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