Work Sucks (I know).

November 3, 2012

So I am just sitting here after intermission of the show “Fraternity,” written by Jeff Stetson and Directed by Henry Miller. It’s at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center which is run by the Ebony Repertory Theater. So now you all know where I work. The play is great, something that everyone should see once in there lives, but alas this is the last day so if you didn’t see it yet I don’t know where or when this will pop up again and if it does I am sure the cast will change. I think more dollars go into paying for monotony rather than innovation. The majority of work on this earth, done by us “99%” as it were is just boring shit. I come into work, block off the parking lot, clean the theater, seat the patrons, watch the play, then clean up again afterwards.

Now if I had to do this everyday I am not sure I would be a crazier individual than you all know, but I would certainly have more money. I gave up lying on applications that ask how much money you work, even government jobs, I laid it out to them. Now I won’t tell you how much I make, but you can probably figure it out if I tell you I couldn’t afford an apartment of any price, not even a 500 bucks a month one if it existed, while I may make 500 bucks one month who knows what the next month would bring, or wouldn’t bring. Performing Arts Theaters are a dying cultural object in today’s society, well should I say any non-white theater, and that is indeed unfortunate. A lot of theaters run on the help of volunteers, at least ones I am willing to drive to. The only way you can work full-time is if you hop on with one theater one month and to another the next month, unless a show does so well (goes past the break even point) that they keep it around for more time. Oh yeah and you cannot be an Usher because that it not a full-time job, 4 to 5 hours on average, if you work backstage or as a stage hand you’ll get more hours setting up and tearing down the set and taking all the props back, etc. Same goes for electricians, lighting, and sound workers.

I live in a time where many people don’t even look at their University Degrees with pride anymore, you just see that big negative amount of dollars hanging over your head, and while I don’t own as much as the average I still don’t see how I will begin to make a dent in my debt because a full-time job just doesn’t seem attainable, hell even a part time job, and if they are they wouldn’t be in my field. I majored in Japanese because I love the language, and since that love has not faded since I took Japanese 1 when I was 16 then I think I made the right choice. But a major in the language field isn’t a good choice on it’s own, most people were smart and just had a minor in a language and took business, econ, sociology or something along those lines as their majors. Taking a foreign language in a school environment will not help you attain fluency unless you fully dedicate yourself to those golden “10,000” hours they always talk about, which is a bit more than a year if you use all 24 hours of your day and dedicate yourself to that language, even 8 hours a day would be just over a few years. But no teacher will tell you that, most kids go through those classes and think after Japanese 4 of 5 you’ll be fluent, and that just isn’t true.

I really don’t know where I was going with that post, just letting out my random thoughts on a frustrating day. I wrote like this a lot in college, some teachers liked it, some didn’t. I’m still checking in with readthekanji and japaneseclass.jp, and of course anime, I don’t know when I will step up my studies again, I just want to start slow.

Sometimes we need loss.

October 27, 2012

Don’t worry I’m only talking about the loss of information. So apparently iCloud is garbage and doesn’t save the information that’s inside apps. If i knew that I would have been doing manual backups. Lost my salary book info, which was just me keeping track of how many hours I worked and how much money I made. I think I was only keeping track because my work isn’t consistent. Well I wasn’t making much anyway, guess I had nothing better to do than watch myself make a penny every 8 secs (10 bucks an hour). Also lost my Awesome Note notes, but all I did on there were the occasional memo and write down my dreams or the ones I happened to remember. And lastly I logged my workouts on my phone. But I workout a lot, and I know what my max lifts are, it was just nice to look at the pretty graphs.

So I was angry for a bit at work last night but I found a few minutes to mediate and was able to let go. Time to move on and next time I’ll just backup stuff on a regular basis.

As for Japanese…I’m still checking into japaneseclass.jp and readthekanji, and of course watching Anime. I’ll post some recommendations later, time to get into work mode again.

Language Immersion Day 2

October 25, 2012

So I ran into a few problems yesterday but still managed to get a good amount of listening in. My phone decided to flip out and continually respring (iPhone4). Even now I can still hear it doing it. So for my workout I had no Japanese music, I tried to use Pandora but there isn’t any Japanese music on there. Plenty of Korean music though so I just made a Korean music station off the group 2pm. Can you believe that artist Psy (Gangnam Style) has the number one song on iTunes? Even on South Park, Jimmy was “Gangnam-stein” and they played the song during their Halloween episode. For the rest of the day I just listened to podcasts and audio books on my old first gen iPhone.

So I didn’t do much, still frustrated with my phone, thinking of going the Android route before years end. I don’t mind the Apple products just the jail breaking process, which makes the phone more to my liking is annoying to continually set up and then lose every time there is a problem, stock iOS is so boring…

I just watched episode 4 of Zetsuen no Tempest, and now have KeyholeTV as background sound. They have a premium service coming out soon so I donated so I could get some of the benefits. Also another annoyance that occurred yesterday and continues today is the wind. There’s Bamboo outside and the loose and dead leaves blow all over the backyard and into the pool. During windy days the yard has to be cleaned multiple times and it can get turning and frustrating. Well I have to start thinking about work and the arrival of my friend/co-worker. Gonna be hard to keep the immersion up but a little Japanese is better than none. Like I said in my last post gotta cut down on my 30+ hours of American and British TV, it’s not doing anything to help me towards my goal of becoming a polyglot and I just ignore the annoyed faces of people that always ask “Did you see xxxx show or movie?” and my answer is no so they give you that look like you’re lame. I’ll just ask them did they watch NHK news today then give them the same look.

June 13th 2011: Didn’t realize this post was set to private this whole time =P

As the title suggests I watched All-Star Superman. But why is there a picture of the drama Bartender? Cause I am watching that as I type this on my phone, which I will probably never do again because the Word Press iPhone app is so slow it makes a tortoise laugh manically. As for Superman, I watched it because I have watched all the animated movies DC and Warner Bros have  released so I thought I might as well not break the habit. Doesn’t seeing superheroes make you want to do something “super” yourself? Of course it does. After recovering from a medical setback as I’ll call it, I am back into the studying circuit and pushing myself even harder than before.

I feel I have neglected 한굴(韓国語、Korean)for far too long and it’s time to start back up with it. I took 2 semesters of it in college, I should of stuck with it but my studying habits and techniques didn’t give me enough confidence to take both Korean and Japanese at the same time. Now that I am out of school I think I am studying even more, I am glad I have the privileged of having so much time to do so (and no I am not rich, but I’m working on it.) I’m using Rosetta Stone at the moment to learn Korean, I’ll write a review about it after I do all the levels, I am sure it’ll at least help me grasp the basics (once again.) So after I do the Rosetta Stone I do some listening in Korean, which is right now two dramas that I watch, High Kick and Coffee Prince. I’ve seen Coffee Prince before but have yet to see a better Korean drama so I am watching it again. High Kick is alright, it’s a comedy about a family of nut jobs, really they’re all crazy. But it’s pretty funny and it’s good listening so it’ll do. I do have a couple of books from when I went to school, I may use them for sentences (gotta practice typing in Korean!) and put them into Anki. After that’s done I do my usual Japanese studies throughout the day. I hope I can keep this up.

I have also decided to up my English vocabulary a bit so I am playing….My Word Coach for Nintendo DS…haha. I will start to write posts more regularly and you can decide if my “Expression Potential” has gone up at all. I also play brain age every now and then, good for stimulating the Brain I have heard and so far I think it works. But what there’s more! I’ve been reading up on memory techniques and am trying to find a way to employ them in my studies, this week I have tried to apply Mnemonics for any new Japanese words I am learning and they seem to stick immediately (if the association is strong enough) instead of after seeing it in Anki a dozen or so times. I do all these things everyday and I enjoy doing all of it. Of course i don’t have much time for socializing and gaming and all that, but for now that’s okay.

So are any of you readers doing anything to make a more “super” you this year? Okay episode 1 of Bartender is done now watching Coffee Prince ep 2. Bartender seems interesting enough, I’ve seen a drama with every other 嵐 member in it (shhh秘密です) so why not.

Sorry for my random writing style, I usually write things on a whim, and I don’t do drafts, I got through school alright that way (actually I just found teachers that liked my writing style and kept taking them.) So feel free to leave a comment, I’d like to know how everyone else studies, or let me know if you want me to go into more detail about my study methods, it’ll make me think.

Jury Duty and Moderation.

October 7, 2010

So yes I have jury duty. I am sitting in the Jury Assembly room as we speak, and will be here for another 6 hours or so. So I thought I might as well do a blog update, maybe I’ll do a lang-8 post as well. So the post title has Jury Duty in it but I think I am done talking about that. I will be discussing a few things I have learned as far as learning techniques.

In my previous post about a month ago I said I was doing the Beachbody Insanity workout. I am still doing it, I am on the 5th week which is the recovery week. I also(recently) decided to do some calorie counting to help burn more fat. When I began the workout I found myself getting extremely sore in the shin area, I dunno what that bone is called but it always hurt in both legs. After not doing Plyometrics (jump training) for several months I shouldn’t have tried to do it like I did before. So I modified most of the plyo moves in the videos so I can do them without jumping and still feel the burn.

I also applied this to my studies a while ago. I wouldn’t have finished Remembering the Kanji vol. 1 if I tried to do 100 kanji a day. Instead I only did 10 Kanji a day, it took nearly a year but I got through it and still do my reviews everyday, I try to add about 5 from the RTK3 everyday, but if I don’t it’s okay. When I began reading some Japanese novels I realized how many RTK3 Kanji there were popping up, so I figured I should learn them. I am still taking the JLPT2 this December,I may be shooting to high for my first time but I feel very confident about the test, I already recognize double the required Kanji and I use my SRS everyday as well as plenty of Japanese immersion.

On an aside I noticed that when I study Japanese I do better on my reps when I don’t listen to Japanese music or shows while I do it. Probably because i’m not much of a passive listener, if I hear I sound I try and figure out what it says. As we speak in the Jury Assembly room I can isolate peoples conversations, or I can choose to hear the general noise that a bunch of people talking sounds like, which is pretty annoying. So while listening to Japanese music or shows I pay attention, but with English songs pretty much know already I don’t have to think about it so I can just worry about my SRS reps. I guess I could listen to classical music but until I know the songs well I’d be pretty distracted.

So in conclusion do what you can, don’t follow along with the in-shape people on the DVDs, you’ll just burn out. Don’t try to do a polyglot’s daily routine, you’ll burn out as well. Just do what you can, even if it’s just a minute, or even less. I guess I am echoing AJATT’s recent post topics, but it’s true. I use the EpicWin iPhone app to make the things I do seem rewarding, cause no one is praising me for all the exercise and studying I do, I don’t even praise myself, so this program helps a lot with that.

So the reading contest started by lordsilent is over. It was called Read More or Die. Well I indeed read more than I did in the other contest, so I guess I get to stay alive. What did I learn? Pretty much what learned from the last contest, that I like to read Harry Potter books. I really regret not buying the 3rd book 「ハリー・ポッタとアズカバンの囚人」。If I did I could have easily gone over 1000 pages, after a while I was doing a chapter a day and finished the second book on the 19th or 20th. The other ~230 pages (I read 730 total really 750, I watched Akira then I saw that it was past midnight and I was like NOOOO! But that’s okay) was reading blogs, manga, watching dramas and anime with subs, I had a lot of material at my disposal. I really didn’t want to read much manga this time around though. I don’t know why, guess it’s all the eye movement, I can read a blog post faster than a page of Manga. Did I learn anything else? Yes…when you read do only that, READ. Don’t look stuff up while you read, takes the fun out of it. I’ve even read some people like to mark off pages and go back to it after some minutes and then look up the stuff they weren’t sure about. I don’t do this, I like to keep moving forward and finding new material, just keep reading and you’ll understand that word or grammar point eventually. I can’t even open up the Harry Potter books again to sentence mine, though I really want to, got the audiobooks for them and everything too… but if I have to force myself maybe I really don’t want to do it. I wish 堀北真希 would just magically appear in my room and just start talking non -stop, I’d hang on her every word, I’d be fluent in like  a week.

Today I wrote on a post-it and post-it’ed? it to my computer, which it right next to my face. It says 毎日百文章=百日万文章。100 sentences everyday equal 10,000 sentences in 100 days. Sounds good to me, I should start on this goal right away. Just looking at 10,000 on it’s own like that is daunting, even 100 sentences a day, that’s crazy. But I figure…if I can find 10 sources I really like and take 10 sentences from each everyday then that doesn’t seem so bad. I really wonder if I can do this, I better start now before I get a full-time job, which will probably be very soon. Even then I will still find a way. Maybe I should make a sentence-mining contest, the reading contest encouraged me to read more than I ever could have imagined, and I  was doing more of that then adding sentences. Now it’s time to put the focus back on sentence mining, along with my usual daily study routine..

Oh yeah, I also figured out my speaking ability has taken a dive, or maybe it was just because I was nervous. I found a language-exchange partner for a little bit. I understood pretty much everything she said, but could barely say things back. Might use some of the irish polyglots strategies for speaking, I really know more words than I give myself credit for, I just find myself looking for particular words when I should just be saying anything random thing, I do that in English =P

So we’re about a few days past the halfway mark of the “Read More or Die” contest this month. I’ve been getting most of my pages from 「ハリー・ポッターと秘密の部屋」which is just over 500 pages, and I plan to finish that today, too bad I probably won’t be able to get the third book until after the contest is over. I wouldn’t have gotten through the book so quickly if it wasn’t for this reading contest, I’ve been doing about a chapter a day. I plan to go back through the first two books to get some sentences out of it, there were many interesting words and Kanji that weren’t in Heisig vol. 1, or even vol. 3 for that matter. I am glad I decided to start going through volume three albeit slowly, but that’s how I do things.

I also have been been reading a lot of things in English this month as well (I know, shame on me). I’ve been taking a look at Benny the Irish polyglot’s book “The Language Hacking Guide.” I’m about halfway through the PDF and plan on looking at the other content that comes with it later, the interviews that come with it are what makes it worth it to me. I mostly bought it because I like to support people, I’ve been following many language learning blogs and it is inspiring to see them grow and finally start making some money for all that info they’ve been giving people for free. The blogs I follow most are AJATT, Tofugu, and Fluent in 3 Months. The learning techniques I have gotten for them and other bloggers has helped me immensely, I think I have learned more Japanese this year than all the years in school combined.

Also for the Harry Potter books I’ve been using the Parallel reading technique, you know, what Tom Hanks does to learn English in that movie “The Terminal.” Basically you read a page, or several pages in your mother tongue and then read that same material in your L2. This technique does indeed work if you have enough focus. At the very least it prevents you from grabbing for a dictionary every couple of minutes because (if the translation is good enough) you pretty much know what it is being said. It also allows you to point out words and phrases: “Oh so that’s how you’d say “Moaning Myrtle in Japanese(嘆きのマーテル)” etc, etc.
The other book I have been reading is “How to Develop a Super Power Memory” by Harry Lorrayne. I doubt this book will help with learning languages, but I might be able to find a way to use it in such a way. But this book will definitely help my overall observation skills and help me remember things like 50-digit numbers, peoples names and faces, or at least that what it promises. After a few days I have found it easier to remember some things after only seeing it once. We’ll see how much better I get as I progress through the book. Because of all of this reading I haven’t been adding too many sentences to my SRS lately, I need to get back on that. I have about 1340 sentences, I use the online SRS “surusu” made by Khatzumoto of AJATT. I still don’t think I am using the full potential of it, every now and then I go on it and see new features and have no idea what they do.

Anyways there’s my update, there is a lot more going on but I can’t show you all my cards just yet =P