So the test is finally over for 2013. I was barely able to get to the test much less put in serious study time the whole month before because I was in the process of moving, which is now thankfully over. Although, there is still a lot more to get setup, I’m finally physically in the house. To be honest, it’s great to be moved in and headed down the final stretch of this year.
I’m getting started on a few books that I haven’t read because they were too easy for me. I would like to get into writing as well, but it might take me some time to get up to that. I need to find a solid chunk of time to do it, but all I ever seem to get is 10 to 15 minutes there and 10 to 15 minutes here. So, doing some reading and writing will be my two big projects to do over this winter break.
I am really looking forward to simply having fun and reading instead of trying to hammer through the grunt work of more vocabulary and abstract reading. My main concern is keeping the habit up so I’m not out of shape mentally when I go back to it in January. I think after the holidays calm down, I’ll go out and pick up a good difficult philosophy book to work through. Or maybe pick up the next book in the Harry Potter series, which actually proved to have some good vocabulary.
While I was cleaning during the big move, I found some old Disney books that I hadn’t read yet – Toy Story and Surf’s Up. I’ve talked about these Disney books before, but it’s worth repeating that they are perfect for those that around N3 to N2 that just want to get into reading more. They are easy to get through, and they all have movies you can watch to give you the background 1st.
I’m going to use them to increase my overall comfort with reading fast. I’ll probably try to time myself a few times to see if I can get a good reading speed. Now, the vocabulary in these books isn’t particularly difficult for N1, but I just want to get my sentence and expression recognition down pat.
Of course, those are all just excuses to take it easy over the holidays and have fun. They are also very portable and don’t require batteries, which will come in handy because I’ll be doing a lot of traveling, during the winter holidays as well. It’s studying that I am actually looking forward to.
Make Grammar Perfect
I’ve been studying Kanzen Master pretty intensively over the last few months with the goal of being able to quickly recognize and use the grammar. I’m pretty sure I improved on that this time although I was admittedly pretty exhausted by the time I made it to the test. I hope I kept my score. I felt better about it anyway.
I’d ideally like to take it one step further though and get used to using the expressions for N1 and N2. To do this I’ve been boiling down the grammar, which has been quite helpful actually. I managed to fill up about 20 to 30 pages so far in my notebook that I can flip through to remind me about how to use each point.
I used to journal in Japanese and do regular writing, but that hasn’t been happening of late. I’d like to hear from people how you get into writing and keep the habit up. I have a few things I’d like to try, but it’s always good to try something a little different. I’ve tried translating English to Japanese, which can be quite challenging and actually quite helpful in some cases.
Do you have plans for the Break?
Do you have a winter break? Have you made any plans on how to keep up your studies? Let me know in the comments.
Photo by Andrew Subiela