Winter Break Plans

In a few days, the winter break will begin in earnest. This weeks, blog will detail my plans for the break. 

The first thing I plan to do, is to finished the photo project I’ve had going on. I had set it aside since the beginning of the school year due to my already hectic schedule, and now that I have time, I’m going to finish it. I’m planning to allocate three days to this endeavour, and as long as nothing else comes up I think it can be done. I will most likely see it as a school project and pull long hours. Most of it is just reorganizing, cross-referencing, and adding text.

Next, I really need to start my physics project. Last time I had to create a launcher and before that a rattrap car, this time I’m task with creating a rollercoaster. In reality, it’s less of a rollercoaster and more of a marble run, but still a daunting task none the less. I plan to use bristle board as the main track, but I’m not quite sure as to what I want the supports to be. If it’s too fragile, it won’t be able to support the coaster. Unfortunately, the more stable I get, the harder the material is to work with. Previously, I planed on using cardboard. However, after working with the material in my last two projects, I have come to release how messy it can get. Anyhow, I wish to get most of it done by the end of the break. 

Third, is my unit 3 compute science project. Like a previous I’ve done before, we are trying to recreate a Pokémon style battle game. The player and Ai will each take turn trying to lowers each others HP. This will repeat until one of them reaches 0. A simple concept, however, there are extra features that complicated it a bit. Unlike last time, we will be applying new knowledge. For example, in grade 9 when I created a similar project, I didn’t need to create a party system. That is a feature the teacher wants implemented this time, after learning about arrays. I already have an idea of what I want to do, I just wonder if I have enough time. 

The fourth activity I plan to do, is just general relaxation. The school, year has be lively to say the least. Since the beginning of September, I haven’t really managed to think about anything other than school. In addition, it also feels like assignments are coming out of the woodworks. However, this is just my opinion. In any case, some rest and relaxation would be nice. 

Overall, this has been a short blog. I want to talk about more, however, if I did there wouldn’t be enough time to accomplish all the goals I have laid out. Unlike previous years, I have a general idea of what I want to accomplished during the break. In fact, I’ll be amazed if I even get to rest at all. 

RGSS Play: The Greatest Show

A few weeks ago, my family and I went to go see the RGSS yearly play. In this blog, I will share my thoughts and how they could have improved the play. 

First, I think it will be best to give a short summary of the play. Most of the plot revolves around a circus and three characters, two siblings and a doctor. Basically, the circus is having financial troubles while the doctor wants to run them into the ground. Eventually, the circus makes a come back by making their show more grander. However, this hot streak is foiled by the doctor when she sends orphans to sabotage the circus. When the circus realize how much collateral damage could happen, they need to decide what to do with the orphans. The brother of the two siblings wants to let them go as not to damage the circuses reputation. On the other hand, the sister wants to keep the orphan and not throw them back out on the streets. In the end, the circus splits and each sibling goes their own way, taking their part of the circus with them. Eventually, the brother begins to loose his grip on his part of the circus and realizes money and fame isn’t everything. In the last scene, he runs back to his sister and the circus is reunited. That is a general summary of the play with no subplots included. 

In my opinion, it is not a bad play and if done right could be quite entertaining. However, I have a few problems with it. To start off, the timing feels very weird. The play was 2 hours and 30 minutes, which is already very long for a play. In that time, the circus was split at the 1 hour 45 minute mark. What this meant was that the rest of the play, climax, resolution, and everything else had to fit in 45 minutes. After the intermission, everything just felt rushed. My second gripe revolves around the romantic subplot. In the play, there is this playwright and actor that had a relationship in the past, but separated after the playwright placed his social status and parents opinion above his girlfriend. The whole point of this subplot was to reignite their relationship, a very basic romance subplot. Unfortunately, they messed it up with really bad timing. There just wasn’t enough time to flesh out the characters and make me care. My third problem was just the all the technical mess ups. I don’t know how other the plays went, but I could see a lot of fumbling. For example, during one scene, the playwright and sister were spinning on this table and would both raise a glass afterwards. Unfortunately, during the spinning the playwrights glass fell off the table, making him do a weird transition into raising the glass. Finally, there was the musical numbers. I’m already not really that big into musicals and this experience didn’t help that fact. It was fine, just really uncoordinated in some numbers. I found when there were more people, there were always more mess ups. Personally, I found the solos and duets much more entertaining, even if some of them didn’t even fit the theme of the play.

To address these problems, I feel the people participating need to take it more seriously, meaning they actually want to act. I know from experience that even if you hate preforming, you need to do it for the marks. However, this just leads too bad acting. I’m not accusing anyone of intuitionally dragging the play down, but a smaller more enthusiastic cast would help. Second, narrowing down the plot. The romantic subplot was okay, it just felt so rushed and shoehorned in. To fix this, I would personally mesh it together with the main plot. Instead of having a brother and sister pair run the circus, maybe a couple instead? For example let’s call the guy A and the girl B. After the circus begins to gain notoriety, A plans for a proposal only for the doctor to ruin everything. The split of the circus could still happen, however, now with the add twist of B ending their relationship due to his pursuit of money and fame. This could leave A heartbroken, leading to a decline in sales and leading him to become even more heartless. With the performers beginning to realize A has lost it, they begin to leave one by one. Now all alone A begins to realize his mistake and rushes to B’s performance like in the play. If done this way, we could still have an entertaining plot and even a romantic proposal at the end. As an added benefit, it would also mean they could cut out the playwright and actor almost completely, leading to more time. However, this is just how I would have done the play. 

Overall, I think the play had its moments. I like the idea, it just could have been executed better. Would I like to see it again? Not really. I feel like it more comparable to those recitals for students, it’s mostly for friends and family. Like I said before, the people acting need to be enthusiastic about it. Forcing people to do something they don’t want to is just disaster waiting to happen. 

What is Shojo Ai and Shounen Ai?

This week, I’m going to continue my series on unknown genres, and this time I’m going to introduce two additional genres. So what are these two genres, I’m going to be talking about this week? They are two very similar genres, in my opinion, called Shojo Ai and Shounen Ai. 

To start off, what is Shojo Ai and Shounen Ai? If you remember, in two of my previous blogs, I already talked about Shojo and Shounen individually. Now I want you to throw all that knowledge out the window, because their Ai counterparts have almost nothing in common. Shojo Ai rarely has romance by itself, and Shounen Ai barely has any action. Instead, Shojo Ai and Shounen Ai focus on friendship, each with a different gender in mind. Shojo Ai is aimed a female audience, and it is essentially girls doing different activities ranging from sports to camping. There are almost no guys in these stories and romance is rarely touched upon. On the other hand, there is Shounen Ai, aimed at a male audience. Personally, I don’t read Shounen Ai as much compared to other genres, so my perception of the genre may be a bit skewed. Anyhow, the best way to describe Shounen Ai is the epitome of bromance. There will generally two or more men with a very close but non romantic relationship, and there will be no females in the main cast.

Now that I have explained what the two genres are, I’m going to explain how they are used. Generally, Shounen Ai and Shojo Ai are never the focus of the story themselves. Instead, there will almost always be another genre to drive the story like sports, music, or drama. Shounen Ai and Shojo Ai are more like an added bonus, ones that will naturally occur depending on the cast. For example, an author might start a manga without any aspects of Shojo Ai. However, by the time that main protagonist becomes good friends with the main cast (almost all girls), and no male lead has been seen, people will like start classifying it as Shojo Ai. 

Finally, we have arrived to the trends section of the blog. Unfortunately, because of my limited knowledge of Shounen Ai and Shojo Ai, I am only able to share one common trend between the two genres. The trend in question being clubs. I think I already talked about this in my slice of life blog, but this trend also frequently contains Shojo Ai and Shounen Ai. To be even more specific, the trend usually pairs the sports genre with Shounen Ai. For example, there be a group of male childhood friends that play basketball together, or something along those lines. With Shojo Ai, the types of genre become much more varied. However, the most common one I think I’ve seen paired is probably music. 

In the end, I hope this broadened your knowledge of Shounen Ai and Shojo Ai. These two genres are definitely not as popular as some of the other genres I’ve talked about. However, that’s part of the reason I wanted to talk about them, to spread a bit of awareness. Anyhow, next time I think I’ll cover Yuri and Yaoi, two similar genres to Shojo Ai and Shounen Ai respectively. However, this time around Yuri and Yaoi actually touches upon romantic relationships.