Because I don’t even think in days.
That’s right. I said it. I don’t think in days. I’m like a 5-year-old. I’m impulsive. I cannot sit still. I like sweet things. I…what, drink breastmilk 1? And…10 minutes is an eternity to me. That’s why I came up with all this crazy incremental/decremental timeboxing crap, because 10 minutes feels like forever to me.
So, for you to ask me how my typical day goes is like asking me how my typical year goes. It really is. “Then in January, I…”. No.
So what do I think? How do I do immersion?
I’ll tell you how. I think about now. Here. Now. Because, I somehow got to know deep down that the only Japanese that really matters is the Japanese you’ve done in the past few minutes. Not the Japanese you plan to do, not the Japanese you should have done but didn’t. Yesterday’s Japanese was yesterday’s fun. This morning’s Japanese was this morning’s fun. We’re here, now. New game. New life. New round. New fun. The only Japanese that can help you is the Japanese you’re doing right now. Japanesewise, assume that the past simply didn’t happen (it did, but…given long enough, it really will be as if it never happened, so…)
And so I’m always asking myself: “yes, but what am I doing now? Where’s the Japanese now? What can I play at now? What would be fun to do now?”.
Screw planning your day. Plan your environment instead.
What does that mean?
It means making your tools easily available at all times. It means putting Japanese within arm’s reach.It means that if you have to get up to get to the nearest Japanese book, it’s too far away.
It means Japanese on the walls, Japanese in the backpack, Japanese in the restroom, Japanese in the kitchen, Japanese in your headphones, headphones on your ears/neck, Japanese on your computer monitor, Japanese on your bookshelves, Japanese on your browser, Japanese as your homepage, Japanese in your favorites, Japanese in your car, Japanese on the train, Japanese while you walk, Japanese while you shower, Japanese while you eat, Japanese while you run, Japanese while you sleep…If you breathe, if you have working vision and hearing…then you can learn Japanese.
But it also means relaxing. Just have it there. Just make it so it’s there. In your face. There’s no need to struggle. Just keep it in your face. What about people who live in Japan but never seem to pick up any Japanese, you say? Well, those people are wearing blinders and hazmat suits; they have cut themselves off from their surroundings because that’s something adults can get away with. We encourage, enable and even force kids to play or otherwise interact with other [local] kids for most of their waking hours. But adults keep to themselves, out of choice first, then out of habit, and then out of pride.
Anyway, don’t worry about what you’re going to do. That’s not your job. Your job is to facilitate. You’re just a logistics officer, remember? Focus on creating and managing options. Don’t think in terms of the next 24 hours, think in terms of the first 3 feet. Because whatever is persistently, repeatedly appearing within 3 feet of your face (thoughts included)…that’s what your life is. You don’t really need to manage your time if you manage your personal space, because whatever’s in your personal space, the little country that is you, will automatically eat your time.
There is no day. There’s just the last few seconds and the next few seconds. There’s just what’s in front of you. There’s just this one round. This one slice of time. What are you doing for Japanese this round? Make it so that you can be proud of the answer to that question.
And that’s why Japanese has to be fun. Because anything that’s not fun will get postponed into oblivion. “Later”. “When I have time”. “When I have the energy”. Yeah, right. That crap only works on actual five-year-olds. We all know that those are just different ways of saying “never”…
Also, I AM NOT CRANKY! And I’m tired of everyone always generalizing! 😛
- “しちゃってんだけど” – Google 検索 bit.ly/dWUjWR
- This isn’t awkward at all… ↩