The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

Another first day of Summer: The eve of a graduate defense and a personal reflection

“Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds.” —Regina Brett

Today marks the first day of summer in 2016; this year, the summer solstice coincides with a full moon, the first time this has aligned over the past fourty-nine years, and the next time there will be such an event, it will be 2062. The weather today was quite pleasant, reaching a high of 24°C, and apart from a short bit of cloud cover during the afternoon, the weather remained sunny the entire day. Summer is my absolute favourite time of year, when days are long and the sun rises before even I do. It’s a time for taking in the warm air, and for sipping a cool beverage after mowing the grass. In any previous summer, solstice is merely another day on the calendar, but this year, there’s but a single week left before I’m set to defend. I’ve been rehearsing every day for the last two weeks, and I cannot help but be nervous, despite knowing that this is a project I have been working on for the past two-and-a-half years (and as such, should know the inner machinations of quite intimately). However, at the same time, I’m feeling reasonably ready for the defense presentation and following question period/discussion. I’ve not felt this nervous about an exam since my MCAT of summer 2012, but this time, it’s somewhat reassuring to know that unlike last time, I’ve got home field advantage. All that’s left to do now is to deliver a good rehearsal presentation and be confident in giving a good fifteen minute talk during the defense itself.

  • With all of the things happening in the near future, with the thesis defense and conference in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, the next few weeks will be remarkably busy. After I return in July, I’ll begin working full time, but I’ll still try to make the most of the excellent summer weather and be outside more often on weekends, now that I’ve no longer papers to write or assignments to grade. I also resolve to continue on the Adam Richman food challenges (i.e. exploring my city to try interesting food places).

  • The images for this post were chosen for capturing what summer feels like: timeless and beautiful. It’s been quite some time since I’ve done a double-feature in one day: this was rather more common during 2012 and 2013 when posts were shorter and easier to write. With that being said, I’ve gradually moved towards longer posts because they provide more opportunity to interact with the readers and have good discussion. I’ll take this opportunity to thank all of you, whether you’ve reached this site from Google, Reddit, Facebook, WordPress: your support have given me the inspiration to continue writing.

As I am wont to do in these personal reflection posts, I will also outline the future of this blog rather briefly. I’ve stated on numerous occasions that my blogging frequency would decline as graduate school progressed, and inexplicably, I’ve somehow managed to continue writing about the anime and games I’ve experienced thus far. There’s a definitive pull about blogging that’s resulted in my returning to showcase these experiences even in the face of conference paper and deliverable deadlines; this is probably what’s kept the blog going even as things change on my end. So, looking ahead into a post-Master’s world, while I cannot guarantee that I’ll continue to blog to quite the same extent that I have up until now, I will continue to keep this blog so as long as there are things to write about. In the immediate future, after Hai-Furi is done, I will also push out talks for Flying Witch and Kuromukuro. The final Tamayura: Graduation Photo movie review will also come out before the month is out, while the review for the final Aria The Avvenire OVA will be written somewhere in July. Finally, the Makoto Shinkai film, Kimi no na wa, is also on my radar. Beyond this, I’ll take things one step at a time.

5 responses to “Another first day of Summer: The eve of a graduate defense and a personal reflection

  1. Edward June 21, 2016 at 04:42

    Good luck for your defense! So it’s going to roughly coincide with the end of the spring Anime season or start of the summer season?

    Like

    • infinitezenith June 24, 2016 at 16:00

      Thanks! The defense will line up with the end of the spring season: most anime will be wrapping up in the final week of June, and I think the summer shows start after July 1. Are there any shows that catch your eye in the summer season?

      Like

      • Edward June 25, 2016 at 05:04

        Like cloudst12, I am interested in Kimi no Na wa, planetarian: Chiisana Hoshi no Yume, planetarian: Hoshi no Hito, and Rewrite since I am a fan of Shinkai Makoto and Key. I don’t love all their works, but the ones I do are the ones that made me care about their characters.

        I’m also interested in ReLIFE because of it’s plot of having a 27-year old living his 17-year old high school year again. I’m interested to see whether it will examine the idea of what would you do differently if you could live your youth again. Or it might look at how different life as a 17-year old 10 years ago is from life as a 17-year old now, which could be comedic or thought-provoking.

        There’s also the movie Koe no Katachi. I read the one-shot manga version on a recommendation and quite enjoyed how the male protagonist became more mature from his experiences. I haven’t read the serialized manga version which came after the one-shot version.

        I’ll think about following Amanchu! and New Game! because they look like they’ll be relaxing slice of life anime.

        Kuromukuro continues into the summer season, and I’ll consider whether I want to keep following it after watching episode 12. It’s not an amazing anime in my book, but the plot was interesting enough to convince me to continue beyond episode 3.

        Like

  2. cloudst12 June 21, 2016 at 05:55

    Summer is a beautiful season.

    “Summer. The city has forgotten how cold the snow was. I loved looking at the city through the cracks on the umbrella.” – Tsukimiya Ayu (Kanon 2006)

    I can’t really relate to the relief of summer since I live in a country that’s locked in an eternal one. But knowing how cold winters are, I know how to appreciate when summer does come. It’s wonderful in a way.

    To go out and explore this world right?

    I hope to see you continue blogging since I found your blog only lately. But maybe, the world of working life may make it a bit more difficult next time. I wish you all the best when that time comes.

    But till then I’m waiting for your review on the last Hai Furi episode. I picked up the series after seeing your posts on them, and it feels a lot like what if you mixed Girls Und Panzer and Kancolle. It’s refreshing though, though I’m hyped for this coming season, what with rewrite, planetarian and kimi no wa.

    I digress though. All the best man for your thesis defense.

    Cheers.

    Like

    • infinitezenith June 24, 2016 at 16:03

      I live somewhere where it’s (normally) winter for six months of the year, so the remaining months of summer we get from May to early November is a blessing. It’s great to be able to walk outside without a heavy jacket, scarf and hat and just take in the warm breezes, and it’s similarly nice that I can just walk up to the car and start it without scraping the ice off and waiting for it to warm up.

      For the foreseeable future, I imagine that I’ll probably keep my schedule on Friday nights and weekends (unless I take up some activities that consume my weekend, but I aim to find some activities a ways after I settle into work). Thanks for your wishes and for replying!

      Liked by 1 person

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