So I managed to squeeze into my golden level 60 badge the day before my four year Wanikaniversary. That’s like, so much cake. What am I supposed to do with all this cake?
boring personal story
I started studying WaniKani when I decided to visit Japan with my best friend. We had a little over a year to prepare for our small group tour guided adventure in 2017. Since I was embarrassed about my lack of knowledge the last time I traveled to a country with a non-English language, I decided to make lots of effort. I blew through about 37 levels of WaniKani while studying some elementary grammar and asking questions on HiNative. Somehow I managed to snag a Japanese pen pal from HiNative, and I really enjoyed the few months she was available to write to me. She taught Japanese to Japanese students in Japan, so she was a super reliable resource, but she got too busy to continue with all the cram school and finals coming up. Writing to her really forced me to learn (or at least look up) grammar points pretty often, so I was grateful for that experience.
Being in Japan was awesome! My studying barely helped at all! So I was happy to be guided by a very tall and knowledgeable ginger haired Australian who came to live with his Japanese wife there for ten years. I did have a very triumphant day once, though. Our group, made up of mostly retired English folk, split up to grab some lunch and a bunch of us ordered food from a convenience store. When we were waiting for our meals to be heated by the staff, we realized they were calling our order numbers out in Japanese! Luckily I had learned my numbers well enough. I let my group know how their numbers sounded so they could grab their meals when they were called out. I felt like… a hero!
The tour of Japan began in Tokyo (Asakusa) as the cherry blossoms began scattering, then rounded about in a large loop through Matsumoto, Takayama, Kanazawa, Kyoto, (day trip to Nara and Osaka), Hakone, and back to Tokyo (Shibuya). There were lots of things I missed, but I expect to go again some day. Please enjoy a spammy post of my favorite photos from that trip.
After my trip to Japan, I no longer had a goal that was Japanese language oriented. Studying here simply turned into a leisurely activity I could do when there was some down time at work while still feeling like I was being productive. Whenever I pressured myself to push through WK levels just as fast as I started out, it would begin to feel like a chore, and I wanted to keep WK fun. So after having a backlog of reviews and lessons to do, I refreshed myself by resetting back to level 40 from level 42 to clear out the kanji and vocab I didn’t even recognize having ever learned before. I also recognized that having a large pile to do in my lesson queue overwhelmed me to the point of not wanting to bother trying. So to remedy this, I decided to create for myself the 0/0 Streak Challenge that many other users seem to appreciate, as well.
The 0/0 Streak Challenge for me doesn’t have anything to do with speed. I wanted to make sure I was finishing what was available of previous levels before I moved on to later ones. I also wanted to keep my lesson count down at all times even at leveling up and believe it or not this is super achievable if you’re not interested in going as fast as you can. The thought is to guru less than 90% of your kanji to keep you from leveling and use the reorder script to finish vocabulary from the previous level and these 90% kanji you’ve guru’d. Then you’re safe to learn your remaining kanji and, upon leveling, there is a minimal jump in vocab lessons, keeping your queue relatively low in comparison. This type of hill to me is much less intimidating to tackle and keeps me motivated to continue.
I’m super happy to have been able to contribute something useful to the more serious Japanese learners out there. However, it’s pretty obvious now that I’m mostly here for forum interactions and goofing off with
an excess of cat images and memes…[see my fun, spammy threads: I can haz meme?, The Cat Club, Mobile Suggestion Game, GIFs Only thread, The Nyaawards, and The Gliawards] but it’s been wonderful to have such a lovely group of people here to interact with and don’t mind all the cats. Or should I say, like all the cats…?
Please celebrate with me by spamming things like cake, cats, dancing, pizza, high fives, etc.