Memorial Day Weekend in Downtown San Jose: Fanime + SJSU Graduation

Memorial Day weekend in Downtown San Jose is full of costumes and characters. Black robed and regalia decked grads and their families share the streets and local business with cosplaying anime fans. The convergence of Fanime and SJSU’s graduation is a yearly reminder that San Jose isn’t an overgrown suburb; it’s a city of over a million characters.

Here are some highlights from my SJSU graduation and Fanime photoshoots.

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Fridays with Fernando: Mar Português

Fernando Pessoa statue in the Jardim das Poetas. Oeiras, Portugal. Fernando Pessoa stencil in the Bairro Alto. Lisbon, Portugal.

My blog’s tagline is “Things I know and love include: Portugal, quidditch, books & brews, and my life in San Jose.” But even though Portugal is first in that sentence, I write about quidditch way more.

As much as I’ve invested a lot of myself into the sport, that’s not all who I am or all I want to be known for. That’s is why I’ve been trying to diversify my writing lately. While I may not have written as much Portuguese content, my culture is a big part of who I am. If you’re reading this, I’m probably your token Portuguese friend. You know, the person who comes to mind when you come across anything Portuguese related.

If you’ve heard me talk about anything Portuguese for any length of time, I’ll eventually start gushing about my literary boyfriend: Fernando Pessoa. I’ve written about his work from time to time but I wanted to make a regular feature out of it. So, Fridays with Fernando was born.

I’ll save a tl;dr post about his life and work for another week. For today, I want to give you a taste of why this man’s words are always on my lips.

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Tyler’s Graduation!

I’ve picked up a camera in an effort to be a better blogger. After shooting Silicon Valley Showdown (a post for which has been living in my drafts for over a week), my friend Tyler Barton mentioned that he was in need of graduation photos. So, I decided to try my hand at some portrait photography…

…and be reminded of what a rank novice I am. Ah well, I’d be bored if it came easy. Here are my faves, but you can find all of them here.


Captain. Rival. Secret Superhero.


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Graduation Hurdles: A Dialogue

Part One:

Me: Hi! I have my graduation paperwork for my minor to signed.

Office aide: Great, I’ll leave it for Professor [Redacted].

Me: Thanks! (leaves office)

*phone rings on elevator ride down*

Me: Hello?

Office aide: Yeah, your paperwork is incomplete. You need your unofficial transcript and a personal statement.

Me: But I didn’t need that for my major paperwork!

Office aide: Professor [Redacted] won’t sign anything until you bring it all in.

Me: Seriously?! Ugh, fine.

Office aide: We apologize for the inconvenience.

Part Two:

I had to ditch a class to make it to my Portuguese advisor’s office hours to get my minor paperwork signed. It feels like a defeat because Portuguese was supposed to be my second major. However, SJSU’s jungle gym of bureaucratic obstacles killed that idea last spring after I had already committed myself to staying an extra year to get that second major. Not that I hold it Professor Adão: she did all she could to make it happen for me. Instead, she soothes my calm nerves and signs my pile of paperwork (minor form, substitution forms for all the independent studies classes I took) so I can take it to the foreign language office for the chair, Professor [Redacted], to sign.

I don’t even want to see him. He tried to talk me out of a second major, talk me out of grad school, and then didn’t lift a finger to help when I decided that’s what I wanted anyway. I wouldn’t even be surprised if some of the hurdles I had to jump were his doing. Portuguese is only a minor at SJSU, but the World Languages and Literatures department website said (up until I started asking) that a special major could be provided if a student took extra classes and built an approved program.

Professor Adão gives me a hug as I rise to go and she sees the paperwork trembling in my hands. I make my way to the World Languages office, make small talk with the office aide, and internally cheer as I walk out, the last hurdle between me and graduation nearly overcome.

So, you’ll imagine my dismay when I pick up the phone and realize it’s the WLL office. “But I didn’t need that for my major paperwork!” You know, the important part of graduation.

“Professor [Redacted] won’t sign anything until you bring it all in,” the (probably overworked at this crucial time of year) office aide replies.

But I’m livid. Professor [Redacted] STILL WON’T STOP GETTING IN MY WAY. “Seriously?! Ugh, fine,” I snarl into my iPhone, nearly knocking over a girl as I stomp out of the elevator. I don’t even listen as the poor aide tries to offer an apology. Instead, I hang up, just needing to lash out at someone.