As with other posts in this series, this is the results of a test I took today, June 29, 2021.
北 長 課 杯 少 普 発 円 符 性 回 集 場 付 頭 替 黒 売 世 治 鉄 州 止 通 西 政 大 花 南
A heat wave in my area dramatically affected my ability to study these kanji, not completely for the worse. Inability to access the computer I use for the tests and remembering made it so that I had to take deliberate action to find a way to learn the kanji without having the most important resource in my toolkit: random test. Before I get into the way I memorized these kanji yesterday (with pretty good success), let's see what I did wrong. I didn't draw 付 which is not a failure of memory, it was failure to see the English, similar to skipping a question on the SAT and getting a 200 because each answer is off by one. I am not counting that as wrong because I practiced it, memorized it, and even drew it as part of 符, so it will be fine. I forgot the reading of 集 because my practice lacked the reading of that kanji (don't practice, don't remember). I don't count that as wrong because I drew the right kanji for the right English word. While that will fail me in the real world (you need to be able to type at least one reading of each kanji to be able to use it efficiently), I can accept that my knowledge is not encyclopedic. When or if I see that kanji I can look through the bottom half of my kanji list and find it hopefully. Next up is 頭. I drew the left side incorrectly because it's fairly complex. I do not blame myself too much for forgetting that kanji. Though it's clearly wrong even though anyone can read it. Lastly I got 杯 wrong. I knew the left hand side, but the right hand side I guessed wrong. Such is attempting to memorize kanji. It's funny how simple that kanji is, no? 8 strokes, a simple radical on the left, a simple kanji (不) on the right.
So to memorize these without my computer (or my brain for part of the week) I first did practice on June 24 (the day after I finished row 17). I then did a test on June 25th which I bombed. I got 18 wrong out of 29, 38%. For those curious about what that looks like, here it is. That shows how bad my understanding of these kanji were after practicing them on the day before. On the 26th it was so hot I couldn't do a test and I didn't want to because the row was kicking my behind. Instead I wrote down the kanji, a reading, and the English translation on my notepad that I carry everywhere (smaller than the size of my cell phone, so I can take it for a walk with just about no resistance). I forgot to write down 集 but was able to remember the kanji during my memorization on June 28th. On June 27th I went to a friend's house with A/C and played with them for the day except for one hour of studying (including a lesson of Japanese for Busy People). When I came home, my room was so hot I went out on my deck to avoid the heat. Then I went to the park to stargaze while listening to Bill Nye's audiobook Undeniable. I plan to write a book report (a review if you like) on this blog in the future, but I have only gotten ~15 chapters in, so it's not done. Also my headphones broke so I can no longer listen to it on a whim. Anyway, because I didn't want to spend another day chilling with my friends I decided to go to the ocean beach Golden Gardens on June 28th. I brought Quantum Physics by Gasiorowicz, Japanese for Busy People, a sketch book, two bottles of water, tablet, and aqua socks.
Before I left, I did a kanji test in the heat. I got 漢 課 政 集 売 州 治 普 and 場 wrong. Of those I was able to draw 漢 and 場 mostly correct and 課 half correct, but the rest 100% wrong. Note for a short moment how bad I did yesterday compared to today. This is proof that yesterday's memorization worked far better than the studying on the 26th and the 27th.
I arrived early because there was no point to staying in a 35°C room even for an hour. I did a bit of walking, a bit of reading, and a bit of thinking. I realized that the new environment would result in time slowing for me, so each hour felt like 3 or so hours sitting in my room doing normal stuff. This would have been fine if I had brought snacks, but I didn't. I memorized the kanji, I rested, I memorized the kanji, and rested some more. I did some thinking about the people around me but I did not get too much because the circumstance was so weird. We were in the shade of a bunch of trees at the end of a global pandemic that had interrupted (hopefully) most people's lives for the past 15 months and we were in the middle of the worst heat wave to ever hit our region. Did these people have A/C at home? They could have. Golden Gardens is a genuinely desirable place to spend a day even those who have A/C. And who would stay inside in A/C if they could go to the beach instead? Uhhh... Did they have a goal they wanted to achieve like me? Anyway, at around 14:00 I decided to go home to eat. I thought that 31°C in the main story of my house would be acceptable in exchange for food. I was wrong. I was so, so, so wrong. As soon as I arrived home I regretted my decision and wished I had stayed at the beach until I couldn't bear it for another second. Instead of 31°C on the main story of my home, it was 34°C. Anyway, for future plans for a really hot day where one has unique circumstances I recommend bringing food and water to the ocean beach and staying in the shade until sundown. I don't know the temperature of the beach, but it was easily room temperature with a very strong wind -- strong enough to make me rethink the whole endeavor.
On the evening of June 28th, I listened to a Feynman lecture in the park and memorized the kanji again in my head. I drew each kanji, recited the reading and the mnemonic, and the English. At around midnight I went to sleep in a room that was around 34°C. I woke up in a room that was around 34°C despite outside being around 24°C. I did this test and here I am writing the blog post.
What did I learn? Perhaps these high rows need more structured memorization. Up to Row 17 I was able to get away with repeated tests and relearning (when I fail I draw the kanji again), which improve retention of all 285 kanji I know. But this heat wave presented me with another option which I hope will serve me well.
Until next time!
I'll hopefully post all tests as I pass them. Wish me luck.
Learning to Read and Write Kanji
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 5
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 6
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 7
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 8
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 9
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 10
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 11
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 12
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 13
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 14
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 15
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 16
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 17
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