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Japanese Language Study Log: sholum

#26
Update:
Anki:
Kanji Production: 834
RikaiSaves: 432

新完全マスター読解: section 3.1

Reading:
Got through section 2 a lot quicker than I expected, even though I only did one subsection per day; the last couple of subsections didn't have as many problems (lists only had two problems, including the example). I'm going to continue the slower pace to accommodate Tadoku, but I'll still probably finish the first run through within a week or two (I'll probably go over some of the more difficult question types).

Slow start on Tadoku. I actually fell into the trap of finding a manga series (adapted from a webnovel) on a scanlation site and checking it out there out of convenience instead of immediately going to the source... So I exchanged a lot of Japanese reading time for English reading, today. Unforgivable!

Listening:
Keeping up with the anime and documentaries. I watched (in and out of focus) a documentary about the battle of 関ヶ原; having only ever just known the general historical significance due to all the references it gets, I found it quite interesting (while I was awake; I'll have to watch it again). One of the most interesting things to me is that it was a battle between the superiority of armor over weapons (in the West, at least, not that it was affordable for most troops) and the current domination of firearms over infantry armor. From the parts I was awake for (and from what I understood), it seems that the hybrid armor developed for 徳川家康 incorporating the wedged breastplate of Western (probably Spanish or Portuguese, but I'm not sure) armor with the more flexible Japanese armor of the time for protecting the extremities allowed his forces to survive arquebus fire better (the breastplate would deflect shots from an arquebus where the usual armor wouldn't).
While political maneuvering and strong command were probably the most important factors, it's interesting to learn about battles in periods where armor and weapons technology is nearly equal (or, at least, not incredibly one sided).

Writing:
I finished the short essay about locks and my tutor helped me correct it. Even though I went over it multiple times myself, there was still a decent amount that was fixed and improved. I'm posting the uncorrected and corrected versions in a code frame, since we don't have spoilers. My copy of the corrected one has highlights and other correction notation that won't show up, so I'm just going to remove any of that.
Oh, and the corrected version is more spread out because it was separated into individual sentences during review, and I was too lazy to do anything beyond closing the extra white space.

Code:
Rough draft:
先週、車の中に鍵を閉じ込めてロックしてしまった。夜だったから、家族を迷惑させたくなかったから、友達に開ける方法を尋ねた。結果、電線で外から錠の車内の取っ手を引き上げて解いた。ただの糸を使ってもよかったが、電子工学部にはレアアイテムみたい。電線でも糸でも、その特機ではない道具を使ったけど難しくではなかった。車だけではなく、南京錠や安い金庫の錠を解いた経験もある。普段の文字合わせ錠でも簡単に解けるらしい。錠の種類によって、アマチュアの鍵開け屋にも数秒しか持っていない。銀行の金庫でも必ずしも安全ではない。

錠は正直者を唆さないための機械だ。不許可で錠を開くなら、もう偶然にならない。でも、犯罪でも構わぬ人はそれだけで思い止まらせない。だから、他の手で泥棒を損得が悪いと思わせるべきだ。銀行の例では、そのセキュリティには金庫まで行かせないシステムが多い。一般人には、もっとも効率的な方法は二つ:警報機を使うと貴重な物を見せない。警報機そのものの役は当然が、「A社のホームセキュリティシステムに守られる家」の忠告だけで泥棒される効率が下がる。押し入り前に、損が大きすぎと思わせる。一方、カーテンが閉じた家や中には何も見えない車は押し入り価値を確認できない。得が少なすぎだろう。

更に、「明るくて人目が多い場所で駐車する」や「ネットに名前、住所、留守の時を掲載しない」もある。全てがターゲットを縮むことだけだから、リスクが全部消えるのはしない。だけど、このような手を一つ、二つ使って錠をサポートする方がいいだろう。



Corrected:
先週、車の中に鍵を閉じ込めてロックしてしまった。
夜だったし、家族を迷惑させたくなかったから、友達に開ける方法を尋ねた。
結果、電線で外から錠の車内の取っ手を引き上げて開けた。
ただの糸を使ってもよかったが、電子工学部にはレアアイテムだったみたいだ。

電線でも糸でも、そのための道具ではない道具を使ったけど難しくなかった。
車だけではなく、南京錠や安い金庫の錠を開けた経験もある。
普段の文字合わせ錠でも簡単に開けられるらしい。
錠の種類によって、アマチュアの鍵開け屋にもそれほど難しくないものが多くある。銀行の金庫でも必ずしも安全ではない。

言うなれば錠は良い人を唆さないためにある機械だ。
その人の許可無く錠を開けるなら、それを偶然だと言い訳できない。
でも、犯罪をしても構わぬ人は錠を理由に物を盗むことを思い止まらないだろう。だから、他の手で泥棒に得が無い、あるいはリスクが大きいと思わせるべきだ。
銀行の例では、そのセキュリティには金庫まで行かせないシステムが多い。
一般人には、もっとも効率的な方法は二つ:警報機を使うことと貴重な物を見せないこと。
警報機そのものの役割は当然だが、「A社のホームセキュリティシステムに守られる家」の忠告だけでも泥棒される確率が下がる。
押し入る前に、損が大きすぎると思わせる。また、カーテンが閉じた家や中が何も見えない車は押し入る価値を確認できない。
だから得が少なすぎるだろう。
更に、「明るくて人目が多い場所に駐車する」や「ネットに名前、住所、留守の時を掲載しない」もある。

全てがターゲットを縮めることだけだから、リスクが全部消えることはない。
だけど、このような手を一つ、二つ使って錠をサポートする方がいいだろう。

[In addition to regular corrections, the corrected version was adjusted somewhat to fit the 起承転結 format]

While I didn't strictly time myself, just from looking at the clock at the start and finish, the rough draft took me about four hours to complete. For comparison, that's about the amount of time it took me to complete a lab report in my lab classes (including some extra calculations, graphs, schematics, and the report itself), so my composition speed is far from fast, but it's a lot faster than I expected.

I don't know if I'll post them like this in the future or find a better way to show them (hopefully it's somewhat motivational or helpful to see what other people are messing up on and learning from).

I'm going to be writing another one this week, but I haven't decided on a topic yet. I might do something like what I mentioned last week, or I might go with something different.

Speaking:
I read my essay (or whatever you want to call it) aloud while we were correcting it; I probably should have done that before as well, instead of just reading it in my head, since it made a few mistakes that I missed rather obvious. Other than that, just a bit of chatting.
Edited: 2017-06-05, 1:52 am
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#27
Quick update:
Just did two example problems from 3.2 that made me do a bit of a double take.

The first was about the author's experience dealing with two kids that beat the crap out of each other and how the author lead them to realize that what they disliked about the other was their own projection.
Had about the same difficulty with this one as I have with most of the problems in this book.

The second was a story with an old man talking to a cat. I answered all the questions with extreme ease. I almost felt insulted: "what did the cat mean when it said "you can talk, huh."?" why wouldn't you be surprised that a guy can talk to cats!? "Why did the cat know the guy's name", not long after he just referred to himself by name... stuff like that.

So apparently my reading skills are still really biased towards fiction. Though I wouldn't say the questions were on the same level, either.
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#28
Update:
Anki:
Kanji Production: 891
RikaiSaves: 432

新完全マスター読解: 3.4

Going a little slower on Kanzen because of Tadoku and impending finals (this week), but I'm almost done with it. After this month, I'll start working on the other books.

Reading:
I've been trying to read a lot, because I really want one of those top five spots... Been aiming for 50 to 100 pages per day.
I've been building up a lot of vocabulary too, but I won't add it until after Tadoku is finished.

Listening:
The weekly stuff and the YouTubes and the documentaries.

Sometime last week, I decided to try watching Little Witch Academia, to see if the hype train was deserved. It's very deserved. This show has had me laughing my butt off with its comedy, and the animation is absolutely gorgeous!
Even if the first thing you think is "Japanese Harry Potter ripoff" (not really, IMO), give it a few episodes.

Writing:
Wrote another short paper (400 - 500 characters) last week, will be writing another later. I forgot to take it to my lesson, so she printed it out and corrected it for me (red ink everywhere...); I'll put it up later after I get a chance to type up the corrected version.
This one only took me about 3 hours, but I think that shows in the number of mistakes.

Speaking:
Little bit of speaking practice during the tutoring session, plus some practice at the group lesson (was super fun again!) with my tutor's friend, who's helping out (I survived it somehow). This month's group session focused on adjectives, which I still manage to mess up while speaking; not during the group lesson, I think, but during my regular tutoring session, since we previewed it there and I had a chance to practice.
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#29
Update:
Anki:
Kanji Production: 891
RikaiSaves: 432

新完全マスター読解: 3.5

Been going really slow on everything else since its Tadoku. I already beat my original goal of 1000 pages, so now I just need to knock gaiaslastlaugh out of that fifth place position and my evil plans will be completed!
That being the case, I've been trying to read 50 - 100 pages per day still, but it's pretty hard to do that during the week on top of exercising, school, housework, and everything else. All in all, I think it's going pretty well.

Main reason I haven't added anymore kanji is that I ran out of cards and haven't been able to make myself make more...

Reading:
As above, I already passed my goal of 1000 pages, and am currently at 1225. So far, it's been almost exclusively 盾の勇者の成り上がり. Don't know why, but I got hooked on it again and have already read more than 80 chapters of it (with one chapter being about 10 Tadoku pages) since I picked it back up.
Of course, this means I haven't read much of 狼と香辛料 yet. I really want to though, so even if it has to wait until I burn out on 'Angst Man and His Band of Merry Slaves' (yes, I always make fun of stories I enjoy), I'll be reading it eventually.

And yet I still want to catch up on 蜘蛛ですが、なにか?, since I'm pretty close to being up to date on that one. And then there's those other stories I picked up... I just don't have all this time for reading!

Listening:
Oreimo S3 (a.k.a. Eromanga-sensei) finished. It got pretty bad about half-way through; I think they must have decided that there wouldn't be another season, so they were just going to try to push people to the LN if they were interested, but I think they might have failed that too (I'm certainly not interested). Cameo at the end had me making all sorts of doppelganger jokes to myself (I'm a sad man that watches anime all by my lonesome).

Stopped watching 'Pay Attention to the Gears to See if They'd Actually Work' a few weeks ago, so I should probably finish that up, just to see how bad it can get. Have to say, been getting more entertainment from that than the second half or so of Eromanga-sensei.

ゼロから始める魔法の書 hasn't ended quite yet (or my 'friends' are taking their sweet time getting it out), but it's looking to be my favorite of the season.

... But the season was pretty weak. Despite that, Summer looks just as bad if not worse, save for 'Children Learning to Gamble at Trump University' (gotta learn 'The Art of the Deal') and 'Pause to Read What You Just Saw on Screen, Season... Which one are we on again?', though there's a few more I'll be checking out; will mention them as they come out starting next month.

Anyway, also finished 'Little Witch Academia' (awesome show, watch it); while the second half wasn't quite as exciting as the first half, it was still a great watch. This coming from someone who didn't watch the movie, so I don't know how it compares.

And I've started watching 瀬戸の花嫁 (finished up to episode 7); pretty fun, though somewhat standard young-people romcom. I lost it a number of times (especially on episode 2), so I'll be finishing it to see how well it holds up.
It's pretty good study material too, with all the fast paced comedy; I've had to rewind a couple of times to catch something I missed, which is something I don't have to do too often anymore.

Finally, I'm also catching up on KonoSuba S2. Again, comedy genre is pretty good for listening practice. Don't think this season is as good as the first, so far (though the attempted prison break was pretty funny).

Writing:
Not much of anything, though I'm supposed to write another paper, due in two weeks. I was originally going to write something for this week, but ran out of time (reading and watching anime...), switched to just translating/rewriting the report I did on my antennas made of junk, but ran out of time (reading and watching anime...), then I gave up, because I had other Japanese homework for this week anyway.

I keep messing up some really basic things, but often, I know what I did wrong once its pointed out. I need more practice.

Oh, and I forgot to put up my last one. I'll do that later this week.

Speaking:
A little exercise planning an imaginary trip to Hawaii. Other than making me want to go to Hawaii, this taught me a couple of words that I somehow didn't know (one being 別途) and, again, made it clear I need more speaking practice. One of these days, I'll get just good enough that I won't be too embarrassed to talk to total strangers online... Or I'll throw myself into a grad program at a Japanese university and force myself to get better quickly.
Every day makes the second option more likely.
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#30
Quick update:

Timed myself reading today, three chapters of 盾の勇者の成り上がり, took an hour and six minutes.
181 characters per minute.
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#31
Update:
Anki:
Kanji Production: 951
RikaiSaves: 479

新完全マスター読解: 終了
新完全マスター文法: 2課

As can be seen above, I finished 新完全マスター読解 and started on 文法; since it's so conveniently spaced out, I think I'll be doing one or two sections per day. This should let me finish in a month or so. Then I'll do the 聴解 one. I don't have tons of mock exams this year, so I'll have to make what I have count.
Actually, I haven't done the mock exam from 読解 yet, so I guess I'll be doing that Friday or something.

Also, started adding new kanji cards again (only have nine days worth remaining; will try to make more before they run out this time). The new vocab cards are from things I saved during Tadoku.

Reading:
I haven't read as much since Tadoku (speaking of, I really need to update that graph that I said I'd update every contest... several contests ago), just some subs, stuff from 新完全マスター, and the usual miscellaneous things. Next round, I think I'll aim for 1000 pages again, since I overshot my goal so much this time.

Listening:
For TV show / documentary stuff, this one with Beat Takeshi keeps showing up, so I've seen/listened to it several times now; I thought it was pretty interesting (and fun; just watch the skits if you don't want to bother with the rest).
https://youtu.be/CcrtyPfLvCw

Finally watched Robotics;Notes. Being that I love semicolons, I enjoyed this series. Unless giant robots make you compulsively hit yourself, I'd recommend giving it a watch.

Watched a few more episodes of 恋愛暴君. Not holding up at the level of the first couple of episodes. Not dropping it entirely, but...

As for new stuff,
I watched the first episode of 賭け狂い last week (and just procured the next one). So far, it's not the Kaiji clone I thought it'd be and the first episode was definitely more 狂い than 賭け (also more boobs). My hopes for it have dropped a bit, but that was only the first episode, so I'll keep watching for now.

Just downloaded the first episode of Made in Abyss, so I'll be watching that as soon as I finish posting this.

Writing:
Finishing up a piece about computers being stupid boxes of rocks for tomorrow. Almost decided to write about the perceived decline in the reliability of news media (personally, I think it's being outstripped by the Internet more than it's declining; though I definitely think the quality is poorer than it was even a decade ago), but that would've been a real pain to finish in one night on top of all the other things I need to do, so I'll put it off (probably indefinitely).

Still haven't upped the last one; guess it'll be a two for one deal after I finish this one.

Speaking:
Getting tutored tomorrow.
I've been thinking I should go find where I hid my guts and give language exchange / finding more friends a try.
I also need to do some more practicing on my own.
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#32
Been a while since I did one of these. Been busy and lazy at the same time.

Update:
Anki:
Kanji Production: 991
RikaiSaves: 479

新完全マスター文法: 16課

I was hoping to have had the whole book done by now, but I haven't been doing it everyday like I said I would. Kanji has pretty much stopped for now; I want to focus more on JLPT related stuff from here on.

Reading:
Been reading more of Re:Zero the past few days. I guess it's mostly from the excessively slangy dialogue from Subaru, but I find this to be one of the more difficult web novels I've read.
In case anyone cares, I'm at the point of Shield Hero where he's gathering a whole bunch of slaves to work on his plantation (I love reinterpreting this story: it's funny how little effort it takes). I'd been reading almost nothing but that for a while and got reinterested in Re:Zero from some memes, so I'm switching for a while.

Anyway, I need to read other things as well that are more relevant to the JLPT. Working on finding some more interesting tech news (not pop-sci either, industry press).

Listening:
Just the usual stuff. Recently been getting Japanese dubs of Modern Marvels (you know, from back when History channel played interesting content about history), which are awesome.

Anime related stuff:
賭け狂い:
Losing interest; apparently a lot of people really like it, but it just doesn't pull me in, so I can't care about what's happening no matter how much they sexualize the crazy gambling women.

Made in Abyss:
Love it. In fact, I'm loving it so much that I went and read all of it that I can; the website only keeps the most recent one, so I'll have to wait for the next volume to be released to catch up. It's great, I recommend it.
As far as the anime goes, the animation is lovely, the scenes are set up well, and it gives a much cleaner and clearer view of the abyss and everything going on compared to the manga (especially in early chapters, the art is very rough, though that makes sense and it's improved quite a bit in more recent chapters).

While typing this, I realized that the second season of Owarimonogatari has started (two episodes out already). Will be watching that as soon as I finish typing this. May or may not come back crying that constantly pausing to read what was just shown in the scene without losing track of what's happening overall is even more difficult without subs.

Sometime this week, I want to start on the SKM Listening book. I'm hoping it'll help my normal listening as well, but the biggest thing is that I was disappointed at how poorly I did on the listening section last year (and how terribly this sentence reads).
I passed all the sections, so it's just a matter of getting more points.

Writing:
Not a thing. I've got both of those corrected papers sitting on a table though, so maybe I'll finally type up the corrections? Lazy option is more likely, especially since I'm between Summer and Fall semesters.

Speaking:
Nothing besides talking to my tutor. I plan on recording myself reading the sentences I'm supposed to make with the grammar I'd forgotten from before though. Apparently after finishing the N1 book, I need to go back to N2 grammar as well. It's almost all stuff that I can understand, but can't use correctly.


Unrelated:
Got some free tequila (100% agave; not even a quarter of the bottle though... but it's free) and ended up with some limes, so I tried making a margarita. Didn't have any agave nectar, so I used a bit of honey instead; two limes worth of juice; about two shots of tequila (eyeballed it); shook with ice cubes and poured it all in a glass (left the ice in since I didn't add any water). Have to say, it turned out pretty good, though I'll tweak the amounts a bit next time; tasted far more lime than tequila and didn't have enough sweet to soften all the sour; I'll either increase the honey and the tequila or drop some of the lime. Didn't think to do any salt though, so that's another thing to try.
Maybe I'll try to make this relevant by recording myself saying this in Japanese (or even making another one... as if I need to make excuses to drink, as little as I do so).
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#33
Sholum,

I started Japanese around the same time as you did and have followed your posts off-and-on for years. Your progress is quite impressive!

I never sat for the JLPT so envy you there. I lived in Japan for a while so that really helped listening and speaking. Language exchange 50-50 via Skype may be even more helpful than a teacher; give it a try. 

For listening, I found TV to be quite useless. Radio has a richer and denser content without all the visual cues that make one lose concentration. There are some great NHK podcasts. Try that also!

Anyways, I will use your study logs as a catalyst to get my studying back in gear.

Hope you get the opportunity to study in Japan; it really is a fantastic experience. And Japan has decades of world-class integraton of software & hardware. You can't see that expertise so easily in the US but once you move to Japan you will see how these tech teams are integrated into countless larger firms. 

Good luck!
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#34
I posted this on another study long as well, but if you don't mind my asking you too, what would you say has been the best use of time, and the worst use of time?
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#35
@scooter1
Thanks for the encouragement and advice!

I've been saying I'll do some language exchange for months, but I haven't had the courage to do so. No matter how much I know in my mind that the person on the other side doesn't care if I mess up, I keep avoiding making first contact. Maybe if I signed up for one of those language exchange sites and stuck to text activities for a while, someone might contact me first? I would joke that I should just do some drinking before I try, but that would just put me to sleep.

I'll check out some of those podcasts. It'd probably be good listening while I'm out cycling (been trying to up that to an hour per day). Currently the only audio-only media I take in (other than music) is the occasional audio drama, which aren't very dense either.

As for studying in Japan, it's starting to look a bit hazy whether I'll be able to go there via MEXT or not (mostly because I haven't passed the N1 yet and can hardly speak).
Thankfully I have a habit of making backup plans, so if I can't go in the next two years via MEXT, I'll just take a trip as a graduation present to myself and pester my employer about it after I have a couple of years of experience.
I'm definitely looking forward to it either way!

I hope your studies go well!



@ChestnutMouse
I think the answers to that question vary a bit depending on one's level, but if I had to start over from scratch, I'd definitely go through RTK lazily again (just to be able to 'see' kanji), though I'd do it quicker; then I'd dive into Core with recognition cards only (canned vocab was very helpful to me as a beginner) while reading Tae Kim's Guide; and I'd start reading as soon as possible using Rikaisama (or I guess Yomichan, now that Rikaisama is dying), since you only get better at reading by reading.

I've also found the 新完全マスター books to be really helpful, and not just for JLPT prep. The authors explicitly state at the beginning of each book that they designed it to be helpful for real life Japanese as well as the test, and I think they succeeded with that.


The biggest waste of time is reading motivational/culture blogs about Japan and Japanese. I spent way too much time on AJATT and Tofugu when I started. At least Koohii has people talking about studying (or actually studying, in the case of the 'What's this word/phrase' thread), but excessive amounts of time spent here are just as wasteful. Basically, anything that seems like it's related to your study without actually being study (or at least in the target language).

Trying to start learning vocab without an SRS or being able to 'see' kanji was an exercise equivalent to beating my head with a textbook, so I'd say that was quite wasteful as well.

Hope that helps!
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#36
(2017-08-14, 1:21 pm)sholum Wrote: @scooter1
Thanks for the encouragement and advice!

I've been saying I'll do some language exchange for months, but I haven't had the courage to do so. No matter how much I know in my mind that the person on the other side doesn't care if I mess up, I keep avoiding making first contact. Maybe if I signed up for one of those language exchange sites and stuck to text activities for a while, someone might contact me first? I would joke that I should just do some drinking before I try, but that would just put me to sleep.

I'll check out some of those podcasts. It'd probably be good listening while I'm out cycling (been trying to up that to an hour per day). Currently the only audio-only media I take in (other than music) is the occasional audio drama, which aren't very dense either.

As for studying in Japan, it's starting to look a bit hazy whether I'll be able to go there via MEXT or not (mostly because I haven't passed the N1 yet and can hardly speak).
Thankfully I have a habit of making backup plans, so if I can't go in the next two years via MEXT, I'll just take a trip as a graduation present to myself and pester my employer about it after I have a couple of years of experience.
I'm definitely looking forward to it either way!

I hope your studies go well!



@ChestnutMouse
I think the answers to that question vary a bit depending on one's level, but if I had to start over from scratch, I'd definitely go through RTK lazily again (just to be able to 'see' kanji), though I'd do it quicker; then I'd dive into Core with recognition cards only (canned vocab was very helpful to me as a beginner) while reading Tae Kim's Guide; and I'd start reading as soon as possible using Rikaisama (or I guess Yomichan, now that Rikaisama is dying), since you only get better at reading by reading.

I've also found the 新完全マスター books to be really helpful, and not just for JLPT prep. The authors explicitly state at the beginning of each book that they designed it to be helpful for real life Japanese as well as the test, and I think they succeeded with that.


The biggest waste of time is reading motivational/culture blogs about Japan and Japanese. I spent way too much time on AJATT and Tofugu when I started. At least Koohii has people talking about studying (or actually studying, in the case of the 'What's this word/phrase' thread), but excessive amounts of time spent here are just as wasteful. Basically, anything that seems like it's related to your study without actually being study (or at least in the target language).

Trying to start learning vocab without an SRS or being able to 'see' kanji was an exercise equivalent to beating my head with a textbook, so I'd say that was quite wasteful as well.

Hope that helps!
Thanks sholum! This really helps me a lot.
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#37
End of 'between Summer and Fall' break edition Sad
+ Eclipse plans Big Grin

Update:
Anki:
Kanji Production: 991
RikaiSaves: 479

新完全マスター文法: 18課

Reading:
Mostly Re:Zero. Since I'm aiming for 1000 pages on this half-round, I need to keep an average of 66.7 pages/day. This has meant reading about two hours per day, which is easily doable, especially if I drop the time spent on some other things.

Listening:
Mostly just documentary stuff this week. I've been doing a lot of other things (in 'unrelated' below), and between that and reading, I haven't had time for anime. I never got to watch the first episode of Owarimonogatari, since the first episode has a recap almost two hours long of the entire universe.

Writing:
Nada.

Speaking:
Had a tutoring session and group lesson this week. Spoke more at the group lesson with my tutor's friend; she brought me some information about things to do and try when I go to Nagoya.

Unrelated:
Been cracking down on my diet and increasing my exercise. I doubled my bike ride to about 12 miles and have been aiming for 10,000 steps per day (according to my Fitbit).

For diet, I've been doing a rough calorie count, mostly trying to keep my meals less than 500 Calories while getting all the nutrients I need (I snack too). This has meant quite a bit of fish, beans, hemp seeds, and vegetables; thankfully, I love all of those anyway, so it's mostly just been a matter of lowering my portions.
For now, the goal is at least a 1000 Calorie deficit per day (according to my Fitbit calories minus my estimated intake). Theoretically, that should allow me to drop a tenth of a kilogram per day (a gram of fat is about 9 Calories of energy for a human body).
I've actually overshot that by quite a bit, considering the somewhat excessive weight loss the past few days (dropped close to 10lbs this week, mostly over the last four days; measured at the same point in my morning routine). Since I'm not feeling any negative effects and have been careful to keep my efforts aerobic (all about breathing; if you start getting out of breath, you'll start eating up your muscle mass), I'm not too worried, but with school starting back, this seems like a good point to slow down. With that level of weight loss, I should be able to drop the pounds with just the diet. According to the estimate used by the Fitbit, I burn about 80 Calories per hour just by existing, so I shouldn't have to work too hard to keep it at a deficit.

And the okra is coming in, so I harvested some of that; eating some now. Eating it is way more fun than harvesting it, especially when it's in the mid 30s ©.

Solar Eclipse:
I live near the path of totality, so I'm going to go over to a family member's house where I can hopefully watch it without a million other people being in the way (might be cloudy). I've set up a rig for projecting it, so I'm going to see if that'll show up on camera.
Putting some binoculars on a tripod with a shade and a piece of cardboard painted white. I actually had a pair 20x50's laying around (the stuff people are willing to give up when they leave it at a rental...), so I should get a pretty good projection, assuming I can keep it lined up. A little worried about keeping it cool (already foiled up the shield to keep some of the extra heat off of it), so I'll have to check the temperature of the eyepieces every now and then... might get a cold cloth to drape over it, but I'm a little worried that'll get water on the eye piece I'll be projecting from...

Going to set up early so that I can test the rig and get positioning figured out. Maybe I'll even be able to see some sun spots. I'm not sure if 20x will be enough for that, but apparently 7x is enough to see the transit of Venus with this method, so I've got some hope.


Huh, this was almost entirely about stuff that isn't Japanese... Oh, I got it!
日食 = Solar Eclipse
皆既日食 = Total Solar Eclipse; I thought it'd be 完全日食, but I thought wrong.
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#38
皆既日食

Word of the day. A yonmoji jukugo to boot!

What's your location? Will the skies be clear there tomorrow?
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#39
Irma-gerd, there's a hurricane! ... Like every other year. It's not even going to hit us directly and everyone still fled... Why did they decide to live on the Carolina coast if they're going to freak out about the usual weather? Guess it could be worse: they could have decided to move to Florida.
Well, anyway, probably going to lose power late tomorrow, so doing this today instead.

Update:
Anki:
Kanji Production: 991
RikaiSaves: 497

新完全マスター文法: 3.1

Will probably finish up 文法 in the next two weeks, assuming I do one section every day. Finally at the part that I need the most work on (文章の文法); not to suggest that the other parts didn't need some work. Haven't started 聴解 yet, but I'll probably get to that as soon as I finish 文法. That's going to be a little more of a pain, since I'll have to do it where I can listen to the audio.

Reading:
Been trying to keep up the reading; not every day, but more days than not, I think.

Translating some operation manuals for some rice processing equipment a friend bought; apparently the only company that imports those machines and provides English instructions wanted $30k more than what he'd pay buying from the manufacturer and handling import duties. Guess that gives me a lot of freedom on my rates! *evil laugh*
So far, it's well within my ability level, which surprised me a bit. I guess it makes sense though, since you want manuals to be in very clear, understandable language.

Listening:
Usual YouTube, mostly. Haven't been keeping up with anime much; probably because I'm trying to spend less time on the computer. Guess that means it'll be there to marathon later.

For the past few days, I've been watching ANN's YouTube stream of their recent news stories for a while (usually until it loops). I figured it'd be good practice for the JLPT listening portion. The only particularly interesting stories were about a guy who fled police by jumping into a river and swimming away (he was caught this morning) and a few traffic accidents (including a bus that caught on fire for a currently unknown reason). The rest of it is just news...

Writing:
Working on a short paper about disaster preparation... Due Monday... And 'working' means I've thought about it and know what I want to put in it, but haven't actually written anything.
Probably have four hours of work left on it.

Speaking:
I've been doing a little bit of reading aloud. I've also been counting things in Japanese, when I can think to do it; it's not like I'm getting much higher than twenty, but hopefully it'll help me to recognize numbers better when I hear them. I should probably start reading some dates as well; maybe look for a Japanese 'this day in history' column.
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#40
Late Wednesday update. Just felt like it.

Might not be doing one of these again for quite a while. I'm spending more time on our senior project than I expected; I'm enjoying it, but I'm putting in probably double the hours scheduled for it per week. I became the team leader (just kinda happened) so I'm somewhat obligated, but it was also my idea that got picked for our project, so I've been super excited to keep things going. That means overtime. Thankfully, I've got a couple of hardworking teammates (and a couple that only seem to show up because they have to).
JLPT study is really starting to kick into high-gear as well; and on top of that, Tadoku is starting in just a few more days, and I really want to hit the 2000 mark this time. Basically, no time for blogging.

Update:
Anki:
Kanji Production: 996
RikaiSaves: 497

新完全マスター文法: 3.4
新完全マスター聴解:問題紹介

I was hoping to be done with 文法 by now, but this final section is tiring to work through. Starting on Listening, mostly for practicing the questions that don't have text answers and the quick response questions.

Reading:
Read several volumes of manga during the storm, but not much recently; though I did finally start reading 狼と香辛料 ... during my probability and statistics class, because it's about the only way I can stay awake for that one. I'm quite happy with the fact that I can read it without having to stop and look things up constantly (didn't have to look anything up today, but I'm sure that'll change when it gets to one of the trading schemes).

Also read a bit of news type stuff. Mostly NHK EASY, in fact, because I've been training my listening on vocab I don't use a lot (business stuff, mostly), and that site has things set up pretty well. So not stretching my reading skills too much.

Oh, and I translated a nice chunk of that manual (was hoping to do more on that, but I haven't had the time management). I did the table of contents first, and that pretty much forced me to glance through the entire thing in order to do appropriate translations for the headers; they're still not great, but they should be properly descriptive. It shouldn't take too much longer to finish, since I've already figured out so much of it from doing the table of contents. I've already finished the control descriptions and have started on the installation instructions.

As stated above, I have a goal of 2000 pages for the October Tadoku round. That should require about 65 pages per day, which should take me about two hours.

Listening:
A bit of listening training with NHK EASY, but only articles I'm interested in (the disasters in Mexico, the traditional lacquer shortage in Japan, the results of the German election, etc).

My last tutoring session was almost entirely part of a listening mock exam (the first one from ゼッタイ合格!). I've done that mock exam several times, so I don't think the results are comparable to other mock exam scores, but there was a clear divide between the questions that had text for answers (only missed 2/13) versus the one section I did without the answers written (only got two correct). I definitely remembered some of the problems (not the answer itself, but what I needed to listen for), but that's a big enough difference to tell me I need to work on that question type.

And, of course, anime:
Some idiot at SHAFT decided to make the second season of Owarimonogatari a bunch of movie length episodes, despite there being plenty of places to break an episode out of it. Only through the first episode because of it.

A while back, I watched ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 up through the end of the Pillar Men arc (on Animelon). Now I understand why everyone loves this series.

Started watching ゲーマーズ! last week or so. Didn't think I'd like it, but it was getting quite a bit of praise, so I tried it out and now I'm hooked! I've been laughing like a mad man from the situations, misunderstandings (basically everything is Uehara's fault), and jokes. And the writers clearly know their video games, what with all the excellent references. Recommended.

Haven't kept up with Made in Abyss, for some reason, despite loving the manga and enjoying the anime. I'll have to marathon it once the season ends.

Writing:
I did that paper on disaster prep while the power was out (good thing I had my flashlight nearby! ... 'cause I was writing about disaster prep during a hurricane and the power went out... Okay, nevermind). Anyway, I actually got a pretty good response on that one and didn't make too many errors, despite not having the Internet to check my phrasing! Though I did have my old phone to use as a dictionary / kanji checker.

I'm getting a lot better at writing by hand. Even though I definitely can't write all the kanji in my production deck (which I haven't added many cards to in the past couple of months), it has really helped me recall how to write the kanji that are in there. Once I finish adding cards, it should just be a matter of writing more to get to the point that it's as easy as typing (if not as fast).

Speaking:
Just talking to my tutor and reading aloud. I'm not doing the speaking too well in English lately, either (words just aren't coming out right, or I can't remember them). I guess from allergies.
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#41
Huh. I wonder if I live close to you. Where are you taking the JLPT? I will take it in Atlanta. (N2)
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#42
I'll be taking it in Atlanta as well.
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#43
(2017-09-27, 11:30 pm)sholum Wrote: though I did finally start reading 狼と香辛料 ... during my probability and statistics class, because it's about the only way I can stay awake for that one.
You should really try to pay attention to that class. It's the only college level math class that teaches something you might use in everyday life. It's also good for parsing the news.
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#44
(2017-09-28, 11:18 am)sholum Wrote: I'll be taking it in Atlanta as well.

Ah, Atlanta in December.  I took N2 there last year, too.  I thought that space was kind of nuts - very chaotic.  I was especially uncomfortable with that space where they said we could leave our bags, where anyone could walk in or out and take or leave anything they wanted.  I will definitely be packing a lot lighter this time around.

Well, happy studying!
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#45
(2017-09-28, 3:34 pm)yogert909 Wrote:
(2017-09-27, 11:30 pm)sholum Wrote: though I did finally start reading 狼と香辛料 ... during my probability and statistics class, because it's about the only way I can stay awake for that one.
You should really try to pay attention to that class.  It's the only college level math class that teaches something you might use in everyday life.  It's also good for parsing the news.

I've been reading the textbook (and we are given homework); it's just the lecture I have trouble paying attention to. The professor basically just reads his slides for this class (he had to take over for a professor on sabbatical). I do try to pay attention while he's working an example though.
And yeah, I already learned to think about statistics in the news, since it's easy to manipulate people's perception by abusing the statistics.


satogaeru Wrote:Ah, Atlanta in December. I took N2 there last year, too. I thought that space was kind of nuts - very chaotic. I was especially uncomfortable with that space where they said we could leave our bags, where anyone could walk in or out and take or leave anything they wanted. I will definitely be packing a lot lighter this time around.

Well, happy studying!
Yeah, I left most of my stuff in the car; what I took inside, I hid under the desk in the front of the room.

To you as well! Let's all do our best!
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#46
Well, since I have time to argue about the electoral college and energy, I should have time to reflect on my studies, lol.

Update:
Anki:
Kanji Production: 996
RikaiSaves: 497

新完全マスター文法: 3.4 (yeah, hasn't moved at all)
新完全マスター聴解: III 課題理解スキルを学ぶ

I should be able to finish listening in a few days, I just haven't been doing much of that this month; doing Tadoku instead. I want to finish both of these soon though, because I'm doing a mock exam on the 18th.
I'm also going to be doing ドリル&ドリル 文法.

Reading:
I'm reaching the highest echelons of Tadoku contestants! But I've been losing steam the past few days. So much stuff happening...
Anyway, I've jumped between a few of the different webnovels that I'm reading, but most of it's been 無職転生. I'm also most of the way through the first volume of 狼と香辛料; I plan to finish that tonight or tomorrow (at which time my Tadoku score will jump up a couple hundred pages). I tried seeing what the buzz is all about with Black Clover; if you like shounen battle manga, you'll like it, but I'm several volumes in and I'm not feeling anything special.
Somewhat unrelated, I heard people complaining about the VA that voices Asta (the MC) shouting constantly and that Asta doesn't shout everything he says in the manga. This is a big fat lie; Asta shouts just about everything he says, so as annoying as it is to listen to, it's not the VA's fault.

Anyways, compared to last year's Tadoku results, I have more than tripled my score (from 600-700 to at least 2400). I hope this translates to better reading comprehension and speed on the JLPT.

Listening:
Well, the only thing I'm watching from this season is このはな綺譚. If you have to ask why, then you won't understand even if I try to explain.

So, since there's nothing I want to watch this season (right now, anyway, I might go back to 魔法使いの嫁; the manga is excellent), I finally went back to watching 蟲師, which is much easier this time around (still need subs though).

Also started watching 刀語 and Baccano! on Animelon. Both are quite interesting.

Hopefully all of that will hold me over until next year. First, in Winter, we're getting a second season of 七つの大罪 (awesome). Then, more importantly, Spring will bring us an anime adaptation of my favorite comedy manga ever: ヒナまつり (https://myanimelist.net/anime/36296/Hinamatsuri)
Super excited!

For non-anime stuff... Just the usual.

Writing:
Just regular communications with my tutor.

Speaking:
Practicing reading aloud. I'm also going to do a few recordings. I found a portable voice recorder in one of my drawers, so I'm going to take that with me and try to record notes to myself in Japanese.

Some of my tutor's family is in town, and I was invited to meet them. They don't speak any English, so I'm a bit nervous (nothing to fall back on, like when I'm talking with my tutor), but I want to make a good impression.
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