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Polymorphism

Brain's getting some stretching right now. First, my training at my…

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Brain's getting some stretching right now.

First, my training at my new job is intensive. I'm having information crammed into my head at a very rapid rate. It's not so different from the speed at which I take in the internet, really. The difference is that I have a very strong interest in retention, which is making me much more focused. It's a very vibrant experience - even as I keep yawning and caffeinating, still, I feel awake in a way I haven't for a very long time.

Second, I'm working on Japanese. Language study again after so very long of having an English-only mind feels like I'm blowing the dust out of the corners as it is, but what's really working my neurons right now is the support work. nekouken and I have been working through his old textbook, but we don't have a workbook. The freedom to create what supplementary materials we need is probably better for us than a workbook would be, since we're not in a classroom setting, but it does mean more work for us to do that creation.

Initially, he made up vocabulary lists for the chapters we've been through so far. Last week I used them to make a worksheet for myself, and before I'd done a tenth of it I saw a dozen improvements I could make (this is a hazard of being the form-making fiend for a department for six years). This week I've been expanding what we have so far. My end goal is a master list with each word in English, in Japanese with Roman characters, in Japanese with hiragana (or katakana or kanji when applicable, but not until I have some knowledge of them, at least as much as the firm "barely" I have on the hiragana), the part of speech, the page number in the textbook, and any other information that occurs to me to include.*

Got to take it one thing at a time, though. The thing is, even after I got the Japanese character sets up and running, I was hardly ready to start typing - the character mapping for hiragana is in no particular order. I had a tiny hope that the onscreen keyboard would show the new mapping, but no luck. So, I figured out which letters went with which hiragana, and made charts in several orders, since I didn't know which would work best for my brain. Then I took a screenshot of the onscreen keyboard to make an image that showed where all the hiragana are on the keyboard. For my own convenience, I included the standard chart of the basic hiragana along with the phonetic spelling in Roman characters, enhanced by my addition of the actual keystroke required, also in Roman characters.

So, now I'm making the tool I wanted, after having first made the tools I need to create it. It's been a brain-bending exercise. I'm typing in a language I don't know, with an alphabet I don't know, with letters I can't see, which are all in places where I have taught myself to find other characters without looking at them. Even with the chart in front of me, it is surprisingly hard to type "3uq" in order to get "anata" which sounds like "anata" and have it all mean "you." If hunt-and-peck typing were a sport, this would be the "Ultimate" version.


* I'm even considering how to include a "grading" system to track my worksheet accuracy and show where I need bolstering. That would be a better project for SQL, ultimately, but my independent study on that front stalled - I get the concept, but I can't get past the baby steps because I do not have any of the usual supplementary skills, such as CSS. That is on hold until I can throw money at it - hooray for tuition reimbursement! *hugs job*
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