Not that I’m happy about having such little time to blog here – most of my blogging has been at – but I’ve been trying to keep distractions and kinks in the schedule from doing anything to disrupt my helping my tutoring of a long-term student in Japanese. His goal remains to pass the EJU and study at a major Japanese university. These goals are achievable, though not minor.

Today, I was taking a break from heavy introduction of 2nd grade kanji and showed a few kanji for important verbs, that is, for to stop, to move, to walk, to run, to use; very valuable, very fundamental stuff. I also covered, in a “I won’t quiz about this” way, words for grammar, reading comprehension, listening comprehension, chart, chapter/ subject, “the following,” “the preceding/ above-mentioned” etc. These are words that he will see again, to use the military teaching expression.

Finally, we covered some examples of how these things can be put together, very briefly, and covered a point of grammar involving a particle and set the stage for the next lesson: the meaning of “doubutsu,” or “animal.” This word combines the kanji for “to move” (which is why I introduced it) and “tangible thing.” Thus, an animal is what we call an animate object, a non-person living being that moves significantly on its own. That’s why we use the same existence verb for animals that we do for humans (“iru”) instead of that for inanimate objects (“aru”).

I still want to be teaching a lot more people, but it’s important to give quality to the student I currently have, even as I pursue more projects.

A current project is coming up with kanji slides that have a “bamboo wood” background and can anchor a voice presentation by having big, glorious black kanji against that background. Andre Klein of Learn Out Live was the originator of this idea, but I’m fully supporting it with the help of an old friend with graphical aptitude.

What I don’t have is a friend with iPhone/ iPad programming capability to do what must be a ridiculously simple application: a randomizer for flashcard purposes. Each picture would have to be pegged to a short .mp3 file. This done, we could have flashcard “programs” for the masses. I’d love that, but I don’t know how to bring it about.

Still, I’m going to appreciate what I have and be glad that my student thought it was an awesome lesson and that he is learning a lot. I think he is, though the process is not even; it was never expected to be even. Over time, however, it works. That’s what matters.