Today this blog entry totally blow my mind. Again I find myself in a two/path-road having to decide which one I should take. Should I keep with my 6000 words project or should I focus more in my ‘skimming texts with clozed words flashcards’(*1)?
So, why this sudden change of mind? Reading this blog entry made me think about what I am aiming for. Is it just knowing small bits of unrelated information (aka known as being a ‘walking dictionary’) or being competent in a procedural knowledge? Obviously the answer is the second.
I would consider that learning vocabulary is an important micro-skill, but as Learntodo(Procedural SuperMemo’s author) states, if we focus too much in this kind of micro-skills larger and more useful skills may be handicapped. Totally the way I feel so many times when I focus on vocabulary exclusively.
Of course learning vocabulary is essential, so is there any solution? Well, there is something I have been doing for a while (besides the Skimming texts flashcards) and it’s to learn whole phrases instead of solely vocabulary. This way I also practise my practical grammar and refresh already known vocabulary while making new connections between it and new vocabulary. The point would be to start learning more useful phrases which I would be able to use in daily situations.
At last I want to speak about a recurrent problem I face. While doing my daily SuperMemo reviews I got used to not read the whole text in my Skimming texts flashcards, only read a few words in order to recognize what’s the answer I need(*2). That’s quite an inconvenience, because this way I don’t fully exploit all the benefits from this type of flashcards. I have to do something about it. Maybe to mentalize myself that investing 30-50 seconds in each of them is worth the effort. Or by any chance am I going to do something more productive with that time? I guess not.
Today I learnt 30 new kanjis. But more important, I really had great feelings almost all day. I say almost because I started the day a bit gloomy because of yesterday’s final sensations and also because I didn’t sleep enough. Because of this I didn’t had time to do my daily morning biking (one of my main daily initial sources of eustress).
It seems that this time the amount of learnt info is the adequate. Let’s think about it. I studied 30 kanjis in chunks of 10. So I only did 3 chunks. While doing the first one I was feeling eager and refreshed. No problem there. While doing the second one I was thinking ‘come on, after this one it only reamins one more’. And finally while doing the third I felt relieved to finish my daily work so fast. Do you see the trick there? It’s all about our mind. As Tony Stark said in the beginning of IM3:
We made our own demons… or something like that.
So, in the same way we can also make our own mental shortcuts to feel cool 😉
Related to this I have noticed that I have started to believe blindly in this new method which makes me to get too confy. Due to this I don’t put enough attention in my initial reviews. And in the end this whole situation makes the method less efficient. I have to have in mind this and put more attention from now on while reviewing any kind of info.
(*1)If you don’t know about this flashcard model just google it. I believe this idea has been around the Internet for a while already.
(*2)I have to blame my brain for always looking for the easiest way to resolve problems.