Monday, September 6, 2010

Walls, and When you Hit Them

I had a frustrating weekend.

I tossed down my Kanji notebook Friday evening, lost my pencil and sunk back into an anime-flavoured melancholy. Much of it is exasperation over job-hunting (possibly the most dangerous of all Game...), and dealing with a new roommate moving in, but I definitely began to experience 'Kanji-burnout.' It wasn't so much a 'this Kanji cliff is impossibly high... buff this!' moment. I just couldn't muster the creativity to form a story around the elements I was given. Totally dropped out of the kanji flow, as it were. The game stopped being fun.

The guilt! OH, the guilt! At not learning new stories, or keeping up with my 100+ per day of kanji reviews, or even heading to the dictionary often!

I'd hit the Great Wall of Japanese Language like Wile E. Coyote hits a cliff face.

After I freaked out with my mom on the phone for a while After a manly conversation with my mother, in which I laid out my frustrations and predicament in a mature manner, she gave me some darn good advice. Get the basics out of the way. Do what you can to alleviate the unnecessary stress ("Well, keep applying for jobs. And maybe you want to get your apartment clean"). So I did. I put on an anime (Kenichi, the Worlds Greatest Disciple) for immersion and did my chores.

And in amongst taking care of normal life, I discovered something:

The weekend wasn't a total disaster. Japanese was still fun. The 'wall' was really a nice low retaining wall. Easy to mount, something to play with- a reminder to not let Japanese become 'homework'!

I did a few reviews Saturday, maybe a couple on Sunday. I twiddled around on Live Mocha- got an account set up and started a course. Had a large (see: constant) amount of audio input- except when I went to do my laundry (mp3 player troubles).

I re-organized my SRS to enter sentences rather than vocab and entered a sentence- 私は背が高いです。 (I am tall- more lit "My Stature is Tall"). I started playing a "Spot the Kanji" game in whatever I was watching to see how many I could get before the scene changed. My reading of hiragana and katakana is getting better and I've started 'reading' Japanese websites with small successes.

I also made contacts with one of the Japanese student centers in town, who asked me to come back (heck yah! Tomorrow, after the holiday weekend).

I may have taken a halting stutter-step with Heisig this weekend, but the rest of my progress has been steady. Do I have some catching up to do with Heisig? You betcha- but I'll be back on course by the end of the evening. Making up the stories is fun again.

The wall is behind me.

So when you hit a wall what do you do?

Well, you get over it bub. Jump, climb, fly, back freakin' handspring, I don't care. You just shake the ringing out of your ears and get your ass over that damn wall! You'll feel better for it. Really you will.

There's a fun slide at the end!

Trust me.... I'm cute.

No comments:

Post a Comment