Week 1

If you haven’t kept up with my blog, then you might not know that I made several new “resolutions” for the new year. Unlike previous new years resolutions where I simply would “keep it in mind”, I chose to write a daily diary to keep me on track and to help me develop my resolutions into a tangible routine of self improvement. Then after a weeks time I would reflect on what I did that week and spitball various ideas.

That’s basically what this post is: a reflection of a week of diary entries devoted to doing things that I want to do with myself. If all goes as planned, you should see one of these for every week of the year (52 in total) Some might be posted as early as Sunday while others could be as late as Tuesday. It all depends on how I’m feeling and what I have on my plate

Currently, days are divided up into 4 activities: Japanese study, Japanese VN reading, Programming,  and Anime.  I will go over each of them along with one additional optional section where I highlight various things of note about the weeks progress.

Note

There were quite a few hiccups this week. I had a bit of computer issues which required me to completely reinstall Windows and made me lose a bit of Japanese study materials and interrupted one of my days of Japanese VN reading  (which you’ll read about in the relevant section)

There was also one day that I was unreasonably tired and ended up not doing a whole lot

Japanese Study

First up, my Japanese study for the week was consistent. I made sure to do my Wanikani reviews daily. On day 5 I actually reached level 28 of 60 which is kind of exciting (except for the fact that I was flooded with a bunch of new lessons)

I’ve been noticing that there’s a lot of old words from the past levels that I have forgotten. Unfortunately, wanikani’s system for this is to knock them down two levels which I feel is way too drastic. Thus I’ve gotten into the bad habit of ignoring answers on some words that I don’t know just so I can keep it from invading my already massive amount of Guru content.

(For those of you who don’t know how Wanikani works, basically each level you are given a group of radicals, kanji, and vocabulary. Radicals consist of associating a part of a kanji to a specific keyword. Kanji requires associating a keyword and a Japanese reading. Vocabulary takes the relevant kanji you know and teaches you words that you have to remember the general meaning and reading of.

These groups of radicals,kanji, and vocab are taught in lessons that you get at every level. To advance to the next level, you need to get all your radicals and kanji for that level to the guru stage.To advance them to the guru stage requires answering these review sessions that come up a certain number of times.

The way it works is that at first you’ll see a review pop up every couple of hours. When it hits the guru stage you see it every couple of days. Etc etc. All the way up to the burned stage where you’ll never see it again [It goes from Apprentice – > Guru -> Master -> Enlightened -> Burned] Many of the stuff in the Enlightened take months to come up again, and if you get them wrong they go all the way back to Guru, which sucks 🙁 )

I also noticed this back a couple levels ago (I advance a level every week or so) and decide that the SRS Wanikani used wasn’t enough to reinforce content. Thus for many lessons, I’ve started adding the content to an Anki deck for another method of review.

This week, however, I had issues with my computer in which I had to recover Windows. This made me lose all the anki cards I had added since I started that (As well as the data that told me how well I’ve been doing over time, not that I look at it) So I had to restart the deck from level 28. Hopefully it doesn’t mean that i’m going to lose track of those words now :/

I’d actually like to do more for my Japanese study than just these reviews/flashcards though. I’m not sure what yet. I think I might decide after I read my first Japanese VN before I decide (Though that’s going to take a while) Maybe I’ll see how I feel after a few weeks

Japanese VN reading

The VN I’ve chosen as my first VN in Japanese is  Tokeijikake no Ley Line -Tasogaredoki no Kyoukaisen- aka A Clockwork Leyline. While it’s not the first I’ve ever attempted (that would actually be aokana) I’ve decided it’s going to be the first I finish irregardless of anything else that might catch my eye

I’ve read much about text hooking and people’s advice for first games. It seems most people say you should start with something you really want to read as it’ll help you actually do it. My own perspective/experience (taking the time I tried starting Aokana into account) is that rather than simply picking something you want to read, you should focus on something short that you wouldn’t mind reading.

The reason I say this is because the problem I ran into with Aokana was that I was too focused on getting 100% meaning out of every line. I wanted badly to be able to read it as someone that completely understood. Which not only made the progress slow (which isn’t the worse thing) but also very frustrating. The fact that the game was over 50 hours (at more fluent reading speeds) also didn’t help my motivation.

Leyline is is apparently pretty short and it was something that I had an interest in reading (although not so powerful that I cared about reading perfectly) The fact that there was also an English translation made it the perfect candidate as a first vn to get me situated in the practice of text hooking and deciphering Japanese.

Originally my goal was to spend an hour every day on reading. I was only able to do that for three of the seven days.

Day 1 (1 hour): 59 lines. I’m not sure why the number is so low this first day. I managed to keep myself undistracted. I guess it was probably the fact that it was mostly all narration and there wasn’t any dialogue

Day 2 (1 hour) 90 lines

Day 3 : I decided to do 50 lines. It was partially because I had slacked a bit yesterday with the other areas and had to rework them into today

Day 4 (1 hour) 138 lines! Man dialogue can really make the whole thing go a lot faster.

Day 5: 0 lines. This is the day my computer was having issues. I had to unfortunately spend several hours to get my text hooking working again, and by that point I had other stuff that needed doing

Day 6: 52 lines. I woke up feeling exhausted today which affected my motivation. Still I had to put in the time considering day 5′s sad end

Day 7: 60 lines. I was struggling with the reading a bit, and so I decided to end it early so that I could check the English version to make sure I was understanding it right

You can get daily updates of my line completion via my Twitter. Otherwise, you can find the weekly count via this post

So far I’m enjoying myself. I’m not really sure whether I’m doing things “right” since it’s too early to tell if I’m improving, but hopefully a couple more weeks will give me a better idea on what I need to do to “improve”

My one concern is that I possibly rely on google translate a little too much. I don’t use it for every line (maybe more like 10-20%), but there’s times where I feel lost that I plug in a line and see if I can’t make some sense of the gibberish Google gives me.

Programming

I’ve been relearning Ruby via Codecademy  I’m about halfway through their entire course. I do about a lesson every day (though I skipped one or two days this week)

I chose Ruby because I hope to, at some point, migrate my blog/site back to Ruby on Rails like I had in the past. I really liked the language back then, although I never had as fundamental of a grasp back then.

I’m not sure what I will do after the lessons run out. Something tells me I should create a few projects with Ruby to get a feel for using the language (Codecademy lets you build a few sample things but that’s not the same as having your own project) Only real issue is, I don’t know what I could make with it. :/

In general, I think that’s going to be the biggest problem with learning programming. I don’t have anything specific to really hone and practice my skills. Like sure, I can sit here day after day taking online lessons about various languages, but I can’t say I know a language until I’m able to start successfully building software in it.. :/

I guess I’ll have to think about this more as I go on. I still have another week until I get through this Ruby course, and building a blog system afterwards should keep me busy afterwards (give me some practice) Thus I don’t have to worry about it too much yet, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Anime

I’ll keep the anime portion of these posts short because I plan to write up individual posts for the anime I finish. I will also exclude any anime

Finished Anime: Macross 7, Gunbuster

Currently Watching: Manabi Straight

Watched and Dropped: Pop Team Epic

On the Horizon: I’ve got a few different series I’m meaning to get to. Devilman Crybaby, Land of the Lustorous, and Fate/Acrophya are some of many. Also will eventually be seeing Diebuster at some point

That’s week 1 for you. See you all next week!