Welcome to the Second Big Wrap Up!
Can't believe we're already two months in 😱 Time is flying. In respect of that, I've broken this down so you can hit the parts you want and keep livin life 😎
What's in the Update
- A look back at the past month
- What went right/wrong
- This coming month's goals
- Specific look at this last week (week 4 update)
A Look Back (Summary)
Month two was a pretty crazy month learning wise, and had some great personal growth as well. I was able to:
- Learn 2,000 Kanji
- 800/1000 Beginner Jalup
- Launch this website
- Send out a huge life update, and
- Begin applying to several jobs
With all that though, comes a huge exhaustion and seems to be the main reoccurring theme of the challenge. When you input a lot very fast, your brain needs time off to breathe and recoup. Exhibit A, this post (coming a day late) because the last three days have been a huge mental holiday.
No one talks about this part (the aftermath) when they speak of the "challenges" and it's what makes them non-realistic. That said, I do intend to continue this, and talk more below about what I'm changing to keep up with the demand.
Jalup Beginner: 800/1000 ✅
Kanji Kingdom: 2000/2300 ✅
Jalup Intermediate: 0/1000
What Went Wroght?
(Like a Brit Combining Wrong+Right 🇬🇧)
Always Start with the Positives
- 2000 Kanji Meanings Learned
- 800 Sentences Learned
- Blog Launched
Looking back, this month was an overall success. I have learned a lot, taken some big steps forward, and am continuing to prepare for these coming months. I'm most excited about this blog launch as I feel I've finally found a home. It's been a long time in the making, so to see it fleshed out and so clean looking is awesome.
I am also really excited about learning so many kanji. Going through songs (with subtitles), text, and any other written form of media, has been enjoyable because I'm able to read the kanji. I've also been able to understand the beginner sentences a lot more just because of having the keyword association. Powerful stuff.
And the Challenges Second
Not everything was all hunky-dory though 😕
- The Lack of Breaks
- Forgetting more....
This is the biggest issue at hand and perhaps the biggest issue with "cramming" in general. You forget more because your brain has a hard time remembering lots of new information really quickly, and, you continue to cram in more as you're crunched for the challenge causing lots of info to leak and your brain to grow weak.
It's a rough cycle that has many negative points to it that get worse when you begin to look at the physical effects too. As your brain is overwhelmed and tightened, your body responds with its own tightness as a defense mechanism, leading to physical pain. All that to say, I've been in a lot of physical and metal pain that ultimately lead to a three day crash and re-coupe.
That said, below, I go into how I'm going to overcome these two and what I'm planning to change going forward to make this challenge more sustainable.
Month Three's Changes & Goals
With all the looking back it's good to now look forward. A couple of key changes include:
- More frequent whole days off
- Learning in bursts and allowing the knowledge to solidify
- Running (physically lol...rip...plz save me)
These three changes will hopefully help with the above mentioned issues while taking into account all of the other issues I've encountered. The whole days off are intended to give my brain a break while allowing the knowledge to solidify and give myself time to adjust to the new input.
The running seems a bit of an oddball, but I read an article detailing the impact of mental performance on physical performance in high level chess players. It's so impactful that the players train like world class athletes due to the strain. Here's a quote summing it up:
Robert Sapolsky, who studies stress in primates at Stanford University, says a chess player can burn up to 6,000 calories a day while playing in a tournament, three times what an average person consumes in a day.
That's a lot of calories, and though I'm no grandmaster (the name is cool), I am a mental fighter as I wrestle with the language and burn more calories than I thought. In this, I need to physically prep myself and plan to run as compensation just like those world class players do. (Physical strength = less tension pain = more focus & blood flow)
Month Three's Goals
Cool, so, we've got a new plan, new steps, and have reflected on how poorly I achieved some of the old goals...what are month three's goals?
I want to finish Jalup Intermediate and start Advanced.
Pretty simple and straight forward, but a bit broad. I hope to accomplish this by breaking the learning into 3 days on, 1 day off, 1 day on, 2 days off. That equates to 4 learning days, 3 off days with two off days focused on refreshing and reviews, and one focused completely on no Japanese.
This plan puts me at 4 weeks to finish beginner (still have 200 left) and intermediate while starting Advanced and getting about half of it finished by the end.
I also plan to run 3 times a week.
There's not much more to this other than needing to be physically active. My diet is not bad as I supplement, eat a variety of foods, and eat those blueberries. I just don't like to run, but unfortunately do not have gym access so...running it is...
Week 4's Update
I tucked this in at the end as I know it's not the focus for many keeping up with these updates, but also for mine, and the in-depth readers sake, wanted to include it. Week four as mentioned above, ended with a rough bang as I about crashed in every way.
It was so rough, I couldn't even find enjoyment in movies (which require almost no thought) and spent a solid chunk of time trying to message my shoulders.
That said, week four started very well as I flew through the final 400 kanji and even got to do some of the beginner sentences (700->800). I was able to enjoy the crashed days too as I got to visit my sister and play golf with a friend.
I suck at golf.
It's why I'm learning Japanese instead, but it's really fun to go play with him and even more fun getting to hang with my sister and her friends as we watch movies. We even had a little adventure getting to go to Target and getting goodie bags of free samples. It was great and unexpected #EndOfLifeMoto
Learning wise, I felt the drop-off come hard when I stopped on Thursday. Until then, I definitely thought I could've kept the pace going. It was good that I stopped though, as my friends and family pointed out, breaks are good.
Thanks For Reading!
A bit of a downer this month as the end over shadowed the beginning's accomplishments, but I'm really glad that I've gotten to realize and learn these things early on in the challenge and look forward to applying this knowledge going forward. I appreciate the continued support and I hope that this has inspired you to continue in your own challenges!
If you like these posts, please comment or share, to let me and others know! I look forward to this coming month's challenges with you on the team 🤗