Daniel Santos

Week 16, 2024

A couple of grateful surprises happened at work this week, and I'd like to register them both here.

First, I was asked to help with building a Sharepoint intranet site for the department one of my former managers is currently working at. He called me, asked me for this favor, and introduced me to these two fantastic professionals. With little Sharepoint experience, they needed a hand to get started with the task, and I was glad I could help.

Besides being very interested in learning how to deal with Sharepoint site building, both turned out to be very interesting, fine people in general, with fantastic personal background. I guess I've spent about 4 hours in talks with them, and it felt like we knew each other for much longer by the end of the task. This means I've now got not only two new connections, but mainly, two new friends I hope I can work with again soon enough.

Second, a friend looked for me this week, asking me if I could help her with some mentorship. I was flattered with her invitation, and of course I agreed to help her. So far, we've had a first talk, where we exchanged knowledge about storytelling, presentation techniques, English speaking and a couple more things. It was amazing.

Mentoring is something I learned to fall back on when I need/ want to learn or to go deeper in a subject, and it's a fantastic way to amplify one's horizons. And I said I loved to be invited by her because mentoring is a two-way road. I'm convinced I have learned as much as I've taught, and that's what's so amazing for me. Those two contacts this week felt like a big lifelong learning energy shot right into my veins.

I have changed my mind — again, again — about what to do with my website. A couple of years ago I bought a Bear.blog lifetime subscription and have come to the conclusion, in the last few days, that I should use my purchase more to my advantage.

So I've started posting my weeknotes there, and a lot of other posts as well, both in English and in Portuguese. I'll be moving content to the new site with time, so expect more changes to come. For the time being, everything is at a blog subdomain, but later I'll probably move everything to the main site which, for now, will keep hosting my Soupault-generated static site.

One thing worth mentioning is that the final push towards the decision to move my postings to my Bear Blog was motivated by EchoFeed, one amazing service put together by Robb. Without EchoFeed I wouldn't be able to cross-post to Mastodon, for instance. I'm definitely buying a subscription later this month, as it's a very useful piece of software — so thanks again, Robb.

I've also definitely resumed studying Japanese. I'm now trying to be consistent with using Renshuu and Kanshudo, but I've also remembered I had a lifetime subscription of HelloTalk, back from the days when I tried to learn Spanish. So I came back to the platform this week too, and am trying to engage in some conversations, specially with Japan-born people who know English and want to either improve it or learn Portuguese. I have found two willing helpers so far.

I have also created some posts in Portuguese, that I've named “Diários de japonês”, so I can (try to) document my learning, or at least the most interesting things I come across during my journey. If you want, you can check my blog for them.

Being a self-learner poses an extra challenge for me regarding Japanese. The language feels complex — and I'm sure this is true to an extent, yet a hurdle I can overcome. But there's always she — anxiety — building up when I'm learning something. At the moment, it makes me worry about how to retain the things I'm coming across. I guess I'll think deeper about it and write something to let my feelings flow out of my mind — maybe turn it into a journal post later this coming week.

In this meantime, if you're someone who learned Japanese as a second, third or fourth language, and you've got a couple of tips to share with a poor soul like mine, I'm willing to listen to you, so please, reach out if you can, will you?

#english #weeknotes