As with other posts in this series, this is the results of a test I took today, Aug 3rd, 2021.
雷 宗 田 化 歴 相 頂 類 違 史 朝 真 試 立 喜 住 科 渡 養 数 何 肩 終 役 談
I got three wrong from this row and two wrong from previous rows (80%). This is a pretty good result so I'm going to learn the last three today and move onto row 28 tomorrow. I got 史 wrong having learned it yesterday. Because it's such an easy kanji, I have to assume the reason is that my mind was holding other things in its place, so I want to avoid that. I drew the right side of 試 wrong. There is no kanji with 言 and 頁, so it's just an artifact of my study. Instead of remembering talk ceremony I remembered talk. To attempt to get a solution, I added one of the more used radicals (used in 頭, 頂, 願, and 顔). Not necessary. I got 科 wrong because of synonym 部. Note that I didn't draw 部 but 都 instead because I mix those two up. I remembered 養 minutes earlier, but forgot it in the context of the English translation. That means this will be easy to remember tomorrow. The mnemonic I use is: wear 着 good 良 with an extra stroke to make it more symmetric. One might turn this into a sentence like: "my foster parents left me with one piece of advice -- wear good clothes." Or something less Dickensian. I completely forgot 役 which is normal. You might notice the excessive forgetting of readings. 頂 and 類 I knew, which leaves 相, 試, 渡, and 養. 試 I studied, but the other three were not on my study list for yesterday. That's a good enough explanation for me. You might notice that this list took 2 days instead of 3 like usual. On Sunday I practiced (learned 化, 宗, 歴, 史, 終, and the shape and reading but not the meaning of 類), Monday I tested (learned 相, 頂, 類, 喜, 渡, 数, 肩, and 談), and today I tested. Tomorrow I'll test again while practicing the next row. Note how I learned 8 kanji in one day, which is 3 more than I tried to learn.
What else is going on? Way too much. I went to a dance party on Sunday. I realized when I went that it was more likely to spread the virus than I had planned when I first bought the tickets, but I still went because I felt like if vaccinated people spread the disease, there is no hope to avoid all people from being infected. That means that unvaccinated people are rolling the dice whether they want to or not and vaccinated people are going to play a role. Whether going to a dance party is selfish, bad behavior, what have you is subjective. In my opinion it's neither good nor bad, it's in a grey area that people are often in when they decide to benefit themselves. The dozen people who chose to go to the grocery store without a mask last week were in that grey area in my opinion. They could have worn their masks but they chose not to for whatever reason.
This brings up a great point that I'd like to make in pretty good detail -- judging others isn't my job. It shouldn't be your job either, but let's just assume for the sake of this paragraph that you think that it is. If a person does something terrible, the terrible deed does not produce an unchangeable mark on a person making them objectively bad. The action and the circumstances leading up to that can be objectively bad. The person, on the other hand, is a person. We create a fiction to explain why bad things happen to good people. One of those fictions assumes that there are bad people doing bad things to good people, which explains the result -- bad things happen to good people. So we set up a system of retribution to turn the tables (it would be extremely difficult to convince me that prison is intended to rehabilitate considering the arguments people make for it existing at all). Such a system produces repeat offenders, which society uses to reinforce their fiction of bad people. If we look for examples of bad people, it isn't too difficult to find examples. The problem with these examples is the fact that you can't find many of them. Sure the Axis countries in WW2 were a pretty good example of large scale evil -- numerous soldiers committed atrocities and there is no doubt that the harm was committed at every level. No one involved in murder of civilians can use the excuse of following orders. But did the Allies just slaughter the Axis countries after the war to avoid the inevitable harm those evil people would do after the war was over? Did they imprison them? No, Germans, Japanese, and Italians went back to life as normal after World War II -- with a variety of values of normal. Remember that I don't want to take away the decision of right and wrong. It's pretty clear to me that there is objective right and wrong. I suppose I'll hand the question over to you. Good and bad as a property of a person, is it your decision?
Until next time!
I'll hopefully post all tests as I pass them. Wish me 運.
Learning to Read and Write Kanji
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