How I stay Immersed in this Crazy thing called Life

Or at least, how I try to! Everyone has such a different lifestyle they live, yet even on the most complex things, its the same. I think that its pretty amazing that humans can live the way they do. My household circumstances reflect living with a child and another adult. At times other members of your household can get in your way of keeping immersion on, because well, they’re important too. For instance, my daughter does like some Japanese shows, but she also likes English ones too. My other half might like to watch Naruto but I have to consent to subtitles. Once we realize that we can never control all the circumstances around us and that it’ll never be perfect, you can start to really control what you can and make it gravy.

Background Noises:

For the most part I have control over background noises in the house. Nonstop tube, my ipod on a docking station, and dramas make up a huge portion of background noises for me. Never underestimate the power of background noises, especially if you’ve just studied. You’ll be surprised at how many words you’ll randomly hear and know what they are, without even paying attention half the time.

Background Noises can be fun, anything with audio, and most people are forced due to their circumstances to wear headphones, in which case I recommend a comfy pair. But for those of us with kids in the stage of grabbing whatever, its not very practical. I found a really great ipod docking station for really cheap at a pawn shop. Sure it didn’t have a remote, but it was over75 bucks off.

I tend to have my computer playing something, usually a drama or nonstop tube, as well as a podcast to be playing through my player. They’re in different parts of the house, so I always hear something no matter where I go. I found this really made a difference for me in amount of time I get exposed. Running after a little one can often take up a lot of time and energy, and of course you can end up all over your house in minutes. Keeping strategic locations really help at the age of 15 months to year 4.

Nighttime Listening and Sleeping! Because plain old sleeping is for the weak!

If you share a room with light sleepers like I do, this can be a little bit of a toughie. I tried wearing headphones, ear buds, you name it, and it didn’t work. My ears are apparently sensitive and they didn’t want any of it. It also bothered my partner because he can hear them. What I found out that worked best for me was simply taking flat ear headphones and laying them on each side of my pillow underneath. That way if I flipped during the night, I still had immersion.

I noticed right away that I couldn’t listen to music, the dynamic changes would keep me awake or wake me up later on. Podcasts had to be chosen with care, as ones that laughed randomly caused me to wake up confused and in a little bit of a panic. I found some nice podcasts that were rather boring, which worked great. The great thing about this is that unless your head is pressed into the pillow, the sounds cannot be heard by another person, even if they’re close by.

There is a lot of data supporting this kind of immersion is still rather new and a lot of it inconclusive, but over at AJATT+ we’ve been discussing how its been effecting a lot of us and most of us are having more dreams and whatnot in Japanese. Its not about studying while sleeping, its about immersion and keeping dreams in Japanese are really great motivators to stay in Japanese. For me its mostly the morning hours when I’m first waking up, that motivates me to stay in Japanese.

いただきます

If you’re not use to saying some of the most common Japanese phrases (such as おはよう、こんばんは、いってきます。。。), well you had best get to it. I don’t see why anyone out there would kill you for saying them, and if you’re feeling truly self conscious, just say it really loud in the brain at least. I’ve called out to my hubby in Japanese at the store and no one came and lynched me up. In fact, he’s so use to hearing phrases in Japanese he’s started to do them too for fun.  When these phrases become second nature you’ve succeeded in a really small but pivotal lifestyle change that makes you more native like. You’ll be reading them and seeing them in shows plenty of times too.

On the Go:

When you’re out and about this time frame can be sorta hard to control. School and what not dictates that you have to pay attention to class so you don’t fail and most jobs are pretty stickler about not allowing headphones or books and what not. This is alright. Just let it go if there is really nothing you can do. But don’t forget you have breaks and you have befores and afters or inbetweens. These little moments really make the difference in the long run. Having something like this in your life isn’t keeping  you from fluency.

In fact, its helping.

Hearsay!

Not lieing, don’t burn meh!

When you have something like a job, it can supply you with Japanese goods you could have otherwise. It creates time breaks so you don’t over do it, it helps you create study sessions that are really focused. Its truth, I promise. As a person whose had all day to get things done because I’ve had no job or school, I can tell you now that its more helpful to have something take up your time to some degree. I noticed the difference when I got my baby. I noticed that I keep better immersion and better study habits because I’m doing more time boxing mentalities naturally. Even still sometimes its easy to fall into the do it later trap because you think, I have ALL day. And now that I’ve started school too, its really made me utilize more time.

End Notes:

I feel like most people here already know a bunch of these things, and maybe if anything it’ll just help remind you to do them anyways, but as always good luck.

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  • Read More or Die! 2011

    _2011 End Results_
    Total read for Tadoku:
    __433.3 pages!__
    Placement: 115/188
    ___________________
    October 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 97/120
    End Tally: 59.2
    ___________________
    July 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 86/142
    End Tally: 195.6
    ___________________
    April 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 62/106
    End Tally: 154.5
    ___________________
    January 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 84/99
    End Tally: 24
    ___________________
    August 2010 Contest:
    Placement: 20/41
    End Tally: 160

  • Read Or Die 2013

    **************
    June:
    Goal: 600
    Total: 906.26
    blew my goal outta the water!

    **************
    March 2-Week:
    Goal: 125
    Total:302.75

    **************
    January:
    Goal: 250
    Total: 314

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