My Thoughts on my Chosen Grade 11 Courses Part 1

As of now, I have completely finished grade 10. Exams are over and essentially my summer break has already begun. So what’s next? Grade 11 that’s what. I have already picked my courses months ago at the end of the first semester. Now, I want to share my thoughts and opinions going into the courses, in a two-part blog series.

The two courses I want to talk about first is English and Math. The reason for grouping them together is because these are the mandatory courses. I can’t really explain why I wanted a course if I had no choice in the first place. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t talk about how I feel about going into them. Starting with English, I feel decently confident I could do well in it. The course will probably consists of reading a novel, play, etc. All the trends that have appeared in every grade so far, unless grade 11 is really different. Math, on the other hand, I’m not as confident in. But after getting a tutor, I feel I could do better than I have in previous years.  

The next course I want to talk about is grade 11 Computer Science. The reason for choosing this course is because I wanted to be a computer programmer. Now though, I’m not too sure. I still like programming and found making games really fun. However, I honestly don’t think I could get the required marks. I’ve never been a straight A student even when I’m trying. So expecting me to become one now? It’s not happening. I know people say if you try hard enough the impossible will become possible. But guess what? I did try and it hasn’t worked. So instead of focusing on a trade that has so much competition, I thought it would be better if I broaden my horizons. I could do this by picking up different skills that could complement my computer programming.  

After Computer Science, I want to talk about Media Arts. Media Arts is a course I had taken during last semester and enjoyed it. During the entire course, there was only one unit I was iffy about, which unit three and this wasn’t because I didn’t enjoy it. It was just because we had to work in groups and the team dynamic wasn’t really working out. Never the less, I found the course really fun, especially the final project. As I’ve said before on a previous blog, our final project was creating a piece of media that incorporated two skills we’ve learned during the course. I ended up creating an animation using Photoshop and iMovie. During the process of making the animation, I felt a bit stressed but also enjoyed watching my project come together. It invoked a similar feeling to when I created my final game in grade 9. Perhaps it was just because I was passionate about the project. However, that was what pushed me to make the best animation I could. I actually enjoyed the project so much, that during the final phaseses, I actually contemplated taking this on as an actual profession.

The final course I want to talk about this week is Construction. In a way, this is the complete opposite of Computer Science and Media Arts. Everything in this course is hands-on, using tools to create wooden objects. After taking the grade 10 version of this course, I can safely say I enjoyed it. Completing a project always gave me a sense of satisfaction. Especially when I got to hold the finished piece, created from scratch, with my own two hands. However, I don’t think I would take this on as a profession though. It is fun, yes, but making a living off it? I don’t think I could mass produce anything for an extended amount of time. Still, this could become a nice hobby. One that could help make and save money, as long as I do a decent job. The practical skills I learned are also pretty handy, although this only extends to basic wiring and home repair. However, for a mark booster course, I learned a lot, and I think I could do just as well in grade 11.

Overall, the courses I talked about this week is just me thinking about future professions. I could honestly see myself working as an animator or maybe a game designer. Before this, I was just going to focus solely on Computer Programming. But that is just unrealistic for me. I don’t have the grades. And even if I did, I like working on things that eventually become a product I can interact with. In the end, only time will tell if I even get these courses. 

Summer Plan

Summer break is right around the corner and I wanted to share my plans for my two-month vacation. So far, from what I know is my family and I are going to the cottage for a few days right after school ends. After that, I have to study for my driver’s license and then finish my photo project. But what then? So here is a list of what I want to do over the summer. 

During my time at the cottage, I will likely get bored. Don’t get me wrong, fishing is fun along with all the otheractivites at the cottage. However, I don’t want to constantly be in the sun. My skin is tanned enough. Therefore, this would be a great opportunity to catch up on my reading. I just purchased several books and I wanted to take my time reading them. Instead of cramming them like I normally do during normal weeks, I want to spread out my reading a bit. Maybe read two different books at a time to mix it up a bit. But as much as I like reading, I also still like my electronic devices. So, I will likely also bring my Switch. Unlike my phone, I have many more games on my Switch that don’t need any internet. This will be a good opportunity to finish Pokemon Let’s GO Eevee and maybe make some progress on MHGU. I might even get one of the games that I talked about in my last blog. Never the less, I will have a lot of things to do when I’m at the cottage. 

After I get back home though, I will likely have to study. Not only for the driver’s test but for math as well since my parents got me a tutor. However, in between my study sessions, I would still like to have my fun. In the end, I will likely end up in my room reading like I normally do. However, if I have time I would like to make some progress on a personal project I’ve been working since last September. It’s been moving rather slowly since the start of the second semester and I would like to get it back on track. Other than those two activities, I would also like to get on my PC more often. Lately, I’ve found my computer less and less, only getting on to play a round of Tetris. Perhaps I will finally start a new game of Skyrim or Fallout. 

Finally, any summer plan wouldn’t be complete without a few goals. Like I said before I want to work on my personal project and finish that photo request, but I also want to start a few new projects. Lately, I have seen a few high-quality 3d animations on youtube, especially by a channel called minusT. Along with the fact I realized it will be impossible for me to get anywhere with just programming alone, I wanted to try my hand in 3d modeling and making animation. I think it will be an asset that I’m already interested in this topic in general. Besides 3d modeling, I also wanted to try making a game using C#. Although this will likely fall to the sidelines when compared to 3d modeling. Still, I believe refreshing myself for the programming language they’ll use in grade 11 computer science will be an asset, even if I might not get the course.  

In the end, it seems I won’t be bored during my summer break. I have a lot of things to get done and things to do. From playing games to prepping myself for grade 11, I’m sure I will be busy. I just hope I have time to get all of this done. 

Switch Wishlist

As people know, I own a Switch. It’s really fun, but my current selection of games is kind of limited. Don’t get me wrong, MHGU, Mario Kart, Puyo Puyo Tetris, and all my other games are really fun. Still, I wanted to write about some of the current and upcoming Switch games that have caught my eye.  

The first game I want to talk about is Sword Art Online Hollow Realization. If you are wondering, Sword Art Online is a very popular anime. The reason it’s on my wishlist, is because I really enjoy the franchise. In addition, I have also seen gameplay of it over the last few years. Yes, this isn’t a new game. Instead, it’s an import of an older PSVita game. However, that doesn’t change the fact this game landed on my wish list. t. 

Next, we have Blaz Blue. There were two reasons I wanted to get this game. One, it would increase the amount of local multiplayer games we have. Two, almost all of my friends have it. Although I normally don’t play 2D side-scrolling fighting games, Blaz Blue looks quite interesting. There is a wide range of playable characters. Ranging from the protagonist of Blaz Blue to Ruby from RWBY as a crossover character. Overall, it’s a game I think I would have fun with.  

Third, there is Hakuouki Shinkai, a game that is yet to be released. Unlike all of my other games I want to get, this is a visual novel. Meaning it is very similar to games like Steins Gates, Clannad, or Angel Beats. Basically, you are the main protagonist set in the era of the Meiji revolution. In the game, you follow a group of characters known as the Shinsengumi. During the story, you can choose routes that will lead to different endings and romances. 

Another game that has yet to be released is Fire Emblem Three Houses. Unlike the games above, this one has been heavily covered at E3. As you may have guessed from the name, Three Houses is the next installment in the Fire Emblem franchise. Ever since, playing Fire Emblem heroes on my phone, I’ve been wanting to try a real Fire Emblem game. Although not many details have been released, we know it is supposed to have a darker story than its predecessors. In the game, there are two parts. In the first half, you work as a high school teacher, teaching classes to three different factions. Then in the second half, you get to see your students kill each other in a three-way battle between the factions. It’s a very interesting story, and one I have been anticipating for a while. 

Finally, the last game I want to talk about is the newest Pokemon game, Pokemon Sword and Shield. In truth, I’ve been debating whether I should consider getting this game. Over the last few years, Pokemon has been adding new features and removing others. From clips of the game, the long used wild grass encounters will be replaced with a system similar to the Let’s Go games. Meaning, you can visibly see what Pokemon you will encounter before entering the battle. Another change of the game is the removal of several Pokemon. Granted there are over 800 hundred different Pokemon now, but I’m sure this announcement will disappoint many people. However, it’s still a Pokemon game and I have high hopes for it. 

Overall, there are a lot of games coming out for the Switch. Some of these games I’m looking more forward to than others. Particularly Three Houses and the Sword Art game. However, that doesn’t mean I’m not looking forward to all the other games Nintendo and its partners will be releasing. In the end, I’ll probably need to narrow down this list further so my wallet doesn’t suffer. 


As of a few weeks ago, Tetris Friends has closed. The site is no longer in working order and all player data has been wiped. Meaning my sub-one-minute Sprint score, my level 17 rank in 2P, and my 70,000 plus score on Marathon is all gone. It is quite a shame and I do miss the website, seeing as it was what opened the world of Tetris to me.  

After much searching, I believe I’ve found the perfect replacement. The website in question is called Jstris, and checks off all the boxes for the ideal replacement. In fact, it has all the game modes Tetris Friends had except for 2P and Marathon. However, this isn’t a problem as fills in for Marathon and Jstris has an even better version of 2P. 

Instead of playing against a single bot, you now play against real players. The best part is that you can control how many people you play against by selecting a specific room. In a way, it’s a scaled up version of Tetris Friends Arena game mode. The best description I can come up with to describe it is Tetris 99 on the computer. The only downside I can say about it is that it’s really hard. People on Jstris are actually good and you need some level of skill to even get top 50 in a room of a hundred players. If you are completely new to Tetris, you will top out ridiculously quick. These people know no mercy. Even I need to bring my A-game to win a round.    

As for Sprint, Ultra, and Survival. Jstris adds in a whole lot more customization and scales up the difficulty a lot. The only game mode that is different from Tetris Friends is Survival. In Tetris Friends, you cleared lines until you reached level 20, at which point the pieces will periodically turn invisible. It may seem hard to top invisible pieces, but somehow Jstris manages to do it. In Jestris, there are no levels. Instead, every second a new line of garbage appears and you need to survive long enough not to top out. It may sound easier but it is not. Setting up a Tetris is almost impossible. The only viable strategy I’ve been able to come up with is just clearing every line one by one, using the best possible pieces. For Sprint and Ultra, instead of clearing a set 40 lines, you can now choose how many lines you want to clear. There is the option of clearing 20, 40, 100, or even a 1000 lines! So far I’ve only stuck to the conventional 40 for both game modes. I couldn’t even imagine clearing a 1000 lines at my fastest pace without my wrists suffering. 

Aside from just game mode customization, you can also customize your DAS of all things. Like I’ve stated before in a previous blog, DAS is shorthand for delay auto shift. Meaning if you hold down a key, the piece moves in that direction until you lift your finger. I believe in classic Tetris the first move takes around six frames and the following ones take around two. For this reason, moving pieces to the far sides of the board becomes impossible after reaching a certain height and level (Death Screen). However, in Jstris you can customize how fast these pieces can move! The only downside I can see to using this feature is the lack of control one will have. For example, a single touch could send a piece to the far left, even if you meant to only move it just a little. I believe it is because of this feature, playing against other players is really hard. If one can master their own ultra-fast DAS settings, they could rival or even surpass the number of lines a Hyper Tapper could send. 

In the end, Jstris is the best possible replacement I could’ve found for Tetris Friends. It is sad Tetris Friends is gone, but I think Jstris will be just as fun. Unlike Tetris Friends, the people on this website are really good. The extra customization is just icing on the cake. The only thing that could make this website better is to make it less bland. In terms of UI, it’s really boring and you can only change the look of Tetraminos. If they just added some more color and a Marathon game mode, Jstris would be perfect. 

Ideal Pokemon Pearl Team

Recently, I’ve been thinking about starting a game of Pokemon Pearl. Prior to actually playing, I thought it would be interesting to plan out my party before hand. Before I start, I would like to note this is not the best team one could achieve. The Pokemon listed below are simply the ones I would choose. 

The first Pokemon I get to choose is my starter. Between the three Pokemon, I would choose Chimchar, the fire starter. There are several reasons for this. Although, the grass starter is my favourite, the selection of fire Pokemon in Pearl is really poor. If you don’t choose Chimchar, your likely ending up with a Ponyta on your team. There is also the fact Chimchar can basically take on the first two gyms single handedly if done correctly. The reason for this, is if you’ve been training Chimchar correctly, it should be close to evolving. When it does, it immediately gains a type advantage against the first gym and the move it learns has priority. Combine this with the fact your Chimchar, now Monferno is over levelled, you’re probably going to be knocking out everything with one hit. 

The next Pokemon I would pick up would be a Shinx, and it can be obtained right after you get your starter. Again, the reason for this is because of the lack of electric Pokemon in Pearl. For the first few gyms, your Shinx likely wound’t be doing anything. In fact, if I had to choose a pokemon to swap out, it would likely be this one. However, this Pokemon is a wonderful asset against any flying and water trainers. 

Next, I would catch myself a Beduw. You can get one by taking a slight detour north from the first city you enter. If your Chimchar hasn’t evolved by then, this Pokemon can sweep the entire first gym. The reason I choose this Pokemon out of all the other grass Pokemon, is because of it’s dual grass and poison typing. Its deadly drains and ability to inflict status is a useful tool through your journey. 

The third Pokemon I would ideally pickup would be Drifloon from the Valley Windworks, which is on your way to the second gym. The reason I picked this flying type up instead of the earlier regional bird, is because it’s way more versatile. I also needed a flying type for the up coming gym. 

After getting the first four Pokemon, I’m likely not going to catch anything for a while. The reason for this is because my next party member would be Feebas, from Mt. Coronet. Honestly, this is one of the weakest Pokemon in the game and I’m only catching it so I can evolve it. It’s evolved form is Milotic, and it is amazing. There is a reason I held off catching any water types until now. Its stab Hydro Pump is ultra deadly, and can basically take on one of the elite four members by its self. 

The final party member is Gible. In reality, you probably have access to its spawn location early on. You just can’t access it until you obtain the HM Strength. The reasons for wanting one are pretty obvious, it is a dragon pseudo legendary. This Pokemon is literally the reason why Cynthia is famed as the hardest champion to beat to this day. Granted, by this point in the game you will need a lot of grinding, but it will be worth it. 

In the end, this team will likely be similar to many other ideal teams. The reason for this is because the selection of Pokemon isn’t as diverse as other teams. I mean, a little under half my Pokemon are chosen under the premise of covering for rare types in Shino. However, I don’t dislike any of these Pokemon, and I look forward to seeing if I can actually achieve this team in game.