Fain Brood lives his life by a code, like the sheriff in an old 1960's western. Fain
always does what he says he's going to do. In fact, his biggest pet peeve is people
that don't do what they say they are going to do. Life is too short and precious to
let these people waste your time.
MOST IMPORTANT TABLE IN THE ROOM
I had two mentors when I began teaching Math. But, before I get into all that, I have to say, my many years of teaching beginner Algebra has taught me, that the most important thing that a parent can do for their child/ children is, make sure to teach them the multiplication tables. Actively test them on the tables, don't just give your kids some flash cards, or some app. This is way too important to trust to anybody but yourself. Your average teacher can teach anybody that knows their multiplication tables, but only great teachers can teach Algebra to students that don't know their multiplication tables. And I mean memorized, they must know them instantly, if they attempt to stall, they are not there yet, it's that simple. Picture your child's Math teacher in your mind, do you see greatness there? Odds are, probably not.
SARA PAILIN WAS MY 1ST, 8 YEARS AGO THIS ELECTION
I noticed that, if you interchanged the 1st letters of ex-Governor Pailin's first and last names, you ended up with a totally new word combination. Sara Pailin became Para Sailin'. I often wondered, why wasn't anybody else seeing this? Maybe I could send it in to David Letterman, maybe he'd see the genius in it too? For seven years I played with every celebrity name that came on the news, Matthew Perry, or Mat Perry, became Pat Merry, that was it. That was all I had to show after seven years.
A YEAR AGO, FINALLY, A BREAKTHROUGH TO THE OTHER SIDE
Since I try to stay fit by hitting a tennis ball, it was just a matter of time, before I crossed paths with the Graduate Math student that was working as a part time tennis instructor, James Howard. Unfortunately, the tennis courts at the complex where I was staying were replaced by a dog park and a lap pool. Progress? James informed me that the word-thing with Sara Pailin, from seven years ago, the switching of the leading letters, it's got a name, and there are a handful of well-known ones. It turned out, they are known as Spoonerisms, named after Reverend Archibald Spooner. I took this news and ran with it, did some research, what an amazing revelation, after all this time.
PATRICK BEGAN ASKING ALL THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
Eventually, I made a mock-up of how the game would look on paper, 3 puzzles per
page. On a cool afternoon in October, one of my students that also drove for Uber cabs, was playing the prototype of the game, and it was like lightning in a bottle. Patrick from Chile, one of my former ESL (English Second Language) College Algebra/Trig students, who had previously made a career out of asking all the wrong questions in class, was surprisingly and suddenly learning English in front of my eyes. Patrick had transformed into a focused, on-track student who was asking all the right questions.
THE PUNNYFUZZLES PLATFORM, AN OPEN PLATFORM, LIKE LINUX
After that day, the day that I had been pleasantly surprised, I moved forward with the game, PunnyFuzzles. I had stumbled onto a platform that was almost perfect for hand-held learning. I decided to leave the platform as an open platform, like Linux, so that other educators can use it to create their own educational games. Even now, plans are in the works to use the same platform to create games that teach long division and basic Algebra, as well as introductory coding. Hopefully, by this time next year, instructors will be able to hand out the game on hand-held devices, and students will be able to learn as they play, as an addition to, and not as a replacement of, their dedicated instructors.
MAURICE KRAITCHICK: GREAT UNCLE, FAMOUS MATHEMATICIAN
Fain's great uncle, Maurice Kraitchick, authored a famous Math-puzzles book. Mathematical Recreations is one of the most widely read books on creating and solving famous Math problems. If you were ever given a problem involving two high-speed locomotives on opposite sides of the country and you are told that they are heading straight at each other at break-neck speeds, and your teacher needs to know how many miles each will travel right up to the time of impact? You can thank Uncle Maurice.
GERM OF AN IDEA
In November, 2015 I took my germ of an idea and ran with it. I hired an Apple Developer from Florida and assembled a small team of creative, local artists in San Diego. Eight months later, we now have a word game, fun and educational at the same time, that is in millions of hand-held stores, in dozens of countries around the world, open seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Pretty cool? Maybe. According to the game, PunnyFuzzles, I am a 2nd generation, 6th degree Puzzle Master. Now that's cool!