Week 34, 2023

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Some weeks ago I was in São Paulo with my son, as he was going to take the JLPT test. Now, 7 weeks later, his results came in by e-mail: he’s been successfully approved in JLPT N1 level! This has been a very nice way to start the week, both for him and for me. I’m very much proud of yet another positive result in his path towards living in Japan… ☺️

✱ This week, another reason for happiness in our family was my younger son’s birthday — he’s just turned 12. I can’t believe time flies like this, and that he’s just all growing up! We got the family together to celebrate and to make his day even more special with cake, candy and a lot of delicious treats! 😊😊

✱ My sister and brother-in-law moved from their apartment some months ago and we finally could make it to visit their new house. It’s a very nice two-store house with a pool and a fireplace and I could see how much my sister appreciates having been able to move there. That’s the kind of place all surrounded by nature that we all in the family know is what she loves. Besides, we had a meal together and the kids got to meet… the cats. I mean, they met them before, but Nick and Chica are with my sister for quite sometime now, and it was the first time my sons played with them in a while. Quite a memorable, fun night we all had together.

✱ I feel specially worn out this week, and the culprit is no other but work. Don’t get me wrong, I simply love doing what I do and working for the company I’m working for. It’s just that this week, in particular — and I foresee that the next one also, likely —, consumed a lot of energy. In the end it has all paid off, but it required extra work and dedication, not only my own but the one of some good friends. On to learning even more and to mastering these activities. I’m sure every cloud has a silver lining… 🙏

✱ In my continued Japanese studies I’ve been experimenting with many different techniques in order to try to memorize what’s got to be memorized. Despite many things that I’ve tried, I hadn’t yet taken mnemonics seriously. But that was before I started to use jpdb.io to learn at least some kanji. Developed by a single developer, it uses a technique similar to that used in Heisig’s hugely popular Remembering the Kanji book to teach kanji, but using different keywords… and mnemonics. And the thing is, after using mnemonics for only a few days, I was successful in learning my first kanjis. That’s when it occurred to me that I maybe could use it to learn katakana. Man, do I hate katakana… they just don’t stick to my memory… but mnemonics could well be the answer… so I’ll try them and see if they work as well as they’ve been working for kanji… yet to be seen.

✱ I’ve watched a couple more episodes of One Piece this week and came to the 25th in the East Blue Arc, the story’s first act. The story keeps very interesting and it’s been nice to find out the past stories of some of the main characters. This makes me want to keep on watching the series. Oh, and I’ve also watched Uma Quase Dupla, an average Brazilian comedy movie featuring Cauã Reymond and Tatá Werneck, both famous actors here in my country. The popcorn I prepared to eat along it, though, proved to be better than the plot.

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