Hello, my fellow reader.
Following along what I briefly discussed in my video on YouTube (which if you haven’t, I encourage you to go watch it, but you don’t have to because all the details from there are highlighted here too. Just click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UC2J0pJIY8), I now want to give you a more detailed depth about the kinds of volunteering I’ve been doing up to now and why I still want to keep going, as reasons to do so will follow.
In the past three months of this co-op term, I’ve volunteered for three one-time events. I still am volunteering part-time for a startup company near The Tannery. The events I volunteered for are in association with University of Waterloo, with support from AccessAbility Services operated there; I volunteered for You@Waterloo Day on May 23rd; the Canada Day Celebrations on the afternoon of July 1st; and “EngSoc Goes to THEMUSEUM” on July 11th.
I’m currently working part-time in a developer position for a financial technology venture. Throughout my position, I have become integrated throughout the frontend and backend web development process.
This is somewhat a perfect cure for me to get out of my apartment on weekends, especially when for now if I were to stay home and forget volunteering on weekends altogether, there really isn’t that much for me to do. I also decided to put me on for volunteering and to see if I could keep myself busy at night, because right after I finished Software Engineering 1B, I really needed a break. It was a long four-month journey where I really was trying to push myself forward in getting a job that didn’t necessarily involved working in Waterloo where choices were so limited.
You see, I was so pushing myself so hard in trying to get a co-op job all by myself; I even was following along my idealistic mind rather than being so pragmatic about it. I went through a job fair at Waterloo’s RIM Park on February 4, sent out over 30 e-mails after going through all the companies to see which ones would have jobs that had software development, put together my own website with the help of several classmates of mine for insight on HTML and CSS, applied to over 200 jobs on UWaterloo’s JobMine alone, and even followed up frequently with a couple of career advisors. I also went through two resume critiques, where one was with upper-year SE students (that didn’t go so well because I wasn’t really talkative, as being really busy with homework all by myself all the time didn’t help me much with my communication skills) and another one with an advisor from UWaterloo’s Co-op Department, the staff at the Tatham Centre.
Even with all of this effort, I only was offered, out of the entire term, three interview offers. It was only the last one through one of Conrad’s own staff and alumni that made me earn the offer to work at Conrad; initially to be hired as an entrepreneur in training, only to find out after one meeting that my employment was rearranged to be as a research assistant developer.
“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” – Michael Jordan
Because I am lacking so many skills needed to put me in a very profitable and progressive position, this is why I have been volunteering and why I still want to keep on going to volunteer, along with multiple one-time events too.
Here are the most important reasons why:
- I am normally quite so anxious about trying to earn a realistic life rather than an idealistic life, because of the way I am so hypersensitive and that there are certain things that go beyond my control, like when someone tries to manipulate me or lie to me without realizing. In other words, I am having so much trouble with trying to think realistically and having to avoid the extreme stress that goes along the way.
- I have to learn on how not to leave so much of a bias whenever I am asked to help other people out, and I have to tell them why I would be so limited to help them out, even at nighttime whenever I’m tired from my day, just want to relax, and feel a little sleepy that I have a hard time thinking about things realistically enough. It’s like whenever someone asks me to build a website from them and I am taken advantage of at night without giving him a full explanation as to why I’m very limited in helping him out.
- Although some events can be pretty difficult to go through, some events end up being comfortable and hence I get a chance to talk to people I’m volunteering with. I even would say I wish that I would handle more people, because it’s a way for me to interact with them and learn on how most successful volunteers do it.
- This definitely counts as something to put on my resume and my LinkedIn profile, especially with how I’m to learn new skills that employers could count them as assets, increasing my chances of getting hired for a difficult but profitable position. I can only hope soon enough that more employers for co-op opportunities will look for me so that I don’t have to go so excessive with my job search. If I’m not mistaken, I think this might be one of the objectives of attaining a co-operative education while going through university.
- What I’m working on at the startup company I mentioned before could count as a project I can show to my employers later on in my academic career at University of Waterloo. I definitely need to do a lot more projects, only to find out that my personal stress is in the way, and that I need to recharge for what’s to come in future academic terms.
- I wish I can be so
influential to a lot of people where I would be praised. It won’t be so
easy to do because there’s also the chance that I can spread a lot of social
controversy or become notorious for something that I’ve done bad to the public
where they think it’s the worst thing I’ve ever done. It’s the way on how I’m
to deliver something to the real world; if only I can understand cultural
relativism and see how people in Canada, for example, would understand it, as
well as in other countries like the United States, Brazil, Germany, Japan, or
Otherwise, from having to follow along my experience being at school where I really was thinking I am the “impostor” and thus I wasn’t very sociable or engaging as my teachers were expecting, or from having so much trouble being so mentally developed as they were, I want to make a comeback from being stigmatized to being accepted and influential. I’m not usually good with similes because I often relate two things that are so different from one another, but it’s kind of similar to Jodi DiPiazza, who in October 2012, did a performance act in Comedy Central’s Night of Too Many Stars in NYC with Katy Perry after going through intensive therapy and falling in love with the piano. (A YouTube video has been posted since then officially by Comedy Central itself)
- With a new
academic term coming up soon, I should mention that I do want to sign up as the
Games rep for the Software Engineering class I’m in. It’s a way for me
to relax myself and try to get along with my own classmates as I tackle six
courses in a totally different environment. What I’d be doing is organizing
different kinds of games to help build teamwork among our students, and that by
taking advantage as the person in charge of games, I’d be able to get along
with my classmates better rather than feeling so secretly envious all the time.
This is also to get away from distractions I usually have every single day with
video game visuals and music.
There's also the fact that I often feel way too stressed out when it comes to teamwork with people who I'm not so familiar with as to some of my friends. In addition, by the time I realize that I could have some of my classmates as my team mates without falling too socially anxious, they already have partners. (I only wish I can learn about the social etiquette friends really do have as well as how finding and building teams really work, because with this sort of weakness I got in building friendships and understanding communication, it's way too delicate and thus stressful to even try it.)
- In addition to
Software Engineering 2A being more intense than my past two terms, I decided to
sign up to volunteer for the Ontario Universities Fair to represent my
university, taking place on the morning of Saturday, September 26th,
at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, just right next door to Ripley’s
Aquarium of Canada. It’s between the Rogers Centre and Union Station. I am going to need lots of help
preparing for this awesome occasion, because I am going to introduce high
school students to what University of Waterloo is all about, as well as my
experience so far in SE.
You can find more information here: http://www.ouf.ca/
By the way, September 27th this year is my 22nd birthday. So, make this an awesome birthday as well!
- It’s a way for me
to get out of bad habits and bad behavior as this affects my stress level and
being able to think intelligently in the long run. It also has to do
with respecting the people I see in society because if bad habits get in the
way of me where I would not be so adaptable to changes, then I would not be
able to fit myself in society as everyone else. If only if I would say one
thing as being an Engineering student at UWaterloo, and that is, “Autism
definitely has no limits to being so intelligent and fast at what people with
it think.” This is also a way for me to build up professional behavior rather
quickly and take on more elegant approaches while working; my bosses won’t
necessarily be there to tell me what to do in all different kinds of
Why can’t I be more respectful and approachable to my professors? I’ll never know if one of them may be my best friend to what I want to work on.
And there’s something new I have just realized: I am already underselling myself because I’m not talking myself out to the people around me that I’d be a good partner of theirs, not even my classmates. In fact, by me saying that I’m so busy and busy, it’s kind of like I’m always occupying my own time with homework and co-op when I shouldn’t. I desperately need to learn and understand social conventions and stop getting into way too many ridiculous habits I got based on my ego.
There are too many habits I need to stop doing. Sometimes it is better to stick with the reality and be part of it so much in trying to achieve what I want rather than being so egotistical about it and do not that much social interaction with others to be empowered.
- The bill for Software Engineering 2A taking place in the Fall 2015 term is running me and my parents about $12,400. Considering that it’s running all of us at least $10,000 per university term, I’m hoping that doing intensive volunteering in the long run will help me get a profitable job to pay most of the expenses back, especially with the financial aid I’ve been receiving up until now.
- By placing myself in a more profitable position, even if it can become more difficult and stressful to manage, eventually I may have enough savings in my account to start paying back the financial aid loans I’ve been receiving from AFE Quebec (not OSAP). My own idea is to make a permanent move out of Quebec to better witness the glory and integration I could earn if I was to live in Ontario, another province, or even the United States instead. That’s because when I was diagnosed with autism in 1996, at two years old, our neurologist had stated that I would only have the ability to speak English and not French as Quebec expects. And unfortunately, this turned out to be very true. It’s a long story for me to explain more about this; that will have to be discussed at another time.
- Considering that
my bosses at the Conrad Centre are seeing a lot of potential within me, even
with exercising and walking out in place, as well as going in my own pace
rather than feeling pressured to get things done, I feel like I can excel my
abilities and work some of my major weaknesses to be a well-coordinated
employee with the ability to get so many tasks done with all the hard work I
do. I might as well even work on my leadership and communication skills so that
I’m not just Gregory Desrosiers, but rather, the real Gregory Desrosiers with a
sense of engineering. It’s about time I leave the “impostor Gregory
Desrosiers” behind because with it, not that many people will trust me and my
endeavours, nor would they follow me.
That’s because stress does affect me psychologically, but it can’t necessarily affect my own strengths in getting tasks done, especially when professors and even the directors of Software Engineering would see me do so well.
- From posting a photo on Facebook in November 2014 of me holding a chalkboard saying “Even with autism, I am made to be inspired to succeed at University of Waterloo,” and from some personal sharing, I have gained over 2,000 likes, the first 800 in only eight hours from posting it on UWaterloo’s Frosh Group, Class of 2019. But I rather do more than just succeed, because I don’t want to leave behind an “impostor” feeling and dislike; I want to have a personality where the public loves me, even if I were to have at least one million around the world.
There are more topics to follow, but it’s entirely up to you if you want to read them or not because I want to respect the amount of interest you have. I also don’t want to overwhelm you for having to grasp all of what I have to say here.
Before I continue, however, there are a few tasks I want to highlight which will allow me to gain some volunteering experience and build on new skills as I go.
- Saturday, August 15th, I will be volunteering in the Tech Retreat 2015 Hackathon, which is a UWaterloo-based hackathon for high school students where teams get together and complete a project in about 8 hours.
- When I go through the first SE 201 seminar session where the directors of Software Engineering pick the candidates for representatives, I’m going to be the candidate for the Games Representative, who is responsible for organizing times where people get together and play things like board games, video games, sports outings, and so on. (Mind you, if they want to play Super Smash Bros. on the Wii U, I must play the game myself before they do so that I don’t catch so many spoilers! On the other hand, oldie games like Goldeneye, Mario Kart: Double Dash!! or even Brawl are acceptable)
- September 26th, I am volunteering at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, in what’s called the Ontario Universities’ Fair representing UWaterloo as one of the Software Engineering students. I’ll be asking different questions to high school students, and so I must be bold in being comfortable talking to people and avoid getting too stressed out or feeling mightily discouraged.
- From volunteering at a startup company on weekends where I hope I would get an employment recommendation om completing this project, I think I’ll be spending some time at night catching up on what I missed and probably work on it even during my two-week layover before I start school again on September 14th.
- Originally, at the
start of this co-op term, I wanted to work on mobile app development where I
can get some knowledge on how to design, program, and debug an app specifically
for the Google Android OS, using Java-based Android libraries. By doing
different exercises as well as building a computer game of my own, I would have
a side project of my own where I would be a trainee developer on apps for the
Android. Eventually, I would learn Objective-C and see if I could program apps
for the Apple iOS. I only wish I could even program a game in x86 Assembly, as
Chris Sawyer did manage to program RollerCoaster Tycoon under that language
It turned out that I wasn’t really that much motivated to do a project of my own and get myself forward to doing a project like this because one of the biggest challenges I have in my life is thinking outside the box and being able to explore some new ideas that perhaps I would build up something very small at the start. I’m more of a person who would put a full project together and spend several months working on it before releasing it to the public. In addition, I felt a lot of personal stress from feeling so unaccomplished even after spending 8 months doing academics and four months on preparing for co-op.
So, it seems that the only way on how I would build on mobile app experience quickly enough and be able to take on self-motivation, thinking of simple projects to build even those that already exist, as well as those that are small but so dynamic, is to volunteer with discipline from an employer or manager. By working so hard on skills, making sure that I get comfortable talking to people and not feel like so much of an impostor to the people around me, maybe perhaps I would be able to accomplish something that my classmates would feel that I should not be an impostor anymore. There’s definitely a lot of weaknesses within me that I really have to give up for and instead go for the glory that some students have already by changing myself completely, by working so hard, by spending so many hours and overcoming stress to build on this motivation, so that I value myself more when I see the result. I’m result-driven.
I wish I can build a computer game of my own before my academic term starts, but this is not a very realistic approach because I will need a lot of time to build it. In addition, I have several things I need to do. I need to update my personal website, finish off my projects in my co-op job and my volunteering, do some volunteering, some important errands, and even prepare for Software Engineering 2A with regards to understanding some material like ECE 124 (Digital Circuits and Systems), since I am taking ECE 222 (Digital Computers).
Anyway, that does it. And so I want to take you to the more specific details of why I want to catch up on volunteering experience and get a difficult but very profitable and well-organized job.
First of all, I already explained why I wanted to sign up as a Games rep for the SE class I’m in. But let me give you a little more depth. Since this summer I really wasn’t able to afford a Wii U and three games including Splatoon, (after watching the original trailer of the game in an EB Games store near the Yonge-Dundas Square on June 6th; you can watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8L54s2m1dPs) this may not be as so pragmatic as it seems, but I only wish me and some UWaterloo staff would organize our own Splatoon-based event. We would have a SplatFest and invite UWaterloo students to participate in a competitive-action game and dress up just like the characters in the video game. We would hire a team of filmmakers to shoot the action and edit it into a YouTube video with actual support from Nintendo, where it would be released as “Real Splatoon.” This would be a way for me to catch up the fun I’ve missed that I’m sure many families across Canada have with Splatoon alone. (Hmm, if only if I would be able to volunteer for Nintendo of Canada eventually…)
I even posted a photo I captured inside Chapters’ Waterloo retail on the corner of King and Weber on August 3rd on my Instagram profile (https://instagram.com/p/5-u552K8_O/) ; it’s the cover of Prima Games’ Official Game Guide on Splatoon, all because from missing out the fun and mayhem that people would have had this summer, I really do love the artwork on it. That same identical cover artwork is used on the actual case from where the Wii U Game Disc and the instructions of the game are. If I can better picture the amount of action that arises from kids dressed in white and black summer clothes rocking out to the tune of city life, it won’t get any better than this!
I also missed out the fun I had on that day where I was with my mom and her boyfriend in the Greater Toronto Area. I had the exciting opportunity to finally play arcade games through the Playdium Family Centre outside the Square One GO Terminal, as well as walk with them inside the Toronto Eaton Centre, through the downtown streets, and even going through both Philips Square and Yonge-Dundas Square! If only if I really was part of the promotion team for Splatoon, because then I would put so much of my self-worth and my love towards Nintendo.
Anyway, sorry to break the flow of thought. The event I discussed would actually be a tribute to Satoru Iwata, who died on the night of July 11th, 2015, from a bile duct growth, after spending over 10 years as the president of Nintendo in Japan and being well-known for the development of the most widely-acclaimed video game console ever, the Wii. I also must write a letter to Nintendo of America for missing out the fun on the Wii U and 3DS because it’s my fault for ruining up my expectations on the basis of not getting a job while living in Quebec for the inability to speak French fluently, and instead, being discriminated and stressed out to be more realistic and confident. I am also hoping that by going back to playing Nintendo games once again, I can make sure that Shigeru Miyamoto and Charles Martinet will retire with fans to look out for, and that since I would be one of his fans, we would help them have effective pension plans.
By the way, less than 48 hours after I found out about Iwata’s death, someone captured a photo of a rainbow casted over Nintendo’s corporate headquarters in Kyoto, Japan. https://www.facebook.com/Nintendo/photos/a.120520318032430.30157.119240841493711/870104976407290/?type=1&theater
Following along my experience volunteering for the You@Waterloo Day event on May 23rd, 2015, I realized that eventually I could take on the position of being one of the Engineering Ambassadors for a new group of students to come. That’s because noticing that I had a fun time greeting families with collaborative teamwork, and it really was a nice sunny spring day with the right temperature, I felt like I could hold better leadership skills as well as communication, including public speaking. In fact, when I was walking through the Physical Activities Complex during my lunch break, I came across a few well-known students as well as the associate director of Software Engineering. Noticing that it would be so cool to be a leader and hence taking on insight to deliver the right information with the right kind of style of communication, I took on this insight seriously, but not seriously enough to distract me completely when I was doing my second shift that day.
I feel that my volunteering for orientation events like this can be greatly improved, because the position I had in this event was more of a start, and it was kind of nerve-wracking. Eventually, it did work out, only that I think being someone influential to our guests would help me out catch up on my skill set. I seem to have missed working with the two student ambassadors who recruited us for volunteering. Plus, what I should do sometime in the future is to be involved with the UWaterloo Open House events where I could give them information about Software Engineering as well as let the directors fill in extra info.
“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.” – Colin Powell
Speaking of which, there’s another reason why I’m to keep on volunteering and learn new skills. I have to learn on how to think like a programmer and not necessarily push myself along too much to start coding almost right away. That’s because most of the blood and sweat I expend would occur in designing, rough logic, and debugging. In addition, I should put myself into a position of being a community member on StackOverflow.com where I could help trainee programmers understand programming languages or snippets better.
You see, when I was going through CS 138, there was one part of one assignment I couldn’t get, which was trying to have a binary search tree and a queue at the same time and making sure it deletes properly as it should from the test cases I was provided with through UWaterloo’s Marmoset system. I was running so short on time that eventually when I realized I was finished, I found out I was not following instructions properly, and I couldn’t figure out another way to implement the program.
Besides, since I am in Software Engineering, I should put more emphasis on SE, CS, and ECE courses, not MATH courses. It’s only then that I would be able to understand game programming better and hence when I work on computer games, I’m able to incorporate those concepts into my work and my code. In addition, if I’m going to be part of hackathons and do a lot of coding, then I should be a fast-paced and intelligent person like some students are, not the kind of student who is so average and going through extreme personal stress that it’s causing trouble with understanding university material, managing university life better, as well as being able to take on accomplish more. In other words, I have to be a lot more efficient with what I am doing.
Following along, I got a family cause that’s making me want to keep on going with volunteering. My dad has a serious challenge, he has to spend the next six months working seven days a week. He needs to pay back a serious debt related to doing business as a public corporation. He also needs to earn a living since working at a soup kitchen for homeless during the day does not generate him any income. He has to work at a bread factory during the weekends to make ends meet. As a good son of his, I might have to give him a hand so that he has a good retirement when he decides to stop working. I know he will try to work as long as possible but it's his decision when to retire. As a family member I feel I need to help him like he help me throughout my whole life.
My mom lost her job as a broker for the Royal Bank of Canada last March, and since then she has been working with her boyfriend on promoting his company, Xnnovation Canada (http://www.xnnovation.com/). But even then, that’s not really making money. I even offered once recently to volunteer as a web developer for her and her boyfriend so that there’s a lot more content for viewers to see and to pay the company forward. This is also to make the site more appealing and interactive, because from here, I’m noticing that the site should have some more depth, especially when people are into websites for business development rather than having to make phone calls and create delays with promotion. I even tried sharing the company site a while back, as well as giving her some input from a lecture one of Conrad’s staff, Kevin Hood, delivered while I was going through training for this summer job that I landed in. Nothing much has changed with the company since then, and I really wish we had more people to follow on the company, but there’s something I want to do which I’ll explain later on in this blog.
Otherwise, the general idea is, I need to do a lot of work if I’m ever going to help out with my parents succeed in their jobs and be able to make the same amount of money as they had before, and ensure that they would have an awesome time with their relatives together. In addition, from all the trouble I’ve caused in the past where I focused too much on my own world instead of being so realistic with the world around me, I want to pay back a lot of money to them so that they are able to catch up on their dreams and wishes they missed.
Here’s another reason why I want to do some volunteering. There are a bunch of songs that I’m thinking so many people like ‘em, but I sadly don’t because I take their music tone too seriously, and thus I am thinking I am even being more isolated in society than how I should fit in society with everyone else. I never really bother talking about them because one difficulty I have is the ability to understand them, as well as see how it fits with my life situations, or simply to follow the entertaining part in these songs.
Anyway, let me tell you what songs I’m talking about:
- “Boom Clap” by Charli XCX
- “Stereo Love” by Edward Maya and a different artist, whether it is Mia Martina or Vika Jigulina.
- “Alejandro” by Lady Gaga (I’m not sure about this one, because I heard it while doing a workout in the Columbia Icefield on August 7th, 2015)
- “Just Fact” by Lady Gaga
- “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO
- “Hey Brother” by Avicii
- “Dynamite” and “Break Your Heart” by Taio Cruz
- “What’s My Name” by Rhianna
- “Paparazzi” by Lady Gaga (again, I’m not so sure about this one because at one point I did say on Facebook that I do like the song)
- “4 Minutes” by Madonna and Justin Timberlake
- “Hot ‘n Cold” by Katy Perry
Of course, there are songs that I do like but I never for the worthwhile discuss them with my friends because I am often absorbed too much into the tone rather than thinking clearly what the lyrics mean as well as how the music videos were made. In other words, I often have trouble thinking so critically enough that I actually feel more into loving the song rather than have someone criticize me for not thinking critically enough and end up not wanting to get together with me often anymore.
- “Problem” by Ariana Grande
- “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys
- “Firework” by Katy Perry
- “I’m Blue” by Eiffel 65
- “Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen
- “Ooh La La” by Britney Spears
I’m sure there’s more than this. But the important thing is, I don’t usually talk about them because one fear I have is people wanting to criticize me and thus ruining my ego interest into these songs. There’s also the fact that from having to experience the feeling of the social mainstream, I am wishing to join it, especially when what I want to do is be a computer game developer. That’s definitely in the entertainment industry. Otherwise, it is the imaginative feeling I get from having to listen to the tone and watching the music videos where I can idealize it so much I want it to become a reality.
By volunteering with different volunteers, I would work on overcoming my fears on what other people think about me liking these songs and hence I would not take what they would say on their dislikes too personally. It’s the same thing for other things I like personally, such as the immense selfish desire I felt when I watched the trailer of Splatoon on June 6th inside an EB Games retail, as well as missing out all the fun I had playing as Princess Peach and Daisy, and even seeing them in Super Mario games.
At the start of this summer, when I learned about applications for Engineering Orientation 2015, initially I did not wanted to make an application there because of my experience when I went through Engineering Orientation 2014. When I went through the Orientation Week, one biggest challenged I faced was the amount of stress I gained from taking on EdCom’s tone and attitude way too seriously; I felt like I was their worst enemy ever. If I was to volunteer as a Big and face out the strong tone from EdCom whenever I was close to one of them, I would have easily gotten stressed out and leave the group in front of me in sadness, feeling so mightily embarrassed. I didn’t want to end up causing more trouble, especially to newcomer students, so I decided not to sign up.
In addition, going through the Orientation Week myself, I was feeling so stressed out or so disadvantaged and discouraged from not being able to have a full-time job and work on things such as communication skills with friends of my own, as well as leadership, primarily because I faced a large amount of discrimination on this one single weakness I got: I can’t speak French fluently. If I had the ability to do so, then it would have been awesome because then I would have the ability to speak multiple languages. Going back to my experience on Orientation Week alone, I didn’t even felt so socially integrated as I was, and I never knew on how to handle teamwork with people that I wasn’t so familiar with. In other words, I felt more secluded than included and encouraged by the people around me. There particularly wasn’t anyone there I was so familiar with where we would work together and then come up with possible ways on how to get through activities. In fact, I even felt myself as the worst impostor ever out of all the students that came in to Engineering Orientation because I remember one activity going on where several students understood more on how to solve those puzzles and riddles than I do.
I was in the Light Orange Team, known as the Wild West. I also went through this one part of Math Orientation since I am in Software Engineering where we had to be in this one team called “pispace” with a few team leaders. One of them persisted us with optimism to be enthusiastic, but for some reason I really wasn’t as enthusiastic as I should. I even went through this one dance act that took us a couple of hours to get through in order to show to the Dean of Mathematics interest in being a student at University of Waterloo; it was in sync with Chromeo’s Jealous (I Ain’t With It), which to my opinion is a song that I probably would rather not hear, because of how I always take the tone too seriously and thus turn me down on my endeavours for what I’m trying to accomplish.
While I was going through Orientation Week, I did express my thoughts to the leaders in the team I was in, and I did try to follow along their suggestions. But it was still not so easy to do because I felt like I had a lot to give up for, since I felt more down than up, instead of what I was trying to achieve. I also fell a bit sick for several days towards the end of the week from a cold where instead of joining in the fun, I stayed inside this very small room in Village 1 where I felt kind of down except for me wanting to move on to reading some introductory stuff including The Imprint and the introductory guide I still have to this day.
Anyway, going back to Engineering Orientation 2015, at one point knowing that it would be an awesome volunteering experience for me to gain and thus enhance my leadership and communication skills, as well as trying to live up to a more realistic life with a more realistic perspective, I asked the new EngSoc president on July 12th to see if I could sign up. Unfortunately, there were no more spots for me to be accepted because it was two months since the applications were open where I was feeling so exhausted and despondent after working so hard on co-op.
I wish I would be able to take on a leader position for Engineering Orientation, even though I wouldn’t necessarily earn a lot of public recognition or inspiration. I also wish that I wouldn’t necessarily be placed under intense competition with someone else for being so influential because that really puts me down and makes me so vulnerable to depression, extreme stress, etc. The trickiest part is trying to be someone so influential that I don’t end up being so notorious or getting a lot of hatred, especially when I’m still not fully ready to understand more on what society is like.
“When your dreams include service to others – accomplishing something that contributes to others – it also accelerates the accomplishment of that goal. People want to be part of something that contributes and makes a difference.” – Jack Canfield
Over the 8 months of education I spent at University of Waterloo, having to spend over $20,000, I gained so much insight from six different individuals that I would rather see how they succeeded and apply that to my approach.
First was my experience with the TA for CS 137. After learning about she had to manage her pay to her apartment rent, it left me with one impression that gave me quite a scare. I was to find an apartment that was so manageable and cozy, probably a 1 ½ bedroom apartment that isn’t as bad as the apartment I’ve been living for the past three months, primarily because if I wasn’t to afford myself an excellent apartment, then I knew I was going to find myself to be kind of worthless and not as potential as I thought.
Next there is the TA for ECE 140, (he goes by the name of Daniel Holmes-Mitra) who was also one of the lab assistants for ECE 124. Taking on his own delivery of tutorials and with the way on how his speech delivery skills fit so well, I only wish that I would be able to do public speaking that I may get the crowd so excited than making them feel bored or making them think that I am so worthless. Otherwise, if I was to be a TA for an undergraduate course, and I spread out a lot of background of myself, earning praise along the way, I would fill in a lot of background about the topic that’s to be discussed in the tutorial. And I would do my best to make my sessions consistent with the lectures; probably in advance to make sure that they have at least something to start their homework and then keep going, because it’s possible that tutorials may only be held not so long before an assignment is due.
The next person I want to talk about is a teaching assistant from the Waterloo Engineering Endowment Fund group who helped us out with preparing for the midterm and final exams for MATH 119. It goes by the name of Ola Suchon, who is in Civil Engineering and will be a “Care Bear” director in UWaterloo’s Engineering Orientation 2015. Considering that I am to definitely use calculus in video game development, I found out that the material I’ve learned was so interesting I would rather try to learn all of it and be able to apply it in my mathematical approaches. This actually left me with one impression: I should be a teaching assistant for a math course. (Well, sort of, because from looking over one of UWaterloo’s own blogs, I feel like I should do just more than being a TA, especially if I were to take this as a co-op position. This is the article I’m talking about: https://uwaterloo.ca/student-success/blog/post/not-your-average-ta-job) If only if my public speaking can be as good as hers, but this isn’t about me discussing my feelings of others. Instead, it’s more about me building on skills.
Next is the lab instructor for ECE 124. Initially, I did had trouble getting along because I took on his tone too seriously and thus I felt anxious. Eventually, my relationship with him as a student got better because I knew with the sort of troubles I had, even with effort, he did help me out get through the fourth and fifth laboratories of the course. It had to do with a fixed state machine for a traffic light, a series of electronic flip-flops that the output would change depending on timing and inputs. I was lagging behind with understanding both Moore and Mealy machines. Whatever how I did with the labs and all the other assessments for ECE 124, I never want to fall myself pessimistic of a university teaching assistant ever again.
I have the professor for MATH 119. He’s actually a PhD student at UWaterloo, which leaves me with the same kind of skillful impression I had from my MATH 115 professor: I’ve never seen a PhD student do some teaching for a course. Hmm… PhD. I’m not definitely ready for it, but considering that I could come up and practice ideas that people could find it extraordinary, maybe I should challenge myself for a thesis? Too bad UWaterloo doesn’t have its own Masters and PhD program in Software Engineering, but perhaps I could pioneer it specifically for UWaterloo? Like I know some universities have it. But since UWaterloo is Canada’s most innovative engineering university and that there are many techno startups in the Kitchener-Waterloo Region alone, why not?
Lastly, I have a mentor who is an upper-year Software Engineering student; it’s Clarisse Schneider who spent this co-op term working at Facebook’s Seattle operations. This is her own UWaterloo page: https://uwaterloo.ca/engineering-student-ambassadors/people-profiles/clarisse-schneider
The first time I listened to her speaking out to all of us in the classroom through this seminar held in January where several upper-year students have given some thoughts on their past experience about co-op and how much they had to offer at the start. Clarisse was one of them, by pure surprise. In fact, I’m not particularly sure if I had even seen her once through Engineering Orientation 2014. I can’t honestly remember the first time I met her in person…
Otherwise, having to notice so many endorsements on her LinkedIn profile for public speaking, and taking into account how I did my speech on autism back in May 2013 to an audience of 40 at Champlain College Saint-Lambert, I think public speaking is something I should work on. In fact, isn’t public speaking a major core in skills that I need to be an entrepreneur and a video game producer and director at the same time? I also thought about, for once, holding a speech in UWaterloo’s basketball court inside the Physical Activities Complex about me advancing forward regardless of having a diagnosis for autism, and giving the audience some input by inviting a couple of well-known individuals: Alexis Wineman from Cut Bank, Montana, and Andrew Reams from Roanoke, Virginia, and let them give some input to the audience out there on their success to society. I would also work on being comfortable talking to people that I usually don’t feel comfortable talking to, like strangers, especially co-op employers.
If only I really tried organizing a conference for Engineering students at University of Waterloo with Dr. Temple Grandin.
Following along my failed attempt on the English Language Proficiency Exam in September 2014, especially with how I lost so much confidence the summer before where I couldn’t keep it high enough to work on my skills and being able to express my thoughts more properly, I definitely want to enhance my communication skills. I’m taking ENGL 210E, Genres of Technical Communication, this fall, but that’s not enough to enhance my writing, reading, and speaking skills. By doing this, I would be more comfortable talking to people on the phone, through Skype calls, being able to understand friendships more and have better ideas on what to discuss with the people around me, as well as making myself more comfortable working in teams with others and collaborating with one another.
“Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity.” – Bo Bennett
I have to work on my stress level because it has taken me a long time to write up this blog. You know on how I’m supposed to relax to limit my stress level so that the way on how I do my work every day doesn’t become so much for me to take, or I end up being selfish and unprepared, and hence I get aggravated and unproductive. As much as I want to keep on working and working, unfortunately I do run into issues with being lazy just because I feel like with how I’m so hypersensitive to stuff, I tend to take them too seriously and thus this overwhelms me, except for when I play computer games or I watch YouTube videos as I find myself brainless.
By working on this, I’d be able to take on more responsive chores without feeling so worried about something else or feeling lazy so much that I lose track of myself and thus pay attention to regaining energy for what’s to come ahead. As a responsible adult, I must work on this so that I can focus on my needs and do important things like filing taxes, making up budgets around the house and what I want, as well as making up time slots for things like writing diary entries or going out for jogs in the morning. But if there’s one thing that’s turning me down, it’s the fact that I often feel so unaccomplished every single morning for things that I want even after a lot of work.
Besides, the most critical point I can give out is when I’ll be working with several other well-known companies like Facebook, Electronic Arts, IBM, Ubisoft, GitHub, or even a video game studio like Next Level Games in Vancouver, maybe A Thinking Ape as well. The work there involves a lot of intense and attention-driven hours, and that can make me easily stressed out when it would be a place for me to work so that I show off a lot of potential.
I’m really envious to buy a lot of things and get myself out of the house for activities like going to the mall or even watching movies. Elite: Dangerous, by David Braben and his team at Frontier Developments Ltd. in Cambridge, UK, along with a few accessories, is one of them. I feel envious as well to go and play all of those arcade games I’ve played in my childhood. I’m even missing out the fun that one of my classmates is having and have been for the past two months with his girlfriend where they had been working full-time in Toronto for the past three months. And what about missing out all the fun I could have if I was to go swimming in UWaterloo’s own swimming pool during a hot day?
Something else I’m missing all the fun of in a summer: first, there’s me wanting to play beach volleyball with some of my friends or people who love me the way I am, especially down by the beach. I’m even feeling discouraged that I can’t afford to travel all the way down to Florida or South Carolina for a beach resort and vacation there. I even am feeling a bit disappointed that I can’t travel down to California. There are too many things I’m so greedy for, but can’t really afford them because it’s my fault for what I’ve done in the past when I couldn’t get a job at all for having the inability to speak French fluently and affecting my confidence level about the real world altogether. If only if one day I can go to the USA to find places to play arcade games on actual machines; after looking at some of the old 80s arcades as well as the 90s that I wanted to play in my childhood but my family said “no,” I feel like one day eventually I should spend all day doing nothing but playing arcades, with a break in the middle to eat outdoors and watch the scenery.
I also missed out the fun I had back in 2011 where towards the end, I was watching a few Hatena Flipnote Studio animations on YouTube featuring Super Mario, with one of them being a beach party (This is the video I’m talking about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJEC8ViRvT8). I even listened to the Daisy Cruiser theme from Super Mario Sluggers, where when I was playing the game back in 2009, I never expected it to remind me of beaches.
Reflecting back on the second time EngSoc goes to THEMUSEUM in Kitchener where I decided to volunteer, I really didn’t spoke up much to the children as I hoped, but I did gave everything I got to make sure that I do so well with the tasks there. And I actually miss being there. They even played music from different video games, including Shy Guy’s Toy Box and Flower Fields from Paper Mario, A Secret Sleeping in the Deep Sea from Final Fantasy VII composed by Nobuo Uematsu (Curse you, Sephiroth!), a few A Cappella from Smooth McGroove, Koopa Troopa Beach from Mario Kart 64, and a few songs from even Super Mario RPG. I’m not sure if they played a song from Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, or even the Underwater Theme from Super Mario Bros.
We had three different activities for the children. The first one was building a contraption out of recycled materials to prevent the egg from breaking when we drop it from a staircase nearby; it would be either from about 5 metres high, or from about 11 metres high. The second one was putting together a structure with just Popsicle sticks and giant marshmallows, which seemed kind of silly because I found out that having to build a structure with marshmallows won’t make it as rigid as it should. The last was building on this “magic goo” simply out of corn starch, water, and food colouring. I was more involved with the station for egg contraptions.
We didn’t end up having a lot of children and families coming on over. In fact, it was so quiet I really felt kind of envy at the end to have more visitors. I even started to felt kind of down right after, because how would I do something that children would end up loving? However, preparing for the event wasn’t so easy because reflecting back on my volunteering experience during the Canada Day celebrations helping out many children, I kind of felt some stress and lost my optimism along the way since it wasn’t easy to explain things in less detail so that the children could understand.
I think I seriously need to work on my friendship skills and understand on how not to be so awkward to people. That’s because if I don’t build up a well-structured social life with people and learn on how not to behave so strange or eccentric to people, I could end up having more troubled feelings than I do right now. In fact, one thing that really turns me down is whenever I say something that I would not necessarily realize it is rude to say so all because I don’t understand the context, and the person who hears this feels so offended that they point out the truth towards me. By then I feel extremely accused and would want to cry all because if I don’t speak up and stand up for myself, I could make the situation extremely worse and get into serious trouble.
In other words, for the kinds of weaknesses I got in understanding society and the real world, especially when it comes to dealing with communication issues I got and how I feel so anxious in general, this makes me feel like I’m a nightmare (or another word where I criticize myself for and I label myself more as an impostor) and thus vulnerable to someone taking advantage of me or that I am not as worthy and relevant to society as I should be, just like how Dr. Temple Grandin innovated herself to success and fame.
If this kind of anxiety, stress, and sadness problem does not stop there, and I don’t seek out for help on standing up and following a better engineering philosophy (you know, to get out of this extremely bad and stupid habit), then none of the people I’m familiar with would care for me and my efforts to success. I definitely need to work on teamwork and understand themes on society and socializing with people where it does get me out of this nonsense, because if employers are noticing a lot of value in me, it’s way too impractical to disregard them in my social life completely, especially when all I’m doing is putting on my work and trying to accomplish something that people can love.
If only I was not being a victim of sarcasm, bullying, gossiping, and an act of being taken advantage of. I also wish that I wasn’t naturally an impostor and that I would seriously work on my social life by chatting with my friends, because then they’d be interested in talking to me and hanging out with me; you know, trying to work on our friendship at their request at the same time as mine.
Here are a few resources to consider, even though they may seem not sound as they should, and sometimes biased. I’ve even fallen myself into both an interpretive and structural bias.
https://uwaterloo.morefeetontheground.ca/about/autism (This gives you a background of what the disability is like and what I’m trying to overcome, especially when one thing that’s turning me down is not being able to think clearly in terms of language, lack of teamwork skills, and stressing myself out too much when it comes to being realistic because I don’t know how to handle it when my ideas don’t work.)
Otherwise the most important point I want to give out is, if I wasn’t to go out often with my friends and do activities together, I would have so many weaknesses later on in my life that I wouldn’t be able to reach out my potential as I hoped. Look at it this way: I’m a University of Waterloo student in Software Engineering, and what I should be doing as some upper-year SE students recommended is attend hackathons as it is a way to enhance my CV and get better co-op jobs. In addition, I need to work on social skills in order to get some teamwork, especially when I do my fourth year capstone project that involves four months of intensive work for something innovative. But with the kind of behaviors I’ve been having for the past year where I ridiculed myself more and more than just innovate myself for change, as well as what happened in the past, that’s going to put me down too much if this keeps going on for the years to come.
I am to attend a hackathon soon enough because I want to put this into my resume and get a hold of doing a software project under a tight constraint, with help from my partners. Considering that I am not so used to teamwork and understanding social life as I’m supposed to all because of my own high level of personal stress and my strong sense of egoism, I have a bad feeling that working with people that I’m not so familiar with will be so problematic.
“I don’t want my thoughts to die with me. I want to have done something. ” – Temple Grandin
I came to University of Waterloo not because I want to find myself in a very bad position. I came in because my parents understood me that I had so much potential to give out. Eventually, if I was to work on overcoming my stress issues, being more comfortable with the real world and how things work in society, then perhaps I am able to pursue and persist on being so intelligent like some of the students I’ve seen so far at UWaterloo. This is also an opportunity for myself to get outreached to different employers across North America, all because I feel that going there would be more than just a vacation. I would feel like it’s a living there. And of course, I am not to stand off firm and just say “I can’t do it with this sort of stigmatization and discrimination.” I am to move forward and build myself up to influence the people around me.
“If everything’s a dream, don’t wake me.” – Cloud Strife, Final Fantasy VII (produced by Hironobu Sakaguchi, directed by Yoshinori Kitase)
Otherwise, I want to thank you for reading this very long blog. It’s been a very painstaking process having to spend more than three weeks putting this altogether. But if you follow me and give me support for my endeavours, you’ll never know that I may at one point make a positive difference to you as well as moving one step closer to where I want to go in my career.
So, please check out my personal website: http://gregpdessch.github.io
It definitely needs an update, and so I’ll be working on it to make it look neater and more professional, with more features like animation, a “Contact Me” form, as well as other stuff I can think of.
Also, please follow me on the following social networks:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gregorypdesrosiersuwaterloose (Gregory Desrosiers - UWaterloo)
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GregoryDes or @GregoryDes
Instagram: https://instagram.com/gregpdesig/ or @GregPDesIG
Until we talk again, I’ll see you later!