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TAC 2012 - Team Ne Nur - Hrvatske Krave

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 Message 33 of 76
22 April 2012 at 4:34am | IP Logged 
Kerrie wrote:
Apparently Assimil has a new Croat (French-based, of course) program out,
which was only published in February.

Ugh, yet another reason I need to get my French up to snuff...
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 Message 34 of 76
29 April 2012 at 7:11am | IP Logged 
Weeks 16-17: April 15 – April 28

Total Study Time This Period: 19.5 hours
Total Study Time in 2012: 226.7 hours

April is proving to be as unpleasant as always. It is the cruelest month, after all. I have been incredibly busy these past two weeks, so unfortunately I didn’t have much time to dedicate to language study. However, there are only three weeks left of school before graduation, and after that I’m free! I will have almost no commitments whatsoever until the end of August, when I leave for Croatia. That sounds so lovely…

This Period: 4.82 hours
2012 Total: 63.0 hours

After receiving a credit card fraud alert regarding a rather large purchase from a mysterious website called “Assimil” (apparently normal people don’t buy $100 language books), my copy of Le Croate Sans Peine arrived late last week. Sadly, I haven’t had time to complete more than four of those lessons thus far, but Assimil seems like it will be as good as ever.

The remainder, and majority, of the time that I spent on Croatian in the past two weeks was dedicated to reading and writing the language while corresponding with my host brother in Croatia. To be exact, he’s not actually my host brother; rather, he’s the son of my host parents. He’ll be in Colorado while I’m in Croatia next year, so we won’t actually be living together. I will be staying in his bedroom, however, which reportedly has a beautiful view over Kvarner Bay, the islands of Krk and Cres, and the city of Rijeka.

This Period: 10.75 hours
2012 Total: 37.42 hours

先週の土曜日にジャパンカップが起こって、 日本語のAP試験は再来週の木曜日ですよ! とても緊張していますね。

Last Saturday was this year’s Japan Cup! It was essentially a big, all-day competition testing high school and college students’ knowledge of the Japanese language and culture. My partner and I had both been extremely busy and procrastinated on studying for it until the day beforehand and the morning of, but we won third place in the highest level nonetheless. Since level four, the highest level, is usually reserved only for college students, I think that’s quite an accomplishment, especially when you consider that there were about 12 teams total, that neither of us had begun studying until the day before, and that we were a two-person team competing against mainly three-person teams. We would probably have done even better if they hadn’t asked so many questions about Japanese pop culture, which neither my partner nor I care about in the slightest. As a rule, I make a point of avoiding pop culture as much as possible regardless of its national origin. :)

What this competition meant in terms of my study is that I spent much of last Friday and most of Saturday on Japanese study. It also means that I have officially met one of my goals for this year, which was to do well at the Japan Cup. The next big event is the AP Japanese Exam, which will take place on the afternoon of May 10th. I’m extremely nervous for that and will hopefully be able to scrape by with a 3…
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 Message 35 of 76
13 May 2012 at 6:47am | IP Logged 
Weeks 18-19: April 29 – May 12

Total Study Time This Period: 8.65 hours
Total Study Time in 2012: 235.35 hours

So I have done practically nothing at all the past two weeks. I’ve had a lot going on, and somehow put myself in the mindset that if I’m not doing something productive for school, I can’t possibly do anything else, meaning that I end up spending vast amounts of time simply staring blankly at the computer screen rather than at least studying languages. In any case, my outbound orientation weekend for my exchange program is passed, I’m now finished with three of my four AP exams for this year, I have only a couple finals to worry about, and graduation is a week from today. Nearly done!

The orientation weekend that I mentioned turned out to be a lot more fun than I had expected. We were required to be there from last Friday evening until Sunday afternoon, which just so happened to be the weekend right before AP testing began, so I was dreading the orientation and cursing its timing. The first evening they had us all give a short presentation that was partly in the language of our host country to prove that we had begun studying it. Many of the presentations were, well, painful to listen to and it was rather obvious in some cases when someone had simply put their text through Google Translate, but a few people spoke pretty well and it was fun to hear people speaking so many languages (Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Tagalog). Later on I also got to know a lot of the other future exchange students, who were all wonderful people and just as excited to go abroad as I was. :)

This Period: 6.91 hours
2012 Total: 44.33 hours

The AP Japanese exam is officially in the past! I hadn’t done very much advance studying for it, but I did do a fair amount of last-minute cramming. I went to my grandfather’s friend’s (a native Japanese speaker) house and spoke Japanese with her for a couple hours on Wednesday night since speaking and listening are typically my weakest skills, especially in Japanese. I also practiced some more speaking on Thursday morning with a friend of mine who took the exam last year. I then proceeded to do over 1000 vocabulary reviews in Anki (I finally caught up!) and did some last-minute grammar review before the exam started.

To my great surprise, the exam was a lot easier than I expected. I actually understood almost everything in the listening selections (though the questions were still tricky) and the reading section posed very few problems despite the complicated topics of some of the texts. The writing topics were thankfully very easy and I had no trouble at all coming up with long, elaborate responses for the text chat and a detailed, and well-structured essay for the article we had to write. The speaking section was mercifully much easier than last year, and I felt good about most of my responses for the simulated conversation and especially good about my formal cultural presentation. The only potential problem was that the fire alarm unexpectedly went off while we were still recording our cultural presentations, so the audio may have been affected for some of us… For me it wasn’t as much of a problem because I only had about ten seconds or so left when the alarm went off, which was just enough time for me to quickly add “ありがとうございました。あのう、それは ファイアアラームです。” (Thank you very much. Um, that’s a fire alarm.) However, some of the other students who had started slightly later had to give their entire spoken presentation with the loud alarm going off in the background. I hope it doesn’t hurt their scores too much, because that’s obviously very distracting. And why did we not immediately run out of the building when the fire alarm went off, you may be asking? Because we take the AP Japanese exam on computers so it’s automatically timed and keeps going on by itself and you can’t stop it, so we wouldn’t have been able to go back and re-record if we had left the exam room. Luckily it was just something burning in the science wing, but still…

Anyways, I thought the exam as a whole went well and I hope that I’ll at least receive the three (out of five) that was my goal at the beginning of the year. I won’t get my scores for it or the other three AP tests I’m taking this year (psychology, art history, and statistics) until mid-July, so I’ll reserve further judgment until then. :)
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Solfrid Cristin
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 Message 36 of 76
13 May 2012 at 8:20am | IP Logged 
Congratulations on the 3rd place in the Japan Cup! And I bet you did an amazing job giving your presentation in Croatian as well!

I went misty eyed at the thought of having a whole full free summer with no obligations, like I remembered having as a girl, but if anyone deserves a break to do what you want to do, it must be you. Besides, I am sure your parents cannot complain if you spend time on studying Croation - after all it is a requirement!
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 Message 37 of 76
20 May 2012 at 8:10am | IP Logged 
@Solfrid Cristin: Thank you very much! I'm so looking forward to some time off.

As of earlier today, I have officially graduated from high school! Well technically not because one of the requirements for my exchange program is that you cannot have graduated from high school yet, so I'm just not allowed to receive my diploma until I'm already in Croatia and they can't do anything to stop me, but for all intents and purposes I have graduated. Regardless, this means that I now have three months ahead of me before I move to Europe, during which time there is very little that I have to do. Naturally, I'm going to take the opportunity to really work hard on Croatian (and Japanese too, and probably a couple others) and make up for the huge lack of studying since the end of March. I haven't had a chance to properly start studying for the current 6WC so I'm in something like 61st place, but I intend to change that starting tomorrow now that all my school-related obligations are behind me.

Let the summer studies begin!

Edited by ellasevia on 20 May 2012 at 8:12am

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 Message 38 of 76
20 May 2012 at 11:02am | IP Logged 
Wow, congratulations!

Will you be brushing up your Esperanto as well?
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 Message 39 of 76
20 May 2012 at 12:10pm | IP Logged 

Congratulations, Philip! :D
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 Message 40 of 76
24 May 2012 at 10:31am | IP Logged 
Congratulations on your graduation, as well as winning third place in the Japan Cup! I imagine you've already made big plans to accelerate your language learning over the summer holidays, and rest assured that you won't be the only one holding up in the bottom half of the 6WC with so much else going on. Now it's time for us to rise up the chart in meteoric glory and reclaim those lost hours!! >.<

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