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update: sick Japanese pirates

Still sick. Might be near the end -- main problems are fatigue, stuff to hack up, and cold sensitivity -- it was said to be 62 when I left home, in T-shirt and sweater and jacket. That's not how I lived in San Francisco. I'm now charmingly behind in reading, grading, lab testing, and getting back to Doug regarding a friend he asked if I could tutor. And Hodgell's fourth novel To Rage a Rathorn arrived today, threatening another interruption of my time.

I have a new interest, one which has lasted for a couple of weeks now at sub-obsession levels: learning Japanese. I think the proximate cause was so many people in anime club learning it and talking about it, and a social imitation reflex kicked in. But I've wanted to Learn A Language for quite some time, though never got far in Spanish or Italian. It helps when learning a non-dead language to listen to it, and it occurred to me that I alreayd voluntarily listen to hours per week of Japanese. Heya!

Actual progress: I haven't learned much grammar or even much vocabulary yet, though I've got the basic numbers (at least in counting form.) The main project has been the syllabaries, the hiragana and katakana, which seemed a high obstacle to my not-very-visual brain, but I think it was like rocks in geology: stare at them long enough and eventually the neural networks kick in. "Oh, *that's* granite." As of right now I think I have all the kanas in slow semantic memory, and could reproduce the tables; fast memory, or passing a flashcard test, is still in progress. Might help if I made some flashcards. What I've done so far was mostly to stare at the kana tables until the gestalt settled in, with some rehearsal, and a fair bit of looking up words in my compact and disappointing dictionary I can carry aruond with me, which eschews romaji and thus makes using the kana necessary.

There's been some mild social development, but that's not for blogging.

Now to see if I can use this robot for the class I'm TAing.

I note Livejournal seems to be celebrating Speak like a Pirate Day -- the submit button is labelled "Update Captain's Log", plus what looks like a crow's nest on the LJ logo in the upper right though I haven't paid attention, that might be usual.

(Yep. Post-submit I got "Aye aye! Sending update." And in Edit Mode it says Edit Captain's Log up top, though just Save Entry below.)

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