June, July

Where does time go?

I can't believe i haven't posted on this blog in that long, almost four months. Well, actually i guess i can. Anyway, here's some of the notes i've been keeping for the past few months. Basically, instead of writing all my thoughts down in some epic, well thought out, journal writing spree, i pretty much just write down my thoughts as they come in a notebook on my computer. So, thats why these posts are really random. Basically, the bottom thoughts came first, the top ones are more recent. Enjoy? I dunno, these are more posterity than for reading, but if you enjoy reading my lunatic thoughts, eat your heart out. Here goes:

I could work for a moving company

New life goal: read (part of) a book every day

i always want hope to come in an e-mail.

Most people associate ability to output with intelligence, and so when you are speaking a second language, your ability to output is the thing that other people judge you by. However, there's really not much you can do to really improve your output directly-all you can do is indirectly improve it by getting more input and then mimicing that...

a company that recruits one on one teachers https://jobs.gaijinpot.com/index/view/company_id/1787/job_id/32390

so this APU Job just fell in my lap. Maybe I should apply... but anyway I am kind of feeling like "no i don't really wanna do that." Basically, i think it shows that my goal is not necessarily to work in japan next year. My real goal next year is to have fun/do something interesting in Japan. So therefore, I should see where this Ski opportunity takes me.

the thing about living on your own and working is that your happiness, your development is no longer the responsibility of your teachers and parents. It is completely your responsiblity, one that no one really teaches you how to deal with. its always glossed over as being too basic to teach, too obvious, your own responsiblity to learn, not to be taught

i think one of the most difficult things about doing cards is basically doing them getting tired, and being very inefficient about them. Id like to do cards first thing in the morning, before going to work. However, this would force me to change my habits-- the one that I've always had trouble with. Well not always, i have gotten generally better at it -- bedtime. The thing with bedtime is it always seems to fall aside. Its a goal that I can only focus on once a day

ok, here's my newest best idea. maybe. So, I go to IUC for a few weeks, If I like it, and think that it's worth the money--more so than if I were doing it on my own-- then stay. (be sure to have some very clear credentials about what will qualify as "worth it")

Assuming I don't like IUC, stay in Tokyo, and study on my own. Meditate and go to Aikido in the mornings every day and then go straight to somewhere with free unlimited internet. Basically live exactly the lifestyle I want with nothing to hold me back. Possibly a university in tokyo. Do my reps and adds. Be sure to have clear daily goals, and timebox so not to overdo it. In addition to studying Japanese, it would be a good opportunity to study for the GRE. So basically spend 3 months doing GRE prep and Japanese study. Then, in the winter time, go to a Niseko or Hakuba to work. Hopefully as a ski instructor, but any job where I could use Japanese would be good. Keep studying when I can, but mostly just ski. Yeah, be a ski bum for a season. sounds sweet. Then when that's over in like march or april, maybe travel for a little while-europe and India, taking pictures, and then its woodenfish and China! sweet i like this plan.

Speaking is a privelege. reading is a responsibility.

i also think that it was a mistake to not try to get a girlfriend while I was here. Maybe I'll try that out for next year.

i suppose when i thought about the sayonara party thing, i was a bit indifferent, as usual. But in retrospect, i am regretful about not going. so i guess, I actually cared after all, i just convinced myself that I didn't.

i used to rely on other people to help me make decisions. But now, I just have to make decisions for myself.

I don't want to blame my decision on other people, but i guess I did make it based on what Shane said "i don't like those people.. i never see them... its a waste of money" yeah... what BS.

doing things with people I like=fun

ok well i don"t have trouble finding sentences, but I do have trouble with getting them in the SRS i mean typing them in is slow. basically i have more input that I know what to do with. there are too many sentences... and not enough time to deal with them all. I mean Ideally, I would read and keep marking sentences like I have been, and then add all those sentences. In addition I would add all the new words i have looked up in my ipod with either definition items or sentence items. The number of sentences i can find in a day is higher than number i can add with the amount of time i normally spend.

currently i just did 11 in 40 minutes. ideally i'd like to be spending like 1 minute - 1.5 minutes per sentence, cuz at the current rate it would take 3 hours 20 minutes to get to the 50 sentences goal and piling reviews on top of that, i'd be spending 5.5 hours per day working on just srs stuff, and that doesn't even cover reading and listening so yeah obviously at this point, SRS input needs to be increased.

Solutions: ok, I can decrease the number of entries i have to do by picking only the "REALLY REALLY good ones". I could keep finding sentences like i have been, marking potential ones, and then going back and adding only the ones that are relevant. only the ones that make sense instantly when i see them. only the ones that have only one element missing. only ones that are short.

i think its gonna be a good idea to put a little comment in the space about where that pharse could be used, or what it is describing, especially in the case of sentences from a dictionary.

Just like how I clean up my desk every day when I leave school I shouldalso implement a system where I 片付く my living and work space at the endof every day

Ok new idea, Limit myself to X number of minutes of english reading per day. (what about e-mails?). Now x=30

Who is the teacher of this class? (read aloud)
-The class teacher is Miss Yoshino and Msr Tom (lol Monseigneur Tom)

I thought that the JET program would jumpstart my life after college, instead it dead-ended it.

i think when answering cards, you might think about answering two questions:

first, Do you understand this sentence? Do you understand all its parts/words, and how they fit together? Take some time to notice and think about why that word to instead of another, that character instead of another, へ instead of に

second, where/how was that sentence/phrase used? or (especially in the case of dictionary sentences) how could I use that sentence/phrase? what *exactly* is it describing?

I really really need to do something about my fucking kanji cards. Like I need to be practicing them to some extent, but with almost 1000 reviews due its super overwhelming just like it was when I started doing sentences. Man, I dunno what happened, but i really messed up the kanji cards. I guess one thing was that I was never satisfied, and still am not satisfied with any of the methods i used for making the cards themselves. So, i kept and keep tweaking it. Basically as of right now, I think the most important thing to review about the cards is the stories. You have to have the stories solid for them to be useful.... i guess. ARGGH I dunno! Wheres the answer Khatz??? ok well lets think.... what is the absolute fastest, easiest way to review the cards. Fuck effective.... it doesnt matter like Heisigs method is only effective to a degree... and not to the degree I had hoped, but its at least much better than jezus im procrastinating. argggh i hate this job!! but if its to work to any degree whatsoever, i gotta keep reviewing the cards. OK, absolute fastest easiest way. Well, first of all, i have to tell myself to stop. absolutely no more edits to kanji cards, no matter what. just let it go. In fact, you can even delete kanji cards. yes i just said that. I can delete them. sayo mothafucking nara. i dont need crappy cards wasting my time. If i need that kanji later, i can make a new card later. Argh,, so re-read the kanji article for the billionth time. Well, basically i need to decide what to do here. Ok, move all the kanji back a month 900/1 month= about 30 per day, not impossible. You are not allowed to make edits to kanji cards. No more edits. no more changes. no more perfectionism. With one exception: if the card has no keyword. In fact, I could just go find all those and do them all at once
ok, i did that. Now i just have to NNNNO I HAVE TO LEAVE WORK!

umm ok and about what was it somethng about studying.. ok so Khatz is like "you can do 50 sentences a day" and I'm struggling to do that. Well I think its better to start small... and only have a goal of about 10 per day in the first month, and then 20 the second month, 30 the third month, etc.. Of course you can always add more, but its always better to have small, acheivable goals and go beyond them on your own accord than it is to have big, difficult to achieve goals that you'll likely miss, and beat yourself up about it. If the outcome is the same- for instance, saying I added 25 sentences today, but I was only planning on adding 15 is psychologically way better than saying i added 25 sentences today, and then beating yourself up because you meant to add 30.
Building up over time does two things: first, you learn how to enter sentences and as you get better at it, i.e. more efficient, you can add more. Second, at first, good sentences that come from real japanese and are comprehensible are probably fewer and farther between. So, you will need to wade through a lot more dirt to find the gold nuggets, anyway. Not that there's anything wrong with adding bad sentences, but especially at first the "unripe" sentences to "ripe" sentences ration is much higher, so for the same amount of time you might spend later, you won't be able to add as many sentences at first.

maybe I should tell sarah about MSF?

okkkkkk,,,,,,, first I not sure I want to apply to Medicines Sans Frontiers this year, but I think I'd like to do that at some point. Maybe during or immidiately after grad school? I guess it comes down to If I got into MSF, would I rather do that, or go to IUC? Although I think probably MSF would be a better experience, I can do that at any point in my life really, while practically, IUC is something I can only do now, or well, at least now is the best time to do it, because my japanese ability is already at its peak, having lived here for two years. Anyway, someday I'd like to go on Medicines Sans Frontiers or something like it.

im on a boat motherfucker don:'t you ever forget

yet another new way to do kanji cards keyword+primitives in question. Answer is writing and story production. grading is based on accuracy of the story i.e. included all elements in the same way you originally wrote it (not necessarily exactly memorized) and also accuracy of the production of the kanji (if inaccurate, fail it)

im on a boat motherfucker dont you ever forget.

all i really want to do in my life is to be around people/ to communicate with people, to be given the opportunity to say what I want to say. Although I also have to remember to listen to what other people have to say. thats much harder for me. i what I want to do is be heard, be listened to. I feel like i dont want to have to listen. ive done too much listening and i guess i feel like i havent found anyone i really want to listen to... well there are a few people... actually a lot... more like people i want to have conversations with. unfortunately, there arent many japanese people ive met that fall into that category...

all I really want to do next year is have fun. I want to do whatever will put me in the largest number of situations where I can have fun.

Why do I still have no confidence in my japanese ability?

ok, so today, i think i used a word that I definitely (85% sure) learned a couple months ago without using a dicionary

also, as a "test" (that i told myself I wouldnt do) i read through some of the JLPT shit. It was pretty easy reading. i mean there were a few unfamiliar words, but like nothing to really sweat over. so.. maybe...just maybe...ajatt is working... i hope so...

Remember: You are too critical of yourself. You are too critical of others.

sentences i like: ones that are easy to understand. ones that come from manga. ones that come from the bible ones that i understood when i read them, and have an image associated with them. to a lesser extent, sentences that come from books i've read. ones that i want to say. ones that come from reading. sentences that have something unusual about them. Sentences that I understood without needing to look anything up, practically. Short simple sentences. Sentences that have personality.

sentence i don:t like: ones that i felt obligated to add, because i had spent all that energy to look up that word in the first place. sentences that are not sentences, but simply terms. sentences that come from the dictionary, especially for words that i had to look up. random ass words that are technical and i would only ever see in the dictionary. words that i "had to " look up, in order to understand the definition of a word that i "wanted to" look up. sentences where the target word was not the only new word. Sentences that are hard.

listening i like to do: stuff i understand. movies especially. tv shows. i like music, because although i don't understand the lyrics I don't really care.

listening i don:t really like: stuff i feel like i should understand, but don't. stuff that i can't take the time to actually listen to. mostly the stuff i listen to at work. i mean i dont hat it

Those who have the skills didn’t just want to be good, they 決ecided to be 良ood.

i think that the uncalendar is really helpful, just as is maintaining action lists, but with the move to a different computer at school, its become a bit of a hassle. not so smooth as it was before. I was thinking, one idea would be to keep a very basic uncalendar like this on evernote:

Friday, May 1, 2009

Dump of notes from march-april

Actually, I don't know when I started taking these notes, but I find this system is really nice actually. They gave me a computer today at work, and I hope that I can continue to do something like this. I'm looking into using a program called Evernote to streamline the whole deal. Multi platform, i can use it on my Ipod too.... sweet. Also, I got a sweet new lens today. Man, i really gotta get my photo project under control and show ya'll some pictures. Anyway, here's ramblings from the past couple months, enjoi!

what if card ratings were based on how confident you were in your knowledge of that card? not so much how well you produced the answer

i need to make it a priority to relax more... i don't do that enough. Its like, I'm waiting for permission to relax... i need to give myself permission to relax

When i'm actually doing cards, it doesn't feel like learning... it feels like just doing cards for the sake of doing cards. they're not challenging. they're not pushing my limits... 90% it doesn't feel like it's on the edge of my memory... i dunno why am i so concerned with how it "feels" like

There's a good chance that I have not had fun by myself since arriving in japan. Well, take that back, I have. Umm... but not often enough.. way not often enough...

its like walking through mud, not gliding across water

so i tried to do some kanji=>keyword cards today. Some observations: well, first, they were wicked easy. I mean, they went fast. I think this is because I already knew them so well from the other keyword-kanji cards. They didn't feel like i was reinforcing the meaning of the cards like I thought they would, nor did i feel like I was really reinforcing the stories that go with them. It could be that they would work better if my task is to reproduce the stories and the keyword, but what a waste of time it seems. I dunno, the whole method seems so ambiguous! so... slow! so...unclear, unconfident! i suppose this is unconfidence in myself, my ability to learn, but really I feel unconfident in the method. Does this work? i mean, the reason I wanted to make these cards in the first place was simple: when I see these kanji in the real world, I sometimes can't make any kind of meaning out of them. Maybe i've studied them, I can write them, there's maybe even some vague story attached to them, but they don't "mean" anything really just a kanji. a squiggle of lines. WHY DOESN'T it JUST MAKE SENSE? Why is it so comforting to fall back on khatzumoto's website and read about the theory behind it, but applying it is so difficult? I just don't get it

why does it feel like I'm not making any progress?

need to keep folders neat, that is, don't keep stuff in them for weeks. So, empty them every friday

Maximum reps/maximum adds per day? 125 reps, 50 adds... done and done

the whole point is, usage over meaning. Don't think so much about the definition of a word (its "meaning") but about its function in a sentence, and how it relates to other words. A good example sentence will clearly show how words work together.

the criteria for being able to understand a dictionary is not being able to understand the definitions but being able to understand the example sentences

what is comprehension? What is understanding?

there isn't a right way to do it. There isn't a wrong way to do it. the only way to fail is to not do it. Every step, even if it seems like a step in the wrong direction is a success.

its very simple. If you don't know a word in the sentence, you don't understand that sentence. if you don't understand a word in a definition you don't understand the definition.

damn, i had this great opportunity to do some reading. I wanted to read, i had the time. the book was in front of me. All i had to do was pick it up and start reading, but instead i went to the internet and got "work" done. I appreciate the effort and thought, but enough is enough. don't be a perfectionist, leave work undone it's ok, you'll never finish, and you won't even be finished when you're dead, so stop worrying about finishing and worry about starting-start what's important, start what and when you want to start.

when does an action become something I have to do and something I want to do? I mean i am responsible for things, but I can always choose to let that responsiblity slip. Why are the things that I do for myself "less important" than things I do for other people?

ok, so now my next action categories are only set up for what I am already responsible to carry out. However, now my 可能projects lists is huge! How do I manage that?

currently, the アパート list has pretty much exclusively internet/computer/communication stuff. Maybe it should be re-named (or re-evaluated) i mean, these categories need to have hard edges

ok, i put all my "need to do" apartment tasks in my "可能projects" list, thus affirming that i don't actually "need to do them" i only really "need to do them" if i "want to do them" so. In fact all the items on action lists are like that, but like, who is forcing you to do them?

I wonder if it would be a good idea to have separate 可能project lists for each area of life (i.e. same areas as next-action lists)

校長先生の名前 高木啓次(けい・じ)
三隈の〒番号: 877-0000

procrastination: perfectionism: had already thrown out something and wondered what the "proper way" to throw it away was. I suppose maybe japan won't let me make those mistakes....

can't be a perfectionist with the cards "perfect understanding" "perfect reading" "perfect writing" are not the goal "correct reading" "correct writing" and "correct understanding" are the goals, therefore, if it's correct, but maybe the writing wasn't as fast as you wanted, the meaning isn't perfectly clear, and even if you don't think you could produce it, but you "understand it," and if your reading wasn't super fast, its ok too. that'll come. Mistakes for writing are: writing the wrong kanji, writing the wrong hiragana after the word, writing the wrong

1: made an all-out mistake with the reading, writing, and its like "japanese wtf" for the meaning

2: made no "mistakes" but stumbled on MULTIPLE fronts. The meaning wasn't clear at first, but became clear and you read it wrong first, but corrected, and/or you wrote it wrong and had to make more than one correction. (multiple stumbles in reading mean two as well)

3: made no mistakes, but a bit clunky in a single area: reading was clunky, meaning is clear, or you had to rewrite it once.

4: No mistakes. reading is fluent. Meaning is clear on the first try

its pointless to make a question who's answer you can't understand! Simplify, use the wa-ei jiten if you need to. Paraphrases sentences.

Sat, Aug 8 Depart: 10:30 am Fukuoka, Japan (FUK) Korean Air 788
Korean Air 71
2+ stops
Arrive: 8:14 pm 塩alt 湖ake City, UT (SLC) Delta Air Lines 4869

topics, i don't like doing something different something special something out of the ordinary every single time, I'd really like to have a set pattern, that I can create new ideas based on, a sustainable method for team teaching

maybe with kana cards, the grading should be on understanding, reading fluency, and ability to write it. with kanji cards, well same thing, maybe. Should I maybe just say fuck it and make two cards automatically?

ok, only add words from a dictionary if you have seen/heard them in context before. (i.e. don't just add dictionary words because they're interesting.. yet)

understanding each other's culture isn't gonna bridge the gap, understanding each other is.

teamwork is working separately towards a common goal

its like, if before every class you taught you had to make a lesson plan, write it down, and present it to 教頭先生 for review. And then he would tell you what he likes and dislikes, and then you'd have to edit it and show him again

teamwork is the ability to reliably pass responsibility off to someone else, in order to acheive a common goal. People don't ever really "work together" maybe in meetings, but real work is (always) individual. We carry out the work alone. Teamwork happens when we can trust someone else with a part of the work we can't handle. Trust someone else to make up for our own weakness

topics, i don't like doing something different something special something out of the ordinary every single time, I'd really like to have a set pattern, that I can create new ideas based on, a sustainable method for team teaching

its really difficult to be a non-japanese living in japan, but no one really has a good explanation why, to the extent where some people even deny it. I can't really explain it. Some people say it's the cultural differences. I'm skeptical. I think that's just a scapegoat excuse. Some people say it's language. I think that factors into it, and certainly a level of language ability will make living here much easier. But in my case, despite being able to speak fluent japanese and pretty much get thing i needed to get done in japanese done, there was still something else, some barrier to really living comfortably here.

I think i'm entering another period of depression/culture shock, after a long period bliss... well keep up the habits i created during that time

i guess the reason i don' t like making these activities is that i think its not a good way to learn english. Maybe its more fun than other classes which is ok, but i don't think the students learn anything useful from doing these activities

what i was hoping by working with the same students every day, the same teachers, was that I/we could get into a rhythm of teaching where it was NORMAL for an ALT(つまり、non japanese) to be leading a lesson, where i could become an important, necessary PART OF THE ENGLISH CURRICULUM just like any other teacher. BUt that never happened, because what I can do in class is always limited by what you let me do in class.

I feel like you're afraid to let an ALT teach real lessons. so instead you let them teach the lessons where we "have fun" instead of "learn"

ok, i absoutely have to start logging my time at home. At work is one thing, after work is where I need the most improvement.

Procrastination log: perfectionism. Told myself I was gonna prepare dinner before i left for swimming. When I hadn't and it was time to go to swimming, I started prepping. Anyway, basically it could wait.

yes, i am not japanese, that's true, and I can't really change that, but why is it that you have to point that out all the time?

i often felt excluded, and when i was included it was rarely as an equal. A "token foreigner" "that american guy who works at our school" "that foreigner who lives in our builiding" It's ok not to include them....

you either fall into the "japanese people suck" or the "foreigners suck" mentality, or my personal favorite, a blend of both, where "japan sucks" , especially when compared with freedomland, yet somehow you decided to live here for a couple years because the salary was good and japanese culture was so interesting or whatever

in order to combat the weekend unproductivity bug, two ideas one is, to make goal sheets separate for school and for home. On the home sheet set a goal for 5 new items per day on weekdays, and 5 or 10 minutes of reps on weekdays. (also goal for reading--DON't OVER DO IT, don't set goals too high) and then make a goal for weekends of 10 items per day and like 20 minutes of reps... that should at least set up a rhythm for working at home

ok, two laundry baskets in the bedroom. i suppose one for lights and one for darks? when either gets full up do that load. then for "re usable clothes" i think generally folding them up is good and putting them on the shelf above the iron for stuff that cant' be folded obviously putting it back in the closet will be fine. the only thing will be that the place i keep my dirty clothes and the place where i change is different... hmm... maybe i should actually move the laundry baskets to be over by the closet? i guess that would work? oh my bedroom will be so lonely without them :( the other basket can be used as-needed i suppose to take clothes down from outside, etc, but just be sure it doesn't become a third in-basket. another option would be to use it for dry cleaning stuff

you forget stuff if you don't write it down

apparently you're not supposed to step on the long edge of the tatami mat, i.e. the one with fabric on it

i think ima start numbering cards... to make them easier to find

at the start of a day of reviews, do a bunch of reps to first get through all the new cards, and then start adding with the 5min-10min bursts

ok, its obviously a waste of time to ask teachers what's going on in the next class. Don't bother. if they want my help, really, they can ask for it. If they put me in a pinch and ask me for something ridiculous in like a ten minute chunk of time, well just prepare something quick and worthless, it's not worth the frustration of dealing with people who cant speak or teach english

i had this idea micro-meditation. Like, one of the hardest things about meditation is just sitting down and doing it, starting. So you have to practice starting. I thought a good way to practice starting might be to well, do it often, but usually meditation takes so long,
like 40 minutes-- i cant' take multiple fourty
minute chunks out of my day-maybe on fourty minute chunk. Anyway not making excuses but I thought taht as a reward for work, as an alternative to eating candy :) would be to meditate for like 30 seconds- close your eyes and relax. Even though i won't be able can't go very "deep" this way, it may help build moment for doing longer meditation-by making it a more regular part of your life

maybe for sentences where I wanna focus on the grammar, I write the whole thing out, but for sentence where I want to focus on a specific word, I just write that word out? Or, maybe i just write out them all.... ok, well the problem is that I really don't need to write out every sentence.. but when should i write them out, instead of read them out loud? i don't wanna have to think about it...

but what about like.... bah

Ideas for OC1 (that will probably never be heard): 英英辞書、発音季語、dialog の使い方、生徒の名前, 生徒の名前、TTのやり方(解説編より)

be careful of taking shortcuts

using the word 移住者 rather than 外国人 also 外国移住者

Important point for sentence adds: i+1 principle/minimum information principle. pick only sentences where you understand every part but the part in question.

Scoring Reps for sentence items
a 4 should not be evaluated on of my vision of what would be best, but what is on average best. BAsically, that means that althought I think i should be able to produce that answer in a split second(=memorized), almost to a mechanical level, the extra effort required to get to that level is just a waste of time. basically, you have to think a little bit about each card, take time to read them, that's ok, just as long as you don't make a mistake when it comes to producing the answer

So, basically grade based on reading, writing, comprehension
Actually three questions: 1. did you read it correctly? 2. Did you write the kanji/target word correctly? 3. Did you understand it?

If i can answer "yes" to all of these questions, score a 4. If i answer no to any one of these questions, score a fail. If the answer is maybe, reduce the score by one point for each. I.e. If you misread it, but understand the sentence and wrote the target word correctly, score a 3. If you "kind of" understand the sentence-it could mean one of two things. If the answer makes the meaning clear to you, then reduce the score by one and move on. If the answer to the question doesn't make the sentence clear, then you need to edit the card. Either delete it because the sentence content is unclear anyway, or add some definitions, or your own interpretation of the meaning of the sentence (best if this is in japanese). This means you have to read every sentence carefully, so you catch your mistakes, and make as few of them as possible.

the front end implementation of the JET program is realatively good, but not at the local levels, where it has 20 years of not working to account for. Everyone pretends that its fine, and that it was supposed to be this way, and that it cant be helped or changed because of the way japan is or the way the education system is, but to me these are really just excuses not to act borne out of no fundamental desire for change, and no concrete purpose (of the JET program)

to read pile in front of hard drives on desk

ok, taking like two hours to study was definitely procrastination.. hmmm "I was tired! I already did alot of work on it!"

dont make more work for people

Need to think concretely about what needs to be prepared before starting an action: what information do i need to do this action?

More timeboxing: should have timeboxed textbook reading session

Definitely don't add sentences as you read. do them all at once

i can't have an unconcious resistance to putting things on my next actions list... even small things

Chatting with friends is a perfect time to do SRS reps. Think of it as bonus reps like a bonus level!

There was a time when i was averted to turning my computer on when i got home (it used to be such a bad habit) Now, i think since my calendar and all my other stuff is on it, maybe it's ok, just as long as "turning on computer" doesn't mean "checking e-mail and dicking around on the internet"

I dunno what the fuck i've been doing for the past two hours... go TO BED! ON TIME! remember to reward going to bed ontime. Also, like the other stuff is important, but it can wait you know....
Desktop beside computer for next physical action box


speaking of which, Procrastination: perfectionism reading my own note triggered this, btw. I knew for the past little bit i was procrasinating/perfectionisting, but didn't know what to do, so i just continued (working through my notebook item by item, instead of picking out the most important items. This actually happens a lot, i know i'm procrastinating but don't know what to do, so i continue doing the same thing, because its less work than stopping and correcting myself. I think in these cases, where im in a perfectionism/procrastination loop definitely stop and think for a second. "what am i trying to get done here?" Answer: Processing random thoughts, and finding next actions. Processing time is not the same a doing time. when you're processing a big batch, turn the "do it right away" down to like 30 seconds.

High self-expectations, perfectionism is basiclly like having open loops that take a lot of energy to close. Instead you want make a lot ofsmall and easy to close loops.

The reason you go to a monastery is to let it all go (or learn to let it all go)

How can adults stay up to date on culture? Why do adults get de-cultured? why do young people stay "cultured" (incultureated?)

Life goal (?) stay up-to-date on technology

Taking notes in college: In class/lecture, outline using an SRS also do reading with SRS. review Daily. When test time comes, review by making mind maps of the material. use the srs as a reference to help fill in the gaps.

The philosophy of Buddhism (book title). Interpret buddhist ideas based on different areas of philosophy (ethics, etc.) "The title of thie book is misleading, because buddhism is not a philosophy, but a relgion. I intend in this book to talk about buddhist teachings from the point of view of a philospher..." hasn't this been done like a million times?

First the living room
then the bedroom
then kitchen
then aux room
then hallway
then bathroom
then porch
then scooter

Coffee table as in box? Plus: big, easily visible Minus: gets crowded with other stuff, not areally dedicated inbox,

there is productivity,
there is fun,
There is balance, and there shall be no procrastination (i.e. none of this half working/half playing stuff)

procrastination: going to bed (distraction/perfectionism) freakin e-mail and the internet... just one more website mannnn i gotta have it...!! Reading in english too... shame shame

Plain procrastination: Dicked around on the internet instead of starting work

Distraction: While going through the Purge, i took time to read some of the material in my in box. In essence, I took something out of my inbox processed it and put it back in, only to read again. Basically during the purge everything goes into the inbox first

some people base their worth, and the worth of others, on their ability to get sexual partners. Obviously this is not the only, nor the best, measure of "worth." You are not "less of a man" or "less of a person" for not having a lot of sex/girlfriends, though some people who do have them would like you to think that.

i agree that going and playing games with kids is good, but i don't think that it's the best way to use ALTs

Some things I need to do to make OC1 go smoother this year: rhythm. Ok, first, I'm real happy that I'll be working with Yoshino sensei this year. yeah, that's good. First I need to make a real/constant effort to learn the students names from the beginning. ok, like spend the first class just doing this (like dobbins did). be sure to tell that to yoshino sensei. Ok, other than that, I wanna try to use the textbook as the base of what we do in class. But, of course i want to try other things, in particular 発音記号 and also dialogs. I think that Yoshino sensei will have more ideas for what to do in class, and it will be highly
important to listen to her. In fact, even though I think I can run the class, or at least that's what i think the ideal is, like in fact she's in charge, and. actually, I think i should kind of relax this thinking about who's in charge and power and whatever, i mean we both have responsibilities for the class. my responsibilies are that whatever i will be doing in class has to get seen by her first. Which means i have to be prepared even earlier and more concretely than i would normally have to be for this type of class. OK, another thing is that I want to get the class into a rhythm, that's predictable for both us teachers and for the students. Its ok to do the same type of activity many times, as long as the content changes. in fact, it's good because the students get used to it, know what to expect, know how to do it without needing to be told every time, and also it takes the focus of their mental energy off the details of the activity itself, and onto what is being studied. So yeah. Umm. i need to make more activities, and have more confidence in the activities i make. like make simple worksheets and simple dialogs that are easy to read and understand. I think that for dialogs I may need to umm... well.. buy more books... :( i may have to explain why i think dialogs are important... why do i think dialogs are important: it gives students a chance to speak, and communicate with each other. generally fun activities. Can be memorized and acted out. Students can express themselves, use stuff they have learned in other classes by changing content (fill-in the blank style). OK, to wrap up... i need to focus this semester on being patient with Yoshino sensei and LISTENING to her she knows what the deal is, and if we can both get to a smooth operating level, than it means less work for both of us. You're a smart guy, and maybe you can lead and so you always want to be the leader, but other people do to and for me in particular, its important to learn how to follow.

Monkey magic sucks because their music has no balls. i like music with balls. in fact, i pretty much only listen to music with balls, and the more ballsy it is, the more i like it, generally speaking. though, actually there are many factors that go into whether i like a song or not. Ballsyness being only one of many.

Maybe under-two minute actions should be thought of as a division between fast action steps and slow steps (kind of like a reaction in chemistry). so a fast action may actually take longer, but it will get done quickly and allow you to move the project toward completion in a short period of time... dunno maybe, but the two minute rule seems like its maybe more practical and less fuzzy

a laundry basket is a next actions list made of physical things

What i carry in my pocket:
Cell phone
change/change purse
reciepts (wallet should hold reciepts)

options: switch change purse/wallet permanently (or until further notice)
-switch every other day: (take out when sitting for
long periods of time) new habit (hard to create), may easily forget (SRS?), may make both sides bad, not just one side, uncomfortable.
-Keep wallet in front pocket (also somewhat uncomfortable, gets in the way of whatever else is in that pocket.

How do you know when you are ready to swtich to a mono dic? how do you determine what vocabulary you need to know in order to use a monodic? what vocabulary is basic vocab?

you know you've lived in japan too long when you can tell whether the next stall over is a sitter or a squatter by the noises the guy in it is making.

(maybe) if you told most japanese people "buddhists don't believe in rebirth," or something like that, they'll probably respond "Oh really? Do they?"=> both ignorance of and non-identification with buddhism (Despite being "techinically buddhist")

Why are there no Japanese ALTs?

Does japanese supplement work, or leisure? or both, or neither? does it need to fall into a category of work or leisure?

if i had to classify, I would say "work" simply because I do most of my studying while i am at "work" I've always envisioned it being kind of an all-pervasive thing... that's the highest priority, higher than work or leisure... but recently that's been kind of breaking down. If I'd like to study more, is the best way to spend more time at work? Or would it be to learn more how to do it at home? Would it be healthier to not worry about doing it at home at all? Without any kind of pressure to study after school. I mean, obviously it doesn't work to say "i'll study after school" there's so few instances when I actually do it. I do need to learn how to study on the weekends more, which could be helped by studying at home after work--to get used to starting, in a sense.... hmm... completely abandon studying outside school? (temporarily?)

I should total up my adds and reviews at night with the rest of my daily work totals... (before leaving work, did 10 adds)

i always try to turn the bold off before typing when i don't want to use bold for some reason, anki doesn't work like that, so just don't worry about it and type it in bold anyway

i don't really get more done if i stay up later. I always think i can, but I don't really
procrastination 3/17
didn't set the rice cooker up before the tiem i was supposed to leave

sources of english in my life:
this diary
talking with family
talking with friends
cards, rtk
"english" classes
pera pera club
time management books
i2i english course

mistakes in doing RTK
not using an srs
not starting
trying to do it along side another textbook
not writing down stories
not making a story for every one
11:00-11:55 Distraction+compulsivity+perfectionism. After finishing dinner, i intended to do dishes, but checked ajatt (it'll only be a second), there was a new article (oh boy) and i felt a burning desire to enlighten the world with my wisdom. Apparently i had more wisdom than i originally thought, and what began as a comment ended up turning into an essay. Man sh*t really does roll downhill. now its well over an hour after i normally go to bed, and i still haven't done dishes.

3/14 土曜日
ーdecision making: took a while to decide whether to go running or not, and then whether i should do cards before running or not. It wasn't too bad, but like if i just made a concrete decision, i would have gotten out the door earlier. Stuff like this that disrupts the flow is kinda tough to deal with, i guess that's why you need a system to deal with "stuff"...

-perfectionism: came home and started making bfast right away, but like way over-made breakfast. what started as simple scrambled eggs turned into hash browns, and cheesy scrambled eggs. it was, however, delicious.

-procrastinatin: the old "relaxing in the warmth of the shower" trick. its like the door closes and i enter lala land. Well, using the timer should help, just be more diligient about using it. Put up a sign?

Project notes:

Today, i learned the word "hung like a horse" 馬並み
other dirty words i know: 金玉袋(きん・たま・ぶくろ)nut sack
朝立ち(あさ・だち)morning wood
潮吹き(しお・ふ・き)lit. when a whale spouts water from the blowhole. also means "squirting orgasm"
the word for "pussy fart" is somewhere in my brain. maybe マンペ this was explained to me おならじゃないの it's not a fart....

i really gotta be more diligent about eating candy when I'm studying.

3-13 金曜日
so ive spent a lot of my study time, once again, fucking around with my cards. waste of time? very possibly. worth it in the long run? won't know until i get there.

New idea: reverse "full story" and "cloze" field so i can just change the template for all cards. itll look the same for older cards and for new ones

ok, actually, hold of on changing older cards for now. just leave them as they are. wait and see if this new way works out ok

actually, nevermind change older cards and if they don't work you can change them back

-Tommy 5/1/09

Friday, March 27, 2009

More random thoughts: Procrastination log

oh my god my life :) Part of the book "the now habit" is about keeping a procrastination log. its a good idea, and although i used to beat myself up about procrastination, really i just have to laugh at mysef at the ridculous thinking that goes on in my head.... oi humans

(S)=slow (P)=procrastination (遅い)=late
目覚ます 6:35
起きる  6:45(P)
朝食を作る 6:50
テレビを見ながら食べる ~7:20(P)
歯磨く、シャワー  ~7:50 (P)
服を着 ~7:55
出発 7:57 (遅い)
到着 8:07 (遅い)
朝礼 ~8:20
印鑑、コンプータ、ランチ ~8:30(P)
スケジュルを作る ~8:45
仕事ー(short paperwork) ~9:00
仕事/日本語の勉強(short paperwork) (S)~9:30
授業(unprepared) 9:50-10:50
仕事 日本語の勉強 (short paperwork) 11:00-12:15(S?)
先生と話す 12:15ー12:40
ランチ 12:40-1:20(S)
昼寝、カード 1:20-1:50
仕事(long project)(due soon) 2:00-3:15
掃除 3:15 - 3:40
仕事(same project) 3:40-

2/4 水曜日
6:35-6:45 sleep in (P)
6:45-6:50 turn on tv, walk around
6:55-7:05 play with...
7:05-7:10 fix breakfast
7:10-:25 eat breakfast
7:25-7:45 brush teeth, bathroom, shower, shave (long time)
7:45-7:50 dressed (rushed)
7:50-8;05 通勤 (遅い)
8:05-8:25 朝礼
8:25-8:45 印鑑、ポッドキャスト、ランチ
8:45-9:10 worked on this thing (perfectionisting, by trying to do it in Japanese, and adding all new words to anki)-low priority? high priority? dunno
9:10-9:30 class prep-high priority (due soon)
9:30-10:45 class (prepared, good class, but ran it over a bit perfectionism?)
10:45-11:00 coffee, studying, putting away stuff
11:00-11:50 working on project(finished part of it, little perfectionism)
11:50- 12:05 bathroom+cards?
12:05-12:30 working on project (due soon)(multitasking with japanese?)
12:30-1:20 lunch, nap
1:20-2:05 finished up project (finally)
2:05-3:05 class (didn't prepare until last minute)
3:05-3:10 bathroom
3:10-3:25 prepared for a meeting with Umemoto
3:25-4:10 meeting with umemoto
4:15-4:25 soji
4:25-4:35 wrote this
4:35-4:40 cards
4:40-5:20 library stuff
5:20-5:30 packed up to go home, bathroom
5:30-5:45 commute
5:45-6:25 read mail pooped thought about what a badass I am umm something?
6:25-6:30 cards
6:30-45 snack
-:56 cards
7:00-7:10 laundry
-15 cards
-35 laundry
-40 cards
-50 house cleaning
-8:00 cards
-8:05- Go to pool (procrastinated-wanted a break-checked e-mail (it'll only take a minute)
9:30 leave pool (took a while in the sauna (thats ok) changing always takes too long)
9:40-9:55 tsutaya (couldn't find what I was looking for, wandered around, settled on something else)
10:00 arive back home, start making dinner
10:10 cards
10:15 rice was on wrong setting (too rushed?) so reset it, decided to make dinner w/out rice
10:20-10:30 ate dinner while watching a movie
(alarm goes off) Ignore alarm (procrastination)b/c rice is still cooking, and movie is hella sweet
10:40 did some cards for 10 mins
10:50 rice finishes, decide to eat a little more
11:20 clean up dinner
11:30 decide to go to bed, start packing stuff up
12:00 ish in bed, 1 and a hal hours later...

wake up:6:35
out of bed by 6:38 (pretty good)
bathroom, wander around for 15 minutes?
6:55 start making breakfast
7:05 start eating breakfast
7:25 finsish breakfast (orange takes a long time to eat)
7:25-7:45 teeth, shower,bathroom, medicine (shower=~7 minutes)
7:45-7:50 dress
7:50-8:03 commute (on time with time to spare!)
8:05-8:20 chorei
8:20-25 inkan, lunch
25-30 meet with ume
30-40 coffee, podcast
40-45 this
45-50 finished coffee and synched cards to ipod-procrastination (late to class b/c teacher said "dont' worr about coming just yet)
50-9:50 class (half of class doing cards) :)
9:50-10:00 cards
10:00-10:10 went to library, librarian wasnt there
:10-:15 cards
:15-11:30 prepared documents for a lesson, printed them, copied them (a little perfectionisty with the sorter and with the copies of the notebook)
:30 did some cards
:35-12:25 prepared for another lesson completed within time limits, not perfect, but I only have 20 minutes to deliver the lesson
30-44 cards, etc...
44-1:20 lunch
1:25-3:30 class, class, soji (both well-prepared for)
:30-:50 ?? did nothing relaxed
:50-4:50 went to talk to librarian. studied mostly (procrastinated on making poster for PPC-my work hours are over, i feel like studying japanese now... yeah)
5:00-5:35 studied japanese (procrastination? i was in a groove, and didn't really feel like going home. had no obligations there... whatevs got my studying done)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Project Notes

Ok, since i can't connect my computer to the internet at school, blogging has taken a sabattical. But what i've found is that its still been useful for me to take notes on my projects i am working on. Basically, i just keep a stickies text file open on my desk top and jot something down that i think is worth noting. Some observation about my own behavior mostly. Mostly these notes revolve around my procrastination/time management project, and my japanese project. like most of the crap here, they're a bit rambling, but whatever its' my website, biotch. here's a dump of about a month's worth of notes, and an insight into the inner workings of tommy's brain

i guess there's also alot of crap about work, and this character "umemoto" umemoto sensei is the teacher i mainly work with. Basically, i don't really jive with her that well.



After lunch, I studied japanese for ten minutes, even though lunch break was over. Its ok to take a break, but I had just come off a break. better to do something fun after you do something not fun

at one point, i was talking to noda sensei, right as I was about to take a break. Instead of taking a break, I went back to working on what i was doing briefly

6:30: grabbed up some potato chips on an impulse, even though I hadn't decided to buy them before. Not really "procrastination" per se, but it seems like impulsiveness is a similar problem.

7:00 at tsutaya, had finished getting what i needed and went to go look at XBox games

7:45ish. Determined that I couldn't finish making dinner before I decided to go to the pool, so in the time between where i was going to make dinner and going to the pool, did some reading. Procrastination, or reward?

10:15 ish dinner wasn't finished, continued to watch DMC instead of doing what was scheduled- photography. it was still recreation, but unscheduled, and I hadn't yet finished cleaning dishes

morning: kept watching tv after eating b/c it was interesting. Unplanned reward.

Shower: timer is broken. rinse phase was ok, but washing took longer as i was perfectionisting and going slowly. Also after washing stood in the water for a while b/c it was warm. unplanned reward.
After shower, stood in front of the mirror admiring myself for a couple minutes lol.

leaving: had plenty of time, but i hadn't organized clothes well the night before, so my shit was all over the house and had to look for it.

School: arrived with a few minutes to spare. didn't do anything really.

after chorei, When I downloaded my podcasts, spent a little time dicking around on the internet, and consequentially forgot to load the mp3s in my player, so had to go back and do it again.

why did that conversation with umemoto piss me off? Well, unscheduled meetings are kind annoying. I felt like she was stomping on my turf, as usual, and was pressuring me to get this shit finished earlier than had be originally planned. I didn't know the answer to her question, or what or why she was asking it. I need to be nicer to her, especially since she was doing something for me, but like I really don't like being interrupted.

9:25 worked for 20 minutes. didn't set alarm. bell rang and I realized i hadn't prepared for class :)

11:18 needed to look up something in the dictionary, and ended up reading it a little bit

11:38 continued to work instead of taking a break

3:30: Umemoto asked me to finish prepping something, I had been working on it all day. I knew when she asked me, it would be tough to meet the deadline and she kept pressuring me and reminding me. Anyway, like when it came to actually getting it to a completed state, i told her that there was one part i didn't want to include on the test anyway, and she was like "no i want you to include it" so i did and it took a few minutes, but I felt pressure to finish it in a short period of time. the final sheet wasn't like what i wanted it to be. there was some issues with Word that i was working out, but in the process, was procrastinating on actually getting it done by worrying about getting it right. Perfectionism +_resistance to authority. I really am deathly allergic to being told what to do and how to act. authority
on one hand I feel like sometimes i wish i had more concrete work at this job, and sometimes i feel like the work is too concrete and doesn't allow me any freedom to do what i want.

Morning: shower timer still busted. need to buy a new one. forgot to organize my clothes again. Woke up early and started to read, but continued after the alarm went off.

Prioritizing/procrastination: again when dling podcasts, got distracted with reading the internets. I needed to ask Umemoto about class first period. also, i forgot to actually put the mp3s on my player no negative consequences, but whatevs

10:15: did some "incidental cleaning for like 15 minutes looking for a piece of paper


12:50 So, as expected, Umemoto kept bothering me to show her the test. I had completed it earlier in the day. its very obvious to me that, as much as i try, a. this class is not mine, but ultimately, hers b. my bosses/coworkers/colleagues still don't trust me. Is it becasue I of turning things in late? i dunno. I always feel like even when theres a deadline that i feel like I can make, it gets pushed up, or some other bullshit work gets put on top of it at the last minute, or like the first version I turn in isn't good enough (for me or for them). Anyway I don't know if this is a procrastination problem or not. I suspect it is. I'm justifying stuff that shouldn't really need justifying. justifying my tardiness (even though I thought I had done it on time) I dunno. I wish i could talk this over with someone who ws on my side...

月曜日 2/23 9:25
perfectionisting unschedule to avoid working on HBMLP schedule

10:50 perfectionisting: while doing edits, changed a card that was not in the edit que, to be more accurate, and match the card i had been previously working on. Should have added it to the edit queue and moved on

10:55 perfectionisting: after alarm went off, decided I needed to unsuspened edited cards. Probably should just do this at the beginning of next edit session.

1:45 ish perfectionisting: timer went off and I just had "a little more to do"- editing fonts and crap, ended up spending like another half hour until i was "interrupted" by an unexpected meeting

9:20 planned on working for 20 minutes, decided to work for 40

perfectionisting? decided to do cards with a fudepen, takes about five times longer. dou ka na? Is it killing two birds with one stone? perfectionisting? I mean, I do think that it is important to know how to write the characters, and it affects how I would do them with a pen as well

how should I deal with "work related distractions"-when someone comes and asks me to do something while I'm in the middle of something else?
first thing, is obviously, I have to start on the new thing right away, second thing is, I can't take the break I had planned until I've at least completed a big chunk of the new project. Basically, have to reset the clock and move to a new project

2:40 perfectionisting: tried to get better stories and more accurate definitions for some characters, which took a shitload of time, especially when I already had stories

6:08 impulsiveness: incidental cleaning

2月25日 水曜日
9:20 perfectionism. continued to work after alarm.

10:29 perfectionism. changed the time of how long to do meditation, like five times
1:20 distraction. (did not time) continued to read long after lunch was over
I was working on grading these tests, and at the end of the day spend almost two hours on them. The lunch break i took today was extra long for some reason, and in fact, as i was doing it, felt as though I had to get back to work. I did and ume was like "oh are they done yet" and i was like... umm no way, i just began them. At another point i went back to my desk to take a break and do some cards, after a 40 minute session, and ume came over and was like "what are the grades like" and i was like " i don't know" and she was like "are they less than 30 point or some bullshit" and i was like "i really don't know." The fact is, I don't give a fuck about these tests, or testing in general. I know I'm supposed to, but tests are bullshit from both a learners perspective and a teachers perspective. why do i have to threaten them with a test to get them to study? threaten them with some arbitrary points game that is supposed to affect their future and reflect their ability to perform? Anyway, I did the grading for like two hours and it wasn't done yet. I feel like i wasn't or perfectionisting or getting distracted (while I was doing them). However, i was stopping every so often to 'take a break" it seems like these breaks tend to end up taking longer than I think-like not just 5 minutes, but like 10 at least 10mins break:20mins work aint good. Basically, while at work, if there is something I have to do, I don't really get a break(other than lunch break). blah. so i had to leave at my "real work time" to get to the bank, and the grading wasn't done yet. I felt like really bad about it. really stressed spent like 10 minutes thinking about whether i should leave or not. making excuses I wanted to tell Ume. On Basically it was really stressfull to leave work unfinished. The only way i can imagine to have made it better is if I hadn't taken a break the whole afternoon, and hadn't taken a longer lunch break. I dont even know if I could have finished it.

deadlines: if there is a deadline coming up, i suppose the only thing may be to just keep working until the job is finished? Theoretically the stress of deadlines would diminish as you become less of a perfectionist, and more about starting, but i suppose its still a worry
my main habit for working may be the desire to finish everything-to keep going on whatever i am working on until well i guess, until i get bored or something, or tired, i dunno

火曜日 2・26
working on housework, did some laundry kind of did it slowly and decided that in the remaining time I would get some dishes done. there was only 3 minutes remaining. the reason I am writing this is because I felt like It was really unfocused work, slow, time wasty. yeah its over now.

day off-月曜日 3・2
9:15 distraction. checked e-mail
11:10 perfectionism/distraction. continued to look at the internet site, b/c it was interesting after i finished getting what i needed.

12:12 listening to jero made me want to look up more jero lol

1:30 impulsivity: went to the book store to look for some books that i was wondering "do they have them at the book store in hita?" in addition, ended up spending most of my time reading the doraemon kanji dictionary and then going to another store.

2:37 dicked around on the internet for awhile before actually getting back to work

8:00 shopping takes longer than expected, thus bumping back dinner, and also swimming. in fact, didn't even get around to eating dinner. Wasn't sure what to do, should i stay and eat, or go as planned? decided to go as planned and eat after swimming.

3月3日 (火曜日)
man i kicked ass today. reviews: 181 review time: 47 minutes adds: 26 time:2hr.15min. study work: 3hr,25min left work: 5:10

6:30 i shouldn't include 洗濯 in 家事 because then I end up only doing laundry instead of other chores that need to be done. how to split them up? i suppose just tell myself to only do two laundry tasks, and if it takes more than 20 minutes fuck it. if i do that every day, eventually I'll run out of laundry and have time to do other house stuff later in the week. maybe?

7:55 looked and realized a full hour had passed doing stuff on the internet. Got to be sure to time box that shite, and clearly see what needs to be done.

水曜日 3・4
morning: took a nap. I was tired because I procrastinated on going to bed. Excuse: my ipod wasn't charged yet. and it hadn't finished charging an hour after I said that the first time.

late morning: worked on grading. It was awesome that I started it today, and also finished it today, however, i really perfectionisted it more than necessary. adding unnecessary statistics, etc. could have finished maybe like 30 minutes earlier.

today at work was a little rocky, being tired, actually having classes, and fucking grading. I hate grading. grading is why school sucks. anyway... totals: ~1:45 studying input:16 cards reps: 157

bullshit: i told ume "i have to go home now"-- that was a bit unprofessional, no?

木曜日 3月5日
preparation: not a problem, but I didn't really put enough though into what i needed to prepare for my class. We're just showing a movie today, so I had the movie ready, but I didn't think ahead enough to get the projector, etc set up. of course, i still have like four hours before it starts

plan for waking up and falling asleep: When you go to bed on time and wake up on time, you need to reward yourself, so when you go to bed on time, you get (10 15 20?) minutes of reading or DS, whichever suits your fancy. As for waking up, same deal, (10,15, 20) minutes of reading, cards, or DS, but you have to get out of bed to do it. Also, maybe drinking something at that point would be good. As for time, maybe do longer at first, like 20 minutes, and then every week, shorter.

also, there were many times when I "couldn't" get something done. Generally, those should be "Xs." Write down why you couldn't do that particular activity

it seems like pretty much any activity that requires me to create something with word or excel (the internet?) i may be over-perfectionisting it. When does "making it look like I intended" become "perfectionism?" as soon as all the information is on the page?

3/5 friday
if you're gonna reward yourself, be sure to do it right away, learn to do that as soon as you complete the activity. Instant gratification, not delayed gratificaton (well, it is delayed, but no extra delay)

i wasn't really making an effort to write characters as I created stories, but I've found that recent characters have been machigaiyasui for stroke order

3/9 月
i went to the grocery store and it took less time than i predicted!! yay

ok, so it was definitely a mistake to shortcut the process for RTK by only writing down the stories after I made a mistake on them. Basically, it takes just as much time to edit a story, or recreate one as it does to just create one from the beginning. But if you have to first make a story, then remake it later, it takes twice as much time. Sure, there may be a few that you don't really NEED stories for, but even though rote memorization does work to some degree, as you move through RTK you'll realize just what Heisig says, it's not a crutch, but a different way to walk. For instance, simple characters that I thought I "knew" i will forget because I don't remember which parts they are made of. Its as though my mind no longer sees kanji as shapes, but divide into parts. I was asked to write the kanji for store店, which is pretty simple, common, and I learned it back in college, so i never bothered to create a story for it. But when it came up, i forgot how to write it because even though there was a picture of it in my mind, i didn't know which primitives made it up.

The other thing is about having the stories on the front of your card. at first this seemed counter productive, but now I see why to do it. The first is that it conforms to the "one bit of information" rule. with the stories on the front, you have to recall only how to write the kanji. With them on the back, you have to recall both the story and the kanji. Which is harder, so you fail cards more. Easier is better. The second thing is whether or not I remember the "keyword" when I see the kanji. Well this is still difficult, especially with kanji that I don' t see often, however with the stories on the front, I don't think that my rate of recall (in the real world) is really significantly different, if not better, than it was before. Basically, real world kanji=> keyword/translation (meaning) recall goes like this for me. First, i may not even notice the kanji. its just a blur of lines within a bigger blur of lines. Second, i see the kanji as a discreet entity, but no more than that. I may recall having seen it somewhere else. Third, i see the kanji and see its as parts, but can't recall the parts readily. Fourth, i see the parts and see how they are arranged, but they don't trigger any memory. This is especially true when I have learned all the parts, but maybe two of them make a new "primitive" that i haven't gotten to yet in heisig. At this point, i may be able to assoicate some form of meaning with it, especially if I see the kanji in context "Oh that one is the one used for "education" and "atheletics" or whatever. I may be able to "recognize it, and possibly read it if I know words that use that compound. If i don't associate any contextual meaning with it, then there are ... more phases. Next, I see the kanji and recognize it but can't remember the keyword (what's that fucking character... i know it i know it...aww) I've probably hit this character in heisig in the past week or so and while i know it well enough to write from keyword-kanji, i haven't really seen the story enough to go kanji-keyword. That's the next stage. I see the same kanji again and this time the keyword comes with it (wait..hold on... that kanji is..... a tree...commandment...something about the ten commandments... in a tree... oh "contraption") and then the final stage, which is possibly the most interesting is that once i have seen the kanji to a point where I am "fluent" in writing it, its almost as though I am back a the beginning. My eye won't necessarily stop at the character, because I just "know" it. At this point, the meaning of the character is actually different than the keyword. If asked, I might be able to produce the keyword, or produce the story, but they're not generally necessary to understand the character. At this point, i can also write the character without any story or keyword prompt. (yeah, that one chk.chk.chk.chk.chk.chk.chk.chk.chk.)

Finally, one more comment. Umm i think basically the difference between front stories and back stories is that with stories on the back, you are reminded what the story is by basically pulling it out of your own mind. you would think that practicing pulling it out of your mind would be important, in order to pull it out of your mind when you see the character in the real world. Basically this is active review, or recall. What happens with the story on the front is that you are simply reminded of a memory that is linked to that character. It is passive review, or reminder. Basically, all you really need to recall is that memory-that image- that is linked to the story and to the kanji itself. Recalling the story itself is actually unnecessary. That memory gets strengthened (through review) both ways, with both passive recall and active recall. However, active recall requires more mental work. Why do more work for the same results?

i don't know what it is, but while my act has come together well at school, I can't seem to get things together after school when I get home. There are a lot more distractions here, I suppose another problem is less motivation overall (i.e. I want to be lazier at home) and also specifically-toward each goal (I don't really want to clean the house, i'd rather play video games, but if I play video games I won't be doing real work---) Ok, so those are the problems. What are the solutions?

ok, well generally I'd like my at home to flow like this:
turn on immersion/heat
eat quick snack
(i usually get stuck here)
do some chores (timed) (does not include dishes)(should this include laundry tasks? or just house work?)(or should it only be laundry tasks and no housework, save housework for weekends?)
(insert some play time)
do some photo/meditation
(insert some play time)
(here's where the order could change-dinner before or after pool)
basically, id like to prepare dinner before I go to the pool, and eat it after.
go to pool/evening event 7:50
return from pool 9:30(tsutaya-9:50)
eat dinner
clean up dinner
(e-mail, etc?-dangerous, could be time waster)
bed time cards
bed time routine

that seems like maybe a lot to pack into one day. If i could be that efficient, i could probably do it.
OK, well, try and see. that's the only way. try to do it, see what works and what doesn't work.

3.11 水 授業なし
after I was told that I couldn't participate in some activity (it was probably boring work) because I was not a "regular teacher" it kind of triggered a lot of thoughts (negative thoughts, or rather thoughts about what I would say to my boss if given the opportunity), and a desire to write down my thoughts. I did that a little bit, which i guess is important, but it was really distracting from work, and became difficult to focus. Just goes to show how outside forces can affect your actions, or more concretely, how my mood and psychological state affect my work. I think at these times, It's ok to write down my thoughts here or on a piece of paper.

secondly, i was going through my edits list, and hit a non-study related item. I think if I am going to implement some of the stuff in the "getting things done" book, I'm probably gonna start treating edits just like any other piece of "stuff"

grading standards for kanji cards:
(first review)
2-not missed
(older cards)
1-mistake/forgot, had to rewrite more than once
2-mistake, but rewrote once, or had to look at the card more than once
3-right the first time, but may have not been completely fluent. needing to see the story or not has no relationship. If you need it, you're probably not fluent in writing it yet. If you don't need it, you're probably fluent in writing it. only grade the quality of output.
4-right the first time. fluent.

so, I changed my advanced scheduling settings about 2 months ago. Its been ok, but I worry that maybe the timing is too short, and I'm consequentially getting an inordinate number of reviews because of it.

The first thing i want to ask people is: what is your average number/ratio of additions to repititions per day, and also what is the average time you spend per day doing reps and doing adds?

For me, I have an anywhere from 120-170 reps per day, with an of 15-25 cards per day. This seems like a rather high number of reps compared to the number of adds I'm doing. By the way, I'm doing heisig-style kanji cards.
Writing every kanji, i can write about 4 kanji/minute. Doing adds and edits, I can do about one add or edit every two minutes. (coming up with and typing stories takes time)

The second thing I want to ask people is: do you have any advice for tweaking the advanced scheduling settings? the reason I tweaked them originally is that I was forgetting new cards too often. Instead of setting the initial interval to be less than days, I set it to one day for both the "2" and "3"options. Generally, I don't use the 4 on first reviews. ( I've also have tweaked my cards as well to make them a little simpler)

Basically, in the never ending quest for efficiency, i'm wondering if I'm doing an inordinate number of reviews My one-month average is 81%. Any advice is appreciated.


any story is ok

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

More posters

oops i made a mistake on the e-mail address of those last posters. I should get rid o that.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


long time no see, eh?

Well, it's time to get moving on this HBMLP Japan thing. Hopefully its not too late... anyway here's the poster ( i made it myself):

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New years resolutions vol. 2

Which brings me to the morning, where i also have issues. Mainly these revolve around my tendency to sleep in, which i suppose is really not a tendency, but what I do all the time regardless. Well basically I tried a number of strategies to deal with this, mainly "factoring in" my sleeping in time to my morning schedule and setting my alarm ridiculously early. This doesn' t really work because I still know that i have time to sleep and if i just hit the snooze, its so easy. I'm not sure the the snooze is patently counter-productive, but I think at least until i can get in the habit of NOT using it, then I can possibly, eventually, use it, carefully.

Anyway, in the mean time, the first step is getting up when the alarm goes off. Yeah, I'm tired, but look, I'll still be tired and want to get out of bed even less in 20 minutes (even though it seems like I would feel more rested and ready to get out of bed if I slept in). So that's the basic thing for mornings: get out of bed as soon as the first alarm goes off. just do it. just throw the covers off and stand up. Yes it sucks, but it will soon stop sucking and become habit, just like swimming did, just like listening to japanese did, just like signing up for bento in the morning. Developing good habits, and getting rid of old, unproductive ones. That's the main thing.

I'm hoping that eventually I'll be able to move my going to bed and waking up times even earlier, because I think it would be good to be able to get some work done in the morning before school. Namely, meditating and doing flashcards. I'd like to have that up and running by april or may.

Which reminds me to mention that all the goals I'm taking one at a time; rather than stacking them all on top of each other. Its tempting to try to achieve everything in one fell swoop, especially with the burst of motivation and confidence that comes with the new years, but it's better, i think to get good at one thing, make it a habit, and move on to the next step. Better to do one thing well then try to do a whole bunch of things and do them all part way. Single tasking over multi tasking. The temptation is there when the motivation is high, but motivation is not the only thing. Motivation over time is what you have to maintain and that's best achieve by meeting small goals on a regular basis rather than big goals on a long-term basis. Which, of course is pretty much contrary to the way everything worked in life before "the real world" hit.

Anyway, after conquering the actuall getting out of bed problem, Ima work on the getting from the bed to out the door problem. Actually, I've been working on this a couple of months already, but there's still a few bugs to be worked out. Mostly its a matter of order of operations. A lot of shit has to get done in the morning, but for the most part it doesn't change from one day to the next. Keeping the routine steady and standard: repitition, is the best way to deal with things you have to do on a daily basis. So here's the routine:
1. Out of bed (put on slippers/sweater)
2. turn on news (ajatt stuff), heater in living room, heater in bathroom
3. make breakfast (i almost always eat the same thing these days: yogurt with jam and cereal. Milk coffee. Sometimes fruit. In theory, I'd like to make something like eggs, or toast, but they take a lot more time. I might implement this when I start waking up earlier)
4. Eat breakfast (timebox?)
5. Put away breakfast dishes and stuff
6. Take of PJs
7. Turn on shower
8. Take shower (Ok, i know how ridiculous and anal this all seems, but whatever this is how i operate. less thinking=more better)(anyway, with showers, I have the problem of taking too much time. Originally i tried timeboxing, but regardless I would always run into the alarm without having finished actually washing myself. Basically, I have the habit of going in the shower and then spending a long time just standing there, getting wet and enjoying the heat. Kind of thinking time (singing in the shower time i suppose). But that just kind of kept taking longer without ever actually, um, showering. Anyway, to fix this, I realized i could timebox the "getting wet" part of the shower (with the alarm i have there), so the alarm reminds me to stop getting wet and like... put soap on myself. that pretty much takes the same amount of time. the only other thing i have to worry about is the "getting the soap off" part which can easily turn into more "just standing in the shower enjoying the heat." So pretty much just gotta finish by the time that second alarm goes off, which is not too hard and then be sure to just turn off the shower and get out at that point. The final bit is the actual drying off, which can take an inordinate amout of time, too if I'm not careful, but generally is not that big a problem.

man i can't believe im writing about my showering habits.
my god am i weird or what?

9. Shave (if necessary)
10. Brush teeth/ put on deoderant and whatever.
11. Back to the living room to change.
12. Put clothes on (these should have been laid out the night before)
13. Put pocket crap in pockets
13. Put jacket on and gather computer, bag, (made ready the night before) keys, (garbage if necessary)
14. Roll out (Ideally, this would be about 7:35, giving me about 15 minutes before work officially starts to get work done. This time was originally set to compensate for waking up late, and just like with waking up, i tended to push this one back as late as possible and leave so I arrived just in time-and not infrequently-late. This time pretty much corresponds with what time I wake up, so waking up on time should lead to leaving on time naturally. However, that doesn't mean that If i wake up, I can dawdle around in the morning either. Hopefully mornings won't generally feel rushed, but that kind of nice feeling when you're getting what needs to get done done consistiently and at a good pace. Anyway, that's it. this post took about twice as long to write as I had planned (more on that problem later)...