David Chart's Japan Diary

January 16th 2005

Another very ordinary week has just passed. The weather has become cold, and although Monday was a holiday I didn't do anything. I've started work on my next writing project, and it's currently on schedule. (Which, to be honest, is a good job at the end of the first week; that's a bad time to be falling behind.) I'm also managing to do all my homework, I think, but I suspect that may become more difficult when the option classes start on Monday. Not only do I lose an hour or more to classes each day, but the classes also provide more homework to do.

Apart from writing and schoolwork, I'm keeping up reading and television watching. There are still things I don't catch on television programs, which is frustrating, but reading Japanese is getting steadily easier. It's still, naturally, an order of magnitude or so slower than reading English, and it varies depending on how long it takes me to look up a kanji compound I don't know, and just how many such there are. If I know at least one of the kanji, it's fairly fast, as I can use the reading to get it in the dictionary. If I don't, things are slower, as I have to look the kanji up by shape. Still, looking up every compound I don't know does mean that I am learning more words and more kanji, and that should, eventually, have a positive effect on my general reading ability.

As you can no doubt tell, there really wasn't any news this week -- a problem that also seems to affect the wider world, given the prominence that the UK newspapers were giving to a story that effectively boils down to "20-year-old does something incredibly stupid and embarrassing at party". Wow, that's never happened before. (Quick check of the Guardian website to reassure myself that nothing major has happened since this morning -- good. I must say I'm quite looking forward to reading the reports from Titan, although as I'm more than five months behind with Nature at the moment that will take a while.)

Given the lack of interesting content, I think I'll wrap up here and make a start on sorting out the 130+ emails sitting in my Inbox. Fortunately, I think I can get away without reading most of them.