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3 kittens

Team A Knows More Plays

Posted on 2014.03.02 at 09:56
Hokey Pokey steals the show: "Mommy, I'm going to go waaaaaay over there" - we're in a big gymnastics warehouse, and he is pointing to the far side of the gym - "and run all the way back and give you a hug, okay?" This may be the most adorable thing that has ever happened to me: my three year old boy, twenty yards away, running at me with his arms out wingspan-style.

I held my arms out similarly, as directed, while chatting with other parents. Pokey ran and ran and ran, arms akimbo. When he arrived we had a big sweeping hug. Then he squirmed down so that we could do it again. I could play Long-Distance Hug all day long, for real.

Hawaii jraws conclusions:

Hawaii: guess what I did today. It starts with the letter J. Or maybe G.
Me: jump rope? Jelly beans? Juggle? [etc ad nauseum]
Hawaii: NO! I drew pictures for all my friends!
Me: that's great! What's the word that started with J?
Hawaii: "draw". J-j-jraw.

She's convincing! We do say jraw, don't we.

Then E. Messily explained to me (because I posted that dialogue to FB, but while Facebook records everything forever, I will never read my archives):

Phonemes (sounds, more or less) have, as features
what moves to make it (active articulator)
where the active articulator touches the rest of the mouth (place of articulation)
and some other things
but when you make two phonemes next to each other, some of the features from one can end up being made early or late
because of all the planning of muscle movements you're doing
when features from one thing show up in another thing, it's "assimilation"
when the feature in question is place of articulation, it's called "coarticulation"

Heebie Geebie: Does everyone say jraw? I'd never thought about it, but I definitely do. (I'm not interrupting your explanation.)

E. Messily: T and D, normally, are made with the tongue touching the very front of the mouth
R is made with the tongue curled backwards, and touching the roof of the mouth further back
so the "place" for T/D is "alveolar" and the "place" for R is "coronal"
and when you are planning to say tr or dr, you end up making the t or d with the tongue closer to the R position so it doesn't have to move as much
everyone pronounces them this way
but grownups have learned to mentally categorize the (slightly different sounding) ts and ds as regular so they don't hear the differences
kids who haven't finished learning the system (and/or who haven't figured out which sounds map onto which written letters) pay more attention to what their mouths are doing and what they're hearing
and, it turns out, if you make a T with your tongue farther back in your mouth, it turns into a ch

Heebie Geebie: Neat! Choo-choo-chrain.

E. Messily: except I didn't mean coronal, I meant postalveolar. I think. It's been awhile since I reviewed all the speech sound features.

Aren't they both adorable? I choo-choo-choose them.

Ace: I have a tooth!

March 2, 2014

That was a few weeks ago. Now it's tall and still isolated, Popeye-style. She yis what she yis.

It should be recorded how Hawaii dotes on Ace. Hawaii makes faces at Ace and wants hugs and cuddles. Ace is in full fledged game-wrecking age, and she grabs Pokey's, trucks to put them in her mouth, and shrieks bloody murder when he tries to reclaim them, and Pokey gets (rightly) upset. But Hawaii is indulgent. "You want my dollie," she coos, "but it's not for babies! No, it's not! Here," she suggests, "here is a baby toy!" Ace shrieks bloody murder anyway, as the swap happens, but Hawaii is an endlessly patient, devoted sister.

The Battle of the Marching Football Teams

Hawaii's piano book has a song called "The Football Game". The lyrics are
Team A marches up. Team B marches down.
Team A knows more plays, oh look their field goal wins the game!

Clearly this "football game" is actually a band competition, and then at the end the composer said "I need something to replace "judges' score". How do you score in football? Field goal? Done."

The composer may have attended many football games but only has the vaguest foggy about what happened during the sports-parts. I like this song.


We held our yearly calculus high school competition yesterday. The t-shirts said "2013! Third annual!" which is not true. I am so deeply ambivalent about this outreach massive competition that I end up never talking about it here. It is a shit-ton of work, and clearly there is a local appetite for such a competition - we had over one hundred teams compete in Round 1 this year. (Only the top ten teams came to Heebie U yesterday for the final round. Not all one hundred teams.)

I rely on students for help, but not other faculty members, which makes it tedious and frustrating to execute.

It occurs to me that this competition should feature a parallel conference, with sessions for calculus teachers where they can form a local community. This would be so much work that I want to curl up and forget I ever thunk it.

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