ChristopherFritz's Study Log

A post of random things today.


I recently got a new badge, and I’m not certain whether it’s a good one or not…


Funny thing is, that same day, my computer’s main hard drive (OS+applications on it) died. My emergency back-up hard drive (OS+minimal applications) it turns out doesn’t work either. My other option, booting from a DVD (OS+minimal applications) would have been a good way to be able to at least access my files, except my DVD drive died last year…

After putting it off for several months, I went out and bought a new DVD drive for my computer. I have plenty of spare hard drives, so I used an install DVD to get the OS+applications installed, and was mostly back up and running in a day. My devotee streak did not break before I had a chance to get the notification about the badge!

Lessons and Review

Speaking of streaks, I like to see my streak go up for consecutive days reviewed, and more recently lessons. Especially since I’ve done a minimum of one lesson every single day for a few months now.


I have no idea how I missed a day!

My lessons streak ended at 119 days.

Considering that I did six the next day, I wonder if it was a timing issue where I did lessons at night and they counted for the next day. (Once upon a time, I had my iKnow 583 day review streak break when a daylight saving time change pushed my evening review into a different day for the server’s time.)

Well, time to build it back up again. At least I’ve not missed a beat with my reviews!

WaniKani Level

Streaks aside, I’m nearing 50 days on level 26, with another 22 kanji to learn.

Part of me wants to pick up the pace a bit, especially since two of the kanji I looked up in today’s reading were level 27 and level 28 kanji. But at the same time, I want to keep my apprentice down. I’ve done well at keeping it around 50, so I upped my lessons a little here and there to get it apprentice toward 60, then suddenly in a day it jumped from 60 to 70 (not my best review session).

Considering my leeches are at 411 (which they’ve hovered around for two months now), I probably won’t speed things up too much just yet.

I’ve recently started using BishBashBosh for its “10 oldest apprentices” review, but I’m not using it frequently enough, as I only get to it maybe once a day every two or three days. I hope this will help me move some leeches out of apprentice, but also hopefully they don’t all come crashing back in from guru later.

I’m at 57 apprentice leeches, which is 81.4%. I really want to bring that number down. I just haven’t found a method that works for me yet.


Reading has been going fairly smoothly. I’ve kept at one chapter per day.

I’m not yet certain where I’ll fit trying to read “Your Name.” into my schedule. Maybe Saturdays, now that we’re at the end of 「ふらいんぐうぃっち」 (until the next volume comes out). Otherwise, I’ll may get back to reading 「おじさまと猫」, and maybe using Saturdays also as my 「わんわん探偵団おかわり」 reading day. There’s also another volume of 「よつばと!」 coming out, but I might fit that into Wednesdays with Pokemon since the Pokemon chapters are only 15 pages.

My Sundays are one chapter (about eight pages) of 「ひとりぼっちの○○生活」, which takes forever due to the amount of kanji look-ups I have to do. I end up splitting it into about four to five 20-minute sessions across the day. (I should probably lean on Copyfish more to speed things up.)

I found out that the last volume of 「三ツ星カラーズ」 that I read last year is…the last volume of 「三ツ星カラーズ」.

I was hoping to read more, but instead I get another hole in my schedule to fill with something else.

Sentence Cards

At 38 days into the year, I have 39 sentence cards in Anki. That sounds good (at a one-card-per-day pace), but I’ve had days where I added multiple cards. I was doing a good job of adding cards near-daily early on, but lately I haven’t been finding many +1 sentences while reading.

Part of the problem is I’ve been looking for kanji words I don’t know, but use only kanji I do know (without having any other unknown kanji/words in the sentence, preferably the whole manga panel). I think I need to open this to non-kanji words I don’t know.

I learned こっそり as a lesson in iKnow the other day, and it’s already come up in two manga I’ve read in the days since. And I know I’m always seeing kana words that I look up, then forget by the next panel. Sometimes the same word comes up two or three times in a chapter, and I have to look it up each time because I don’t recognize having just seen it a couple pages prior. Formally making a sentence card and starting reviews should help with retention.

Anime Watching Listening Practice

I’m not technically doing listening practice, but now that I have new DVD drive for my computer, I’m back to being able to watch Sailormoon. I’d been watching in Japanese without subtitles, then later watching the same episode in English (old dub and new).

I’ve started the second season (two episodes in), and I feel I’m following along better than when I started the first season. But the mini-series that begins season two is one I’m extra familiar with (as I recorded it from TV way back then, then later bought the series on VHS), so it may be giving me a false sense of comprehension. Once I get through the part of season two where the English dub originally stopped, that’s when the training wheels come up, but it’ll be a while before I get there.


I was under the impression that Kumi-senpai had the heatmap set to the user’s local time, so as long as you’re not reviewing at midnight it should record everything correctly.

I do hope BBB helps you - it’s made a world of difference to me. I have made a habit of using it after every review session, where I think it is most helpful without interfering with SRS.

Always look forward to your posts…very motivating…

Thanks for the recommendation … I’ll give it a try…something else new to try to combat these leeches…

I’ll share my experience so far…same sorts of problems (personally I wonder if I have some mild dyslexia or something)…so many homonyms and what not…but seems like every so often I have had really no choice but to stop and just deal with the churning leeches… lvl 9, 16, 22, and now 28…the time it takes to deal with them is getting longer and longer

I know I’m close to getting them under control but as you mentioned having 80% leeches is not fun …failing over and over is demotivating, if only the WK folks would pay attention and come up with a proper built in leech manager (adjustable/dynamic srs)… in any case… I keep thinking I’m close to being able to take on new lessons, but have stopped now for 107 days while dealing with the leeches… this is definitely a problem with this particular SRS that needs proper management…

my current nos if it makes you feel any better

Don’t let the future reviews fool you either…as you know the fails increase the next day reviews and for the reviews for the week…ugh… keep thinking I’m close and then its another week…(pretty sure it’s the non ideal srs intervals - for me personally)

Once the enlightened fails and guru fails settle down I’ll add new lessons but need these nos (personally) all below 40 reviews a day (which with 100-120 reviews a day [60-80 new lesson] should bring the leech review count a day down to something less demotivating…the only downside is done this before and still after 6-7 levels have no choice but to go through it again…

for now I’ll just keep banging my head against the wall…need a better memory! :wink:
If you ever find the magic bullet for these stupid leeches…look forward to hearing it!

You’re probably right about that. I likely just forgot to do a review that day.

This is what I’d like to do, but my review schedule adds friction:

I review from bed first thing in the morning (away from my computer). When I do get to my computer, I’m usually clocking in for work soon after.

I (normally) review right after work, but then jump right into reading. (But I’m at my computer at this time, so there’s no reason not to do the post-review reviews.)

My final reviews are in bed right before bedtime, in which I’m again not at my computer.

(Sounds like a bunch of excuses!)

It’s too soon for me to say how useful it’ll be for me. Especially when I’m not using it at least twice a day, every day. But, as always, here’s hoping!

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But BBB isn’t an add-on script, it’s its own little webpage, so you should be able to do BBB reviews from anywhere where you can also access WK, like on your phone or tablet.

I’m terrible at doing text entry on a smartphone screen. Both slow and inaccurate. It’s the primary reason I have the Flaming Durtles app set to Anki mode (buttons rather than text entry).

Ahh! I didn’t realise, so yes, a very different prospect doing BBB away from the computer.

Is there a possibility that you’ve got as many leeches as you do because you are reviewing using passive recognition rather than active input? :thinking:

I’ve considered that. But if I were doing keyboard entry on my computer, with as many reviews as I have per day, I’d never get through them all. Plus I’d probably put it off too much. (I know my laziness well.) So I think I’m actually coming out ahead this way.

Maybe I should try doing some WK reviews via keyboard during my work breaks, especially since I’m at my computer anyway.

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doubtful … never used anki mode and still have so many leeches… most of my burns have to go around through 2 enlightened cycles…having this many leeches… points to issues with non-optimized srs individuals for the user. the worst cycles are guru2 and enlightened… really need something in-between those intervals ideally to reinforce the memory before it’s lost again


Every time I tell myself to slow down, be careful, and to look down… sometimes I’m successful, oft times not. But it’s all in the name of lessening the load :sweat_smile:. But I think I need to stop trying.

I totally agree that sometimes WK’s system isn’t enough so I just bit the bullet and use another system to work on the hard to remember stuff. Though I do get lazy with another srs system after the first few cycles… Eh. I figure it’s worth customizing one’s language journey as it works for the person. Plus, I’m coming across stuff as I read so my memory is getting a refresh outside of WK anyways.

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I’ve been feeling like I don’t remember just from WK and thought that other study would interfere with the WK SRS. But I need extra review. When I rely on just the WK SRS I’m not getting it. But I always feel like I’m ruining the whole system by doing extra reviews. I want to be able to do the reviews quickly, meaning without straining my brain. I find that extra review helps me to accomplish this. I also want to go throughout the day and be able to recall a particular vocab for the given situation. For example, if I’m syncing then I want to be able to recall the word for syncing. I was finding that I wasn’t able to with just a WK SRS. Then I was thinking my brain is just too old.

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There are two reasons I’ve decided not to let this bother me:

  1. I’m reading manga every day. This means I’m seeing kanji I’m SRS’ing in WK.

    • The other day, I encountered two Apprentice kanji. This transitioned me from failing one of them to getting it right. (Remains to be seen if I’ll get it wrong against next time.)

    • Yesterday, I looked up a kanji I’d never seen before. During my next WK reviews, that same kanji came up for a “Master to Enlightened” review. (I chose to fail it on purpose, because clearly I need to review it more.)

  2. I have a bunch of burned kanji that I don’t remember.

Even though I’m going through WK at a slow pace (having even stopped lessons this week because I have too many reviews per day and not always enough time to review them), I’m keeping the mindset of aiming for quantity over quality:

  • If I learn 10 kanji/words and forget half, that’s 5 remembered.

  • If I do 100 kanji/words and forget two-thirds, that’s about 33 remembered.

Seen this way, if a kanji/word gets artificially bumped through the system and burned, it’s a plus because it’s freeing up time to learn more words. (But I’m not going to artificially push my leeches through, no matter how much I’d like to.)


this is why your study log is inspiring… little things to try to stay/remember the positive while trying not to drown :slightly_smiling_face:


I’m impressed with how meticulous he is and how everything is analyzed. It’s impressive how he works at remembering those leeches, finds those screenshots etc.


I don’t worry about this. Or this,

Because of this,

At the end of the day, you have to make a choice- and “choice” makes it sound more serious than it is: move forward in whatever way that looks like for you, or worry about the non- existent WK police… and I am saying this in a very tongue in cheek fashion. This is your language learning journey after all. And as far as I am concerned, if I am doing well enough with WK for the majority of vocab (cause that’s where things fall a part generally), it suits me just fine to do additional reviewing elsewhere. Why not? I would be getting additional reviews in WK anyways, but reviewing elsewhere cuts out the additional stuff I don’t need to pay as close attention to.

SO I am also doing Pimsleur, and I can’t say how many times I look up a word that I hear and realize that “huh, I already know this as kanji.” Or, I read something in hiragana, look it up, and… yep. Do you get what I’m saying? If you’re doing other Japanese related learning outside of WK, it is INEVITABLE that you’re going to come across kanji/vocab that you either know, don’t, or are shaky on. I also don’t see this as interfering with the SRS system because it doesn’t need to be that serious. If I let myself feel paralyzed about what should or should not happen because of the SRS, then I may as well be one of those leaners who speed runs through kanji and deals with everything else later.

It is my intent to be as well rounded as possible, and WK is just but one of the resources that I am using.

I hear this. I definitely have those days where I’m like, “can I push anymore in??”, but I just keep plugging away. :turtle:


Thank you for that! I do prefer studying the kanji more. I feel it cements a little better.

Love this comment too. Paralysis be gone!


I’m glad that you found something helpful in my ramblings!

Identifying this for yourself should help you narrow down where you put your energy in terms of how to set yourself up for success. So, if you are die hard WK all the way, then just follow the system as is. But you still have options; I am always tinkering around to figure out what works for me, as do many in the community. I like to do lessons at different times of day depending on what’s happening in real life. Like, how bad will I bomb if I wake up to reviews tomorrow morning because today was crazy busy? Maybe I should change the timing of this session… Experiment! And especially if you need more time to absorb what you’re learning, maybe you take on a much slower and smaller daily lesson count like @ChristopherFritz. Or, if there’s a day when you have a lot of free time, maybe you do a lot of lessons, but spread them out throughout the day… there’s so much to try!


Of course!!! Thank you for your input!!! I’m still learning my way around.

I’m glad for this slower life due to the pandemic. I’m trying to make the most of it.

I would always zero out my lessons and reviews as soon as they popped up. However around level 13 and 14 that was getting hard to do. However I have found that during the two days wait my mind has been able to settle and I’ve been clearing everything out then. Level 15, my current level has been a bit easier because the number of kanji.

At any rate, I’ve been trying to clear everything before moving on to the next level so that things don’t pile up.

Yes, this exactly!

I’m sorry @ChristopherFritz that I’ve added extra entries to your study log!


Things are a bit slow for me log-wise, so it’s nice to see some activity =D


But if you’re too quiet all lose all motivation :joy: