How I Study Japanese: The Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Course

Kanji Practice

Several sheets of genkō yōshi, or Japanese manuscript paper, used to practice my handwriting.

When I was in college, I studied Japanese for three years. That’s 36 credit hours, so if you do the math I could have graduated about three semesters sooner if I hadn’t! You’d think after all that time I’d be pretty fluent, right? Not even close. If you’ve ever taken any sort of class you know that it’s very easy to get in the cycle of studying, cramming for a test, forgetting everything, and repeating. That’s not to say I forgot absolutely everything — It would have been impossible for me to get that far if I had — but because vocabulary varied wildly from module to module, my brain was more of a revolving door for everything but the most common and generally-applicable words. This is in stark contrast to grammar, which thanks to constant repetition and re-introduction stuck with me much, much better. Learning Japanese wasn’t as easy as it seemed. (Go figure, right?) Read the rest of this entry »

Universal Interface Cube takes THIRD PLACE in Texas Instruments Innovation Challenge!

Me, Rich Templeton (CEO of TI!), and Kevin.

Me, Rich Templeton (CEO of TI!), and Kevin.

This past July, I was waiting to get on a subway somewhere deep in the urban sprawl of Osaka, when I decided to check my email, as I am often wont to do. Usually I idly pass the time unsubscribing from newsletters I don’t even remember joining, but this time was different. I noticed an email from Texas Instruments, and what do you know, my senior design project placed in the top three of Texas Instruments’ Innovation Design Challenge! Fast forward a few weeks and I found myself in Dallas with my senior design partner, Kevin Runda. Read the rest of this entry »