April 2023 Update: Mental Blocks and Review

Hello Readers,

The good news is that I cross the halfway point in late March and memorized 50 of the poems! ๐ŸŽ‰ When I started in January, I wasn’t I’d get very far before life got in the way. It has gotten in the way since returning to the US, but I have been able to manage learning the Hyakunin Isshu amidst the chaos.

The bad news is is that I stopped to review the 50 cards that I learned so far, and discovered that even those that I knew well are already starting to fade from memory! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

This has reinforced for me that periodic review is required for weeks, maybe months on old cards. Even if I feel I have “nailed it”, my mind gets rusty pretty quick. So, I had to go back and start reviewing old cards again, which takes away from learning the remaining 50.

Thus, I am experimenting with a hybrid method whereby I review a small number of cards per day (3-5 max), with a mix of old and new. I found that powering through more cards per day was exhausting and not always feasible with my schedule, and one card per day wasn’t quite enough. So, I settled on 3-5, and keep it on my desk at work so that i can review for a minute or two. Small, frequent reviews seem to work better than “power sessions”.

By mixing old and new, I hope I can also trim down the cards that I need to review, but also keep the momentum going in learning the remaining poems.

One nice thing to consider is that once I’ve memorized all 100, then it’s just review for the rest of my life. No need to learn more poems (unless I delve into Imperial anthologies or other works). So, part of me just wants to hurry up and power through the last 50, but until we get closer to the end, I think it’s essential to keep an even pace of learning a few poems at a time, while also reviewing old ones bit by bit.

Time will tell.

P.S. Thanks to everyone who’s been submitting ideas, suggestions, translations and so on for the Hyakunin Isshu. I am not always able to respond, but I do read and appreciate them. ๐Ÿ™‚

P.P.S I am posting this at the end of March, despite the title. I just assume that as April is imminent, people won’t always read this post right away.

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