Well, folks, it is done. I completed a one hour talk on my research (in Japanese). It was hard, it was painful, but it is now over. I can't express what a huge relief it is to have this in the past! For weeks I've been writing and editing my text, about 12,000 characters total (I think about 30 pages if it were double-spaced English), which took me about an hour and ten minutes to read. I presented my work at the kenkyukai (research group) at the research institute, and received some really great and helpful feedback. For me, this was one of the most challenging tasks of my academic career thus far- I'm comfortable with speaking about my research in English, conducting research in Japanese, and speaking casually in Japanese, but having to present at a professional forum requires a different type of language, one which I don't often have to use. In any case, I had editing help from a few wonderful people, and in the end, it is finished! As is the standard for the monthly research forums, we all raised a glass for a congratulatory kampai when all was said and done. This beer tasted so fantastic. I'm sure it will take a few days to work all the stress out of my system, and as I always do, I keep thinking about the mistakes (why do we do this to ourselves?!?), but for now, a huge amount of pressure is off of my shoulders. Here's to a summer of feeling accomplished!