Dec 012013

My hotel room is kind of creepy. When I woke up this morning, it was 8 a.m. already, but my room was as dark as midnight, even with all of the curtains open. It feels like I’m in one of those rooms they use for experiments to confuse your sense of time. It’s really hard to know what time it is without looking at a clock.

I did some studying before heading out to Georgetown, and settled any anxiety I had by walking vigorously. A nice workout is a great way to relieve stress.

Today’s N1 was hard. Like last year, I think I simply need more vocabulary, but I feel like I nailed the listening portion. (I may be completely wrong.)

My N1 assault plan was the same as it was the other two times. I do most of the reading section first, because it takes me longer to do it, then go back and do grammar. I do it this way mainly because I don’t want anything that may go wrong in grammar to throw me off for the reading portion. Also, I do it because I want to make absolutely sure I get all of the reading questions done, because they count more than the grammar questions. (Per question, anyway.)

It went okay. I’m not sure if I passed or not. If I did, it’s probably by just a bit. If I didn’t, it’s probably by just a bit. I’m hoping that I pass, because I really don’t want to take this exam anymore, to be honest. It eats up a lot of time and money to prepare for it, and while it’s great to have the certification, it means that I can read and write at about a 12th grade level in Japanese. Not bad, but not “native level.” But still, not bad.

A lot of people I know who have already passed it say that it’s like finally getting in the door on learning Japanese. I suppose I’ll find out when that happens.

I’ve also been thinking about my approach to learning the language as well. Rather than doing lots of grammar drills, I’m going to focus on writing and reading more. Reading-wise, I’m going to focus more on newspapers, literature, and essays, and less on light novels and manga. I enjoy reading light novels, because they’re generally easy to read and light on thinking, but weightier literature, depressing though it may be, is really good at getting deeper into the language.

Writing daily will help a lot, too. I write some in Japanese, but I should write more. (I’m not changing the language of this blog, however tempting it may be.)

After the exam was over, I headed to Five Guys again to get a burger, then went back to the paper shop to get more paper for my sister, just like last year.

I thought about using Uber, but decided against it. I prefer to walk.

Speaking of which, according to Google, I walked 27 miles in November. How did they know? It’s interesting, but also kind of creepy. Welcome to the future, I guess.

I got back, then relaxed in my room. Long day, and I’m a little burned out. I’ll head home first thing tomorrow.

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