Gurutama Language Map

Language Map

Last night I made a map representing the relationships between different languages in Gurutama.

Since I am playing on using the Hackmaster rule system for Gurutama I modeled the relations between the languages on how languages work in Hackmaster.

Languages are treated as skills in Hackmaster with proficiencies ranging from 0-100%.

0-25% is when you know a few words in the other language. Most Californians have at least this much understanding of Spanish.

26-50% is when someone knows how to construct sentence frames, but can’t really carry a conversation. Someone who’s still learning the language.

51-75% is when someone knows enough to go on vacation to another country and speak that country’s language, but not enough to have a conversation about philosophy or something. My wife and I probably have this level of proficiency with Spanish.

76-87% is a normal mastery of a language. Hackmaster treats this level as the amount most people have in their native language.

88-100% is when someone knows lots of fancy words in their language. My dad has a PhD in linguistics, so he probably falls into this range.

That should give you a better idea of what the penalties listed in the image above mean.

Lets say that English is Merese on that map up there. My dad with his PhD in English linguistics would have around 20% mastery of a language that English borrows words from, like Swedish. He’d recognize a few cognates between the languages and he might know how to construct sentences, but he can’t really speak Swedish.

I’d guess that I have around 60% proficiency in Spanish. French is a very similar language. Everyone else in my family spoke French occasionally when I was growing up and the little bit of Spanish I know allowed me to understand the gist of the conversation even if I couldn’t participate. French and Spanish would be considered divergent languages in the Hackmaster system (along with Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, etc.).

A few of the languages up there might not be recognizably from Gurutama. Some of those are for monster races like trolls, giants, and orcs. The others, like Krangi, Lathlani, and Sqwuani, are for a few of the main races. Krangi is Hobgoblin, Lathlani is Elven, and Sqwuani is Avian.

The other members of my D&D group are getting a little more interested in Gurutama lately and there was talk of setting up a wiki for the campaign setting so everyone could edit and add stuff on.

If the wiki is set up I’ll start moving content there. The stuff I create will still be posted here but my friends can’t make the same promise.

That’s it for today!

-GoCorral

Teaching Graduation

 

My father-in-law's picture of the banner behind the graduation stage.
My father-in-law’s picture of the banner behind the graduation stage.

I wanted to write about two things today, but I’ve only got space for one.

My wife had her graduation ceremony for getting her California teaching credential yesterday.

But today the World Cup started!

I decided I’d write about my wife because I am married to her not to soccer.

My wife’s teaching program has several different groups within it.

There are the doctoral students with their PhDs and EdDs.

There are a few people who got their credentials already and are coming back to school to get a Master’s.

Most of the people are getting a Master’s and a teaching credential within the same program.

The program takes two years to complete. The first year ends with a teaching credential, the second ends with a Master’s of Arts in education.

The teaching credential allows you to teach children in California. The MA gives you a pay raise.

The program thus has two groups, one getting their credentials at the graduation ceremony and one getting their MAs.

Those two groups are split once again based on whether they are studying to teach multiple subjects in elementary school or single subjects in middle school or high school.

My wife got her credential in multiple subjects and will be teaching children on her own next year at a elementary school a few blocks from our apartment.

She said that despite the graduation ceremony she doesn’t feel “graduated” yet because she still has another year of school left to get her Master’s (Saturday school as she will now be teaching fulltime).

Her family came into town for the ceremony. We sat through the speeches and clapped when she went up on stage to have her honor cord placed on her shoulders.

Afterwards we went out to eat at a great Mexican restaurant and had to wait super long because everyone else had the same idea.

My grandma-in-law got to meet our new cat and see our apartment too!

It was a pretty cool day, but its sad to say goodbye to that part of your life as well.

World Cup news coming soon!

-Mister Ed

Acceptance Wall

Normally I’d post something about D&D on Monday, but this week I’ll be showing off something that came in the mail recently.

My first graduate school acceptance letter.
My first graduate school acceptance letter.

I got into graduate school! Hurray! Validation!

This year I only applied to local schools as my wife is in the first year of a two year program for her teaching credential.

I applied to two programs at the college I got my undergraduate degree from and a third program at a nearby CSU (Sac State).

I’ve been rejected from one of the programs and have yet to hear back from the other one, but Sac State has accepted me! Woohoo!

Assuming the other program doesn’t accept me, I will be driving to the capital every day to learn and research science stuff.

The professor I’ve been placed with studies salmonella. I haven’t read up a lot on it, but what I saw on the papers she’s published was interesting.

Salmonella typically hurt your body in many ways one of which is by attacking your macrophage cells. Macrophages are the part of your immune system that eats bacterial invaders.

The salmonella bacteria don’t like being eaten by macrophages though. They protect themselves by putting poisons into your macrophages.

The professor has helped discover how this process works and she is attempting to harness the power of salmonella for good, not evil!

You see, if salmonella are so good at invading macrophages and killing them, they can also be used to invade macrophages and help them.

We can modify salmonella to make it deliver medicine to macrophages. This could do a number of things.

It could protect against auto-immune diseases like HIV. It could also super charge the immune system to assist the fight against other bacterial infections. These two things are some of the most sought after effects in medicine right now.

HIV is a huge problem throughout the developing world, so the interest in that is obvious.

The second effect, of boosting the immune system is even more amazing in my opinion.

Bacterial infections such as tuberculosis, STIs, and many others are currently treated with antibiotics. But bacteria can evolve and become immune to these antibiotics.

Researchers can come up with new antibiotics, but in a few years the disease will have evolved immunity to it again.

But what if you treated the disease just by making the immune system better? The bacteria can still evolve past this, but it takes much longer to do that than to develop antibiotic resistance. Possibly long enough that the disease can be eradicated entirely? That would be astounding.

While my original goal was to get entrance into a PhD program, working on making people immune to disease doesn’t sound that bad either. I think I’ll be quite happy at Sac State.

That’s all for tonight!

-Mister Ed

Rejection Wall

This morning I was making a mustard deli meat sandwich. I normally make peanut butter and honey sandwiches where I can put down as much peanut butter as I want and then put it back in the jar. I got really disappointed when I couldn’t put my mustard back in the squeeze bottle.

My first and hopefully only reject letter for 2014.
My first and hopefully only reject letter for 2014.

Just like I got really disappointed when I got this in my email inbox today.

There was a cool tradition at my high school. Everyone took their rejection letters from colleges and taped them to the windows inside the library. When you walked by you’d see all the places other people hadn’t gotten into. I put up three of my own there. A few people put up fake ones as well, rejections form the Pokemon Academy or Hogwarts. I don’t go to high school anymore, but I can still post my rejection letter on a different rejection wall.

I had expected this email for awhile, but its still disappointing. Last year they’d replied by mid-January saying I’d get an interview even though their website had crashed and applications only got in on January 10th or so. This year applications got in by December 1st.

One of the professors I work with also knows the guy running the application show. She’d talked to him about my application and said it was in the “borderline” pile, meaning they’d choose me for an interview if someone else declined that part of the process.

As you can see in the letter, my academic work isn’t as good as the other applicants. I’ve got a 3.5 GPA and made Dean’s list a few times.

I used to be a peer adviser at my school, so I got to see the grades of other people applying to grad school in my field. There are people with better grades than me obviously, but not very many. I feel cheated that I didn’t get an interview this year when I got one last year.

My professor told me that there were twice as many applicants this year. There was already a record number last year. I imagine many of them are in the same boat as me, rejected last year and reapplying. With that happening I can understand why they’d set aside my application. The school does have limited funding for grad students. I don’t know what their quota is, but they do have one. I’m still sad that I didn’t make the cut.

My original plan was to reapply this year and next year as well when my new letters of rec have solid evidence of my research skills. I’ll just stick with that plan and go around the merry-go-round once again. If grad school doesn’t pan out then, there are always other options available.

That’s all for now!

-Mister Ed