Learning Log, Jan 2021

Whew, it’s been a busy month. Lots of work projects hitting the ground running in the new year, including but certainly not limited to a proposal we published for a new <popup> element. Outside of work: a little bit of pro bono work here, some talk writing here, etc.

I’ve realized recently that the creative outlets giving me the most joy during the pandemic are my analog hobbies. Ever less interest in extra screen time, ever more satisfaction from making something with my hands. A couple things I’ve done this month:

  • Took a lunch break to join a virtual urban sketching session (actually took a lunch break!! I bestow upon myself a medal. 🥇)
  • Finished a knitted dish cloth with leftover cotton yarn from a woven tapestry.
  • Sewed some more masks—this is the last batch, I’m over it!
  • Half-finished some pine needle sachets; currently working on filling those.
  • Half-finished a pouf ottoman, for which I need more polyfil.

I’ll be documenting a lot of this on a fiber arts blog I’m putting together, to be shared soon…

にほんご (Japanese)

I started using WaniKani to learn kanji, and I’m currently learning level 2 kanji. WaniKani uses mnemonics to help you remember the various different characters. I found these too goofy at first and yet one more thing to memorize, so I didn’t consciously try to recall these for the first few lessons. Then, of course, I noticed that the meanings/readings I was recalling more successfully were those where I happened to remember the little backstory they provided. Alright, I guess I’m sold on mnemonics! I can now apparently recognize and read 60 radicals, 26 kanji, and 40 vocabulary terms (built from kanji and/or hiragana). I especially like the character meaning “river”: 川

I should change the spelling in this blog post heading once I learn all the kanji in the word “Japanese”: 日本語 I’ve already come across the first two (“sun” and “book”, respectively), but as WaniKani focuses on simple forms first, I think it’ll be awhile until I get to that last character…

Also read this article on on-yomi and kun-yomi readings, which illustrates all the many fun exceptions to the exceptions in Japanese. I’d known that the kanji system had its genesis in China and that on-yomi pronunciations were borrowed from Chinese, but this article helped fill in a little more context on the history and evolution as well

On the Internet

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