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Oh wow, May hit me hard. In the beginning I had a lot more schoolwork than I expected - there was one week when literally every single class had something due, and some had more than one thing due... then, finals. Which went okay. My psychology class from hell actually had a not that bad final. (For how bad it was: the averages for the quarter exams were around 65, and we didn't get curved that much.)

Then I got a job! Internship, rather, but I'm being paid, and a little above minimum wage, even. It's at Academic Technology Services at the University. I like it so far. It's nice being able to tech-y stuff and get paid for it. The week after finals were over they had a week-long seminar about technology in the classroom and I helped out with that. Then that weekend I went to Philadelphia, and this week I've been packing for my study abroad, but more flailing about that in a minute...

In-between all that, I got one of those emails that literally had me screaming with excitement; you see, my friend Nico and I had applied to be panelists at Otakon this year. We called it 'Angels in Anime', because the topic we chose was the use of christian symbolism in anime and manga. Angels are the most popular, but there's also crosses and if you're very lucky and go to the right series, even Jesus... anyway, we emphasized several times that this wasn't a religious rant or put-down - hello, made by an atheist and a catholic - and mentioned that there would be discussion of the history of Christianity of Japan (yay Japanese history course!) so it would even be educational. So, we waited and waited while saying 'I hope it gets accepted' and 'Well, there's a lot of panels submitted, they only accept something like one in four...' and 'It's not the deadline for a reply yet'.... and guess what~?

We got it!! So, coming to an Otakon near you this summer~ Angels in Anime! Guess this means I'm making a Haibane Renmei costume, not a Claymore costume... since we're going to talk a bit about it as a series that borrows the imagery of Christianity (the characters all have halos and small wings and there's lots of talk of sin and such) but without the real specifics of the religion. Then there's Sailor Moon and Fullmetal Alchemist and Nico took Bleach and Angel Sanctuary and I need to finish rereading X oh and there's Wish...

Yeah, so excited for this panel.

And as for my study abroad, I'm actually going to be at the airport in twelve hours. (I'm so excited I don't want to go to bed yet; I'll try at eleven.) I'll be staying in Kobe, which is a port city near Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara, except for one weekend I'll be doing a homestay in Nara, and I have to make at least two day trips to Kyoto on my own. I'm thinking of going to Osaka for a day, if only for the aquarium - I'm pretty sure there were some museums there I was interested in too.

Everybody on the trip has a project to do. The topic of mine is... kimono ^^; Well, it's something I'm excited about, I'm going to be wearing kimono in Japan anyway, I already know the words, I'm going to be learning bits of it that you can't get from books... so, it was a pretty obvious choice in the end. I found about a street in Kobe that has a ton of kimono stores, over a dozen, including some that have good bargains, so I'll definitely spend some time down there. I want to find a fukuro obi for the furisode I got in LA - I really want to wear it to Otakon! It comes to my wrists, it's long enough for me, the hip wrap is enough, and it has 110 cm long sleeves!! And it's green with real gold thread embroidery and and and I'm in love with it.

I'll probably get some lolita clothes too while I'm there... oh! And plenty of tea. And postcards for postcrossing and to send to everyone I know (if you want one, let me know! It's not expensive to send one at all.)

So excited. The only things I'm worried about are 1) heat and humidity. Hopefully the breezes from the ocean will moderate it somewhat... 2) not having room for everything on the way back, but that's what post offices are for :p 3) ...I can't remember what I was going to put here... um, walking too much?? idk.

Going to go and try to wind down for bed now so I'm not forced to sleep through the entire 14 hour flight. Good night~

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allekha

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