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Re: Aloyse's study log (ZH, JP, maybe EN, ES, AR ?)

Posted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 5:03 pm
by Aloyse
Yesterday was a Chinese Saturday. I didn't dare refuse the glass of wine offered by the sweet old Chinese lady who leads some of the activities (even though I seldom drink alcohol and dislike wine. It wasn't too bad though, a local sparkling white wine). Got to hear about her experience as a foreign student in France during the 60s which was interesting.
I think I have enough material for Chinese study between the Saturday activities and imandarinpod intermediate podcasts. What I should really do is 1) restart creating Chinese cards for on-the-go review and 2) take some time for daily sit-down study.

Reviewed the Arabic alphabet and now chapter 2 of Manuel d'arabe moderne. For a bit of context, I studied all 30 lessons about 15 years ago, mostly by myself although I did sometimes attend night classes, over the course of two years. When I'm done with reviewing this book, I intend to learn and practice new stuff, maybe with Assimil Perfectionnement Arabe.

I've just bought a primary school student whiteboard slate for the express purpose of filling it with written language study every day (mainly Chinese and Arabic, possibly Spanish as well.) We'll see how that goes.

Watching Youtube videos in Chinese and Spanish: since doing it everyday became a chore that I did just to be able to say I did, even though I didn't really pay attention to the language, I'm giving myself express permission to do it whenever I want to.

Fitness challenge: I didn't lose any weight in January (rather the reverse) but I do climb up stairs almost daily now.

Re: Aloyse's study log (ZH, JP, maybe EN, ES, AR ?)

Posted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:31 pm
by Aloyse
Aloyse wrote:I do climb up stairs almost daily now.

My left knee and ankle have been reminding me of why I had given up on climbing stairs...

I'm experimenting with a somewhat new tracking method. I'm using a simple sheet of paper, on which I write various tasks for the current work week or weekend. Then as I accomplish each task, I highlight it (single color, let's keep it simple). This is not the new part, I've been doing this on and off for quite some time, just on weekends though.

But for the recurring tasks that I'd like to do daily, I now write only one entry at a time for each task, followed by the current iteration number.
For instance, on Monday morning, I write "fill slate with Arabic writing 1", "transcribe Japanese 1", etc. Whenever I finally get around to doing the first iteration of a task (on Monday, or any other day) I'll highlight it, and then write a new to-do entry e.g. "fill slate with Arabic writing 2".
This way, I'm hoping to have mostly highlighted (done) entries on my sheet, which is pleasing to the eye, and I don't get overwhelmed by 5x"number of everyday tasks" to-do entries for this workweek.
(or even 14x"number of everyday tasks" as in my previous biweekly habit tracker...)

I am also not logging my language activities which have become habits. Right now that's just listening to my USB key tracks twice a day. Hmmm...

One drawback is that those loose sheets are difficult to keep clean and ordered. They generally end up in the trash after the week is finished, so there's no long term logging/tracking. Maybe a small notebook would be better?


Posted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:39 pm
by Aloyse

Re: Aloyse's study log (ZH, JP, maybe EN, ES, AR ?)

Posted: Fri Mar 13, 2020 6:57 pm
by Aloyse
Work was intense this week, longer hours and more stressfull tasks than usual. Thankfully it's the weekend now.
No group activities though, almost everything is cancelled due to the coronavirus. The office might be quite empty next week too, apparently management wants to have less than half of the staff on-site.
Due to uncertainty about whether the libraries will close, I borrowed a bunch of books and magazines tonight.

I didn't have a lot of time for language studies this week, but I'm still satisfied with what I did do; overall enjoyable.
I've been listening to an imandarinpod podcast about porcelain pillows. Mingboggling. I really can't fathom sleeping on one.
Read an article about ancient maps in Muy Interesante.

My new task tracking journal is working fine for me. I bought an A5 notebook with 90g paper (I just hated the thinner paper of my previous A6 notebook). The pages are pleasant to the touch and have simple horizontal lines. (I also came to dislike the square gridlines of my previous notebook). And, of course, I gave up on my stress inducing habit table with all its empty squares.
I use the left page for my tasks, and on the right page I stick an illustration (cut out from a Chinese magazine, with or without text).

Re: Aloyse's study log (ZH, JP, maybe EN, ES, AR ?)

Posted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 7:49 pm
by Aloyse
This week was rather stressful as we first thought that we would keep going to work (except the few colleagues who have small children since the schools were closed), but on Monday there were rumors of a strict quarantine (president Macron was to address the nation in the evening) and additionally the canteen established timed meals by alphabetical order (to avoid having too many people at once) and they closed all the coffee areas, the bosses were urging us to fill all the paperwork required for working remotely "just in case" etc.
Most of my colleagues and myself brought our laptops home that night, and then started working remotely on Tuesday after the quarantine was announced. Theoretically we can get a pass to go to the office when needed, but at the moment the work I have to do is mostly meetings and documents so I can do that at home.

I found that the uncertainty and habit modifications and general disquiet were unsettling and I slept poorly the first two nights so I had little energy for work and study. But I kept my usual hours and did my best to keep my routines intact. I think I did okay, all things considered, but honestly my work performance was not so great. I'll do better next week.

Anyway: after about 2 weeks of porcelain pillows (I've been taking dictation from it, good way to review characters), I've just changed my imandarinpod podcast.
I've also reached lesson 5 of "Manuel d'arabe moderne" (also taking dictation and doing the exercises).
And I'm all caught up in my Japanese class transcription, so I think I'll alternate reviewing earlier class content and comparing kanji stroke order to hanzi stroke order, possibly also learning more vocabulary. (I might take the Kanken level 9 this year, that's 240 kanji and the vocabulary that uses them.)

Other things to do next week:
- read more articles in "Muy Interesante" or "Vocable Espagnol"
- figure out whether I want to add Dialectal Arabic or Berber to my routines and how
- consider alternating imandarinpod and some other Chinese resources

Grocery day

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2020 5:32 pm
by Aloyse
Today was grocery day, so I had a positively decadent lunch:
- ravioles
- steack hâché
- Chinese vegetable (don't know what it's called), boiled
- chocolate cake
As I was cooking the meat, I had a flashback of my primary school teacher telling me off for a grease stain on my homework (I had shown it to my parents while they were cooking).
So, my fridge stopped working a few months ago (had a fun weekend getting rid of the stench) and I decided not to replace it as an experiment in living like my great-grandmother, who refused to buy a fridge, according to my grandmother. (translation: I was lazy and relied mostly on canteens/restaurants/take away food anyway.)
So, now that I have to cook all meals for myself, I am rediscovering the use of the saucepan and frying pan (had to look everywhere for the latter). But I only get to eat fresh meat on the days I venture outside to get groceries, since I don't have a fridge to keep it, so I've been exploring the uses of eggs and tuna/sardines/crab meat/pâté cans on the other days.
Fortunately, the weather is cool enough that fresh vegetables last several days without spoiling too much.
Apparently I could still get a new fridge delivered even now, but they would only do curbside delivery and wouldn't take the old one away, so... it will wait.

I might lose some weight through this whole experience, who knows. (the canteen staff always put too much food on my plate, but I'm learning how much food to cook for myself now).
Also, on non-grocery days, I now do a 15' exercise video in the morning before getting dressed and sitting at my improvised home office.
Fitness challenge: on track :mrgreen:

Imandarinpod: 在家靠父母,出门靠朋友。
Arabic: still on lesson 5 (lots of exercises)
Japanese: reviewing last year's lessons.
Spanish: I tried to read a few articles but just didn't feel like it for some reason.

Basic culinary techniques

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:40 pm
by Aloyse
Apparently I am on my way to mastering culinary techniques appropriate for 10 year old kids, like Boiling Eggs, Boiling Rice Until It's Actually Soft, and Lids: Why And How to Use Them.
But I have yet to understand the intricacies of more advanced concepts like Disposing of Spoiled Vegetables Before They Stink Up The Place, and Why We Don't Use A Fork To Poke At Food In A Teflon Pan.

Also, we switched to summer time this past Sunday, which wrecked my sleep schedule, so I haven't been studying. At all.
I can't wait until we're done for good with this stupid "daylight saving time".

Re: Aloyse's study log (ZH, JP, maybe EN, ES, AR ?)

Posted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 8:47 am
by Aloyse
So, this was basically a wasted week wrt language learning. I only watched a few youtube videos and spent about 1h on written work (mostly Japanese). I did update my USB key with a "new" Arabic lesson (#6) and a new imandarinpod episode (信息综合症), but haven't really studied them beyond listening.

Yesterday was a grocery day (same menu as last week, since it's the pinnacle of my culinary prowess) and today is a kitchen clean up day (gotta get rid of the greasy-meat-cooking stink).

Since apparently WHO and the French government are now inclined to advise wearing a face mask, but local pharmacies are still forbidden from selling medical face masks to random/non-medical people, I've decided to sew at least two basic ones using the AFNOR "masque à plis" pattern. And now I somewhat regret giving away my sewing machine just two months back... ah well. At least I still have old bedsheets that I can use. Need to wash them first. I might use 3 layers instead of the recommended 2.

Oh, and apparently I got rid of the end-of-year/beginning of year extra fat (1.5 to 2kg). My weight is back to what it was last October. So I'm hopeful for the future. I'm just a little worried that I might be losing muscle, not fat. So I've decided to do a little more exercise, using a makeshift step to simulate stair climbing.

Re: Aloyse's study log (ZH, JP, maybe EN, ES, AR ?)

Posted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 3:33 pm
by Aloyse
This week was rather average with regards to language learning, but after posting in the Fitness+Languages challenge, I finally (20' ago) started reading a book in Spanish: "Al rojo vivo", by Nora Roberts. Not culturally relevant but I've read several books from this author (in English, many years ago) and I feel confident that I will find this one interesting enough to finish it.
I abandonned my previous imandarinpod episode (not interested in rehashing anything that end with 症 at the moment). The new one is about some 多音字:喝,度,号.
Still on Arabic lesson 6.
Listened to several youtube videos in Chinese while hand-sewing a face mask.

Didn't sleep well last night, had too many thoughts of work going through my head, ended up noting my ideas :idea: on my phone so that they wouldn't keep gnawing at me, but although I felt more at peace afterwards, I still couldn't sleep. I gave up and got up at 6am. Had a productive day (many chores done today) but I might crash tomorrow.
Monday is a holiday, but I might work from home anyway, because a deadline looms ahead and my stuff isn't ready yet.
This deadline will probably involve me leaving home to go to my workplace at some point within the next 2-3 weeks :shock:

No greasy meat today, I opted for cordon bleu de dinde with pasta and a carrot (+ chocolate cake). Need to eat less chocolate.
Mild knee pain due to the "stair climbing". Trying to relieve eyestrain by wearing sunglasses in the afternoons when the sun gets rather violent, seems to work :?:
Waiting for a package from Amazon (impulse buy that I will probably regret).
Still need to sew the folds and strings on my "masque à plis".


Posted: Sun Apr 19, 2020 1:42 pm
by Aloyse
Had a minor meltdown as I got tired of the unending daily routine and same boring canned fish meals, and the new hardware which was supposed to be ready next week was built incorrectly, and my cousin insists on having a family reunion this summer where me+1couple+1baby+my 2 elderly parents are supposed to share a room - while the virus will certainly still be going around and everyone will need to drive home the next day after getting little to no sleep (see: baby, see also: snoring), and my upstairs neighbour seems to think that now is the right moment to remodel his appartment, and I didn't recognise another neighbour and forgot to say hello as I was coming back from my anxiety-inducing grocery expedition, and I wonder if this is the neighbour who has been complaining about a cigarette setting fire to their balcony plastic flower pot, and whether this neighbour now think that my lack of politeness means that I am the naughty smoker (I don't smoke and hate the smell of cigarettes), and there are stinkbugs on the landing and my entryway gets regularly 很臭 because of them, and I've been getting headaches due to nightly teeth grinding but paracetamol sales are apparently restricted so I'm wary of depleting my very small stock in case I get sick later on.

In other news, I'm ready to tackle a new imandarinpod episode, but still stuck on Arabic lesson 6. Approaching halfway through transcribing/reviewing last year's Japanese class notes.
Also I mostly solved my eyestrain problem by angling my desk differently and closing the blinds when the sun gets too direct.