Walhallavagen

Just an ordinary girl's life

Back to normal life and the status of my LL


Back to Scotland, back to my regular routine.

We are halfway through September already and where I come from this is going-back-to-school time. It’s the right moment to line up the textbooks and brush the dust off pens and notebooks.

We are in the final quarter of the year and I’m more than ready to start making plans and ticking tasks off my list. I’ll talk about what I want to accomplish before the end of the year in another post, since I still have to sit down and make up my mind in this regard. For now, I would like to think about what I’ve done so far and where I stand with regards to my my general routine and language learning goals.

Since I spent a good part of September back home, I want for the rest of the month to be a preparation time for the final sprint in Oct-Nov-Dec. This year I finally have the chance (and time!) to think seriously about the things that I want to achieve before December 31st, and I definitely don’t want to miss this chance. Since I always rant about my chronic lack of time, I wanted to say something positive for once 🙂

First, if I want to get anything done, I need to go back to my morning and weekly routine. Before leaving I had quite a good rhythm in place, and I was feeling much more productive. This is the first thing I have to work on, from like week 1.

Second, Chinese. Have I figured out what I want to do with my study? Not yet, and not completely. But at least I know what my goal is (HSK3) and I’m more or less aware of what the resources in my possession are. My plan is to pick up a textbook from the ones I already used in the past, keep up with listening exercises as much as I can and re-adjust from there.

Lastly, Japanese. This is fairly easy as I don’t plan on changing my routine for now (JPod101 + Duolingo). I have a serious project of a Japanese trip in 2018 so this should be enough to keep me motivated.

On a final note, while we were in Italy the significant other and I got married. It’s no big deal as we’re been together for almost 8 years, and we have lived under the same roof for the last 7 months – but just so you know 🙂 

 

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{Other Things… Asian} My 5% Korean life

Korean is actually the one Northern East Asian language I’m not learning at the moment (and I want to emphasise at the moment). Nonetheless, as an East Asian lover I’m drawn to their culture and curious to know their lifestyle better, so I think it’s just normal to have Korean bits and pieces in my everyday life.

(1) Korean Dramas

Ok, I said this ad nauseam: I LOVE Korean dramas. For some weird reason I find them more entertaining than the other Asian dramas, and we always have the best OST. On Wunderlist I have a dedicated list with more than 30 Korean dramas titles that I hope to watch before I die. Will I ever make it on time?

  1. I remember you / Hello Monster – One of my fav dramas of all times (reviewed here), with the perfect actors and the perfect soundtrack. This ignited my love for crime dramas.
  2. Goblin – My currently watching. I’m not a huge fan of romantic stories but Gong Yoo is simply amazing, and the comic sketches between the goblin and the grim reaper are just so worth watching.
  3. The K2 – dark, twisted and full of political intrigues. I love this kind of dramas because they fulfil my need for complicated and intriguing plotlines. Corruption, fraud, extortion and blackmail hook me up much more than misunderstanding-based love tangles.
  4. Descendants of the Sun – I still have to watch it, but I already know I’ll love it. The photography is amazing and I think I’ll find the romance much more interesting than those in regular romantic dramas.
  5. The Good Wife (Korean) – I’ve been a fan of the American version for a long time, but the last 2 seasons of it were a huge disappointment for me. I actually enjoyed a lot this Korean transposition and I honestly like the way the story developed here, more than in the American version.

 

(2) Korean Groceries

I’m not a huge connoisseur of Korean food products as I’m more into Chinese and Japanese cuisine, but when I was still in Italy I had this amazing international food market in the city centre that had everything from all Asian countries, and it has helped me a lot knowing something amore about Korean food. My current staples are:

a. gochujang paste (super spicy, super tasty!)
b. firm tofu (significant other’s favourite)
c. aloe vera juice (sweet and delicate, exactly the way I like it)

 

(3) Korean Pop Music

Another field in which I’m not exactly an expert (and this stands for China and Japan as well) is the kpop and idol scene. I don’t follow much the contemporary music arena in general (I’m a 80s gal) and I don’t find the whole idol marketing particularly alluring [that’s just who I am].

I came in contact with Kpop back in 2014 when a friend recommended a video on youtube of a Korean song ‘subbed’ in Italian (I don’t know if this is a trend going on with other languages as well). I found it hilarious, but I actually ended up liking the song a lot as well. I still know less than 10 Kpop songs in total (lol), but I have a few staples that can never be missing in my phone playlist:

  1. Infinite, The Chaser – the song I was talking about (the ‘subbed’ one). Every time I try to watch another video of another song from Infinite I’m never able to recognise any of the singers 😅  is it just me or are they constantly replaced by clones? Idk, still, this is my favourite Korean sonG of all times and the music video is just AMAHZING
  2. Dear Cloud, Remember – The main theme from Hello Monster (ah! those feelings!). Drama are and remain the No. 1 source of my Asian music acculturation 🤓
  3. Ara T, Lovey Dovey – Ok this one is a sort of a mystery – I found it on my MacBook a couple of years ago but I actually have no idea of where it came from. But the rhythm is just so perfect, I’ve been loving it ever since (and the song’s video is just… well, so Kpop).
  4. 4minutes, Volume Up – this is another of those ’subbed’ songs that are supposed to make you laugh. It did, indeed, but I also had the time to fall in love with each and everyone of the ‘vampirized’ girls in the video XD
  5. Korean indie pop – I discovered this trend on yt a couple of months ago and I’ve been addicted ever since. These are not actually songs I would upload on my iPhone, but they have become my morning and night routine soundtrack since then. My fav playlists are those from Danielions.

 

(4) Homemade Bibimbap

OH MY. Nobody told me about this superb Korean dish, how is that possible???? I discovered it while watching this video about on year ago and it has become one of my favourite dishes ever since. It is to heart-warming and complete (nutritionally speaking), plus the taste! Can we talk about the taste?? It ranks third in my overall food ranking, right after ramen and カレーライス.

 

(5) Korean Beauty

Another huge, HUGE trend on the internet all over the world right now. I was quite familiar with Japanese beauty products and I still love them, but I have to say, the Koreans know it better. I placed my first order on YesStyle back in March this year and I can’t wait to buy more stuff soon. I’m currently full of skincare products at home, so unfortunately I cannot justify another order at the moment. These are the K beauty products of my current skincare routine:

  1. Laneige lip sleeping mask (for those terrible Scottish wintery months)
  2. COSRX Advanced snail mucin power essence (it fades red marks like anything else in the world)
  3. Banila & Co. Clean It Zero (it seems like I’m removing my makeup with clouds – and the scent!)

 

These are all the ways Korea is actually featuring in my everyday life. I honestly can’t wait to start also learning the language – but sssssssh! Better don’t tell anyone around me as they think I’m out of my mind enough already 😅

 

{Planner Maniac} My current GTD-inspired planning system

I’ve often talked on my latest planner-related posts about my long-lasting planner slump and how unsteady not having a good planning system was making me feel.

After a brief flirt with Strike Thru back in April (I still think that with minor tweaks it’s a valid system, that’s why I funded Chris’ kickstarter), I’ve been in my current setup for more than 3 months now, which means I can safely say this time it’s going to last.

As much as I love bound notebooks (the first planner that I ever successfully used was a Moleskine after all) and the sturdy feeling they give when you hold them in your hands, I realise I just can’t give up the flexibility and adaptability that a ring planner can provide you. So, I thought, why can’t I just have both?

(a) The weekly calendar

I bought this Paperblanks weekly planner at the beginning of February and it has been the only reliable and constant piece of my 2017 planner embarrassment. It’s compact, it’s ruled and it’s just plain beautiful. It’s so compact in fact that it has allowed me to pair it with a ring planner to hold my lists, notes and to dos – my Boston Compact Filofax in pink.

(b) The GTD inspired system

I’ve never finished reading the book but I’ve seen so many videos and read so many articles on the subject that I’m pretty familiar with David Allen’s preachings. I briefly toyed with a GTD-based planner last year for a couple of months and liked it quite a bit, so back in May I thought that maybe it was worth going back to a system that had worked before. I currently have 6 sections in it, though I may tweak them a little in the future as I develop a more in-depth idea of what I need best.

(i) Brain dump

After my dashboard (where I keep pasted page flags and sticky notes) and under my section No. 1, I have my brain dump. I don’t know why I didn’t include it in my first attempt at GTD last year, since it has proven so useful. I recently talked about it so I won’t repeat myself here. I don’t have photos of it because it’s just old unused Filofax weekly pages scribbled across that I discard once I’ve transferred all the items in the appropriate section.

(ii) Lists By Context

This is the one bit that I find particularly useful and original in the system. Instead of having a endless master to do list that just becomes a big mishmash, or crowding my weekly/daily pages with excessive tasks I won’t be able to complete in any case, I find it very useful to just divide up and organise my tasks by physical location/time frame. I still have to figure out perfectly how many lists I actually want to have in this section, but for now the most essential are @Home, @TheMac, @TheLibrary and Someday/Someday. I also have a running list of things I want to buy for the new house.

(iii) Daily Pages Bullet Journal style

This is the best I’ve come up with. As I was explaining in my One Book July 2017 reflection post, this is the section I’m still pretty much struggling with. I like the free format and the flexibility it allows me, but there have been times I’ve felt a lack of structure. I’ll work more on this once I’m back from Italy.

(iv) The Projects Section

These are pages that I just transferred from the previous planner (as it’s clearly visibile by the date on the page above). I was inspired by this post (which is actually the one that had me trying the whole GTD system in the first place) to integrate my projects more into my daily life, so I wanted to have some details right at hand in my planner. I’ve not updated these pages yet, but just having them with me all the time helps me feeling more connected to my purpose.

(v) The Reference Section

Here I keep various lists that I need to look at from time to time + general reference material that is essential for my planning sessions. I like how useful this section has turned out to be, and I find myself constantly referring back to it.

I also have a 6th tab with materials related to my job hunting.

I already know I’ll have to tweak some parts of this planner, but the point is that fixing minore loose ends in a system  that works is very different from jumping restlessly from one book to another. Is this system boring? Yes, definitely, but that’s not the focus here. I don’t need my planner to amuse me and I’m well past the point in which I care about stickers and decorations and all that jazz.

Productivity for productivity’s sake.

 

{Beauty} Boots Botanics products review

Time for another very short beauty review! I pledge my allegiance to Korean skincare and if I could I would rub myself with K-beauty products only. BUT! I’m an European gal living in Europe, so I can’t quite go to the K Market everyday.

Plus in UK we have Boots. Yay!

When I arrived in Scotland at the beginning of March, I was armed with a small but efficient set of skincare products from home. But they couldn’t preserve my skin from the cruel biting wind of the east coast, so I had to look for something a little stronger.

I found a few products from Boots Botanics on sale (though they’re very affordable even without promotion) and I thought I could give them a try. I like the fact that there’re supposed to be plant-based, and the All Bright range in particular is developed in collaboration with Kew Botanic gardens, which is pretty cool if you ask me. They’ve very recently redone all the packaging, so the products on the website look different from the ones in my photos.

(1) Botanics Radiant Youth Hydrating Eye Cream

This is a no-no for me. To be honest, I still have to find my holy grail in terms of eye cream, so this one wasn’t much worse than others I tried in the past. It’s just like using a regular moisturiser (while eye creams should be richer), I couldn’t feel or see any specific effect after using it. Plus it did a very unpleasant thing – I went to visit my parents for 20 days in May and I left it at home; when I was back the liquid part had completely separated itself from the creamy one. Very annoying outcome. Definitely won’t rebuy.

(2) Botanics Radiance Concentrate Serum All Bright

I didn’t like nor dislike this serum. The brightening effect is not particularly visible on my skin, and it’s fairly hydrating but not like others I tried in the past. All in all is not a bad product (I discovered that with gel-like products it’s better to pat them on the skin rather than rubbing), but to be honest I’m looking for something a little more hydrating for the kind of skin I have and the climate I live in.

(3) Botanics Radiance Balm All Bright

This one is the product I actually liked the most. The only problem with this is that the cream itself is very fluid and it tends to spill out of the bottle every time I open it. I think for this kind of fluidity a top-opening packaging would have been better. The product itself is a creamy, light-textured balm that gives the skin a nice subtle glowing look. I used it in the morning right before day cream and SPF as a sort of in-between. If the new packaging has fixed the problem of product spilling I would definitely consider rebuying it.

 

All in all, I think Botanics products are very good for young, fuss-free skin types (especially considering the price). For moisturisers and serums I’d rather buy something a little richer, but I would like to try something else from their All Bright line, especially the face scrub and the cleansing cream.

 

{On the Screen} Current Dramas TBW List #1

Too many books to read and too many dramas to watch for just one lifetime.

I generally don’t like to spend too many hours a day with my eyes glued to a screen so it’s really rare for me to spend more than 1h watching tv series/dramas – except for when it’s summer and it’s so hot I feel like crushing on the bed all day, but this is no longer the case since I now live in a country that has practically no summer (yay!).

Still, I should watch about 5+h/day of stuff to all the things I want to finish watching in my lifetime ;_;

 

The List

1) Blade Man (Korea)

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I’m all in when it comes to genetic mutations / weird body transformations (even though they gross me out a little). Plus the male lead is the same actor (don’t ask me to remember Korean names) playing the Grim Reaper in Goblin who happens to be my favourite character in the show, so I can’t wait to see him in another role.

 

2) Descendants of The Sun (Korea)

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Well this has been (probably the most?) internationally acclaimed drama in 2016 so who am I not to watch it? Plus I heard the romance is kind of amazing, and I think it’ll be a very different love story from those of regular comedy-like dramas (that I usually don’t enjoy much).

 

3) Channel-X (Taiwan)

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Despite Korean dramas being my favourite of all other Asian countries, I actually try to insert some Chinese-Speaking show as well for listening practice’s sake. I usually enjoy more those from Taiwan compared to mainland China, plus now I know many Taiwanese actors so this adds up to the fun 😄

 

4) Signal (Korea)

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I used to mix this one up with another drama called ‘Sign’ 🤔 probably because they’re both about crime and investigation. I’ll end up watching both (obviously 🤓) but at the moment I find this one more intriguing. The plot reminds me of Frequency, I movie I loved when I was a kid. And generally I just enjoy Korean crime fiction.

 

5) Black & White (Taiwan)

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This is a pretty ‘old’ drama from Taiwan (2009), but the plot is too appealing not to watch it anyway. It was nominated for and won a number of Golden Bell Awards. It reminds me of the buddy-cop movies of late 1980s like Tango and Cash (ok I’m going to stop drawing these comparisons with Western movies) that I used to enjoy, so I’m curious to see a Taiwanese version of the genre.

 

6) Bump Off Lover (Taiwan)

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Ok this one sounds like super scary 😳 I hope is not going to be borderline between thriller and horror because I don’t do horror, like, NEVAH. I hope is going to be more a noir-suspence story, even though I really don’t know what to expect from it! (and that’s what makes watching it even more exciting)

 

7) Heartless City (Korea)

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I’m pretty sure I read about this drama on one of the  LL blogs I follow, but I honestly can’t remember which one anymore. Anyway, another crime drama, yes. This is supposed to be a very dark rendering of the police system with corruption stories and twisted characters – something I’ve been intrigued about since I watched The Unjust last year. I don’t think I know any of the actors here so I’m also curious to find some new interesting star to stalk follow.

 

Even though here summer never really started, I still feel the excitement of the upcoming autumn season – which means sofa + blankets + drama/movie night, hot chocolate, soup in a mug and, especially, homemade pumpkin spice latte 😍

So for the drama list I’m all set, let’s start working on the pumpkin now. And the spices.

The Simple Life Project

I think I’ve tried to write this post at least 5 times, but each time I’ve felt like I wasn’t able to express exactly what I wanted to say.

So this is attempt No. 6, let’s see how it goes.

I think the simplest way to put it is that in the last 3/4 years I’ve grown tired of a number of things that are part of our everyday life and that we just assume have to be there.

I feel like very often I’m just surrounded by clutter, noise and interferences. I would like to do certain things, but I keep getting distracted by the stuff around me – both digital and physical.

I simply want things to get simpler in all areas of my life.

I’m not a minimalist and I’m kind of scared at the idea of associating myself with the concept. I’m a paper lover, a beauty products addict, a bookworm and a language learning junkie, there’s no way on earth I’m going to be a minimalist – starting from my bookshelf or my bathroom cabinet.

Plus every time that someone on the internet tries to put a label on him/herself the world shows up to point out the 10,000 reasons why he/she is not __ [fill in the blank] enough. I definitely don’t wanna go down that road.

But this doesn’t mean that I don’t want things to be simpler, and that’s why I prefer to express this concept as ‘simple life’. I don’t aspire to live in a all-white, essentialist environment – I simply want a clean and (as much as possible) clutter free space. I’m no innovator here, I’m just drawing inspiration from what’s going on around the world.

Most of all, I want time to dedicate to my real passions, like reading and studying languages [plus watching Asian dramas, of course]. Clutter sucks up my time like anything else in this world, time I could spend doing things that make my life more meaningful (while clutter always makes me feel bad about myself).

There are some things that I’ll need to purge. Even though I plan to remain a book, stationery and beauty products lover, I’m also aware that in the course of the years I’ve accumulated a lot of things that I like but seriously don’t need. Having too much has started weighing me down a lot, and tbh I perceive it as something inherently unethical.

I’m aware that the ‘buy only what you need’ mantra can quickly become a slippery slope as, honestly, how much of what we have do we really need? The lead I’m trying to follow here is not to reduce everything to the bare minimum but to cut on the wasteful surplus our consumerist society sells as essential and blissful.

In fact the first thing I’m trying to fight is the whole ‘holy retail therapy’ concept. Am I really going to feel better about myself by going into the store and coming out with 3 new mugs and a handful of gel pens? Won’t it be better to just sit in my lounge with a cup of tea and my favourite novel? Or even better, with my current language learning textbook? (especially since I always complain that I don’t have ‘enough time’ for studying Chinese etc. etc.).

So this is a new life-project of mine that is going to affect all areas of my life – in particular those in which I’ve accumulated the most:

  1. beauty products
  2. make up products
  3. pens and felt tip pens
  4. notebooks
  5. teas and herbal teas
  6. novels
  7. LL textbooks

I hope I’ll be able to use this blog as a way of keeping myself accountable so that I don’t make this another dead letter in my list of projects.

 

PS: As I finished typing this, I went over to the Filofax’s website to make use of a 20% discount I had 😓  I have a long way to go ahead of me.

PPS: In my defence, I can say that the last time I ordered something off Filofax was July, 2016. Still.

LL end-of-summer plan

I think I may have finally figured a simple and actionable plan to follow in order not to stop studying languages while I’m at home.

I identified two key points for a successful application of any study plan:
(1) study sessions have to be short
(2) resources have to be available at any time and any place

…. which basically means: no bulky textbooks, no A4 notebooks (or no notebooks at all), no 30+ coloured pens.

So these are the guidelines I’ve come up with.

Chinese (daily study)

  1. review 15 characters of RSH on Anki
  2. listen to one CC101 podcast and repeat the dialogue out loud

Japanese (daily study)

  1. listen to one JPod101 podcast and repeat the dialogue out loud
  2. update wordlists on Imi wa
  3. 10 min practice on Duolingo

I was thinking, maybe I could try doing Chinese in the morning and Japanese after dinnertime….? I’m usually not at my best at night as I’m definitely a morning person, but at the same time I don’t think I can manage to have 30 or plus minutes of LL study every morning in just one session. Splitting things up may make it easier to follow the plan.

I’m a bit worried because lately every time that I launch Imi wa on my phone it says that the app hasn’t been updated in a while and it may soon stop working altogether, which would leave me without a trustworthy Japanese dictionary on the go 😱 I also have a lot of saved words and lists on there, I would be very unhappy if I were to lose everything 😕

I’m pondering whether I should bring my Midori TN along – it’s very compact and discrete, but I don’t know how much grammar I’ll be able to review tbh – plus, I still have dozens of notebooks and other stuff I have to bring to my new apartment, and every little inch of space in my carry bag is more than precious. We’ll see.

I’m ending this post with a picture of a week or so ago, when I was finishing watching The Good Wife while having noodles for lunch. Total bliss!

 

Drama status: I’m now watching Goblin and I’m kind of loving it so far!

Summer TBR list

It’s so typical of me to write a list of books I want to read during summer when we’re already almost in October – it’s also very typical of me to plan to read a certain number of books I already know I won’t have time for.

Well, no big deal – honestly, I consider a tbr list more of an inspirational outlet than an actual reading plan. Don’t get me wrong, I love plans – it’s just that reading is not something you can really do with your brain. You have to actually feel like picking up that specific book, so my current reading choices may be different from those I’ll make in a month or so.

I’ve tried not to go overboard with the number of things to put on my list anyway. I’m going to have a busy end of summer so I’d rather play it safe. Since we are way into the season already, I had the time to finish one of the books and I’m in the process of reading another one –  so yeah, maybe I’ll be able to tick  a couple of items off the list before the season is over 😅

 

(1) Clifford D. Simak - City

This is the one book I finished, and it’s actually a third-time re-read for me. I love science fiction but, like fantasy, I’m often disappointed by books and movies of the genre. This is my all time favourite, a pivotal text everyone who loves sci-fi should read at least once in his/her life. Maybe twice.

(2) Robert Louis Stevenson - Treasure Island

I read this one 5 or 6 years ago in translation, so I thought it was time to give the original version a go. I’ve been feeling a lot like going back to classics lately, and I would love to start with something clever and adventurous like this one. Plus I now live in Scotland so I have to be knowledgeable in Scottish writers as much as I can!

(3) Rudyard Kipling - The Jungle Book

Talking about classics, I figured I’ve actually never read the original novel (despite having watched a number of movies adaptations). I got this old version from a charity shop 6 years ago when I was living in London, and it has been sitting in my bookshelf for all these years. Time to brush it off.

(4) Richard Morgan - Altered Carbon

Apart from classics, these days I also feel a lot like reading cyberpunk stuff (maybe my interest was rekindled by the release of Ghost in the Shell movie – which I haven’t watched and don’t intend to). I poked into the nutritious bookcase of the significant other and I found this one that meets my needs just fine. I’m actually looking forward to becoming an expert in the field, so this is my first precious step in that direction.

(5) J. K. Rowling - HP and the Philosopher’s Stone (20th anniversary ed.)

Now, isn’t this 20th anniversary edition gorgeous. I actually craving for the other three versions as well, but for money and space reason this will have to do. I’ve been willing to re-read some HP goodies for a while now, and what better occasion than the release of a luxurious new edition?

(6) Jay Asher - 13 Reasons Why (eBook edition)

This is the teenager that is in me, I know. Usually I’m not particularly interested in the YA genre, but every once in a while I find something that intrigues me and that I’m curious to try out. Plus I’ve just finished watching Riverdale so I need something to keep me busy while I wait for season 2 release in October 🤣 For these kind of books I prefer the digital version as, even if I end up enjoying them, I don’t particularly care about having them in my bookshelf.

 

I’m not planning to bring any paper book back home so I don’t know how much progress I’ll be able to work on this list, but since summer officially ends on 22nd September I’ll still have some time once I come back to Scotland 😅

 

The future of my Chinese study

So. I finished The Book. What now?

Now, essentially, I’m on my own.

I have to start reviewing, of course, but that’s not going to be my focus – so I have to set up a system and a workflow.

I think that the first thing I should avoid it to be too specific in the kind of study routine I want to establish. Second, I have to restrain from putting too much on my plate (something I’m always guilty of). So basically I should follow two guidelines: flexibility and simplicity.

How will I ever do that? ☹️

Ok so, first, lists. There’s no point for me in making a study plan if I can’t make lists. HA!

So let’s jot down a couple of point and let’s see what I can get out of them.

(1) organise my LL resources once and for all

Internet is a beautiful place and I continuously stumble upon dozens of different resources – blogs, apps, podcasts, textbooks reviews and so on. I have them saved almost *everywhere* (Evernote, OneNote, Trello, Apple Notes, my paper planner) and without fail every time I need to retrieve I certain information I don’t know where to look. It’s clear that I have to find a univocal system to organise all of this, and maybe also re-evaluate the actual usefulness of certain resources [things change over time].

(2) review my grammar notes

After years (literally) of error and trial, this February I finally figured out a useful way of setting up a grammar notebook in my Midori Traveler’s Notebook. It was an attempt I made just the two weeks prior to HSK, and it worked out very well. I don’t want to go through the beginner’s textbook one more time to review all the grammar I have forgotten in these 3/4 months, so having a personal tool will prove extremely useful.

(3) listening, listening, listening… and repeating

HSK3 audio tracks scare the hell out of me, and my issues with listening practice is well known. Listening morning and night to the exam samples bore me to death – plus, it can be good practice for HSK’s sake, but not for your LL process overall. ChineseClass101 is still my best option at the moment – I know it’s flawed, but it’s exactly the kind of thing I know I can handle right now. And since I’m trying to learn the language as a whole, I should also force myself to repeat the dialogues out loud in order to practice pronunciation AND get used listening to myself speaking Mandarin. 

(4) index cards - an attempt

CC101 is not a huge resource for what concerns grammar (textbook are way better for this purpose), but sometimes they offer some insights that can be useful to remember. I don’t what to mix things up in my grammar notebook, so I think index cards can provide a more flexible tool in this case. Let’s try out something new for once and see how I like it.

***

I’m going home on the 22nd and won’t be back in Scotland until mid September, which is a bit meh. It’s not like I don’t like going home, it’s just that every visit ends up being 1. extremely long 2. extremely packed with things to do, and this disrupts my routines and good efforts immensely. It was the same thing back in May, I was doing well with RSH and then I disappeared for 25+ days and when I was back it was extremely difficult to get the focus and motivation back.

Well I guess one good exercise will be to try to keep up with a bare minimum of personal activities even while I’m away (like listening to a podcast episode every night), so that when I’m back I don’t feel like I have to do things all over again. 

 

Hello September

 

August review

August goals

August has been a good month for me. Despite this long home-visiting period, I’ve been able to find time for many things that I care about. I’ve been active on a couple of projects I had postponed for too long and overall I’ve been much more proactive than reactive. I has also been a period of many new ideas and inspirations that I want to implement during this fall season.

How I spent my time

Blog 26h23m;
Chinese 2h20m;
Productivity 25h16m;
Wellness 3h06m.

A lot of time spent blogging this month, something I had a lot of fun doing and I hope to keep going in the months ahead. Chinese is something I definitely intend to work on during this fall and winter season [more on that once I kame up my mind on what I truly want to accomplish before the end of 2017]. Yoga is another thing I want to be able to focus more.

How I spent my money

As expected, I had a few home-essential expenses to make at the beginning of August so I tried to be good for the rest of the month. I bought myself a new Filofax using an online-only discount, but apart from that I’ve restrained myself from unnecessary money leaks (I even avoided going to Primark in order not to spend on their new HP collection – I’ll pay them a visit in September though)

How I did with my Study

Language learning wasn’t a priority in the first half of the month, but later I’ve been more diligent in trying to make time for it almost everyday. I have to assess how much I’m actually progressing, and next month I want to draft a clearer study guide for my peruse.

Personal/Misc

I’ve watched an insanely high amount of tv series, long days of house cleaning playing their part. I’ve also started watching Korean drama Goblin (finally!). Thanks to a more favourable weekly schedule on the part of the significant other, I’ve been able to dedicate more time to reading before bed which in turn has given me the chance of enjoying a regular reading experience.

 

September’s goals

I only have half of the month available so I’ll try to avoid overdoing it

  1. make a clear and comprehensive list of all the things I want to do/start ding once I’m back in Scotland
  2. finish touring all the food spots on my list before leaving Italy (💜)
  3. prepare new homemade granola
  4. finish reading my cyberpunk novel
  5. plan all the goals I want to achieve before the end of 2017

Habit of the month : no habits this month =)