Japanese progress, weekend of 2/17/12

This might actually be the last of these entries, at least posted every week. The thing I’ve been studying so hard for is this Thursday and after that I’ll move to a slower, more manageable pace of Japanese study. Cause let me tell ya, I’m reaching my breaking point. I am losing patience with this shit. I have basically taken away all my free time and replaced it with an overarching obligation to study. After a month, maybe longer… IT’S GETTING OLD. I want my free time back! I want to relax on weekends and weeknights! Plus, I’ve been reading a lot about this thing I’m studying for, and I think I might already be at the right level to do well on it. (But at the same time I have no idea what to expect and if it’s going to be harder or easier than I’m thinking, and that’s bothering me too. I like to be prepared and know what I’m getting into!). So I’m just ready to get it over with so I can have  my normal life back! I miss my other hobbies! (Which, come to think of it, most use Japanese too, but feel more fun…)

However, somehow I was able to still summon the motivation to work hard over this last weekend, and I pretty much got done everything I wanted to do. I finished my reading textbook, Nihongo So-matome N2 reading–and while it started out easy, it got pretty difficult by the end and I was getting things wrong. Frustrating. I’m still not sure my reading abilities are at N2 level–but they might not need to be, for this? I don’t know!

I dedicated Saturday to grammar, and got as far in my grammar textbook (Kanzen Master N2 grammar) as I could. It’s a really good book, but in the last section it started breaking things wayyy down. I can’t really explain it but I just started to feel like these lessons weren’t going to be all that constructive for my immediate purposes, and that I didn’t need to make any more progress in the book for the time being–I could better cover these things over the course of weeks as opposed to hours, and that I should just focus on reviewing what I already learned from here on out. Of course, again, I have no idea what sorts of grammar difficulties and challenges to expect.

Listening went a little better. I finished the lessons in my book (Kanzen Master N2 listening) and began the review test at the end. Of the first 11 questions, I got 6 right. Not super heartening. But I was doing very well with the last lessons of the book. Like with reading, I think I just need more practice; I need to read and listen more in general. I need more familiarity with actually encountering the vocab words I know in context in spoken and written language. I’m doing better than I thought though. I might be okay with this section. I did also listen to some unintentionally hilarious exchanges as part of the questions.

So, the rest of this week is dedicated to review. I’ll probably listen to the listening exercises without worrying about writing down answers, just focusing on comprehension, review the grammar points and read sentences over and over, do lots of Read The Kanji vocab drilling, and read texts (I haven’t decided exactly what yet–maybe go back over the ones from the textbook, or any number of Japanese books/magazines/blogs at my disposal). What I’m taking isn’t really a pass-fail thing, it’s more meant to assess my skills in a variety of areas (though of course it’s also checking to make sure I meet certain minimum requirements), but I still want to make sure I’m up to speed on everything so I’m not perceived to be a lower level than I actually am. And while exercise is still out for the time being (but, planning to hit the gym this weekend hardcore), I’ll eat mostly healthy and try to get lots of sleep this week so I’m in good physical condition.

Soooo… yeah. Getting sick of studying and pushing myself to the max (like I said, I never worked this hard even when I was in school, unless of course it was to cram the night before) and just want this to be over. I think I’ll be okay so I just want to get in there and prove myself so this isn’t hanging over my head anymore. Ahhh, I can’t wait to get back to translations, and to get back to the gym and the rest of my normal routine… and everything else I’ve been putting off doing for the past month. Wish me luck on Thursday…

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