Belated Birthday Post

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A few weeks ago, it was my birthday. This was a big milestone for me, in a kind of sad way, because this was the first birthday I’ve ever spent away from my sister. Backstory: I’m a triplet i.e. I share my birthday with my sister and one of my brothers. No my brother is not identical to me. He’s a boy and I’m a girl. That would be impossible. Yes, my sister does look like me. We’re identical. The simple explanation for this biological occurrence is that there were originally two eggs (which is what results in fraternal twins) and then one egg split (which is what results in identical twins). Yes, I suppose my brother and I look alike. We’re both tall and stuff. My sister and are both film majors. We both go to Temple. We have a lot of the same friends. We get along well. Sometimes we bicker and people become alarmed but that’s because they don’t understand our sisterly bond. Anyway. That answers all stereotypical gut reaction “omg you’re a triplet?” questions. And now you know why it is significant for me to be away on my birthday. Too much love for my siblings.

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In the morning, I had drawing class. We met at Tamachi Station and drew quick sketches of passersby during class. Usually we are in the studio and drawing models so it was fun to get out for a change of pace. It’s challenging to draw people as they move by so quickly.

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After drawing, I had a lunch break. I got burritos with friends and then had my moving image class, during which I worked on the illustrations of some images I was using for an animation. Afterwards, I met up with friends for a sushi dinner!

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An older Japanese man sitting at a nearby table with his wife asked us if he could take our picture. I don’t know why. We allowed it, for some reason. He took a bunch of pictures of us on his fancy camera, then we got him to take a picture for us on my camera. He didn’t understand how to use the manual settings on my camera, and I didn’t understand how to explain it to him in Japanese. Much laughter and confusion ensued at the whole scenario.

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Top left is my meal, and the other two are beauty shots of friends’ meals. Bottom right is a close up of crab miso soup. For some reason, the crab in this soup was exceedingly hairy. I was not properly prepared for this. My food was delicious, but this situation was something else.

After dinner, some of us went and sang karaoke. It was a lot of fun. I didn’t take pictures there though because the room is dark and it is more fun to spend the time struggling to sing than to struggle to take pictures in terribly low light.

When I got back to Kitazono, I was pleasantly surprised to find a package waiting for me. My mom and dad had sent me a bunch of homemade cookies, a birthday card, and a homemade birthday cake, which they had express shipped to me to arrive that day. It was complete with birthday candles, plates, napkins, and party favors. Adorable. It was so nice and really exciting. The cake is one that my family makes on special occasions like birthdays and Christmas and is my favorite cake ever.

I shared this treasure with some lovely friends at our usual meeting spot in a lounge on campus during a break from classes. I’m really happy that I got to share a birthday tradition from home with friends I’ve made so many miles away from home.

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These lovely people helped decorate my cake with candles, sang me happy birthday, and then partook in euphoric cake devouring.

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About Christine Boegemann

A recent graduate with a BA from Temple University's Film and Media Arts Program, Christine Boegemann has spent her undergrad years working to foster creative growth everywhere she could find it – in herself and others. Her list of college activities include working in working at Temple's film lab, acting as VP for a student organization that produces its own short films and film festivals, and serving as head of art department for a sketch show called Temple Smash. She has interned at two VFX houses - one in Manhattan, New York and the other in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She also studied abroad in India in the summer of 2012 as a member of the 2012 cohort of the Vira I. Heinz (VIH) Program for Women in Global Leadership. She spent spring 2013, her final semester, studying art and animation in Tokyo, Japan. During her time there, she worked as a photo blogger for Temple Study Abroad. She also worked as a conversation host at an English café in Shibuya. Now back in the US, Christine is currently working as a producer for the feature film, The Youth Washed Up. She is also continuing work on her own independent project rooted in sharing the work and experiences of women she met during her time in India.

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