Outou
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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Outou
21 February 2011 @ 11:09 pm
Personal Entry No. 66 (Or: Entry No. 61, the Conclusion)  
I donated blood at around 7:00 P.M. today, and I'm glad I worked up the courage to go! It really bodes well that I got through the whole process without feeling too dizzy or sick, especially since my first blood donation saw me nearly passing out at the snack table. It's a sign that I'm in good health, and that my anemia is long gone.

That aside, I promised some more information about the CLS program, and more information you shall have...under the cut, of course!

Please hold the line. )

Say, would you like another meme for your time? )

Finally, a very happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] mairenn_k! I'm so sorry I'm late, and I hope your day went well!
 
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Outou
17 February 2011 @ 02:52 pm
Personal Entry No. 64 (Or: Personal Entry No. 61 ½)  
I should have written earlier, but two days ago I was notified that I've been accepted into the Critical Language Scholarship Program -- I'll be going to either Kazan, Ufa, or Vladimir this summer! There will be more on that and other things this weekend.

With summer in mind, the temperature outside has reached 43°F (6°C). I'm feeling more alive than I have in months.
 
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Outou
25 September 2010 @ 12:36 pm
Personal Entry No. 58  
And now for a genuine personal post! There's even a new icon post over at [livejournal.com profile] momoizumu, too, like old times.

About Middlebury... )

...and about school right now. )

Also, a music meme! )

Fortunately, I've gotten myself a Pixiv account! Unfortunately, I've also started uploading things to it, which clearly means that I am going to lose sleep for the next few months over whether or not the (mostly) Japanese fandom likes my digital scribbles. I shall consider myself successful when someone on LJ finds my fanart on Danbooru, crops them, and posts them as artsy icons.

More seriously, though, I'm beginning to regret it, as I now feel obligated to post captions in Japanese...when I still can barely write in Japanese. Our classes are centered around Professor Eleanor Jorden's Japanese: The Spoken Language, which -- as the title suggests -- doesn't focus on the written language at all; as such, while conversationally we're ahead of students studying at the same level with different texts, we're very definitely illiterate.3 That said, I feel that the textbook's grammar explanations are remarkably clear and illustrative based on what I've heard about other people's problems with Japanese. At least everybody seems to fully understand the difference between "wa" and "ga!"

1 No, seriously, Spicy Kimchi Noodles and Spicy Kimchi Noodles alone gave me my first kidney stone. They contain the average human being's daily allowance of sodium, and possibly the average horse's, too. Do not eat these noodles.

2 What's ironic about this is that the weather is not a good subject for small talk in Russia. It's too boring and pointless.

3 Thus far we only know a chunk of the katakana syllabary, which Professor Jorden started off with in JWL (Japanese: The Written Language) on the basis that it would provide us with many more words to read and write off the bat. (I myself was pretty dubious about it at first, but if you think about it, what can we do with hiragana at this point? Write out particles and the copula over and over again? We need kanji to make it work!)
 
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Outou
12 June 2010 @ 02:23 pm
Personal Entry No. 55  
So, it's been, um, over a month since I last posted here. I'm so sorry that I've missed all of your posts since then! Please update me on things in the comments.

I'm typing this from my (very small) room at Middlebury College, which is nothing short of beautiful; apparently the school was the most expensive college in the United States at some point, which certainly shows in the architecture of the buildings. The very small room has a great view of the campus and the hills in the distance, and the residence hall is a wonder to look at. This is good, because my mattress feels like poured concrete. I haven't gotten a lot of sleep for the past few days due to all of the traveling, so I almost cried when I laid down on it.

I spent the weeks between coming home and arriving at Middlebury with my family -- e.g., cleaning the house, making meals, and slaying "big monsters with big weapons" in Monster Hunter Tri.1 (That game is a bundle of contradictions: it's the same thing over and over again, yet it doesn't get old!) It was good -- I appreciate the time I can spend with them a lot more these days, even when my siblings get on my nerves. There's a large photo post coming up; I just need to get over two hours to myself to upload the pictures and code it, since the opening weekend for the Russian Language School has been a parade of registrations, exams, and mandatory social events. Things should settle down once I get a daily schedule, fortunately!

That brings up an important question... )

All that aside: most of my fandoms have exploded, apparently. I haven't yet read the promotional materials for The Neverending Manga xxxHOLiC's move to Bessatsu Shonen, though -- and I haven't actually read the new chapter, either. Apparently nothing important happened, but then again, nothing important has happened for the entirety of "Rou." It might be a good idea to just leave it alone and come back to it in five years.

I have read the final chapter of FMA, and...I could write a longer post on it later, and I most likely will. I'll just say that I enjoyed it very much, and that it hit mostly the right points for me. That means that I almost cheered out loud at how awesome it was.

1One of the developers literally said that the series is based on killing really big monsters with really big weapons. At least someone is being honest about the real reason video games exist, right?
 
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