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Japanese Language Study Log: sholum

#51
Started adding some canned vocabulary from the Core Supplement deck. Deleting all the ones I know as I come across them. That's most of them, apparently, because I deleted something like 300 cards to get twenty I wanted to study (apparently my conception of a word is not the dictionary's idea of a word).
I'll probably do twenty per day until I run out (which will be faster than I initially thought). Words from things I've read will hold priority; I'm just doing the canned ones to keep it going. Vocab reviews are easy, nearly automatic, so I won't mind having more of those.

After I finish my finals, I'll start adding kanji cards again. I'll probably only do five per day, since it's not a huge priority (and kanji reviews are annoying).
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#52
Well, I've already deleted 5500 odd cards and know I'll be deleting more.

I went ahead and removed all katakana words, because most of them are useless to study (never used, obvious, or both). Deleted most of the hiragana only words, because they're mostly beginner or casual words, mostly repeats, some were even plain grammar.

Will probably end up deleting a lot of the other cards too, but it seems like I should be able to study twenty cards without deleting 200 cards now.
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#53
Yeah, I really liked that first phase of working through core10k where I could just suspend the really easy words, it felt like I was charging through and making great progress. It slowed down a lot later :-)
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#54
(2017-12-08, 5:54 pm)pm215 Wrote: Yeah, I really liked that first phase of working through core10k where I could just suspend the really easy words, it felt like I was charging through and making great progress. It slowed down a lot later :-)

Definitely agree. So far, I apparently 'know' almost 6000 more words! By the end of this, I'll be able to brag that I have 'studied' or 'know' 25000 words, even though a lot of them are useless katakana words!

I have found some use in this though, since I've come across a few words that I'm surprised I didn't know well yet (like 牡蠣 抹茶 稲荷) and some stuff that was already in my RikaiSaves deck. So it's not all useless.




Unrelated update:
Recently been watching a lot of サイエンスZERO from NHK's Eテレ channel. These are quite good, IMO; you get an introduction to the concept or discovery being featured, and you get discussion (with an expert) about what it might mean and how it could be implemented.

Unfortunately, most of the recordings that have been put on YouTube are broken in one way or another. A lot of them managed to somehow turn a thirty minute show into an hour and a half of skipping back and forth. Others have audio missing or, in the least severe case, syncing issues.
And I'm not spending ten bucks per episode (well, a dollar to rent, but whatever) to watch just the ones that NHK decided to put on the internet themselves...
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#55
Christmas Eve (probably Christmas by the time I post) Edition!

Been out of class since the 11th and don't start again until the 8th, so I have an excess of time. Normally you'd think that'd be the best time to do things, but something's got my sleep all screwed up (sleeping excessive hours, high sleep inertia)... Pretty sure it's an allergy to something, because my eyes have been itching like mad too; actually ended up using allergy drops to calm it down a bit so I wouldn't rub them so much. I had bruising on the inner sides of my eyeballs, from rubbing and scratching at that inner cleft where the tears collect before running down your face.

Anyway, been excessively lazy.

Update:
Anki:
Kanji Production: 1006
RikaiSaves: 547
Core Supplement: 153 in rotation ; 9114 unseen (~6000 nuked)

So many useless cards in the Core Supplement...
A very small minority of the cards are words I don't know, but they're so out there (specialized vocab that I don't even know in English) that there's no point in studying them.

Listening:
Watched Amagi Brilliant Park over a couple of days: quite a fun watch, though nothing terribly novel, story wise. Well, I guess 'highschooler gets roped into running a freaking theme park and pulling it from the grip of imminent dissolution as a part time job' is pretty novel, but the smaller plots and tropes are fairly standard. I even called the ending pretty quickly (have to say though, Terumi's contribution to that development had me busting my sides).

About half way through Shiki (死鬼) too. I'm not a big fan of horror in general, so I don't know how it stacks up in comparison to other horror anime, but it's alright so far, I guess; not particularly horrifying though.

Apparently I'm not really opinionated on this stuff, 'cause it seems like almost every time I mention an anime I watched, the response is 'it's alright'. Rarely 'I freaking loved it', and even more rarely 'it's the worst pile of garbage I ever laid eyes upon'. Though I guess the latter is mitigated by reading the synopses and often being aware of the franchise.

Still been watching a lot of サイエンスZERO too (this is the kind of show where I don't mind listening to reruns). Gonna have to look up the stuff about bacteria producing electricity. That's something I'd keep in my backyard just for fun: a bacteria battery.

Writing/Speaking:
Did a short presentation the other week at a year end party thrown by my tutor. Had a fun time and had some conversations in Japanese (we were flat out told not to use English), though those probably go more into listening, since I'm not a terribly talkative person in the first place.
I got nervous and rushed the end of my presentation, since it seemed much longer than the others, but I think I did a decent job of it otherwise (topic was far easier to fit into five minutes than the presentation I did on ferroelectric devices which suddenly had its presentation time cut in half when the professor realized we didn't have enough classes left to fit in 200+ minutes of presentations).
Counting it as writing as well, since I didn't bother memorizing it and mostly read it off of my notes.


Merry Christmas!
Edited: 2017-12-25, 2:09 am
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#56
If you can get an aloe plant, cut off a bit and rub the juice in your eyes.   It's amazing.  Your eyes will instantly stop itching  Don't use the aloe from a bottle though because there's alcohol and preservatives in there.

Btw, I find when I have time to sleep as much as I want, it ends up making me more tired.  I find waking up the same time every day, drinking water before bed, and scheduling an activity first thing in the morning gets things rolling for the rest of the day.
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#57
@yogert909
I never would have thought to put aloe juice in my eyes; only ever used it on burns. Thanks for the idea!

Some of it is definitely due to the suddenly loss of a schedule, considering I haven't been able to remember what day it is since classes ended. I generally sit down at the computer with a hot drink (coffee, tea, or hot chocolate; lots of hot chocolate recently) first thing after getting up, since it helps me wake up the rest of the way, then go about any work or exercise I need to do.

But I'm also sleeping until about the same time every day, regardless of when I go to sleep, but that time is much later than it used to be (1 or 2pm instead of ~10am)

Whatever the case, I need to get back on schedule soon, since I only have a bit more than a week left before Spring classes start. Only have two left to take, and one is just an online second year history class (need another humanities elective), so I'll get to have plenty of time not at school (looking for some work to fill in some of that atm).


Unrelated update:
Got a Switch and have been playing both Odyssey and Breath of the Wild. Both are great fun.
Just for fun, I set my system language to Japanese when setting up the Switch, and to my pleasant surprise, both of the above games are playing in Japanese (BotW is even using the Japanese voices)! I'm not sure if this means that Japanese and US releases are identical (or if the changes are swapped depending on language) or not, nor do I know if all games released in both languages will do this, but I'm super happy to be able to play in Japanese without having to deal with imports... or waiting for special hardware or software to be developed...

I also don't know if the game data needs to be nuked to switch languages, like the 3DS Pokemon games.

Whatever the case, I can happily play my games (legitimately) while claiming it counts as studying!
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#58
@sholum

Any suggestions on a textbook or material for the N4? I think I might be past N5 level, so I want to make studying for the N4 my goal.
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#59
@supermancampus
The 新完全マスター (Shin Kanzen Master, often referred to by the acronym SKM) series is really good, IMO.
At the N4 level though, you'll probably still benefit from Tae Kim's Guide (as a free resource).
I don't know what you're doing for vocab, but if you don't mind canned stuff, then the Core decks would be good. For N4, even 2k might be overkill, but that'd be better than undershooting. You will have plenty if you add 5-10 words per day.

I don't know how much you plan to study, but as long as you pick a decent target for daily study, you shouldn't have any problem passing N4 next year. The July test might be a bit tougher, depending on your schedule, but the December test should be well within reach.
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#60
I would like to join an onlne study group. Currently at N4 level, but studying for both n3 and n4. Also planning to sit level 9 next August.
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#61
Mini update ('cause I'm too lazy to sync Anki information right now):
Got my recording setup rearranged. I was testing a different mic that I had laying around the house; it actually gave stereo data to the computer. Quality was utter crap compared to my other one, though, so it's currently just being used as a stick for the better mic to clip onto.

Managed to babble into it for a while. Did a little bit of extra post recording work on it to clear things up (instead of just noise reduction, I also normalized it. Was working on a equalization pattern when messing with the other mic, but my good one didn't seem to need anything done). Overall, still the same problems as always: can't think of anything to say then takes me forever to say what I eventually think of. At least my accent isn't too cringey. And I guess I got over that 'listening to your own voice' discomfort a long time ago, because it hasn't bothered me at all.
I will upload a recording at some point. But I need to come up with something beforehand so that it doesn't take me ten minutes to speak a few sentences.


@Coburu
I'm sorry, but I don't know of any online study groups, so I can't make any suggestions.
You're welcome to make your own study thread and keep up with the others, though.
Good luck on your tests!
Edited: 2018-01-14, 10:50 pm
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#62
New anime!
Only watched three so far, might try a couple more later, but these were the ones I was planning to look at for a while now.

七つの大罪:戒めの復活
Was super excited for this one! They aired a recap episode last week, so there's only one real episode of the new season out so far. Looking to be as good as the first season!
Will definitely be watching all the way through. (May or may not read the manga)

Killing Bites
...
The only thing I'm going to be able to think of while watching this show is this:



Gonna have to give it a couple more episodes before I decide if I like it or not. First episode kept me around with a meme (and boobs). The fight scene in this episode was boring, frankly; if this is primarily a fighting anime, then it will need to pick up a lot for me to enjoy it as such.

Note to all aspiring film/animation artists. One of the things you never need to show anyone is vomit. I don't care if it's faked for the camera or animation, I don't want to see it. From the small sample size available to me, no one else wants to see it either. I don't know what it is about recent years where directors think it's a good idea to show people puking on screen...
Only exception to this rule are jokes like Aqua from KonoSuba puking rainbows.
Or fetish stuff, if you're into that.
Just don't show it to me.

ミイラの飼い方
Holy cow, this is far cuter than it should be! This is probably the least likely one for me to continue though, because shows like this usually have very little pulling power from week to week, no matter how cute each episode is.
Check it out if you need a smile, though.


Might check out terrible isekai show of the season (I've read the manga adaptation and a couple chapters of the webnovel; I highly doubt this will be a good anime) and Overlord, if I ever watch the first season.
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#63
The "I've passed the N1 and need to go over how I did" edition!

Level: N1

試験結果: 合格

得点
言語知識: 35/60
読解:    34/60
聴解:    33/60
総合得点: 102/180

参考情報
文字・語彙: B
文法:    A


I'm both surprised and not by these results, as I mentioned after the test, I had an exceptionally difficult time with the listening because of acoustics (though apparently the listening was difficult this time anyway), so it's not so surprising that it's my lowest score. The surprising part, to me, is how similar all of my scores are compared to the spread I had the previous two go rounds:

previous results Wrote:2016:
総合得点 72/180
言語知識 26/60 Grammar: B Vocabulary: B
読解 20/60
聴解 26/60

2015:
Total: 66/180
Language Knowledge: 26/60
Reading: 18/60
Listening: 22/60

I know it was the whole point of studying, but I'm somewhat amazed at the difference between my improvements between 2015 and 2016 vs 2016 and 2017. Total points only went up by 6 in the former period, but 30 this time.

As for things I did differently this year... I guess the first thing of note was writing my study log; even if it wasn't much, it helped me feel like a flake to make claims and not go through with them, which probably increased the amount of work I put in (not to say I went through with everything, considering the continued lack of an audio recording, but that is actually in the works).
Also, I made big strides in Tadoku this year; reading far more than I ever have before, which definitely helped my reading score and possibly my vocab score (still have a B in that, so not sure if I actually did any better on it or not).

Grammar was probably helped by reading too, but I did dedicate time to studying and drilling for the grammar section. My limited attempts at production probably helped too (probably helped all of it, actually).
Listening was definitely helped by increasing the amount of Japanese conversations I had, even though I only know a few Japanese people and don't see them all that often (except my tutor, whom I see every other week). And definitely from all the TV programs I've been watching (documentaries and anime mostly, though I did listen to the news some too).



It's been about eight years since I started studying, and I've finally reached a recognized goal...
Now I'm done with the system and going back to functional assessments with real life tasks!
Oh wait, I've got to wait for the fancy paper to get here before I tell the system to screw off.
Edited: 2018-01-23, 10:39 pm
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#64
Actually doing stuff update:
I've finally got material that I can use for some production practice. I found a Roland KR-4500 at the dump and brought it home to check out. All it needs is some minor repairs (replace some capacitors and clean up the PCB) and a bit of cosmetic touch up (the laminate on the particle board is starting to peel up at the corners and a piece of it is missing). Otherwise, it should function just fine, though I haven't tested all the functions, since I was (rightly) worried by the crackling on the speakers during the 'try turning it on' test.

I'll be recording the process and will create a video explaining the repair in Japanese (maybe English too, since there's not really anything on this, despite it being a fairly common issue with these digital pianos). May be more of a slideshow than a video, since the closest thing to a decent video camera I have is my cellphone (and I have zero experience with video editing, but some experience with images).

Currently waiting on parts to come in (should mostly be here next week, but the good solder will be a while longer), so this won't be done any time soon. Maybe a month, depending on my schedule.
Prior warning: I've never soldered SMDs before. Should be fine, but any longtime hobbyists out there might facepalm at my weak soldering skills.

So yeah, I ended up with a high end digital piano, an electronics project, and a Japanese project all for the low, low price of hauling the thing home from the dump (+ materials and time).
No. There's no such thing as 'free'. This is certainly cheap, though.



Anime Update:
Killing Bites is garbage... I might watch one more episode to be extra sure, but I'm almost positive that this show is just garbage.
I could make it past the terrible edginess of it if the fighting composition was any good, but it's not. And it's definitely being super edgy, which makes me cringe even more than crappy fanservice... which this series also has.
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#65
Soldering SMDs is pretty hardcore if you ask me. Do you have a scrap PCB to practice on first?
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#66
(2018-01-26, 6:12 pm)pm215 Wrote: Soldering SMDs is pretty hardcore if you ask me. Do you have a scrap PCB to practice on first?

Yeah, I'll do some practice in the lab at school.

These aren't particularly small components either, so it shouldn't be too hard, and I took the opportunity to get a good soldering station and high quality solder.
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#67
Just dropping by to say congrats on the N1!
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#68
(2018-01-27, 5:36 pm)nella Wrote: Just dropping by to say congrats on the N1!
Thanks! I hope your N1 studies are going well.
(Can't believed I missed this! I check the forum almost every day!)


Quick update:
I need to rethink my approach to kanji practice. I was working from a 国語 workbook and realized I'm still having trouble with some elementary school kanji...
I know that the crux of it is that I need to write more by hand, but until I can come up with a way to make myself do that, I'll just need to be less forgiving in Anki.

By the way, since we needed more anecdotal proof of something this obvious: kanji cards that had multiple kanji I didn't know in the learning phase are some of the ones I see the most.

Haven't had time to work on the piano yet, but all the parts and equipment are here. Once I have the time, I'll start the repairs while documenting everything. As I said, the goal is to make a video of this repair in Japanese (and English).

Full update this weekend, probably.
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#69
(2018-02-06, 11:16 pm)sholum Wrote: By the way, since we needed more anecdotal proof of something this obvious: kanji cards that had multiple kanji I didn't know in the learning phase are some of the ones I see the most.
I have the same problem. n+1..n+1..
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#70
(2018-02-07, 2:31 pm)yogert909 Wrote:
(2018-02-06, 11:16 pm)sholum Wrote: By the way, since we needed more anecdotal proof of something this obvious: kanji cards that had multiple kanji I didn't know in the learning phase are some of the ones I see the most.
I have the same problem.  n+1..n+1..

What sucks is that there are some kanji that just aren't used in that many words, or most of the words they are in are usually written with other kanji except for literary purposes.
For some of them, there's not an ideal choice when prompting with a Japanese word.

It's getting better though, since I'm being more harsh on reviews. It hasn't increased my workload nearly as much as I expected, and I'm not working as hard to remember things that I should have failed previously.




Update:
Anki:
Kanji Production: 1056
RikaiSaves: 547
Core Supplement: 241 in rotation ; 8805 unseen

Adding kanji is going a little slower than I intended, but it's not such a big deal. The main reason it's going so slow is that I've been grilling myself on the 'easier' 教育 kanji that I'd forgotten. Since that's started leveling out, I'll probably start adding new kanji more frequently (in chunks of five).

I also haven't really done anything with vocabulary. This is mostly because I'm focusing Anki time on kanji, but also because I've been feeling like it's a waste of effort (it's not ideal, but it shouldn't be a complete waste). I had been adding twenty new canned cards at a time, but maybe I'll drop it back to five as well.
My mined cards have been stagnant because I haven't been reading webnovels much recently, mostly manga. I have some dictionary entries marked with a 'study' tag so that I can go through and add those by hand (or just look at them in the dictionary app), though.

Reading:
Mostly been reading manga, recently. Some titles partially or completely available for free (legally, that is):

Garbage isekai story #2mil (completely free atm):
https://web-ace.jp/youngaceup/contents/1000015/

Garbage isekai story #2mil+1 +edgelord (completely free atm):
https://web-ace.jp/youngaceup/contents/1000021/

Demon mama and her baby boy +friends (chapters 1-17 and recent chapters are free; of course they end the free part on a cliffhanger... that's not really a cliffhanger, but it still works like one):
https://tonarinoyj.jp/episode/13932016480028985667

Two failures in life (1-3+recent chapters free; I've only read the first chapter so far):
https://tonarinoyj.jp/episode/13932016480028985605

Aliens don't know how to love, so they abduct a girl that thinks it's a waste of time and force her to feel love for their research... not actually porn, no matter how it sounds (1-5+recent available free; I've only read the first three chapters):
https://tonarinoyj.jp/episode/13932016480028985574


Probably surprising no one, the garbage isekai series and demon mama are my favorites of the bunch, so far.

Listening:
Still watching anime for this season and some I missed before.
Haven't dropped the garbage 'honey badger don't give a shit' series yet, because it has become entertainingly bad. Still doesn't guarantee I'll finish it though, considering I never finished 'find the pointless gears and those that don't work'.

Also started watching the new series 'I'm on a watch list now, aren't I? Featuring: a high functioning savant girl that clearly has 'tism attacks when playing shogi', a.k.a. 竜王のお仕事!

And the two series from previous seasons:
魔方陣ぐるぐる
Super fun show, recommended; though some gags get overused.

Blend S
Internet meme cancer... which is actually why I tried it. Occasionally funny, but not sitting just right for me. Most of the way through though, so I'll finish it.


Oh, and for not anime:
I chanced upon a channel on YouTube with a bunch of the Japanese versions of Modern Marvels, so I have quite a few of those that I can watch when I want. (I might actually have to rip those...)
I also still put documentaries on in the background.

And I've been listening to the ANNnews stream occasionally. I really don't care to hear about the Olympics so much, but it's useful, so...
Also, I realized again that national news in Japan can talk about crimes from all over the country without it being a massive shooting or a bombing, since there's relatively little violent crime (but seriously, what's with all the dicks putting needles or glass in food?)
It made me wonder if the national news in the US covered more of the regular crimes in the states instead of complaining about politicians until another school shooting, if our country and the rest of the world would realize that there's a huge problem in our country that has nothing to do with guns (seriously, there was recently an incident in my state where a guy stalked a lady (his ex, I guess) waited for a chance to get into her house while she was carrying groceries, beat her until he thought she was dead, nabbed her four year-old daughter (but neither of the babies), and took off; thankfully he was caught, the lady survived, and the kids were okay).
Seriously, a hit and run is national news in Japan; that kind of thing shows up on the local news for a day, then is never heard from again around here. That's why everyone thinks our country's problem is a 'gun problem' instead of a general 'crime problem', I think; they only hear about the shootings.


Writing:
I joined the KawaJapa forum and have been posting some there. While there's not the reinforcement of a native speaker to tell me what I screwed up where, I have noticed quite a few things on my own when rereading my posts (those places where you can tell it's wrong). The goal is to increase my output rate, so I'm not too worried about 100% correctness right now, but I don't think that'll be as much of a problem as I initially feared, since I can tell when I messed up.


Speaking:
Just conversations with my tutor. I have my recording system set up, and I want to use it, but I'm still not sure how to talk to myself, really. But I need some more practice by myself or with people I know before I can work up the guts to do language exchange with a stranger...
Same complaints and excuses as always, I guess...

Of course, I am pretty much prepared to start working on that piano, so there's that. Mostly just waiting on some extra time to show up.

Anyway, I've got a group lesson tomorrow, so hopefully there'll be some more progress from there.
Edited: 2018-02-16, 3:23 pm
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#71
(2018-02-16, 3:22 pm)sholum Wrote: It made me wonder if the national news in the US covered more of the regular crimes in the states instead of complaining about politicians until another school shooting, if our country and the rest of the world would realize that there's a huge problem in our country that has nothing to do with guns (seriously, there was recently an incident in my state where a guy stalked a lady (his ex, I guess) waited for a chance to get into her house while she was carrying groceries, beat her until he thought she was dead, nabbed her four year-old daughter (but neither of the babies), and took off; thankfully he was caught, the lady survived, and the kids were okay).
Seriously, a hit and run is national news in Japan; that kind of thing shows up on the local news for a day, then is never heard from again around here. That's why everyone thinks our country's problem is a 'gun problem' instead of a general 'crime problem', I think; they only hear about the shootings.
I'm totally with you on this. The thing that bothers me so much is the emphasis put on terrorism when it actually has effected so few people comparatively. I mean there are surely hundreds or even thousands of rare medical conditions which kill more people every year than terrorists and would be easier to cure than terrorists or school shooters. Likewise, a plane crash is big news even though country wide more people died that very same day in car accidents than plane crashes. But the terror events, school shootings, and plane crashes are a spectacle and get clicks and eyeballs.

I it's all of our faults though. I'll be the first to admit I click on all the spectacular headlines. Was there a story about a car crash or a garden variety domestic abuse case? There probably wasn't but if there was I wouldn't have clicked on it anyway.
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#72
(2018-02-16, 3:22 pm)sholum Wrote: Writing:
I joined the KawaJapa forum and have been posting some there. While there's not the reinforcement of a native speaker to tell me what I screwed up where, I have noticed quite a few things on my own when rereading my posts (those places where you can tell it's wrong). The goal is to increase my output rate, so I'm not too worried about 100% correctness right now, but I don't think that'll be as much of a problem as I initially feared, since I can tell when I messed up.

If you want to increase your output I'd try Discord servers instead of or in addition to forums. There's much more thinking on your feet compared with forums because it's a live chat: https://www.reddit.com/r/languagelearnin...asterlist/ There are also voice chat rooms there. Honestly Discord has been my favorite recent language learning discovery. I'm not much of a gamer and I thought it was just for gamers so it took me a while to join, but it's super useful!
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