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Scrabbling for Mastery

a patzer's journey

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Finally starting to pull some words out of the cardbox
me again
The very first word to make it to cardbox 4 in my current study regimen is not one I would have ever predicted.


I missed this one about 20 times in a row a few years back. I guess drilling the hell out of difficult alphagrams actually pays off. I'm not sure what caused me to miss it again about a month ago, but four corrects in a row means it's out of the cardbox. Never to be seen again until I miss it over the board or I cycle through all the 8s, whichever comes first.

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I love word study updates! Keep 'em coming :-)

i find that simply forcing myself to get it right once, even if i just saw it 10 minutes before, helps enormously. it somehow programs my brain to finding the right way to go about solving the alphagram.

This plan of removing words from the cardbox is a good way to get through them all a few times, which is not a bad thing, but for the long haul (multiple years) is not a good idea, at least in my experience. I got many words up to cardbox 10 which means I didn't see them for a year+ at a time, and I definitely had some losses on them. By the end when I was studying I was actually downgrading many words from high cardboxes (like 10) down to 3 or 4 if I didn't get them INSTANTLY so I could see them more frequently and lessen the chance of forgetting them.

That said, it's always true that a worse method that you'll like and do is better than a better method you don't like and won't do :)

I agree with your long-term assessment. The point of my study over the next year is simply to get through all the 2-8s while drilling the ones I need the most help on. On a future pass, I may decide to allow words to stick around in higher cardboxes, but right now that will result in huge backlogs that I don't have time for.

Also, your last sentence is right on target. Ideally I would like to keep everything in the cardbox system, but I know that's unsustainable for me right now and it will only cause me to quit after a month or two. I know because that's already happened to me at least once, and that's exactly what I'm trying to avoid. :-)

Awesome. The nice thing about the first few times through the book is you will learn lots of words that you will never ever forget (because they happen to resonate with your brain) but wouldn't have known or found before seeing them once (like WAESUCK[S] for example.) The other nice thing is that everything henceforth becomes about missing words rather than having no chance at them whatsoever. There is some potential for confusion on similar words (like the TAFFRAIL family) and stuff, but for the next year after you do the study of so many, they'll all be so fresh and jump to your mind quickly.

Best of luck to you! :)

Right, exactly! I want to get to the point where everything becomes review. I'm really tired of the excuse, "Wow, I've never seen that word". Once the words all make it into my brain, I'm hoping that I'll begin to see them more quickly with practice, and eventually a full cardbox won't be totally overwhelming anymore.

do you have an automatic way of getting rid of the words after they reach cardbox 4?

He can set the cardbox 5+ date to 9999 days, which is more or less equivalent to removing them over a 2 year project.

Ooh, I like this! I think I like it better than removing them entirely. Thanks for this suggestion; I'm going to put ADEGILOR back in there and schedule it for 2038.

I like how you computed that date, and I checked it :)

Hehe, yeah ... I was wondering if 9999 days might actually be the beginning of 2039, but I was too lazy to check for sure. However, I did just realize that scheduling it for farther out than Jan 19, 2038 will actually overflow the next_scheduled integer, inadvertently causing it to be scheduled about 40,000 days in the past. I'm actually surprised no one has run into this, or maybe no one has bothered to report it. Maybe it's time to start using an actual date instead of an int.

If by automatic you mean manual, then yes. :-) I fire up SQLite and run:

update questions set cardbox = null, next_scheduled = null where cardbox >= 4;

Hm. I wouldn't ever have guessed that one wrong, but I had to stare at it for a few seconds to make sure it was a word.


I'm confused about doing hook quizzes. When I do remove list from cardbox and leave it on Anagrams in the select box, it still removes it only from hooks?

For example if I see OCULARLY I'll remove it from the cardbox. Even though the dialog box defaults to anagrams, OCULARLY is still in my anagrams cardbox, but JOCULARLY is no longer in my hooks cardbox. It's also unclear whether the "question" is the original word or the hooked word.

It should only remove it from the cardbox for the quiz type that is selected. So to remove a word from the Hooks cardbox, select Hooks as the quiz type. I think the "question" is the original word (OCULARLY), not the hooked word (JOCULARLY).

Hooks quizzes have a few weirdnesses that I need to fix at some point, including the fact that you can't easily do a "quiz from missed list" like you can with Anagrams, because the missed list consists of the hook words themselves, not the missed questions.

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