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May 2009 monthly report

This is my seventeenth monthly report. To review introductory comments and the purpose of these reports, please refer to the initial report made for January 2008. For more overall planning and goal-managing, see the Project page. Text in italics is copied from the previous monthly report for reference.

Looking back: May 2009

May will probably not offer any big surprises. It’s too early to start deciding what to do next semester and also not quite time yet to prepare for going home or staying in Taiwan. Barring the possibility that the swine flu turns out to be a new Spanish Flu, I think I should be able to predict quite well what I will do in May.

Indeed. I’ve come some way towards a decision for next semester, but nothing is finally decided yet. No deadly pandemic yet either.

Creativity – I think it’s too ambitious to aim for all scenarios completed this month, especially since it took quite a while finishing the first one. Dealing with two of the three remaining should be okay, though, and this will be my goal.My plan is to test all four scenarios before the summer is over. One or two of them I might be able to try here, but I will try to find enough people to try them again in Sweden. After that, the text will be almost finished and I can turn to the problems of layout and illustrations.

Well, not quite, for two reasons. First, it turned out I wasn’t quite finished with the first scenario and second I started way too late. I have now finished two of them, but the remaining two will take quite some time to finish.

Regarding the online game, I plan to prepare an overall plot, as well as a number of bigger events taking place in the world. Also, I’ll try to get the game itself going. I have no idea where this will end, but regardless of how much we play, every minute I put on this project will be helpful when I start writing my novel again.

We have started playing and I feel I have enough ideas to keep it going for a while. I can feel this project is very, very good, even if we haven’t played more than twice yet. Thinking in role-playing terms really helps me to develop the setting.

Education – Keeping up with the pace of my current courses requires a lot, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t be able to focus on something else. Reading and speaking seems to be reasonable choices, reading because I can do it whenever I want, for however long I feel like, and speaking because it will be difficult to do if I decide to return to Sweden next semester.

More precisely, I’m planning to read 500 pages of Chinese.This will probably not mean that I will read less than last month, but since the texts will be more difficult, they will invariably take more time to understand.

Well, 400, which is okay. I didn’t read much Chinese in the middle of the month, but quite a lot in the beginning and end. This summer will give me ample opportunity to read more, so I’m not particularly worried.

In addition to this, I’m going to continue my quest to finish book four in the series we are currently using in class. I intend to finish the five chapters I have left.

Done! I haven’t yet written a review of the book, but it will come in due time, as will the vocabulary list.

Physical – I need to change something in my routine, I think, because I’m progressing pretty slowly. To start with, I will take five days off, then, I will go on with a schedule similar to what I have now, but I will try to restructure the sessions themselves. These are my goals for next months, which are the same as last month, but taking the five days rest into account:

Planche: 12/16 (no significant progress)
Front lever:
14/16 (9 seconds straddle front lever)
12/12 (no significant progress)
Wall run:
4/4 (ten minutes in six attempts or so, lots of rest)
12/12 (no significant progress)

It’s a bit embarrassing, but I lost the paper I used to jot down my progress, so I’m not sure if the above figures are correct, but they should be close at least. I’m a bit worried about the OAC and the planche, because I feel that regardless of what I do, I still don’t get any stronger (for a week, that seriously dented my motivation, which is why I failed the goal for the planche). Two possible reasons are the increasing heat (and thus less energy to exercise) and a possible loss of weight (which I haven’t been able to confirm).

Looking ahead: June 2009

June will be my last month in Taiwan, at least for this semester. Regardless of what happens later, I will spend the summer in Sweden and thus I need to take care of somethings here before I leave. I don’t know yet when I will return home, but it seems likely it will be well before the end of next month. Still, I have some things I want to achieve or continue developing no matter when I leave.

Creativity – My ever-expanding role-playing project has now reached more than 800 000 characters, and I still have two adventures that aren’t finished yet. I am moving forward, though, and my goal is to finish the remaining two adventures before leaving Taiwan. Since my schedule will be very unreliable and I might have many other things to do, I cannot set any other creative goals for this month, but if I finish writing the adventures, that will be quite enough.

Education – This is another tricky question, because I think I will need a lot of time to finish the courses I’m taking this semester. There are reports to be written and so forth. Apart from this, though, I have two things I want to do. First, I’m going to continue reading at a similar pace to last month, i.e. read at least 500 pages in June. Since it seems like listening is my weakest point right now, I’m going to change that; I intend to only listen to Chinese next month, with the only exception of each week’s edition of the Economist. I’ll set a goal of 50 hours listening and we’ll see where I land.

Physical – I feel that I’ve found a schedule that works for me and I will do my best to keep it. It will require more discipline that before, but it shouldn’t be impossible if I can just persevere in my planche and one-arm chin-up training. Practice makes perfect. I have also decided to add some leg workout, since I almost completely lack that now. I haven’t decided what to do yet, but various jumping exercises seem likely.

Planche: 16
Front lever: 16
Handstand: 12
Wall run: 4
OAC: 12

Legs: 12

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