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:


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