20 September 2011 @ 11:49 am
Personal Entry No. 70 (Or: "Everything was Beautiful. Nothing Hurt.")  
This is my last year of undergraduate school, and it's looking to be the busiest and most difficult. I have to get my applications for graduate school in by early December, I have a personal research project to work on, and four normal-sized courses on top of that (along with the fencing and choral activities). I-I still want to get some icons done, though, and finally tie up all the loose ends on that Character page for the [livejournal.com profile] gate_seven comm. (Please stop introducing new characters, CLAMP, we're already awed by your designing ability.)

I was recommended for a research assistant position to a new professor, too, so I'm very happy about that! Since this professor had funding available for up to 20 hours-per-week, I recommended another three students to help out; they were all enthusiastic about the project, so she decided to split the workload into 5 hours-per-week for each of us. I'm glad that we can work in a group together, especially since the professor's research topic is specific on the surface, but has very deep roots. (She's hoping to study the effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake on a certain subset of the disaster victims; I'm not sure if it would be kosher to go into detail here, since nothing has been published yet.)

As indicated by this post, I got through the CLS program alive and in one piece -- I even think I came back as a slightly-larger piece, due to my host mother's giving me a giant breakfast of kasha, cucumbers, berry kefir, and сырки every morning (and sometimes toast, sausages, and/or pelmeni, too). (I soon went back to my normal weight, though.) I kept a travel journal while I was there, so I'm hoping to start posting excerpts with photos and (hopefully) funny Internet-exclusive text this Saturday. There are almost 600 photographs, but thankfully you'll be spared the brunt of them!

With all that said, it's good to be back. How have you all been? I couldn't keep up -- Internet connections in Vladimir were scarce!
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[identity profile] lmeden.livejournal.com on September 20th, 2011 05:38 pm (UTC)
It's lovely to hear that things are going well for you. The research project seems interesting (and yeah, it probably isn't kosher to go into depth on it on the internet - still, very intriguing) and I really hope that that goes well. You have a lot on your plate at the moments, but I can tell by your flawless composure that you'll be able to handle it.

I can't wait to hear more about the CLS program and check out some of the pictures. :)
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[identity profile] outou.livejournal.com on September 23rd, 2011 11:25 pm (UTC)
I'm glad that I can sound composed on the Internet, at least! Thank you for the well wishes.
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[identity profile] lmeden.livejournal.com on September 24th, 2011 01:59 am (UTC)
Any time love. It's always a pleasure reading your entries.
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[identity profile] mairenn-k.livejournal.com on September 21st, 2011 02:25 pm (UTC)
Again, welcome back! Haha, I actually thought of you and that character list when reading the most recent chapter of Gate 7 - CLAMP isn't exactly making things easy for us, are they? I thought we had enough new characters to keep track of after the first five chapters or so, but it looks like the number keeps escalating - ten of them in the latest chapter, how many in the next? Ohkawa and the others are probably having fun though. In any case, I hope you'll find time to relax and do non-school-related things now and then, even though you're being so busy. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your time in Vladimir!
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[identity profile] outou.livejournal.com on September 23rd, 2011 11:31 pm (UTC)
CLAMP ought to calm down with the character designs and focus on actual characterization for a while -- even Outlaws of the Water Margin, which had over 100 named characters, paused to build up its heroes before introducing new ones! At the very least, I'm hoping that we might be able to predict who shows up next based on the connections between the historical characters (Mori Ranmaru (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mori_Ranmaru) is very important to our understanding of how CLAMP's version of the Akechi Mitsuhide/Oda Nobunaga situation, so he should appear soon, right?).
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[identity profile] mairenn-k.livejournal.com on September 30th, 2011 06:59 pm (UTC)
CLAMP ought to calm down with the character designs and focus on actual characterization for a while

That’s true; it would help a lot if we got to know every new character a bit better before they presented the next one. Then again, most Japanese readers are probably familiar with all the old war heroes already, so it must be much easier for them to keep track of everyone. Personally I only know a little about the most famous of those heroes, but on the other hand, this is a good opportunity to learn more, or at least be inspired to learn more (I agree that it’d be interesting to see Mori Ranmaru!). And at least we’re getting more and more info about the main quartet, which is good. I love the dynamics between those four.

Edited 2011-09-30 07:01 pm (UTC)
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[identity profile] sairei.livejournal.com on September 22nd, 2011 03:23 am (UTC)
I haven't read Gate Seven. Is it any good... ?

Congratulations on your recommendation and getting to the CLS program!
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[identity profile] outou.livejournal.com on September 23rd, 2011 11:46 pm (UTC)
That depends. Do you like Japanese history?

Do you like the Warring States Period of Japan?

Do you really, really like the Warring States Period of Japan?

In that case, Gate 7's the manga for you! The art is excellent, and an interesting conspiracy plot is beginning to surface, but a lot of fans have been complaining about the heavy focus on Sengoku politics. The story runs loosely like this: certain generals and warriors of the Sengoku period achieved success not through their own means, but through the assistance of supernatural oni, who made blood contracts with families (e.g., the Toyotomi, the Tokugawa, and so on) and were passed down like talking heirlooms. In contemporary Japan, reincarnations of the Sengoku warriors are conspiring (and often outright battling) against each other in order to obtain the corpse of Oda Nobunaga and his oni, which is rumored to be the strongest of all. Some want the oni for the sake of knowledge; others want it for the sake of power; still others want it for the sake of preserving peace and preventing it from falling into unjust hands. Our main characters are not reincarnations themselves, but members of an organization based in a Kyoto hanamachi (or "geisha district") that is trying to stop the capture of Nobunaga's oni.

Also, thank you very much!
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[identity profile] sairei.livejournal.com on September 24th, 2011 01:06 am (UTC)
Thanks for the introduction to the story! Sounds interesting, I'll check it out sometime.
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[identity profile] lavender88.livejournal.com on September 22nd, 2011 02:57 pm (UTC)
Wow, everything seems to be going great for you! But it probably came at the expense of hard work and perseverance, so I'd say you damn well deserved it. Congratulations!

Photos with captions sound awesome - I missed your dry sense of humor, haha!
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[identity profile] outou.livejournal.com on September 23rd, 2011 11:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I have no idea if I'm working to my fullest potential -- I feel as if I procrastinate a lot -- but I hope I can pull all this work off.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous) on December 24th, 2011 10:05 pm (UTC)
[identity profile] outou.livejournal.com on September 23rd, 2011 11:53 pm (UTC)
I can't believe I'm going to graduate soon, either. :O It's more than a little daunting, but I'm hoping to become a translator for either the State Department or an international NGO, and then work my way to a position in diplomacy or conflict resolution.

My mother told me that, so long as you can get financial aid, it's better to just stay in school and continue your education while the economy's still in repression -- the job market is that hard to break into. I think you're going to do great, though.

No, I'm not. D:<

I actually got a tumblr, but I have no idea what to do with it. At least I reserved my name...?
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