There is only a small number of chapters left in どんな時どう使う. I was working through one chapter per day, with a day or two to relax during the last 22 chapters, so it should only take 8 days to finish this book. I don’t plan to work with other any of the other books. It would also make little sense to start working with yet another book, with more than 12 books already done, the whole Core-Plus deck almost finished, reading through the Dictionaries of Basic and Intermediate Japanese Grammar twice, over a half of A Dictionary of Advanced Grammar, working through, and creating thousands of flashcards for, the 日本語総まとめ books, and spending countless hours to listen, read books, consuming media, watch Anime, play roleplaying games, Visual Novels, starting to write in Japanese, and so on.
What more should I do? The only answer is: Nothing at all. Before the big test in december, relaxation, reviews, reading, and enjoying are on top of my schedule. Apropos enjoying, believe me when I say this. It has become a real joy to simply listen to a radio program and understand without translating anything, to open up a random website and read away, to enjoy a random old show or video on YouTube, or to watch an Anime. From all these activities, reading and listening to radio stations are my favorites, especially FM Wappy, and lately also 西東京FM. I can’t decide which one is better, but I think that it is 西東京. There is more talk going on, which is not only more fun, for instance the interview with the pro player they had as a guest yesterday, but also great music. For me it is the greatest reward being able to say, “I understand”. Even more rewarding than that is to be able to say, “I can now see the true beauty of the language”.
I feel well prepared for the test in december, I was able to overcome many hurdles, doubts, mistakes, and de-tours on the way. I learned to swim, and almost drowned many times, but I never gave up no matter how difficult it was at any given moment. That said, all the time I spent learning is paying out now. The path to the ultimate goal might still be long, becoming fluent, but the way there has opened up. All I have to do is to keep walking, and this is exactly what I will do.