Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Today in math class my math teacher announced that we would have a math test on next Friday, and this meant that like last week, I will have three tests on the same day (along with chemistry and physics tests).

Obviously, having three tests on the same day is not particularly pleasant. Not only do you have to organize your time better and make sure that you allocate some time to study for each of the tests, you also have to make sure that you eat more and sleep better, for your brain will use up more energy on that day.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Convenient Mistake

Occasionally, when I check out items from the library, an item would not be properly scanned and would appear on the library system as "in library" even though it is actually in my bag.

 Usually when such an event occurs, I would still return the book in a week or two, depending on when I finish it; I wouldn't intentionally not return the book just because I don't have to.

Today, however, is different. The novel in question is the novel that I will use for my English final project, and I will need it until the end of December. This means that I can just conveniently "forget" to return the book until three months later!

I am so fortunate that the staff has made this kind of mistake at the right time.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Grade 11 English ISP Book List

Today I got my English ISP, for which I have to read a Canadian novel, write five reading responses about the novel, and write a literary essay on it.

I also got to choose my ISP novel. The choices were as follows:

Oryx and CrakeMargaret Atwood
Year of the FloodMargaret Atwood
Green Grass Running WaterThomas King
The Concubine’s ChildrenDenise Chong
Life of PiYanna Martel
A Fine BalanceRohinton Mistry
Lullabies for Little CriminalsHeather O’Neil
Funny BoyShyam Selvaduri
Apprenticeship of Duddy KravitzMordecai Richler
The RomanticBabara Gowdy

Even though there were only 10 choices, it was hard for me to decide on my ISP book: none of them aroused  my interest. However, since there was a limit of five people per novel, I had to choose mine quickly, for the good ones may easily become unavailable. In a way it was like a huge sale in a store, where you needed to quickly grab an item before all the better ones got taken away by other people.

So I chose Oryx and Crake, for it was a dystopian novel and its description sounded more interesting than most others.

Added Note: ISP stands for Independent Study Project

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Too Busy

Grade 11 is much harder than I had expected. Not only does it have a lot more assignments and tests than grade 10, each individual assignment is also a lot more demanding. As a result, three weeks into school and I am already struggling to finish everything on time!

With this kind of work load, I don't think I'll be able to update this blog very often. Besides posting my study notes (to prepare for quizzes or tests), I would probably only update this blog at most once per week.

So yeah, I hope things wouldn't get any worse.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Random Memory?

Ever since I started using the new computer, I have been carefully watching the available memory of my hard drive. Therefore, I can confidently say that during the past week or so, the amount of memory left has always been about 405 or 406 GB.

Then, today I downloaded some software needed for my printers, so naturally the amount of available memory should only decrease. However, when I checked the number, it actually increased to 411 GB!

I know, this increase in memory probably didn't have anything to deal with the printers. Still, it was strange that it had just suddenly increase. Perhaps it was because some temporary files got deleted, or...?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What's The Problem?

For some reason, the seats that we chose in math class are never permanent. You can sit at spot A on one day, then on spot B and spot C for the next two days.

Anyway, yesterday, I arrived at math class slightly earlier and chose a seat that was closer to the board. Then, some ten seconds later, student M—  who was on friendly terms with me— asked me if I could move to another seat. Since he asked me very nicely, and I knew that he had always sat in that seat, I agreed to move. I didn't care about where I sat anyway, so there really was no reason for me not to give the seat to him.

So I moved back by two rows, from row three to row five. Then, a few moments later, student S, who sat in front of me (in row four), asked me why I had moved from row three to row five. I told him what happened, and suddenly he yelled "Why didn't you just stay there?"

Really, what was wrong with him? We were in no way friends, so that yell was definitely not meant as a joke. And, I really don't see how this switching spot thing was any of his business, and why he should care at all. So, this incident just confirmed that he was obnoxious, and made me dislike him even more.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

This novel is set in a post-apocalyptic future in which the earth is almost uninhabitable because of a recent nuclear war. A lot of animals are extinct or nearly extinct, and a lot of humans have emigrated to Mars to ensure that the human race would not die of radiation. And, as an incentive for people to emigrate to Mars, the governments promised to give them free androids that would be their servants on Mars.

However, some androids have killed their masters and have secretly travelled back to earth, where they disguise themselves as regular humans. They are physically undistinguishable from real humans, and the only ways to tell them apart from real humans are to give them empathy-tests (robots are not empathetic) or to run tests using their bone marrows. Thus, it becomes very difficult for the police to hunt down these escaped robots.

The novel focuses on Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter whose job is to hunt the androids and "retire" (i.e., kill) them. He has to track these robots down, give them the empathy test (to make sure that they're robots), and then kill them using his laser gun. At the end,

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

English Homework

I am not sure if this is fortunate or unfortunate, but it really seems that this semester I will get a lot of work for English class.

My teacher gives (unmarked) homework almost every day, and if I were to put an honest effort into these homework, I'll need to spend about 30-60 minutes per day doing them. I also need to have two journal entries every week, and depending on the topic, I will need to spend perhaps two to three hours on each entry. That's a minimum of 6.5 hours per week!

And, of course, when the essays, presentations, and speeches come, the amount of hours spent on English class will just sky- rocket.

This amount of work is definitely higher than that of last year. In grade ten, I don't remember having to spend any time on English except when the assignments were almost due. Even though I did spent a lot of time thinking about what I was going to write for English, I definitely didn't have to spend a lot of time on the actual writings.

So, with this huge increase in the workload, I'll certainly have to manage my time a lot better.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Stoichiometry Note #5: Limiting Reactants

The Concept
Suppose that you need one cup of flour plus one egg to make a dozen cookies:
1 egg + 1 cup a flour→ 12 cookies

If you have 2 eggs and 2 cups of flour, then supposedly you would be able to make 24 cookies, right? But how many cookies will you be able to make if you have two eggs and ten cups of flour? Well, you can still only make 24 cookies.

How come? Well, in the second case, the egg was the limiting reactant. In other words, there was a shortage of eggs, and as a result even though there were still many cups of flour, no extra cookie could me made.


Yesterday in English class my teacher assigned us a paragraph to write. The instructions were as follows:
Write a well organized 200 word paragraph describing your opinion of whether or not you think the government has made getting a high school diploma too easy. Refer to what you know about late policies, credit recovery courses, the literacy test, summer school, and private school credits. 
She made this paragraph due the next day, so I spent literally the whole afternoon and evening working on the paragraph (yes, I think and write very slow). And, at ten o'clock, I finally finished it.

However, just as I was happily checking over my writing and the instructions, I noticed that I did the whole paragraph wrong: I did not make any references to the things that I was supposed to refer to!

So at ten o'clock, I had to start my whole paragraph over. And unfortunately, it wasn't until after midnight that I was able to produce my second and rushed paragraph.

This was very ironic, because in my first paragraph, I criticized that many students were bad at follow instructions...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Parallel Lines: The Different Pairs of Angles

Note: This is more of a review for myself...

When two parallel lines are cut by a transversal line, eight angles will be formed, like this:

In such a situation, you can identify four types of angle pairings: alternate exterior angles, alternate interior angles, corresponding angles, and same-side interior angles.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Premonition

I was thinking about my classes, and I suddenly had a premonition that I would receive a horrible mark in English!

This feeling was not at all illogical, for from the first few days of school there were already a some signs that the teacher would not give me a very good mark. The first being the teacher giving a lot of creative assignments and oral presentations, and the second being the teacher being rigid and close-minded.

The Internet is a Playground by David Thorne

Well, what should I say about this book? It's basically a compilation of the articles and emails published on, and if you want to take a glimpse at the content, simply read one of the emails.

Personally, I liked reading the emails, for it was very interesting to see what people's replies to David Thorne's nonsense were. However, I skipped most of the other parts, for I found them to be extremely fake and boring. For example, in the parts where his friends described how they interacted with him, I simply had the impression that they were trying very hard to make their descriptions funny.

Friday, September 9, 2011


I've only been to school for four days, yet I'm already feeling great fatigue from it. Everyday during the fourth period, I would start feeling sleepy, and this feeling would continue to intensify until I arrive home (at four o'clock) from school, at which point I would feel so tired that I would not be able to concentrate on anything at all. Then, it wouldn't be another three hours until I finally feel more energetic.

I'm not sure, but I don't think it has always been like this. I certainly remember having this kind of feelings during last year's second semester, but before that, I can't recall ever feeling so tired after arriving home from school.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


In the post from yesterday, I mentioned that today I was going to go to the guidance office to change my timetable a bit, and today I did indeed do so.

What exactly I wanted to change I will not describe in detail— for they're extremely complicated, and are full of reasons that would only make sense to myself— and I'll just tell you the main idea: I basically wanted to take one of my current courses online (instead of taking it during regular day school), and then replace that spot with a brand new course.

I was originally concerned about not being able to take a new course that I liked, for the courses that I liked may not fit into my schedule. It turned out, however, that I needn't have had such a concern, for there were actually quite a few courses for me to choose from.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First Two Days of School

Surprisingly, I don't have much to say about my first two days of school. What that means is, going to school didn't make me feel particularly happy and excited, and nor did it put me in a particularly bad mood.

I must say, though, that I was a bit disappointed by my teachers this year. Many of them are either not very good at teaching, or have reputations of being so. I felt that I was particularly unlucky, because whenever a course had several different classes, my teacher would always be the "worst" of all the possible teachers.

But perhaps fortunately, tomorrow or sometime this week I'll have to change my schedule a bit because of the summer course that I took. And if things go well, I can possibly have different (and better) teachers for some of my courses.

That's all I really want to say about these two days of school. And I hope that I will be happy about my time table change.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Stoichiometry Note #4: Molar Ratios

Previous: Molar Mass                                                               Next: Limiting Reactants

What are molar ratios? Well, they are comparisons between the quantities of (some or all of) the products and reactants in a chemical reaction. To make this more understandable, let's look at the reaction between iron (III) and oxygen gas:
4Fe + 3O22Fe2O3

In this reaction, we can say that every 4 atoms of Fe plus every 3 molecules of O2 makes 2 molecules of Fe2O3. We can also say that every 4 moles of Fe plus every 3 moles of O2 makes 2 moles of Fe2O3. Or, we can say that every 4 million atoms of Fe plus every 3 million molecules of O2 makes 2 million molecules of Fe2O3.

See how the ratio between Fe, Oand Fe2O3 is always 4: 3: 2 no matter how we change the units/quantities? Yes, indeed, 4: 3: 2 is the molar ratio between Fe, Oand Fe2O3! It's the ratio between the quantities used or produced in a "perfect reaction."

And, as you can see, the molar ratio is very easy to obtain—we basically take the coefficients of the products and reactants in a balanced equation, and put them together!

Now, let's use the molar ratios in another problem (answer is in white, in the brackets):
  • How many moles of O2 is needed to react with 8 moles of Fe so that 4 moles of Fe2O3 can be produced? Answer: ( ) moles

And a slightly more complicated problem:

Monday, September 5, 2011

My Summer (August) Plan: Failed

At the end of the July, I made a post about what I wanted to accomplish during the rest of summer vacation. And I miserably failed.

Here's the details (normal font=goal, bold=reality):

Stoichiometry Note #3: Molar Mass

Previous: Converting Moles to Molecules                                          Next: Molar Ratio

What is molar mass? Well, the idea is very simple— it's basically the mass of one mole of a specific atom or molecule. For example, oxygen has a molar mass of 15.999 grams per mole, and hydrogen has a molar mass of 1.0079 grams per mole. The symbol of molar mass is a capital M.

Finding the Molar Mass of an Element:
To find the molar mass of an element, you'd have to look it up on the periodic table. In the periodic table below, the molar masses are displayed below the symbol of each element:

click to enlarge

Calculating the Molar Mass of a Molecule
To calculate the molar mass of a molecule, you have to first find the molar mass of each individual element. Then, you have to multiply each molar mass by its element's subscript. After, add the values together and the molar mass of the molecule will be obtained. For example, to calculate the molar mass of water (H2O):
  1. Find molar mass of each element:
    • Oxygen : 15.999
    • Hydrogen :1.0079
  2. Multiply each molar mass by the subscript of the element (H2O1):
    • Oxygen: 15.999×1= 15.999
    • Hydrogen: 1.0079×2= 2.0158
  3. Add the results together:
    • 15.999+2.0158= 18.0148 grams/mole
Hopefully that's clear enough.

Internet Problems

This post was written yesterday, but I couldn't post it because my Internet connection didn't work...

Today my Internet connection had some problems, again. From 10 o'clock in the morning to 6 o'clock in the evening, I simply couldn't access anything on the Internet!

This problem is getting quite irritating, for it now arises at least once a week, and each time it can last from a few hours to a few days!

Really, what's wrong with Rogers? It's understandable if the Internet connection just stops working every few months. But every few days? That's far too frequent. At this rate, we should be getting some refunds!

EDIT: And when I was typing the post, it stopped working again! It's now 8:30, and let's see when it will work again...

EDIT: Didn’t work at 12 o’clock…

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Big Mouth

Some people just can't be trusted with secrets, for they simply can't control their mouths. Even if they have promised that they wouldn't tell anyone about the secrets, they eventually would.

I personally had one very unpleasant experience with one of these people.

About a few months ago, one of my friends suddenly asked me what my previous name was (I changed my name when highschool began). I didn't want to tell him— or anyone— about it, because I simply didn't like the name and didn't want people to associate me with that name. However, he kept pressing me about it, so eventually I told him, under the condition that he wouldn't tell anyone else.

But then a few weeks after, he suddenly started telling people what my previous name was. I gave him a warning glance, and simply denied what he said. However, he didn't take my cue, and kept telling people that he was sure what my previous name was. I was furious. If you could remember my previous name so clearly, why couldn't you remember your promise?

Windows Media Player: Shuffling Problem

I noticed that even when you have pressed the "shuffle" button in Windows Media Player, it still always starts with the first song in your list. In other words, Windows Media Player only starts shuffling the songs after the first song is played.

This is extremely annoying, for you don't always want to start with one particular song, especially if that song isn't one of your favourites.

So to solve this problem, I simply created a one-second media file, and made it the first item in my list. This way, this file would always be played first, and then one second later I would have a completed shuffled list.

If anyone wants to try this method, and doesn't know how to create an empty file, you can download one here.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

100 best english language books never let me go kazuo ishiguro

I didn't have high expectations of this book, for before I read it my mother had told me that this book was slow-paced and boring. And as I rarely liked slow-paced books, I really thought that I would probably toss this book away after about twenty pages.

However, after reading the first few pages, I was already drawn to the first-person narration, the extremely elegant prose. The narrator described the events in a calm but compelling manner, and I was stunned by how the Author, Kazuo Ishiguro, linked the events so beautifully together, transitioning from one event to another in such a smooth fashion.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Blogger: Line breaks All Messed Up

Yesterday late at night, I suddenly noticed that blogger's posting page looked different. I remember how the "preview" button was gone, and how you the taskbar had fewer icons.

Then, I went to my Blogger page, and I noticed that my most recent post looked strange— the line breaks weren't working properly! At some places where there were supposed to be a line break, there were none, and on other places, the amount of line breaks got doubled! I quickly fixed the line breaks for that post and then went to sleep.

This morning, when I woke up, I noticed that my most recent post was reverted back to its messed-up state! Then I looked at my other posts, and found out that most of their line breaks were messed up too! I noticed that posts with pictures were especially likely to have this problem.

So I spent an hour going through (many of) my posts and fixing the line-break problems.

*sigh* Why do strange problems have to arise everyday?

Looking Back at Grade 10 Mathematics

I have always been good at math, and it has always been my favourite subject because it has few assignments and a lot of quizzes and tests that I can easily do good on. Also, math has always been my strongest subject, and it has almost always been the subject that I got the highest mark in (the time that I didn't, it was the teacher's fault...).

This year, however, was different. There were a lot of assignments from the class, most of them stupid and meaningless (see Stupid Assignments and What's the Point?), and it was very painful for me to finish them. Also, this year, the tests were not easy any more. Not because the material got harder, but because the teacher added so many extra things to the standard tests, making the tests a lot more time-consuming to finish (see relevance). I also became confused about the extent to which I should show my work (see Obvious? It's Subjective).

As you can see from the number of posts that I have made because of math class, I was very... stressed out about it. And as a result, I didn't like the subject as much as I used to. I still liked the actual classes (for there was one girl who was very funny), but thinking about "math" began to be less pleasant than before.

Interestingly, despite all this, math still ended up being my best subject. In fact, this math mark was the highest that I have ever gotten! Personally, I think I should have gotten 1-3 percent lower, for the teacher lowered the   denominator for many tests, but who cares...

As for the things that I have learned from the class...there was really only one new thing— trigonometric functions. All the other things, such as quadratic equations, I have learned before, and they were merely review for me (even though I did get better at them).

I hope grade 11 math will go well.

Go back to intro and a list of all posts in my grade ten reflection series

CS106A Computer Methodology: Files Now Available for Download

I have added a new page named CS106A Assignments that contains the list of problems that I have completed for the course. There, you would be able to download the source code files quite easily.

So why did I decide to do so? Well, on the pages that I explain the problems one by one (example), I wasn't able to get the page anchors to work (stupid Blogger...), and as a result it became quite troublesome to get to the sections at the bottom of the page. Also, the SyntaxHighlighter would sometimes not work for certain codes (the codes would mess up), and it'd look ugly if I were to post the codes without them being highlighted by the Syntax Highlighter.

Anyway, if you want to download the files, don't hesitate to do so!