So I'm still studying Japanese + Kanji, Korean, and working on my novel. For the last two weeks I've been focusing on Korean so that I can keep up with my Thursday night Korean class, a 10-session class that's ending in a week or two. I don't enjoy studying Korean that much because I find it awkward. The only time I find it easy to remember Korean vocabulary is when it sounds similar to Japanese, which is the case like 5-10% of the time. I've been bouncing back and forth between the three studies lately, as opposed to doing all of them every day. Yesterday I tried to catch up on Kanji a bit. I'm up to 85 now. I'm taking it slow because I hate forgetting them. I need to find a way to practice them in context. For some of the simpler ones, I can do that on my own by constructing random sentences, but for others, I don't even know the contexts in which they are used.
I can't say much about my Korean so far, don't even ask. My level is not worth mentioning. I can write decently quickly now and I know a fair bit of basics, but still lacking a lot. Compared to that, my Japanese is far ahead, although I'm sure I'll still freeze up in a real situation until I get more practice. Still, my Japanese is already sort of okay, I can understand at least 25-35% of what I hear in Japanese dramas or Anime without subs. I tried practicing the same thing for Korean, but I can't pick out a single word, it's really bad...
I've been taking a break from my story, simply to focus on the other two, but I really need to find time to do all of them at once, otherwise I might as well drop one completely for now in order to move quickly. I'm wasting a lot of time dilly-dallying. I need to go to the library again to study, because I don't get anything done at home... I'm a little afraid of how I'll do in school in January when I have to get stuff done at home, but then again, I can do that at a library too. I can do it somewhere on campus ^^ Plus it's only one course for this term, it'll be easy! I will focus on that course more than anything else, because I need at least 73%. I don't just want 73% anyway, I want above 90%, and so even if it's only one course, I can't get above90 without time and effort. It'll be good practice for the real thing, a full course load, which will begin after that. All the things I'm studying right now in addition to the one course will at least somewhat simulate the real thing and build up my power level for studying. I'll have more motivation then, too, because I want to be good enough at Japanese and even Korean to destroy the first year level courses for each of those. Well, I'm at least confident that I'll be able to obliterate the first year Japanese course by then, although some adept Japanese students, or even native speakers might be in that course. I don't want to lose to the Chinese students because of Kanji! hahaha! By then I need to know several hundred!
Hmmm, now that I think about it, there is one thing to worry about. In Japanese class one usually has to partner up with 1-3 others sometimes for group presentations... I hope I don't have to parter with fails and get a bad mark because of the group-marking style of the task... That happened to me in Japanese night school in high school, although my final grade was still 90 or something.
I hope I can get my Korean to where my Japanese is now, or was a few weeks ago. I'm at the level in Japanese where even though I still suck, I have a strong understanding of sentence structure, grammar (somewhat), know a fair bit of vocabulary and all elementary phrases, can read easily and write much more quickly, and settled into the language enough that a lot of it from here onward is memorizing and applying vocabulary. As for Korean, I'm not even "settled" yet, I'm a completely baseless floating group, about to die if I'm not taken care of. Possibly in Gote ^^ Sorry about that Go gag. When it comes to Japanese, I'm a decently settled two-space extension group on the third line, not completely safe, but impossible to capture.
I believe the time I spent between high school and now has given me room to breath and grow. I was definitely not ready back then, but I feel more than ready now. My experiences in the last two years have been unforgettable and invaluable. My amazing, refreshing experiences in Korea gave me more than a taste of the world beyond. I gained experience living with room mates, who got switched up several times, and because the Go school was sort of like a big family, I was able to reflect on myself a lot. Literally, it was like my own personality was projected, reflected off of others, and bounced back to me so I could see it from different perspectives. I experienced the generousity and culture of Korean people, the intensity of Go in Korea and of those who knock on the door to the professional Go world. It was my first time flying, and I traveled alone. But it wasn't just my experiences in Korea that lead me to where I am now. My developments in Go had a huge impact on myself. I analyzed my Go from every possible angle and used it as a different way of reflecting upon myself, in a way that no room mate could do. After spending so much time out of school, I lived and learned. I understood that even though I still lived at home, I was on my own when it comes to myself, so I had no choice but to become more independent. I taught myself to study hard even when neither motivation nor ideal environment are present, and I taught myself to develop good habits in everything I do, and to try my best to get rid of my bad ones. This includes getting onto a healthy schedule and waking up early every morning. I've also realized how quickly my fitness and overall health can degrade if I neglect them for months on end, so I'm slowly but surely taking precautionary measures now. I've learned recently that a little exercise and fresh air can make a world of difference, and I've even gained a greater appreciation for nature and the outdoors. I know that I need to take better care of my body. Even at Go club meetings I've learned a thing or two. Going to Vancouver lacking money was a mistake that I won't repeat. Borrowing money from others so often is something else I won't do, even if others happen to be credit card companies. No, especially them. I can resist the temptation to eat out far better than I could before, even if all of my friends are going. I've had my share of sleep-overs and general all-nighters, too, which are also usually a bad idea.
One thing I will never regret is my quest for power in Go!
That is one thing that has a beginning, but no end.