In the previous 5 days I've learned another 142 characters, taking me to 236 in total (including the 94 I learned while still choosing which system to use). Last night I went through chapters 6-10 (characters 95 to 235) to test my recall, and I got 97% accuracy. That was very pleasing.
That might be enough detail for you - and if so, you're welcome to read one of the other posts on Mandarin Segments. But if you'd like more details, please continue ...
In terms of how I spent my time:
- day 0: chapters 6 & 7 (about 40 characters)
- day 1: chapter 8.1 (only 15 characters)
- day 2: chapter 8.2 (about 15 characters)
- day 3: chapter 8.3 (about 15 characters)
- day 4: chapters 9 & 10 (60 characters)
- day 5: revision - as mentioned above
- 15 minutes a day of learning (except for day 4 where it was an hour)
- 5 minutes a day revising the previous day's work (usually getting 14 out of 15 correct)
- overall, this is about one character a minute - although I can see that if I don't take enough time to create a vivid image in my head, then it's more difficult to remember.
- I sometimes got confused between the word's definition and the 'image' I apply when using at as a primitive, like 寸 (#166) which actually means 'Chinese inch' but where you use the concept of 'glue' when it's part of other characters - for example, a village is 村 - which uses the image of trees (木) glued (寸) together
- sometimes the definition just doesn't make sense, like #142 (原) which is defined as "flatlands" (what the hell???), when the dictionary says "original"
- because of the way the characters are 'constructed' in the Heisig method, for the first ever I'm finding it easy to differentiate between 句 (#67) and 可 (#92)
- I don't write the characters 100 times over to remember them - just once or twice in the air, because the way the system is constructed it's really logical - not just brute force
- sometimes characters contain the same primitive and have similar meanings - like 砂 (gravel), 沙 (sand) & 尘 (dust) - which I found a little confusing, but I'm pretty sure it was easier than if I was just rote-learning
- I just couldn't remember what 够 meant (#117) - my image just wasn't clear enough
- I thought 厉 (#123) meant 'obey', but it actually means 'stern' - my image for this character wasn't clear enough for an abstract character like this
- for 漠 (#233) I thought it meant 'mirage' but it actually meant 'desert' - I got confused between the components of the image and the meaning of the character
- 乱 (#100) means 'chaos' not 'mess' - but I've forgiven myself
- 求 (#140) means 'request' not 'invite' - and again I'm trying not to beat myself up over this one
- when reading, especially with most words being two-character sets, these small deviations shouldn't interfere too much with my understanding
- (but I'll try harder next time, I promise)
PS. If anyone understands what "flatlands" means, or why it was used instead of a meaningful dictionary definition, please let me know in the comments below. Guesses are also welcome.