Moving forward…

After the last post, I just stopped caring about blogging for a while.  I just pretended like it didn’t exist.  It kind of helps that a medicine I’m taking seems to make me care less in general, which, knowing me, is a good thing.

My feelings about Japanese are still very conflicted, but as of right now, I’m just studying wanikani and letting the rest kind of sink in.  And I am seeing results.  Today I went to the local HEB and there was a real honest-to-gosh Japanese person manning the Sushiya!  I carried on a conversation with him, and he told me my Japanese was not perfect, but understandable.  I told him I’ll take it – understandable but not perfect means I’m only failing a little.  I am gaining a level of fluency – not the “wow, I can just rattle this off” level, but more the “if I know what I’m going to say and am familiar with the words, I don’t have to think too much about sentence structure” level.  For simple sentences anyway.  That’s at least a sense of accomplishment.  I may not know why I’m doing it yet, but I am doing it.  That’s something.

Ever since I was a child, I have always learned for the sake of learning.  I learned the periodic table at eight years old.  I had no clue what I was going to do with it, but I learned it.  I learned about electronics at around 9.  The same pattern showed itself – I didn’t know what I was going to do with it, but I learned about it.  The knowledge was something I kind of collected – like some people collected baseball cards, or dolls, etc.  But all of these things have one thing in common:  academics only take you so far.  You can learn all about chemistry, but if you never perform an experiment, there’s no point.  You can learn about electronics, but if you never quite wrap your head around the idea that it exists to actually do work, there’s, again no point.  The same applies to music, which I have also learned quite a bit about – if you don’t know why music exists, then knowing how to play it is useless.

But all that being said, the academics still have some value.  Not for what the discipline is intended – for example, learning Japanese really only exists for the sake of communicating with Japanese people.  But instead, for learning about how people, and the world, works.  Without practical applications it does not satisfy its core purpose, but it satisfies the purpose of adding to one’s filter on how one sees the world.

Japanese has been valuable to me for that purpose, and the rest of it… well, maybe it will come in handy eventually.  Right now, though, I guess I’ll keep on trucking.

For those who sent comments, thanks.  I always appreciate them.

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