After nearly two month absence, it feels great to be back and I've got all kinds of new ideas, concepts, and features that I'd like to try to get the forums moving again. As the title states, it's time to revitalize the competitive section and take things to an entirely new level, and I can't wait to get started!
Before I drop a couple spoilers for what's to come, I'm going to add it this spoiler which consists of a short explanation of my hiatus. It's not something pleasant that I enjoy discussing, so please be respectful and consider the situations of the people involved.
My mother is the second youngest of nine children in her family and was extremely good friends with the youngest, who I'll call Allison. The two of them used to team up to get back at their older siblings for messing around with them, and that friendship never really left - they were even roommates in college.
Allison was diagnosed with breast cancer in August of last year and given up to two years to live by her doctors. However, her condition didn't appear to improve and became extremely bad in November. During Thanksgiving break, my mother and the rest of her brothers and sisters went to visit Allison, who was hospitalized at the time, which marked the first time all of them had been together since their father's funeral. Shortly after, Allison passed away less than a week later on December 2nd.
This left her son, my cousin who I will refer to as Trey, without a legal guardian. Trey's father left them when he was six, rarely contacted him or his mother, and provided no method of contact and thus couldn't be reached on short notice. My mother was the only relative that still had a child at home (myself) and received permission for Trey to move in with us until a more permanent solution could be established. Trey just started high school this year, and moving across state lines to live with us didn't make his emotional recovery any easier. I hadn't really talked with them too often since we moved away, but Allison's death hit me a lot harder than I expected as it's the first incidence of a relative passing away that I have a vivid memory of. Personally, I don't think it's just for me to even attempt to explain what Trey might have been going through all of this.
Legally, Trey's father still has parental responsibilities and custody of him, however neither of them really know each other at all. After he was found and learned about Allison, he came to visit Trey over winter break and claimed custody in January. Though his father does have legal custody, my mother has been working with a nearby family that Allison and Trey were close with to try to have them obtain legal custody. This family had a son as well that had been in classes with Trey since elementary, and Trey often stayed at their place in the afternoon when Allison worked late.
Personally, I think that would be better for him than staying with his father. Trey left to move in with his father last weekend, who received out of zone permission for Trey to go to his old school, and he's made the adjustment pretty well. At the same time, Trey has spent most of the evenings with the family friend and seems to be much more comfortable with someone his own age in a more familiar environment.
Honestly, taking the time to write all this down really starts to give the entire situation a new sense of reality looking back on it, and I can even begin to image how Trey is coping after everything that's happened. So, all I can say is thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope that you wish him the best.
With that off my shoulders, lets move on to Pixelmon things. I've put a lot of thought into how to improve the forums, and I think it's important to start with the purpose of them in the first place. I've learned from my past mistakes that the goal of the competitive section isn't tocreate a competitive community, it's for the existing community.
With this in mind, I'll be focusing more on topics directed towards the competitive community like teambuilding, battling, and the metagame to start building up skills and introduce people to strategies they might not have considered otherwise. I've got pages and pages of things that I'd like to try out, so I'm going to experiment with a new format of posting content on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. Personally, I believe that sticking to a bit of a schedule will help keep things moving along nicely and provide a strong foundation for competitive discussion.
As much as I'd like to push out the first today, I believe it's best to take the needed time to make sure everything is perfect so we can have a strong start on Sunday, so keep an eye out here pretty soon. Of course, if you have any suggestions to improve the forums I encourage you to send me a message as usual!
Until then, I'll see you around - and it's great to be back!
[7:44 PM] Simon_Flash: Hey, I'm with you guys too :p
[7:45 PM] MrM: we're always serious
[7:45 PM] Simon_Flash: Rugh Rough Raggy