If you thought that emoticons were the same in all languages, you’d be dead wrong. Just check out the differences between English emoticons and their Japanese equivalents courtesy of Wired’s handy English-to-Japanese emoticon cheat sheet.
Les maths, c’est comme les sciences. On cherche à avoir le moins d’emmerdements possibles.
Maths are like science. You want to have the least amount of trouble.
Dr Roger Pierre during an Differential Equations lecture, Today @ 15:47
This quote is really funny, because in French, the word emmerdement has its roots in merde, which means shit. There is no real translation for this word, to conserve the root.
We were seeing Laplace transforms to solve differential equations of the second order. It’s quite an elegant way to solving them. Dr Pierre meant that instead of looking for a general and particular solution to create the solution of the differential equation, the problem became a different one, where we used a decomposition into partial fractions instead.
Other good quotes from this lecture include the following:
La loi de conservation des emmerdements
The law of the conservation of trouble
La science, c’est l’art de minimiser les emmerdements.
Science is the art of minimizing trouble
There is no free lunch.
As I’m completing my university semester, I’m also completing the ESL classes that I’m giving. I’ve finished two and marked the exams. All that’s left is to write end of term reports. That’s ten to complete before Christmas. At least the marking’s all done. At the same time, the students are also evaluating me. I think things went well this semester.
My adult student like it how I can immitate some characters, like the old guy in the Simpsons, who says that kids in Lisa’s class need paddling, or Kenny saying ‘vagina’ in his muffled voice.
Having taught ESL in Asia definitely comes in handy, since you’re not afraid of miming stuff out when you want the students to practice their vocabulary instead of just giving them a definition off the top of your head, which I have no trouble of doing for some reason.
I found these tips by Jesse Hines on Copyblogger really interesting. They are a good way of spicing things up with modifiers.
I wrote this aside about Adam Shepard:
Adam Shepard spent 10 months in South Carolina starting out with 25$. His goal: to buy a car, rent an apartment and save 2500$ in a year.
As with most ESL classes, you run out of stuff to read very quickly. I’ve gotten into the habit of selecting an article every two weeks for my students. It doesn’t matter their level, beginner or advanced, I try to find something interesting regardless of it is leveled.
I’ve been using this article as my reading material for my ESL classes. It’s a great article and fun to read. My students are all adults. No teens or children, so this article is possibly not suited for those students. However the article is most compelling when read by adults, who realize what Adam Shepard had done.
This short essay was written by a student of mine. He’s in his mid forties and an intermediate ESL learner. From what he wrote, I can say that his written English is very good, compared to some of my other students. There were a few mistakes that I edited out or corrected, but otherwise it’s intact.