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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

My Mission to Volunteer for Reaching My Dreams

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:, 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 even Kenya.

    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:
    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 circumstances.

    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 almost completely!
    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: 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 ( ; 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.

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 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 ( 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: 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:

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: 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. (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:
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: (Gregory Desrosiers - UWaterloo)

Twitter: or @GregoryDes

Instagram: or @GregPDesIG

Until we talk again, I’ll see you later!

My Mission to Volunteer for Reaching My Dreams - Video Script

Watch the video here:

Hello, everyone! It’s Gregory Desrosiers, a.k.a. Bammer2001. I want to take some time to discuss a few things about what I’m doing.

I’m currently a full-time student at University of Waterloo in Software Engineering, finishing my first co-op term in Waterloo. This September, I’m starting my second academic year, studying six courses. You may expect me to do an intense amount of volunteering, and so that’s where I’m heading.

So, what do you have to discuss about volunteering?

I’m volunteering, and I want to keep on going. I volunteered in three different one-time events, sponsored directly by University of Waterloo, so far: UWaterloo’s You@Waterloo Day on May 23rd, Canada Day Celebrations on July 1st, and EngSoc Goes To THEMUSEUM in Kitchener on July 11th. The first event was an orientation event for families with relatives already admitted into one of UWaterloo’s programs. The second was celebrating Canada Day with an audience of over 60,000 people with special guests like rock artist Kim Mitchell and TVO Kids host Gisele Corinthios. And the third was a setup in Kitchener’s THEMUSEUM where we had children come on over to our stations for three different activities to get the children interested in science and engineering.

Are you doing any volunteering right now? If so, why?

I’m currently volunteering on weekends for the rest of the term. I work at a startup company in downtown Kitchener as a web developer. After living in Quebec for 20 years, I want to expand my resume and my skill set by trying out different kinds of volunteering and learning as I go. This is also a chance for me to take on more difficult co-op positions after working on integrating myself to a job and learning multiple professional skills.

Do you have an additional explanation to why you are volunteering?

I’m also volunteering because until I get myself a more profitable job, pay back most of my debt and help out my parents, I would not go out and spend some money on a lot of things that I want rather than what I need. Right now I’m stuck with having to do nothing but being in my apartment almost all weekend, which is why I’m working at this startup I discussed before. I may not necessarily appreciate the environment every time I volunteer, but it enables me to get a better sense of realism as an engineering candidate. Also, it builds up my CV, and volunteering multiple one-time events in a single term would help me build up my CV and my LinkedIn profile rather quickly; however, a volunteering position for more than one time slot is better because by working within a startup as a volunteer, more like a part-time job, I could get an employment recommendation for future co-ops.

So where does this go from here?

So, here are a few things I’m doing. Saturday, August 15th, I’ll be volunteering at Tech Retreat 2015, which is a UWaterloo-based high school hackathon where students from high schools get a chance to practice software programming using Ruby. When I start school again on September 14, I am hoping to be elected as the Games Representative for UWaterloo’s Software Engineering Class of 2019; I want to get together with my classmates and start building on friendships for teamwork to help me on our class assignments as well as to earn volunteering experience. This is also the case for me to be exposed in organizing games, which would be a skill for me to learn in becoming a computer game designer. And Saturday, September 26th, I’ll be at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, representing University of Waterloo’s Software Engineering, where I’ll be discussing to high school students about the program as well as how my experience is like so far.

Any last thoughts?

Anyway, if you want to know more about what I’m trying to accomplish, as well as get some insight about my situation and my personal background, please check out my blog. Please be sure to check out my LinkedIn profile too, as well as follow me on the social networks I’ve mentioned in the description of this video.

Otherwise, thanks for watching!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

To Be Successful or Not To Be Successful

NOTE: Because this post is very long, I've highlighted the most relevant parts in yellow. That's basically the most important details of this post. I've also left the less relevant text in for you to get a better understanding of what I went through and what are some thoughts I think would be interesting for you.

EDIT: One of the pointers below is removed because I got a message from someone on Facebook saying that I wouldn't share this to the public.

Welcome to University of Waterloo, one of Canada's top engineering universities!

Hello, everyone! I'm Gregory P. Desrosiers, 21 years old and from Montreal, studying at University of Waterloo in Software Engineering. 

I went through my first term with my last exam on the afternoon of December 16, which went quite well. What I want to bring to you today is a story of some of the experiences I had over here in Waterloo, and what some of the things that I wish I can definitely work on, for myself, and for everyone's sake, including you and my parents. There are a few obstacles to face, yes, and so I'll have to pay attention to the most relevant ones, work on them first, and once they are satisfied, get some support for the rest of my troubles.

If you are in Software Engineering where you have just completed SE 101 (Introduction to Methods of Software Engineering) with Dr. Andrew Morton as your professor (he's the director of the Software Engineering program for those of you who don't know), you can see right away that the kind of approach I'm thinking of, assuming I am some software and I am implemented by others, is an incremental approach. The requirements for the software are broken up into increments, and the most relevant ones are worked on first before any additional features are added. [I'm simply making up an analogy between me and some software that software engineers work on. But most of the time, I think my similes are so inaccurate and don't make sense.]

Before I continue, I want to announce that even though my results for the term are still unofficial, I have completed Software Engineering 1A and am promoted to 1B, with five courses, one seminar, and co-op applications ahead of me. (According to UWaterloo Career Advisor Linda Davis, who delivered the seminars early in the SE 101 course, she said on average, it takes about 90 applications for a Software Engineering student to get a job match. But the number always depends on multiple factors, including my volunteer and work experience, how I describe myself, my skills, and how my applications are refined, specifically my resume and my job interviews. So, I better start working on them, and learn on how to cope with anxiety and nervousness when I have my interviews, whether it's phone, Skype, or in person.)

My term average (by summing all grades and dividing by 6) is 80.5%, with my best course being SE 101 (Introduction to Methods of Software Engineering) at 88%, as well as MATH 115 (Linear Algebra) at 88%, and my worst course being MATH 117 (Calculus 1 for Engineering) at 73%. I have calculated the GPA under a 4.0 scale, but I'm pretty sure my calculation is wrong, because the SE directors do it differently. By using a chart provided by McMaster University and using the index at the bottom (, and by following a few pointers I found online through Google, my GPA, as calculated solely by me, is 3.53.

NOTE: It turns out that the term average and GPA I calculated before are not right. From a website link one of my SE classmates provided, my average is actually 79.8%, and my GPA is 3.5.

Anyway, moving on to the rest of the blog. There are primarily a couple of reasons why my dad and his girlfriend took the decision to have me attend University of Waterloo instead of McGill or Concordia.

One is, I had some academic potential while completing a Quebec college degree (Diplôme d'études collegiales) in Computer Science and Mathematics at Champlain College Saint-Lambert (right outside Montreal), even though most of the time I asked my academic advisor for a reduce course load. In fact, except for my integrative project course where the instructor wasn't really clear on the instructions of the project initially and I was not totally aware of this inconsistency, I was really good with programming in Java and most of my core classes. I even made one successful attempt in getting a 100% in one of my courses, which was Program Development in a Graphical Environment; basically, coding Java with the AWT and Swing packages in an object-oriented approach.

To be fairly honest of this, before they came up with the decision for me to go to Waterloo, they thought of me attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. But we were affected so bad by the economy recession in 2009 and from what happened with my father regarding work in 2011-2012 we couldn't save up enough money for me to make a move to Boston and do my education there. I was reluctant of this back then, but I think by now it would have been awesome to be there, just as long as I get some support to help me with my success.

The other is, when I had my diagnosis for autism at two years old, my parents were told by our family neurologist that I was not going to be able to speak French very well. And sadly, this turned out to be true, because I was not being very mature and concentrated in elementary school and the first two secondaries at high school. I was born and raised to speak mostly English. I even failed Secondary 5 French where I had to spend an extra seven days in one summer to clear the failure and move on to CEGEP. Somehow, with the help of the special needs advisor and some people, even my teachers, I was able to complete the two French courses I had in one fell swoop. But the most important idea is, I have been discriminated so badly when I tried to get a job here during summers, and it has been turning me down so mentally that I anticipated too many negative emotions, experienced trouble with stress, and worst, not thinking realistically enough. (I even had two big occasions where I tried to get a couple of projects of my own, one being two long videos, and one a book, out for a price where both of them did not work out quite so well because I pushed myself too hard and was not being realistic enough with things like making sure I would be safe in doing this, or having a publishing budget. One of the videos is here:

Now that I'm a student at University of Waterloo, I'm no longer being discriminated on the basis of language at all anymore. In fact, thanks to the Equity Office and some of the policies put forward, such as academic integrity, I was never insulted, bullied, or even a victim of illegal actions put by other UWaterloo people. There are still so many things I have to work on though and get used to, however. (I'm wondering why I am thinking of Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, because I can't seem to remember what I understood about the first three volumes. Even if I were to remember, I don't think having a discussion about Marjane fitting into the scenes in Austria after leaving her home in Iran fits into this context because how does it even relate to this blog?)

Before I give you a list of what are so many inconsistencies I found about myself as a UWaterloo first-year student, there are a couple more details I want to give. Because I definitely do have numerous symptoms related to my diagnosis, I have a file opened with AccessAbility Services. My next step would be to try out the Inspiration and Kurzweil 3000 software packages that my dad has suggested to me and decided that we was going to get the money to pay for them. (Because I'm from Quebec and used up some financial aid for my CEGEP education, it's from Aide financiere aux études Québec, not from the Ontario Student Assistance Program.) I was feeling kind of paranoid when he told me about this initially because if there's one thing that's turning me down where it's making my parents really concerned about the serious consequences I can run into, it's stress. Simply put, I wanted to push myself to get through university without using any special aid tools.

To better aid the process of me succeed better, they suggest as well that I am offered some tutoring for one of the courses I'm struggling with in my next term. I think by now, I should find out how I would do with my courses first, and if I run into some trouble, I use the aid. But otherwise, it should be there for optional use.

But now that I'm in Software Engineering and that having to be a UWaterloo student would mean that I should learn on how to be a bit of a pioneer, I still don't understand why my dad said it's not a good idea to let all SE students have the software for themselves, even if they don't really need it. And what about the LiveScribe pen?

Speaking of which, I once wrote a comment on the Sobeys app directly on the Sobeys website that me and some SE students at UWaterloo should work on developing a better kind of the app to adapt to the customer's needs. And I even wrote an e-mail to my AccessAbility advisor saying that there should be a server to where students registered with AccessAbility can access their time and location of their midterm and final exams so that way they don't have to step into their office to look at the exam binder, or ask the receptionist. (The only major difference I found is, I once took a look at my exam seating for my CS 137 exam, and the room I was doing it in is exactly the same as was written in the exam record with AccessAbility.) That server would be programmed by us and I would try to learn and practice both leadership and oral communication skills, working in collaboration with the executives of Software Engineering including Dr. Morton himself.

And second, can I really make University of Waterloo my home? Even though me and my family have some issues with money, they would rather want me to succeed better over there, because eventually I can have stronger potential and be successful in my co-ops since I do want to work around Canada and the United States (except for Quebec). And regardless of the struggles and issues I have to this day, with the right people like you, I could eventually one day do something that I would earn some fame. (Technically, I tend to be too greedy for fame, which is one inconsistency I'll point out to you.)

UWaterloo Engineering Class of 2019 Aerial Photo

So, what I want to draw down here is many of the struggles I found about myself before I started writing this blog. Some of them are experiences as they are related to events, or occasions where I made a mistake that was fixable, and hence I wasn't fallen into too much trouble.

  1. Taking what the prime leaders of Orientation, EdCom, had said too seriously where I felt like I was in the middle of an army. Whether this simile is true or not, I felt like I was being totally disciplined in a negative way.
  2. Paying too much attention to perfectionism in several assignments. What I mean is, focus on getting every single answer right, especially in MATH 115 assignments.
  3. Not taking exams seriously enough; what I mean is, meet up with my professors and TAs overtime to discuss things about understanding questions in assignments and figuring out what would be a straightforward approach to them.
  4. Not spending time each night to read through my notes. That's where complications in my solutions come in because I think about certain theorems or ideas that I'm more linear with them instead of combining them with others to generate a logical approach to solving.
  5. Not always listening or memorizing what other people say because I hear video game music or other media audio at the same time I do things in reality. In addition, it can be related to my emotional troubles, such as anxiety, stress, selfishness, or sadness in general. (Take this as a sort of attention problem.)
  6. Mood swings
  7. Social withdrawals (What I mean is, up until the end of the term, I never really took a chance to meet up with my classmates at the Software Engineering Lab.)
  8. Need to be more concentrated and efficient with my approach on homework, because then I can understand more complex theorems and apply them to practice.
  9. Nail biting, nose picking
  10. Not being flexible to all extreme or important changes such as my routine in homework or having to meet up with teammates for projects.
  11. Saying something that I literally mean one thing, but the person I talk to has an understanding of something else, which totally upsets me. (Where can I work on my oral skills?)
  12. Anxiety and stress when I have to talk to my family (as I am living on my own), especially for Skype calls.
  13. The need for other people's attention when it is totally not necessary (unless I am doing something that I feel it's important to get support such as media or projects with publicity.)
  14. I am seeing marks as myself too much (at university, I cannot do that because failures are complete learning opportunities. Learning from certain failures is the point of attending engineering programs.)
  15. Writing too much in e-mails.
  16. Everyone would want to emphasize this: Keep it simple. How can I keep things simple when I am too sad about myself, or not thinking right?
  17. If my parents get upset when speaking to me because I am feeling too stressed or ready to lose my temper, it will make me feel more agitated because I see it as though they are ready to criticize me or they are getting angry at me.
  18. Trouble understanding abstract ideas and being seriously flexible to changes. (for example, in my first time where I had to go to see my partners for our SE 101 project, I was feeling stressed out because I had plans for other homework. In addition, I flunked three ECE 105 quizzes because I didn't understood the question really well, and didn't took every night to read through my ECE 105 notes, as Dr. Michael Balogh emphasized, because of the course load I was in.)
  19. Too many fears and worries of things that should not happen, including the possibility that the manager I'll be working with in my co-ops is so rude to me that they start threatening me or tell me things that I think are rude or awkward for me to do.
  20. Issues with controlling my patience, one of them having to take a look at the clock frequently to see what time it is and how much longer I have to wait until a lecture is finished, especially those that finish at 6:00 PM. (In other words, I'm feeling way too bad of myself that I can't keep my concentration and interest much that will help me get through the lecture much more easily. That is, I don't experience any thoughts of, “Oh, can we please make time go faster? I simply just want to get out of here. I'm bored.”)
    [I am not even really sure if this is really related to hyperactivity, because I was once told by my dad a few years back that I had a little bit of ADHD as well. Or that it's a natural side effect from playing video games in the past, or simply eating too much sugar.]
  21. Trouble with controlling my obsessions. (For example, before the Exam Period, and between my SE 101 and CS 137 exams [five days], I decided to keep on sharing my Stand Up to Stigma photo to Andrew Reams himself and to several other people, including the Autism Parents Support & Discussion Group. Because it definitely had some potential where I could get some spectators for future projects, I decided to write up on my day planner where else I would share my photo.)
  22. Being too formal when talking to my friends or my classmates.
  23. Taking on too much resources, or not enough, of what I need (such as using the gas radiator too much to keep myself warm).
  24. What happened on several occasions during the term (including one on the afternoon of December 14).
  25. Pausing too often between thoughts; they can often be too long to think of as well. Definitely not good for an engineering candidate, because aren't engineers supposed to be efficient at their work? (My biggest trouble is that I tend to daydream or listen to multimedia audio in my head, or even see it in me.)
  26. Putting out too many fears and assumptions where it has no good on me; instead, I easily put on disrespect to others and have them feel disinterested in being friends with me.
  27. Even though Orientation was supposed to be fun, somehow I think I took it too seriously with the activities provided, because I tried to join in with the rest of the team and work on stuff in equal terms with everyone else. But that didn't worked out because generally the people who really worked on the project were smarter than me. In fact, they were much simpler than me. In addition, I was probably not used to doing a lot of activities outside or in the classroom where we don't have any access to computers or phones, which I tend to have fixed interests to. (Besides, I was totally new to everyone else, so I felt a little bit that I was in an alien world.)
  28. Used to communicate with people by person or by e-mail. (I'm too nervous to make phone calls, which by now I don't want this to limit me.)
  29. Word choices and grammar (I don't phrase things properly when spoken. There are occasions where I choose a word that I would mean one thing, but the person I'm talking to understands it as something else.)
  30. Turning small problems into larger ones too often.
  31. Not being socially appropriate enough to some people whenever I would try to build a friendship with them.
  32. Not understanding non-verbal communication really well, or not taking the time to work on my understanding of it. (Is it true that whenever I do my co-op, I always have to use non-verbal communication, or it's considered unprofessional?)
  33. Whenever I talk to my classmates, sometimes I do feel not so confident, or I rather not be convinced to feel happy because I don't know how well I do with very big assessments.
  34. Not being proactive enough in certain areas.
  35. Paying, or taking, too much time on one topic because I am making a big worry out of a single assignment problem for having a serious mistake in it, when I should be working on other assignments as well.
  36. Solutions that are too complicated when things can be much more simplified by reading carefully and thinking about what was taught in lectures. (For example, in some of my CS 137 assignment questions, I took on a complicated approach to solving the problem when I could just simplify things around. This is a very serious concern because if this keeps on going like this, eventually when I have my career, it'll be too much since I'll be too slow, or I'll be putting in too much on something that it gets out of hand in the assignment as a whole.)
    A more static example for SE students: In one CS 137 assignment, you know the function “polyGetCoefficient” where it returns 0 whenever the index is greater than the polynomial's size? It's not like that, because in my original solution, I had the program reallocate memory before returning zero, which I was told by our TA that it's not a very good idea.
    Do I really need to memorize the fundamental concepts discussed in our notes when we use them in our assignments?
  37. Seeing certain situations as computer games.
  38. Talk to myself out loud too much, especially whenever there is no one around but me such as when I was in my room in Village 1.
  39. I overreacted in my head too much during the Single and Sexy drama act one day at Engineering Orientation, as well as the two diversity workshops hosted by UWaterloo's Equity Office as an important learning experience in SE 101. (I was never caught in trouble at any way. Instead, it had to do with something personal I can't reveal at all.)
  40. Trouble with some short-term memory because as soon as one important thing goes by, there may be something else I have realized that I forgot to bring up.
  41. Issues being optimistic depending on the season. For example, at the start of Engineering Orientation, I felt like summer is already dying, which made me feel so upset and sad inside me because I felt like my chance of going out with my friends and being empowered was over. By now, I hate getting so agitated based on the weather because I think I should be flexible from now on to work on improving myself and the skills I need to know for my future. In addition, I need to be more happy.
  42. I know that my parents are there to help me and that they were there influencing me to better improve myself as a person, yet for some reason I tend to get angry or worrisome because until they explain to me to refresh my memory, I do have trouble understanding what they're going through and how it affects them emotionally.
  43. I don't know how I can control my worriness, because otherwise it definitely does affect my performance that I'm trying to achieve at University of Waterloo by letting me waste some time off of studying for something else. But how can I keep myself concentrated on one thing alone for several hours, especially when thoughts do come to me so much that even if I were to write them down, it's hard for me to persist my thinking to the important task at hand.
  44. I tend not to think often enough which errand or thing I'm to do is more important than anything else. In addition, how will I be able to do this thing when I'm quite exhausted and I'm on my vacation or break time?

If these struggles keep on going, I could end up having the following consequences:

  1. At one point, I would feel so discouraged of myself compared to other people that I would start trying to get negative attention, leading eventually to disrespectul behaviour. (In other words, the thoughts I'm getting in my head frequently become actions that I do, such as insulting others, making a big deal out of nothing, being disrespectful to people, or harassment. This is a very serious concern, because one false move of violating academic integrity, and I'll be in serious trouble.)
  2. Violate academic integrity and/or certain university policies I would be under discipline or under a consequence for my actions.
  3. Losing too much control of my temper and behaviour towards others, as well as not understanding very well how I'm behaving to people.
  4. I can take sarcasm and disinterest from other people too seriously.
  5. Easily go into negative emotions and comments.
  6. I am more insecure to insults or disrespect from other people.
  7. Will be too selfish or too greedy for certain things such as money and public attention.
  8. Rejecting on getting help from the Tatham Centre and AccessAbility for job searches, as well as turning down employment interviews. (I'd definitely had enough of rejection by now, because I really need to work on employment skills and building empowerment, self-esteem, and self-security. I really want to build a professional profile.)
  9. Being easily manipulated, peer pressured, or influenced, by people who get the attention they want by sarcasm, irony, and deceiving (telling lies).
  10. Making way too many assumptions or fears on what the most important people I know of, like my parents, will say to me or what they will do under circumstances I am thinking of. (In other words, it's me being way too anxious to live realistically, which I can't take it anymore because it destroys my self-esteem and thus I can't take things realistically enough. I can even be too anxious to talk to my parents or my family as they still need to support me throughout my university education)
  11. Never reach my career dream of becoming a computer game designer and never work on the skills I need to use in my full-time career since being one is very demanding, including efficiency, attention to detail, patience, leadership, respect, and watching over our budgets. (I definitely do need to keep an open mind, yes, but I want to try out developing a computer game of my own.)
  12. Using solutions to problems that are technically so complicated people can start to feel disinterested in working with me, especially in workplaces.
  13. I could easily throw out tantrums at people when I'm not supposed to because my temper management goes down too much.
  14. Whenever I'm trying to have a friendship with someone, I could easily ask a question that I think it's polite myself, but someone else thinks it's not, and thus I get way turned down for asking such a peculiar question.
  15. I can push myself too much for a friendship without even thinking realistically how to have socially acceptable behaviour. As soon as that behaviour is triggered, it can then become an obsession.
  16. It will be totally overwhelming to try to make words distinct. In fact, if I have to think about the differences between the words I typed up on my blog right now, this is way too much because I don't know the true definitions of them nor can I give out definitions that are right.
  17. Not use non-verbal communication politely, or not even use non-verbal communication at all. I would have to ask everything explained to be in words instead of in gestures.
  18. I could run into a similar situation where I do have to come in with a group of others, especially with autism, to work on skills of life, such as navigating through an airport, as I've seen from a CNN video once. ( I never want to be in something like this for myself, because I should be okay with learning, for example, how to fill out bills and complete payments, or how to sign up for some important things in life.
  19. Develop hysterical behaviours or making too many worries out of little things too much, like I would demand for everything to be so perfect I could threaten myself or someone if this doesn't turn out.
  20. Start demanding more for medical things that even go against my academic potential as I am expected to show at UWaterloo. They are also things that my family really hate to hear because they find out that I am silly, when I am not.
  21. Start having mental issues that critically affect my academic and social statuses, (disturbing my concentration in academics as well as when I should chat around with friends) and that I can risk being withdrawn or expelled from UWaterloo.
  22. Overwhelming negative publicity, with most people disliking me than liking me.
  23. Paranoia, extreme phobias, and ridiculous behaviour with regards to my disability. (For example, I am too scared that my co-op employer is going to fire me for forgetting something from reading, for example, a business contract and what is to be done. Or that I would be disciplined so bad I would overreact.)
  24. Being the “referee,” “police officer,” “security guard,” or “supervisor” when it really isn't minding my own business.
  25. Turn down on what my parents were expecting in terms of academic excellence and potential.

A few questions to ask:
  1. I have played violent video games many times before. Recently, I have played Carmageddon, which is a 1997 car game complete with gore, violence, and profanity. Now, I have done an essay in the past about an ethical issue surrounding whether or not violent video games should be banned. But under my own research, taking into account Grand Theft Auto IV, I found out that for mature audiences like me, we have so much control of ourselves that we refrain from the violence mimicked in those games.
    There's one question I have to this day: do violent video games really add up to nightmares?
  2. Where should I start looking for companies that hire UWaterloo Software Engineering students for co-op interns other than JobMine?
  3. Why is it true that people can take things too seriously? I can't simply relate it to a mental disability because it's totally ridiculous. Even worse, it's not myself.

Me and some Software Engineering 1A students together at East Side Mario's on King St. In Waterloo, with our MATH 115 professor. (for privacy, I'm not revealing the names.)

Below are the things that I want to do eventually, although there is no guarantee because even if I am to be flexible to changes, I am to be myself. In addition, there may not really be enough time to work on all of these skills because of the course load and the workload I'll have for my academic and co-op terms:

  • Do more research on an American organization called Autism Speaks, because there is a very heavy controversy surrounding it that I want to actually run a petition across University of Waterloo to boycott Autism Speaks' Canadian office in Toronto. There's about 1.5 million followers on Facebook, but what I found out is, they're labelling autism as a “tragedy” instead of using it as a new way to make society more diverse. In fact, they are highly supporting the anti-vaccination movement, as they say that vaccines do cause autism, which I entirely go against. (one of my classmates in SE even told me that this is one of the most stupid conspiracy theories.) They even label autism as a disease, which is completely stereotypical, because if autism is really a mental disease, I would not be at University of Waterloo in the first place; never, never, ever. And worse, they once joined up with Sesame Street last June to get their own message across to children. (

    NOTE: You may want to ignore the part where I said specifically "If autism is really a mental disease, I would not be at University of Waterloo in the first place; never, never, ever." The SE student I've exchanged a question about vaccines related to autism has told me that this sentence unfortunately perpetuates a stigma on people who were diagnosed with a mental illness or disability. Basically, in simpler terms, by saying that my mental illness would make it impossible for me to attend university, I am already contributing to the stereotype. 
    Please let me make this much clearer: the reason why I said this is because when I found out Autism Speaks would label autism as a disease, from what I understood, they would label it this way because they are referring it to the social tantrums and some inappropriate behavior that may be experienced at an early age. Since that would definitely continue on for a quite a while where I have seen parents having emotional issues regarding this matter, (I even saw this with my parents when I was young), especially whenever there would be some other negative behaviors such as making holes in the wall or hitting someone, I think this is why Autism Speaks would label autism as a disease. But since people with autism would still be able to learn on how to behave properly like me (for example, with my reaction to solving some mistakes quickly, I never was caught at all for violating University of Waterloo's policies nor academic integrity in my first term), this statement is definitely false.

    However, it's my guess that there is definitely something I am not quite understanding from having the organization's claim, or that I am getting confused with my understanding
    . So if this sentence is really stereotypical and that you feel offended this way, please take it back because I sincerely apologize if my original meaning in using it isn't clear.

    We definitely do have an equity office at University of Waterloo, and so whenever I do a speech delivery or a written work or article like this that relates to certain people, I should ask them to help me take a look at my work and identify sentences that go against equality. This blog was written in the past few days where I simply wanted to get this out, so I couldn't talk with the people at the office regarding this.

  • I want to make my manager for my co-op feel so proud of me and extremely happy for following their recommendations and satisfying the duties I am asked to do.
  • Work on a computer game during my co-op term because I want to start building a portfolio of computer game work as part for what I want to do in the future. (That's because I want to open doors to holding a position to working somewhere in North America other than Quebec. Even though I obviously won't get much of a chance to work in a video game company like Nintendo, I feel that by collaborating with other people on how I'm doing and get some input during my work to make sure that I'm doing things in the right fashion, I could have a game that by the end of sales, I would reach $500 for a start. If that goal is reached within several days, I want to expand my publicity on the game and get it more out there for more enthusiasts. Besides, I took a look at the Employment Opportunities on their website, and they want to hire trained people, not those under co-op interns at the moment. Still, in the near future, I should keep an eye out.)
    In addition, with the right amount of support from my photo sharing and beyond, I can keep my focus up on that game, get some feedback, and eventually help myself with some of the stress I'll be having when I have to pay my AFE Quebec loan back.
    For this, I'll need to run a crowdfunding campaign close to the end of development after I get multiple feedbacks, because I need a publishing budget in order for my game to get out. And I'm not sure if I'm allowed to share the campaign on a UWaterloo Facebook group, because usually unauthorized solicitation or advertising is not allowed.
  • Work on multiple skills: public speaking, understanding abstract ideas, how not to take one meaning too seriously and instead look at other possible meanings, enhance my communication skills, and hopefully learn on how to do some leadership. I also want to enhance my friendship skills so that way people are interested in hanging out with me, as well as understand non-verbal communication and cues.
  • Managing stress and anxiety because then I could do things such as fixing my teeth, getting my bones checked, and change my diet. In addition, I could be more flexible to changes in my routines, be more friendly to people, and be part of groups where we just chat around and have some fun.
  • Explore new places outside of work and enjoy living in an apartment alone, except for when my parents and family have to call me up regarding family matters or other stuff.
  • Go out and have some fun, where one of the prime activities I want to do is play vintage arcade machines and computer games, watch a movie, or even attend conventions. (Just when will I get a chance to travel to Los Angeles and attend the Electronic Entertainment Expo? What about ComicCon at San Diego? Or all of those job and business fairs going on in major cities like Toronto?)
  • Be more flexible to donating more money to charities and international organizations, but I have to be careful not to donate too much that I can't pay my taxes, insurance, apartment rent, education, bills, and groceries.
  • Eventually hold a public speech with former 2012 Miss Montana pageant Alexis Wineman (from Montana), or Andrew Reams (DieselDucy on YouTube, famous for his videos on elevators) from Roanoke, Virginia.
  • Possibly be an Orientation Leader where I can share my experience of my first year at UWaterloo to other first-year students for inspiration. (When I did the Frosh Week in Engineering, we once got together in RCH 101 for some relevant information delivered by a few instructors and a few students, including one who is in Civil Engineering.)
  • Have a psychoeducational assessment done by UWaterloo's Centre for Mental Health Research. (Two reasons: I want to provide them with some input on what made me successful in Software Engineering 1A, and I should get some input on what areas I need to work on the most, then ask for support.)

Because I was really concerned about what were the multiple problems I have of myself, and how there is a risk associated with them, I have decided to set up two appointments, and I will set up an extra two when I head back to Waterloo. One appointment is with my AccessAbility advisor, and another one is with the counsellor I'm assigned to, where it is from the Engineering Counselling Department. One appointment I'm expected to set up really soon is Linda Davis herself; she said she's going to get in touch with me. And because I failed the English Language Proficiency Exam in September, I am to set up an appointment with the Writing Centre and discuss what are the things I need to work on and what I can do about them without having to worry too much about irrelevant things like me being too hard on myself.

The serious problem is, since I want to tackle Software Engineering 1B under a full course load again and will be under pressure for both homework and co-op, I won't really have that much time to work on improving my emotions and skills that I wish I can work on to be a proud university student. In addition, Counselling Services are so short on people that if I was to go get some more help, it would be health services outside of UWaterloo. But I can't afford it because it disrupts my budget for groceries and other expenses.

Instead, I can get some inspiration before the term and during the term for some short pointers, which is why I wrote this blog specifically to share with you. The thing is, I want to be empowered here at University of Waterloo, not disempowered. If I'm going to be successful as a student, I might as well be empowered. Otherwise, it's going to go against my parent's wishes for me to get a job and pursue excellent education outside of Quebec.

In summary, I am not feeling discouraged of the marks I've got for Software Engineering 1A. Instead, I am feeling totally discouraged about myself because I am too hard on myself, not thinking and communicating right, and I am having negative thoughts just way too often. This has got to stop...

Like I said once, and I'm going to say it again, I want to be empowered at University of Waterloo, not disempowered.

Would you please be so kind as to help me out succeed here in a better way?

A selfie of me wearing my Engineering Orientation 2014 T-shirt with my hardhat in front of a mirror in my room at UWaterloo's Village 1. (it's a residence complex)


Q: Come on, Gregory! There's gotta be at least one thing you like about being a student at University of Waterloo! Can you tell me what it is?
A: Oh, I can definitely answer that alright. It is definitely so expensive having to be a student at UWaterloo, and so it seems I need to start looking for more things I like about this. Anyhow, one thing I definitely like about being a university student is, obviously it lets me identify, for myself, what are so many of the problems I got about me, and how I'm going to solve them. (Of course, you did see my problems already, and solving them isn't complete without personal opinion.)

But otherwise, it's the amount of diversity, the facilities available, the friendships built upon, and of course, some of the events and things going on sponsored and supported by University of Waterloo I would have happened to take some time and seek upon. Whatever it is, I never want to see a university be too perfect, because it's simply way too pressuring for such a prestigious university. And we all know that prestigious alone is quite abstract.

Q: Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
A: Absolutely. I was born in Longueuil, which is just off the island of Montreal to the southeast, in a region called Montérégie. Since my dad was into some programming languages before he took on a job for financial consulting regarding mining exploration, and my mom was a broker at RBC, I was thrilled into computer games and media. In fact, they were so nervous when they found out that I was too much into Pokémon after they bought me a Game Boy Color and Pokémon Blue. Alas, I have watched numerous shows and played multiple games. The most relevant childhood experience I can give is, I was really into the Nintendo 64, and whenever me and my family would go out, I would be enthusiastic to arcade machines as well.

But otherwise, now I'm an enthusiast on YouTube and love social networking. I also like some old computer games that can be downloaded from sites such as One thing I definitely miss for real is all of those Nintendo games I should have played over the past several years since I was so struggling too bad that I couldn't afford myself a 3DS and a Wii U, because I definitely do like Mario and Luigi, but seem to have too much love into Princess Peach and Daisy. (Hmm, I'm wondering what I can do with the millions of people to make sure that Shigeru Miyamoto and Charles Martinet have an awesome retirement, but that's not to offend them anyway because they deserve to be respected.)

Q: If we are to ask you more about your childhood memories and what you love, will you be able to answer by providing us somewhat with a long or full story?
A: Yes, but it will have to be in a separate blog because it's completely irrelevant to the point of this blog. Or, the worst case scenario, a book where I'd keep in touch with UWaterloo's Copyright Office to make sure I'm on the right track with my write-up before I sell it at, say, the bookstore, at a price for whatever works best for all students and faculty members. (I have written a book before, but it was removed last summer because I made a very serious mistake regarding copyright that I've learned about it from a Facebook group. I wasn't caught at all, but since I learnt from it, the next time I do a media project that I want to do, I want to make everything completely original. I want to start communicating with officials to see if I'm allowed to use certain content of their own with possibly a deal. But perhaps later when I finally make money and I become much more empowered as a student.)

Q: What was your best course for Software Engineering 1A?
A: SE 101: Introduction to Methods of Software Engineering. Although I did had issues with getting used to university life and my partners, especially with one of them liking the use of some profanity, and we had some trouble with our Scribbler robot project because they, along with their Fluke dongles, were cheap, I really liked the topics discussed. In fact, because I want to eventually build a computer game of my own to build experience and help me be empowered, where I can ease off some of the stress with the money part, I should start using the techniques discussed in lectures and have a meeting with the directors to read through what I came up with for some feedback before moving on. After all, I'm pretty sure all of these basic engineering techniques are to be used when I have my co-op terms.

Q: How old were you when you had your diagnosis?
A: Two years old. I'm pretty sure my parents were so heartbroken when they found out because they repetitively argued that I was not going to get this far. Not even Quebec college or high school.

Q: What was your favourite part of Engineering Orientation 2014?
A: Most likely that mock-up of Family Feud in Mathematics 3, inside this lecture hall I was in back at UWaterloo's Fall Open House in November 2013.

Q: This blog sucks (or, in a more approriate sense, boring, irrelevant, or not really fun to what I'm interested in). What can I do?
A: By all means, if you think you are not interested in providing me some insight in becoming a better UWaterloo student, be my guest and you can go do whatever interests you or whatever you must do. However, if you do have time and you are interested in understanding me, or providing me some insight, then why do you have to say “I'm not going to read this at all because this is a very bad blog” when you haven't read it yet?

Q: This blog is sort of confusing. Can you please give us a quick summary?
A: I'm introducing myself, explaining why I'm a student at University of Waterloo, pointing out the problems I found of myself during my first term, the consequences, and what are the things I want to do. That's pretty much all the relevant things discussed here.

Q: Why did you decide to tackle Software Engineering 1A under a full course load? Why did you decide not to have a meeting with the program staff to reduce your load?
A: It was stressful, yes, but I decided to give it a shot because it took me three years to complete my DEC in Computer Science and Mathematics. I spent my first year initially in Computer Science, but in one meeting with my academic advisor, she found out that in order for me to get into the Computer Games program at McGill, I have to take mathematics, physics, and chemistry. And so, she decided to switch me over to Computer Science and Mathematics, which was only available starting Fall 2012. I don't think I really decided to reduce my course load because I knew I was going to have a few potential consequences afterwards, especially when I'd rather try to get a job and get some help on my issues and such so that way I'm definitely ready to take on new duties. As you can see

Q: If you said “Computer Games” for McGill, why did you chose Software Engineering at University of Waterloo?
A: My dad and his girlfriend convinced me to go into engineering, since computer game design does involve software engineering. Then again, I'd only wish I can sign up to be a junior game designer in UWaterloo's Games Institute and Game Development Club where we would work on a game together, and have some of our university staff be recognized in the credits for our game. (For example, I would see Dr. Morton as producer, the engineering dean as our executive producer, and even our university president as our senior executive producer. But since they are more concerned about university, it may be too much or too irrelevant to list them as such if they decide to touch with us for a bit to see how our project is going.) Alas, it's not possible right now because I have yet to learn on how to apply for co-ops and be successful in the candidacy process efficiently, as well as how to be extremely efficient with my homework. Even then, would I ever be myself that way? (Not that I don't want to lose my own self-awareness, but I did remember seeing something on a show a very long time ago that a 12-year-old in India was administered into a university.)

Q: “Our university staff?” What makes you say that?
A: This is something I haven't asked my professors or even my AccessAbility Advisor to see if this is really true and appropriate, but even though I am not really volunteering for leadership at the moment, I still want to say “I represent University of Waterloo.” Since I'm a student there, I might as well say to all the other students that they represent University of Waterloo too. In fact, anyone registered there represents the university at the same time. It's just a sense of spirituality and pride, because after all, why wouldn't it when it's considered one of the top engineering universities in Canada? (Earlier this term, a website labelled this university #1 for software developers.)

Q: Do you even have friends at University of Waterloo?
A: Not exactly. I do know multiple people, mostly my classmates. But we are so busy we rarely have time to go hang out and have a blast. The only exception is when we are back home from the day for co-ops or during the weekends, although there is no guarantee. (That's because whenever I get usually bored, I'm too used to watching so many YouTube videos or trying out an old video game without really talking to my old friends about it. But I do miss the fun part of not talking about them with my friends.)

Q: What services provided by AccessAbility do you use?
A: Primarily extra time for exams because I'm really slow at them. It gives me a chance to think better without the strong sense of pressure that I believe other students would be able to handle. (I wouldn't necessarily say it's unfair. I think it's more an adaptable technique for people with an official medical diagnoses for special needs to get through exams, optimistically at the level that professors usually expect.) Otherwise it would be a few checkups because they simply want to make sure that I'm doing okay.

Q: What made you receive 88% in Linear Algebra and 73% in Calculus I?
A: Before I enrolled in MATH 115 (Linear Algebra), I have taken a linear algebra course before at CEGEP. But I had a burnout at the end of the semester where I couldn't study for the final test as much as I hoped, and so my final mark for that course was 76% instead of 80% or higher. Thanks to the help from my professor and my TA, as well as looking through the solutions to the assignments and quizzes, when I did the final exam, I found out it was much easier than I anticipated. (The only thing is, I couldn't answer the five questions at the end involving proofs; instead, I answered two of them with the time I had.)

As for MATH 117, it was more likely the final exam, because it counted for 65% of the final mark. It turned out to be more harder than I thought, especially when it took place the day before my ECE 140. Because I only scored 58.75% in my ECE 140 midterm for not studying enough, but 84.5% in my MATH 117 midterm, I had to shift my focus more to preparing for the final exam for ECE 140. (Thanks to this, I earned, for ECE 140, 80% as my final grade.)

Q: Why haven't you joined a sports team? Why haven't you joined a club or a group? I mean, can you really see the advantages of being in one if you really are into developing leadership or some skills to where you want to go?
A: The most logical reason I can think of, although my parents don't always see it as an excuse since they are very concerned about how I spend my day, is the load of homework I receive every day. Therefore, I barely had time to join a sports team or a club, or even have a part-time job with the kitchen staff, bookstore, whatever seems advantageous for job integration. But otherwise, it's more about me trying to managing my emotions and figuring out something that I want to talk about with people where it suits their interests. Then again, since computer games and Internet is my thing, not everyone is really interested in talking about this. And of course, I still got issues of myself to this day, and that's referring to the things I've explained earlier in my blog.

Nevertheless, I do see that these are some of the relevant skills I am to develop since they tend to be realistic.

Q: Do you have any awards / recognitions you've earned from the past?
A: Sure thing. The most important I can think of is the Principal's Award for when I was a student at the only English elementary school in my hometown: Boucherville Elementary, ran by the Riverside School Board. Other important awards is the so-called “Honours Roll” fame at Heritage Regional High School for four years straight, the School Champion Medal for the CEMC 2009 Pascal Contest, and of course, a $100 graduation grant for participating in a talent act where it was a lip sync of Justin Bieber's “Pray.” (I don't like him anymore, but I did it under this song because the show was a sad reminder to the victims of the earthquake that hit Haiti really bad in January 2010. The show took place in February 2011 at my high school, organized by my Secondary 3 English teacher.)

Q: You said in your last question something about CEMC. What is it, and did you do anything else related to it?
A: Believe it or not, CEMC is owned by University of Waterloo. It's called the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing, where they hold annual competitions. And I actually participated in the 2014 Canadian Computing Competition; by surprise, most of us at Champlain College Saint-Lambert were at the top in the results. But I wasn't because the other folks scored a full 75 points; I got 72 since I decided to put in redundant input checking in my programs.

Q: Since you are going into co-op which will help you with your employment skills, now that you are out of language discrimination, can you describe yourself in five optimistic words?
A: I am caring, responsible, smart, organized, and attentive to detail.

Q: What are your major weaknesses? List five of them.
A: I'm pretty sure you can see them already by simply combining your understanding of what I said earlier in this blog, but nevertheless I'll answer this question. However, I cannot say them this way when I have my job interviews because if I do, the employers will automatically reject my candidacy, and since I'm in co-op, I'll be in big trouble. Even worse, it definitely goes against me very badly, which ruins my self-esteem. I'm going to say it once, but I'm not going to answer this question this way anymore after this because no one is even ever interested in reading this. And when I say ever, I mean totally ever.

The five weaknesses I got are that I am often pushing myself way too hard, easily discouraged or stressed, sometimes not very logical with my approach to answering questions or even speaking up, trouble understanding and catching abstract ideas (especially in English reading), and I definitely do have too many anxieties.

Q: Based on reading this blog, I am wondering if you went through special health services that allowed you to cope with many of the symptoms regarding to your diagnosis?
A: I have, thanks to my parents. Although I can't give so many details about it because I feel it's totally not right for me to do so for a public audience, the most important detail I can give is, I went through a special therapy service given out by a local therapy organization in Montreal for about three years. Technically my father told me I had a file with them since I had my diagnosis. And to help them discover what would be their next serious concerns about how I was going to perform later at school, I went through a psychoeducational assessment in early 2006.

Q: Do you have something else you can show us about your intensive struggle from your autism diagnosis?
A: Just this YouTube video I uploaded last summer; it was a recording of my graduation ceremony at elementary school. I put it there because I've learned that by now, whenever parents would learn about their child or children had a diagnosis for autism, they would say, "oh, no! What am I going to do to help him/her/them?! I feel dejected... I don't think my child/children is going to get really far in education!" This is really to show that even with a diagnosis, a child diagnosed with it will be able to get through school. (Then again, it always depends on the degree of the diagnosis, because symptoms are not exactly the same for all people diagnosed with it.)

Q: Where can we find you other than Facebook (and on campus)?
A: You can follow me on Twitter (GregoryDes), Instagram (GregPDesIG), Pinterest, or even Google+. I do have a LinkedIn account, but don't expect it to be complete just yet because I have yet had a chance to practice my candidacy skills and build them up on my resume and my LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is more for regarding employment.

I also have my own Facebook page:

Me in the Stand Up to Stigma social networking photo campaign.

If you have any questions, comments, or compliments you want to offer, please write them right here, or write a comment on the post I've shared this on social networks. Otherwise, you can leave me a message about your overall impressions, complaints, or anything you want to discuss.

Otherwise, thank you for reading, and happy holidays!

Please read up my blog on my volunteering!

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