Recently, a very keen Memriser reached a monumental milestone by becoming a Memperor, the second-highest rank in Memrise. We got in touch with her to congratulate here, and to find out more about what keeps her motivated to learn at rocket-speed. We’d like to introduce you to neko-chan, and share with you some insights to her experience as an avid learner.
First of all I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the complete Memrise- team and the Memrise- community from the bottom of my heart since Memrise really enriches my life every day, which I’m truly grateful for.
1. Introduce yourself in three sentences. My name is Sarah, I’m 25 years old and currently living in the very peaceful Austrian countryside together with my fiancée and our very sassy cat. ^_^ I always took a great interest in everything related to culture, art and languages, as they transport big parts of my fields of interest. I’m very happy that I have the opportunity to work as a private tutor for German, which fits my interests perfectly.
2. What are you learning at the moment? Most of the time I’m concentrating on my Japanese studies, since I’m trying to pass various JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) tests and Memrise really has been a great help for me in doing so. Currently I’m working on different vocabulary and kanji courses for N2, which is the fourth out of five JLPT testing levels. Furthermore I ‘m always eager to broaden my horizon, not only when it comes to all those “natural” fields of my interests, like art and films, but also to close gaps in my general education, which might have opened up during my school years due to some sort of disinterest.
3. Have you always been good at learning? Since I was a child I have always been told that my memory is quite a good one, even going so far as to my teachers telling me various things they didn’t want to forget so I could remind them of those… This fact and the overall pleasure I have always taken in getting to know new things have certainly helped me a great deal in becoming (more or less) good at learning. Aside from that on a higher, kind of meta-level, I always had the feeling that learning is somehow quite a reassuring thing, a little bit like meditation, in this world, where every one of us is confronted with lots of things, that can’t be changed or even affected by us (rather small) human beings, because it opens up a world in which nearly everything seems to be reachable if only enough dedication and effort are put in.
4. Who was the best teacher you ever had and why? Actually I think I had two nearly identically good teachers in my life, but the reasons why they were of such great help to me are the same for both of them. They were both language teachers (German and Latin) and highly unconventional, they didn’t attach that much importance to rules like most of my other teachers did and thus were able to give their students a feeling of personal responsibility for the things they decided to do or not to do, just like in real life. Furthermore both of those teachers, a woman and a man by the way, shared a lot of my interests and I even became very good friends with one of them after my graduation. The reason why I point out these shared interests is that I’m convinced that this helped me studying quite a lot. Learning new things and keeping them in mind is, to a very great extent, a question of connecting these new things to the old ones you already know. This is also the reason why it is easier to learn new things related to a topic you already know quite a lot about than things related to a for you completely unknown topic. And since both of those teachers also emphasized that in the real world outside everything isn’t neatly divided into different subjects like in school, but rather connected to everything else, this non-stereotyped way of thinking further provided my mind with connecting points for new information and helped me remembering things better.
5. Who or what inspires you to learn new things? Especially my wish to understand as much as possible of this world I live in has been a great motivation for me, since I’m convinced that having a lot of knowledge is the best way to do so. Even though most of us are able to use the internet to get nearly every information they need in seconds, I’m sure that knowledge is more than just information and have always considered it really admirable if a person had at least general knowledge about (nearly) every topic. Furthermore I always want to get to know and understand all kinds of different people and for this purpose I believe that not only various languages, but also the knowledge about history, culture and so on truly are mighty utilities. (But of course our beloved leaderboard has also been a great help when it comes to motivation ^_^ – although I think that the upcoming of all those “no-typing” courses somehow distorted the competition a little…)
6. What is the best thing you’ve learned recently? To tell the truth I’m having a hard time pointing out something as the best thing, since I try to value everything I learn more or less equally, despite the fact that I’m using it for a variety of activities which are rather hard to compare. Nevertheless I think that the ability to use gained knowledge in your daily life by reading, writing and speaking should be pointed out as one of the greatest pleasures when it comes to learning a new language.
7. Sum yourself up in three hashtags: # unconventional # curious # persistent