Spring Time

It’s spring!  Officially and seemingly.  The cherry trees on the mountain-sides are blooming, freckling the green and brown swathes with splotches of the season’s pink and white.  With spring comes YARUKI. “やる気” in Japanese basically just means motivation to “do”.  In my case it’s a pretty general feeling of capability.  I’ve pumped up my Japanese study regime to an intense level above difficult called GENKI! “元気” is one of the best words in Japanese and means like “energetic liveliness”.  I’ve also got hard on board the exercise train, running intervals, 5k jogs, doing pullups, chinups, negatives when I run out of steam, pushups, situps, rows, body weight squats, swimming, climbing, biking, hiking, etc.

I’m applying for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) 二級 in July.  The two lines in that word indicate its meaning “two” and the second character means “grade/rank”.  Yes, I’m aiming for the 2nd highest rank of JLPT.  I’m pretty confident that with sufficient studying I’ll pass this level.  After taking 二級 I plan to push straight on through and apply for 一級 in December.  I bet you can guess what that means!  There’s one less line than the character for “2”.  Yep, I’m going to attempt the highest rank in December.  It’s a lofty goal but I need to push myself hard and I’m going to take advantage of all the energy that has come with Spring.

I’ve simplified my study methods quite a bit.  I’m using the CLAIR textbooks provided for free for participants in the JET program for grammar study and then working on kanji outside of that with Anki and the 日常漢字 list available on the Japanese Wikipedia.  For every new Kanji I study I read over its readings, meanings, then look at all of the common use compounds its used in to get the feeling for the character’s nuances.  Then I look at sentences that those compounds are used in for more context.  Then I compile a few that I feel are characteristic into a text document that I can use as reference and reinforcement.  I also try to come up with a mnemonic for meaning of the kanji based on its appearance and parts.

I also quit the Slow Carb diet because it wasn’t particularly fun.  Now I’m just eating whatever I want (which is usually quite healthy anyway).  The decrease in stress improves my feeling of well-being enough to justify dumping the diet even if it does add some bad stuff like highly processed foods and ingredients that I wasn’t really eating on the diet.  I also need to eat quite a lot in order to make the most out of the exercises I’m doing.




Filed under exercise and outdoors, language, studying

3 responses to “Spring Time

  1. Good luck Mark. I’m sure you’ll be kicking butt with training / Japanese in no time! Interested to hear more thoughts on “Slow Carb”. I looked it over and thought that low glycemic carbs and non-refined grains were pretty much a good thing, but thought that you could definitely add more food in there and be OK (ala more a Paleo scene.) Plus, if you are going to be working out quite a bit, having some starchy sugar (like sweet potatoes, my fav!) is really good for replenishing the glycogen stores in your muscles. Anyway, that’s just my 2 cents. Definitely excited to hear how JLPT goes for you!

    • Yeah, Slow Carb isn’t really meant to be a workout diet I don’t think, whereas Paleo is oriented towards people who are working hard. I just really like to eat whatever the hell I want 🙂 It’s too much of a sacrifice for me to really get into interesting diets.

  2. Fair enough. Personally, I think of it as a “lifestyle choice” rather than a diet. But if you’re happy where you’re at, no need to make changes. 🙂

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