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Tag: cute

From the first time I played Super Mario Bros., I’ve always loved platform games. Unfortunately, the genre has been pretty dead ever since Gex. Fez, from Montreal-based start-up Kokoromi, looks ready to change that. The game is so creative that words just don’t do it justice.

Related: Lead designer, Phil Fish gives an interview on Fez.

I love it when other teachers put up videos of their students. This school is obviously quite a bit different than mine is, but the kids sure are cute.

Here’s the final performance. The costumes sure were involved, but they didn’t have real hammer pants like I’d never admit to having wanted when I was 12.

One new thing I have to do for my first and second grader classes is to make some point cards. I give points to all of my students. I don’t give them any physical item, though. I just tell them when I give or take points, and I post their rankings on the wall, every class. They all know how many points they get or lose for any given homework assignment or test, and it’s kind of a waste of time to give them anything. Those are big kids. Little kids aren’t like that. Sure they look at the rankings each class and listen to my motivational speeches, but it’s not enough. If I REALLY want to motivate them, I have to give them some physical item that they can collect and hoard inside their pencil cases. Fortunately for me, other schools have long ago found the solution to this problem- point cards.

I spent about 4 hours today making .gif files of pictures to put on the cards. Fortunately, I was able to find most of the art I needed in the public domain. I tried to get a mix of really cartoony and less cartoony pictures. After that, it was just a matter of re-sampling the pictures to the right size (I used a lanczos 3 algorithm), editing them to be a bit cuter, and labelling them. I tried to make the “cooler” animals worth more, but I’m not completely sure what’s cool to Chinese kids. Local readers, I’d love your input on this. Here’s my preliminary layout of animals to use:

spider = 1 point mouse = 2 points pig = 5 points snake = 10 points rabbit = 50 points horse = 100 points elephant = 500 points whale = 1000 points lion = 5000 points dragon = 10000 points

The rabbit, the pig, and the elephant need to be resampled. That’s why they’re a little fuzzy. Also, do you think the lion looks too serious?

Update: Resampling complete. Lancoz 3 worked much better than spline did.

It’s no secret that the Japanese suck at English. Even though it’s compulsory for them to study it from elementary school on, and even though many study it in cram schools starting as soon as kindergarten, they suck. I don’t just mean a little, either. Even compared to Korean, Chinese, and Arabic speakers, the Japanese really suck at English. (Please don’t take offense at this, Kei, Ryuta, or Kazuto. You guys are are all the more impressive for overcoming what so few of your countrymen could.) It was in Japan that Engrish was born.

There are many theories as to why the Japanese struggle so much, such as geographic isolation, having a language with so few syllables, or cultural barriers to truly using foreign languages. I am far from qualified to weigh in on such an issue. However, I believe I’ve found the answer: All of their problems stem from programs like Surprise English.

Rewards and Punishments

Overwhelmed by Cuteness

I Can Speak English

I’ll Have This One Please

Just after I finished teaching a 補課 (remedial class), one of the students came up to me. She was a cute little 4th grader and a really outgoing one at that. She said she had a question for me, so I stopped to help her.

Girl: What color is Spiderman?
Me: Well, he’s red, blue and…
Girl: No! 他是白的! (He is white!) Hahahahaha!

Then, she ran away and went home. For those of you who didn’t get the joke, keep in mind that most Taiwanese people pronounce “sh” as “s”. When spoken in a Taiwanese accent, 是白的 sounds like “sbaiduh” or “spider”.