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SC2013 - Ryachu's Blog [Kanji Stage]


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So after a few complications with everyday life, I'm ready to begin my studies today as day 0 and moving forward as such. I'm not going to say that I'm "stealing" Tay's set up for the blog introduction.. But rather I'll honor the set up and keep the consistency of all the blogs together. Even though that's just a nicer way to say that I'm using his design.

Goal 1: Learn Japanese Kanji, Kana, and Grammar for 2013.

Goal 2: Incorporate Japanese manga into the program and attempt to read through at least 1 volume of a manga in 2013.

Goal 3: Learn approximately ~800 Kanji characters before college-transfer placement tests for Fall. (I am still awaiting a notification about my application, but I plan to enroll into a college with Japanese study abroad options.)

Study Time: I get extremely lethargic throughout the day. So I will be placing my study time in the morning before work. I will also be incorporating Tay's time-boxing methods to assist in studying throughout the days. Ofcourse this may change as life is ever-changing but I will try to keep the amount of study and review time consistent every day.

Weekdays

  • Study: 5:00am - 6:00am & 8:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Review: Throughout the day

Weekends

  • Study: 10:00am - 12:00pm
  • Review: 9:00pm - 10:00pm

Where I am at now: I've attempted self studies previously but I could not keep a consistent pace. I am also feeling much more pressure now that college transfers are approaching. I believe that the pressure and the motivation from this program with the community of Fuwanovel will give me the extra push to succeed.

I will update on day 3 and ever week afterwards on my progress. I will also stop by daily to check on the progress of everyone else. (Sorry I haven't been around much lately, busy times)

Edit: Forgot to place my rate. Going to aim for 50/per day.

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Looks like a good plan! I'm feeling a strong desire to wake up earlier, so I may start a 5am regimen, too. That will give me time for Kanji, making breakfast, working out (!), and more.

Timeboxing is a REALLY important part of my daily routine. I should probably update the main SC13 post with info about it. For me, at least, it makes reviewing fun (a game), and makes it go by really fast. I usually set a 15 minute timeboxing goal, but sometimes when I'm standing in line, etc., it becomes, "Can I do 25 before I get to the front of the line?" : )

Keep us posted : )

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Day 3 Update:

Well, I do have to say that it has been an interesting start to these studies. Actually, it's been fairly enjoyable to study the new Kanji. However.. I do realize that I will have to make some revisions.

Where I am at currently

  • I feel positive about my studies so far.
  • I have been following my schedule... And then some.
  • I am currently at 125 Kanji, 25 characters off of my original rate of 50/per day.
  • I've watched close to no anime in the past 3 days.
  • Spent no time on visual novels in the past 3 days.
  • Average of 3~4 hours of sleep in the past 3 days.

So the result is as follows... I now realize that a rate of 50/per day leaves me no time for anything else. With work, school, and these studies now; I feel as though that there is no sense of relaxation to allow the characters to settle in. The last set of 50 started to become a blur with my tight schedule. So I've keep the pace up until this update, but as of today I will scale back to ~25/per day. So I'll consider this Day 3 goal as a mission complete.

With that said, overall I think that things are looking good for the next few weeks to come. The intense start gave me a better understanding of how this learning process will work and how I can better adapt it into my lifestyle. My motivation level is still very high as well. There were two blog updates that I just viewed (CartmanJr's and Ryoji's) with positive updates. Seeing others reaching their goals is a great way to keep everyone motivated in the community. My next goal will be 300 Kanji by my next update in one week. Until then~

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Wow 3 hours a sleep per day. If thats the case you definitely want to lower the # of Kanji per day because your going to burn yourself out at this rate. 25 per day is a much more reasonable number and hopefully will lead you to more sleep.

Short term goals are a great way to stay motivated. At least thats what works for me so yea. Good job setting you first short term goal. I know you'll get it no problem!!

Were here for ya, you can do it man!!

Make sure you set time to relax and rest your mind. One thing ive noticed, for me, is that if I dont relax every once and a while, it hurts my study time. You have to find a way to rest. Refresh your mind and you'll learn faster.

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Well, said, Ryoji. Balance is really important, especially when you're piling study on top of study on top of work. Fun is important, too.

I'll echo a previous thought: look for "empty" time throughout the day (time on busses, in line, eating lunch) to pull out your phone/tablet and review. If that doesn't work.... we'll keep brainstorming : )

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Day 12 Update

Here is my "Day 12" update. It was supposed to be posted two days ago but I was quite busy. Funny story actually, seeing that I wrote a 10 page essay that was never exactly assigned by mistake and... Anyway! That's another story, here is where I'm at.

Ending today, I will be at 250 kanji characters. I'm feeling confident right now in my progress. After studying a new set of Kanji characters, I never quite get them right on the first day. But they work themselves in during the reviews.

I must say, the Anki software has been a major asset to my studies. I've purchased the app on the Apple Store so that I may study on-the-go via my iPad or iPhone. Very convenient. I did fall behind on my goal for this week but it doesn't bother me at all. Just having the goal set there keeps a motivational reminder that I'm making progress. Besides, spring break is in effect for next week. That's more time to study.

...And I won't be writing anymore imaginary papers either.

Based off of my original goal pattern. I'll be reaching for a goal of 500 characters during this spring break week. Thank you for the support, everyone.

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Awesome job Ryachu.

I did fall behind on my goal for this week but it doesn't bother me at all. Just having the goal set there keeps a motivational reminder that I'm making progress.

I feel the exactly the same way. Its really great that we have several people doing this at the same time. I cannot tell you how much it helps motivate me.

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Day 12 Update

Here is my "Day 12" update. It was supposed to be posted two days ago but I was quite busy. Funny story actually, seeing that I wrote a 10 page essay that was never exactly assigned by mistake and... Anyway! That's another story, here is where I'm at.

Ending today, I will be at 250 kanji characters. I'm feeling confident right now in my progress. After studying a new set of Kanji characters, I never quite get them right on the first day. But they work themselves in during the reviews.

I must say, the Anki software has been a major asset to my studies. I've purchased the app on the Apple Store so that I may study on-the-go via my iPad or iPhone. Very convenient. I did fall behind on my goal for this week but it doesn't bother me at all. Just having the goal set there keeps a motivational reminder that I'm making progress. Besides, spring break is in effect for next week. That's more time to study.

...And I won't be writing anymore imaginary papers either.

Based off of my original goal pattern. I'll be reaching for a goal of 500 characters during this spring break week. Thank you for the support, everyone.

YOU DID IT! This is EXACTLY the correct, healthiest mindset for learning the Kanji. Way to go, sir.

Also want to pipe in that I'm really impressed and happy that you're "on schedule" (in the context of your 800 goal for the Fall, I'd say you're far ahead of schedule!). Way to go.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Day 22 Update

Day 22, right? Think so.. This is the final hours of my spring break week and I can honestly say that is did not feel like a break. Time to review and refresh my plan.. This will be a longer post, so I do apologize ahead of time.

Currently, I am at 350 Kanji characters. This time I will state that I am way behind schedule on my original plan. I am fairly disappointed that I could not get near my goal even considering that I am late on providing the update.. The good thing is that the method is effective and I am remembering what I have reviewed and studied. So, here is what has happened.

In response to my parents wishes and my further well-being, I am now enrolled in karate lessons for self-defense training. While I do maintain healthy jogging practices, I have not trained in such ways that involve physical strength before. The first week has thrown me completely off-balance with the one-on-one introduction classes; I found myself fatigued to the point where I would fall asleep before my study times and over-slept in the morning hours. On top of that, I've had an increase in daily requests for computer assistance from neighbors and other family matters to attend to which has taken up some more time. Basically, it was a really complicated and exhausting week and I will admit that whatever free time I did have was not spent as productively as I'd hope.

Moving on, there has been big news today which has introduced new opportunities and challenges. I have been offered acceptance to Rutgers University for a Japanese Studies major as a transfer student. I'm pretty excited about it, and it has given me a strong boost of motivation to move forward. So here is where I stand in the days to come.

I will have to work as much as possible at my job for a strong income, (As you can imagine, college is not as affordable as one may hope for) so I may pick up extra hours where it is acceptable. With that, I am still attending my community college as a full-time student. Now I will be adding 3 Karate classes a week to the schedule. I would still like to fit in 25/Kanji characters a day with a review if at all possible, which is the equivalence of approximately~ 2/hours a day of studying. I will probably have to move some study times to the middle of the day during my class breaks. It is getting difficult now, but I'm determined to get this right. Also, Rutgers University is likely to include their own strategies of teaching Japanese. My primary goal is to attempt to complete the 2200 Kanji characters before placement testing in an effort to bypass some introductory classes and to keep these self-studies separate from class-studies, as recommend by Heisig in his RtK book. I've calculated it out and I will need to stay at about 25/per day to complete that goal.

So that is where I am at right now. Slight disappointment from the past week but I am hopeful for the weeks ahead. The method has proved to be effective and the community here is everything that I'd wish for. I've skimmed through some of the newly updated blog entries. Even though I did not get to comment on them just yet, because I'm simply slow at writing comments, everyone is doing a fantastic job. I'm really motivated by you all. I'd like to say "thank you" for the kindness and support that you've shown to me and this community is simply awesome. Keep it up, everyone!

I will do my best too. I believe that I just need to adjust and refocus myself to the tasks ahead of me. My goal for next Sunday will stay at 500 Kanji characters, but this time I plan to exceed that goal.

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I don't comment as much as I should but I read every post in these blogs, you should look at your review time now that you have finished your break and adjust it if you feel like you need to. Burning yourself out is the worse thing you can do especially with your tight schedule at the moment, I'm hoping to see your next update to be more positive and have less disappointment in it!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm really proud of you. Despite not hitting your original plan, you've carried on, still feel motivated and have correctly prioritized your life. Bettering yourself and fulfilling responsibilities is most important.

I think we all wish we were further along than we are, but the only thing that'll matter a year from now is that we did it.

Congrats on your acceptance! There's no question that this kanji study will help in your future, so instead of feeling pressure to cram for the coming exams, turn it into positive emotion and use it to get excited. Worst case, even if you don't finish all you want, you'll be in a better position than you would have otherwise been. It's win/win now!

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