Hey guys! How are things going for you? 😀 Things are starting to get chilly on this end, which is why I plan on staying inside underneath layers of blankets. Cold weather is nice to look at, but being in it is a different story. ^^;; I’m looking forward to that wonderful spring weather! (*^^*) JanTerm has finally ended for me, so I will start my Spring Semester classes on Monday. This has been a pretty interesting month for blogging, so I’m looking forward to February. To mark the start of Spring Semester, I wanted to make another blog post for my “Dream Chasing” series. Gotta keep all this motivation documented!
One of the biggest things that I can say about myself is that I don’t like studying. Even throughout my high school years I wasn’t keen on aiming for the A or AB Honor Roll. I did the bare minimum and – even if I ended up getting higher than a C – I was completely content with that. Sadly this mentality is still around while I’m in college. I’m the oddball who freaks out at the sight of an A or B on a paper. Imagine how confused I was when I got my first A in my Innovation of Technology class. Just, how?!? I don’t even like science! I’m an average kid who aims for the bare minimum when it comes to academics. So when I see people freaking out about getting less than an A on a paper, it legitimately baffles me.
During my Japanese classes, learning the language shifted from being a “fun, interesting major” to something that made me less motivated to keep learning. It stopped being fun. I remember that it started to be a hassle for me at some point. Thankfully, I was able to rediscover my language learning motivation when it came to manga school. If you missed my introduction, feel free to check out my “Series Collection” tab. I recently made it to keep everything in order, that way it’s easier for you guys!
Once my motivation was gathered, I started to get a little more series about my language learning. Now I’m just going to write short blurbs about the books that I have collected so far. I still hope to add onto this collection, but this is what I have to keep my motivation going.
Genki was the textbook series that we used from Japanese 101 – 236. Orange for Beginning Japanese and green for Intermediate to Advanced Japanese. I think I bought one of them from the campus bookstore, but it’s much cheaper on Amazon or places like White Rabbit Press. Sadly, my university does not offer four years of language study, so I’m going to have to go the self-study route from now on. The 400 level “language class” that IS offered is a poetry class, but all of the poems are translated into English. There’s also a new translation class (200 level), but my mentor suggested that I take the poetry class to fulfill one of my Major/Minor requirements. Hopefully I can take it during the Spring next year. I miss my Intermediate professor. He really helped me out a lot, and I would love to be in another class with him. Q u Q
I bought Japanese DeMYSTiFied my Freshman year, but everything seemed kind of cluttered and less straightforward. As for using this book, I haven’t really had much to work with. It’s pretty irritating to see the amount of romanji that fills the book, but I didn’t start thinking that until hiragana and katakana were shoved into my mind with a two week limit. Two weeks each I should say. I like how it comes with unit tests at the end of each section, and a final exam of sorts at the very end of the book. I have yet to actually go through the entire book, but I will try my best to.
I recently bought Essential Japanese Grammar from the local Books-a-Million, and the grammar section is really helpful! Compared to the Genki series, this book goes into more detail about the grammar used in everyday Japanese. It’s split into two sections: 1) an overview of Japanese grammar and 2) dictionary of usage. The first part gives a brief explanation while the section part covers the details and provides a series of examples. The examples also gives various situations on how these grammar points can be used, so I might go into more detail about this book once my books come in. Essential Japanese Grammar is cheaper on Amazon than it was at BAM, so if you want to save a few bucks please check it out. 🙂
Basic Japanese Grammar isn’t as informative as it’s Essential counterpart, but it’s pretty useful as well. To me, it gives a little more explanation than Genki, but lacks in terms of organization and structure. I found this book to be more of a hassle when it came for looking for particular grammar points, but I don’t regret buying it. If you want to check out Basic Japanese Grammar, it’s also on Amazon. Both of which are published by Tuttle.
I have this dictionary by Random House as well, but I’m really interested in Essential Japanese Vocabulary. Don’t get me wrong, this dictionary has helped me out a lot, but I really like having detailed examples to learn from. It’s also on Amazon, so I might buy it from there.
I also ended up cancelling my Amazon Prime subscription, so I’m surprised that I get a full refund from that. Actually, not surprised now, but completely excited! In 2-3 business days I will have that refund back in my account, so I will be able to buy my JLPT books and start studying.
I was really tempted to add manga to my cart at the last minute, but my friend O-chan convinced me to continue with my productive plan. Not to mention the amount of BL I have added to my bookmarks has reached a ridiculous level. I’m guessing over 80 tankōbon, but there might be more. I’m shameless. ^^;;
Outside of books I’m reading doujinshi and fan art on Pixiv, watching j-dramas, watching anime and listening to music. I also have a habit of reading The Japan Times and articles written on Gaijin Pot. J-Vloggers such as KemushiChan also inspire me to keep learning. When I want to practice some reading, I occasionally browse through tweets from my favorite Japanese cosplayers (Reika, KANAME☆, etc.,). I also have a habit of writing to M-chan (a friend of mine that I met on Japan-Guide though the language exchange forum) via the LINE app. We tend to talk about our daily lives as well as otaku related things. In short, I’ve managed to gather a lot of inspiration and motivation over the past few years. These, among other things, are the keys to keeping me on track. I feel like I’m on a good path and can’t wait to see what comes next on this journey.
Also, the JLPT for this year will be on Sunday, December 6th, 2015. I look forward to being in Houston on that day! >:3
Until next time, take care guys~!
EDIT: I couldn’t resist, so I broke down and replaced the JLPT Exercise Book for the January issue of CIEL. I’m so damn shameless. *fails* BUT, thankfully, my Amazon Prime refund came in a lot faster than I expected, so I will officially place my order from CD Japan. My order actually went down (because CD Japan gives you 300 Rewards Points for creating an account) so I’m excited about this. I will be sure to make another post once it comes in! 😀
EDIT 2: My card was accepted!! So now I look forward to getting my books in the mail~!
EDIT 3: Package was shipped and is heading this way~!