Rambling as I Reflect on Exiting the Pleasant Levels

I am officially exiting the Pleasant levels.

I just burned the Kanji 刀 (sword). On WaniKani, there are only two vocabulary words associated with the Kanji itself.

This led me to really scale down on the amount of effort I put into WaniKani’s SRS and try to prioritize the Kanji/Vocabulary that I may encounter more commonly than others, allowing myself to “blank” on Kanji and Vocabulary, forget on purpose, and passively recognize content over time. What this allowed me to do is advance levels more quickly than before. Around levels 8 to 10, I tried learning more Kanji (15-20 per set, or about 1/3 of a level’s Kanji), but this made me take at least a week longer and made repetition more stressful.

I originally did this because I would just learn batches of 5 Kanji, which worked REALLY well, but the pace that I moved at was so slow. And the reason why I did this was because I was around level 6 when I got back into WaniKani, and reset to the beginning of that level, so I didn’t need to learn batches of 5 Kanji anymore. With levels 9 and 10, I approached learning an entire row Kanji (in this case, 15), but I’ll scale down to around 8-10 after seeing how much I was able to recognize the last 12 Kanji for Level 10.

I’ve stated this many times now; I am focusing on prioritizing remembering Verbs at the moment because I want to be able to describe objects in action or performing an action. Second priority is Adjectives, then Numerals/Counters then Nouns. With Nouns, I passively remember them over time until I burn them, but nouns like the and Months and Days of the week are an exception to that rule. Their priority is high up with Verbs.

It’s great to have finally found my pace but now it’s time for me to not procrastinate on the Genki books! The plan right now is buy copies of Quartet I and Quartet II based on ToKini Andy’s intermediate grammar textbooks video:

VOCABULARY
After I learn all the Kanji in a level, I learn from a huge pile of vocabulary. I cover 20 vocabulary daily until I begin covering the Radicals of the next level. I don’t force myself to remember everything. But I also limit my Apprentice items to 100, unless the amount of vocabulary exceeds that amount (which it almost always does)…this limitation is important for prioritizing unlocking all the Kanji for each level I unlock and how I intentionally “blank” or forget items on purpose. As time goes on as I am in a level, the 100+ amount of items I review in a level tends to go down really fast; I surprise myself sometimes whenever I go below 10 Apprentice items! It’s a rewarding feeling after going through some stress reviewing my way to important items.

When you’re learning Radicals and Kanji to unlock items, I find that it’s important to really focus on those first that I NEVER learn anymore Vocabulary than the ones I’ve unlocked from a previous level until all Radicals and Kanji in the current level are unlocked first. I think it’s important to not deal with a huge pile of review content, and with how the SRS system works, you might wake up the next morning with tens or hundreds of review content that you last saw weeks or months ago, especially for Guru and Master Items. Manage your Lessons well, and Reviewing won’t be stressful.

WRITING
I also am still practicing writing Kanji via Ringotan, but the way I paced myself had gotten bad because of how my work life balance is. I stuff every little time I have at my hospital doing my WaniKani reps but there is never enough to time for Ringotan reps; around the time of the year, my hospital is experiencing a high census volume of patients which sometimes means not doing WaniKani reps until I get home…that is one of the worst times to do reps because when you’re home from a long day…you’re tired. So doing reps at work as actually the best time because my mind is always active.

JLPT COVERAGE
I’m very excited for Level 16 and Level 27, where I’ll have learned all the JLPT N5 and JLPT N4, respectively. With the N5 though, I found that there’s not much vocabulary assocaited with the kanji 書, where there are only four vocabulary, I decided to learn that Kanji ahead of time, so I technically know all of the N5 Kanji now? I just don’t know if I’ve actually learned all the JLPT N5 vocabulary at that point.

IMMERSION (READING/LISTENING)
I’ve started immersing into anime a few months ago but I honestly don’t think I’m making much progress watching anime in Japanese. I feel like this will be the same for reading manga/novels. For now I’ll focus on studying until I finish the Genki textbooks since I’m only on Chapter 5 of Genki I. What I do often though is that I like to tune into Japanese news as I am driving home picking my younger brother up. Since it is snowing however, I’ll be relieved of that duty more often and may listen to the news at different times.

FINAL WORDS
This may not be the thread you were expecting, but if any of this information may have potentially helped you, or you decided to stick around and read this long post out of curiosty, I just want to say thanks. This is the most boring way for me to celebrate a major milestone, but I can at least give you insight into how my workflow works. If you have any advice for me as I enter the Painful levels, I’d appreciate them.

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