September 28, 2007

Children's Librarian

When reading books to young children (5 and under), make it interacrive. If you're reading "Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?", for example, ask the kids what sound a duck makes when you're on the page that shows the duck. Get them to count with you during number books. Ask them to identify the items pictured for each letter in an alphabet book. If the book has a chorus, or a repeated phrase, have them to help you with it. With "Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom!", I tell the kids to clap their hands and yell "Boom boom" every time I read the "chicka chicka" part. They love that.

But do NOT ask open-ended questions of this age group, like "Have any of you ever seen a duck?" If you do, be prepared for long and rambling monologues about how once? This one time? My big brother petted a duck? And the duck's name was Quackers? And it bit him? And he had to go to the hospital? And he was very sad? But the doctor gave him a lollipop? And I like lollipops, but I didn't get one? Do you have any lollipops?

-- John C.
Posted by Matthew at 2:06 PM

September 27, 2007

Waiter

Late at night most restaurants adopt a "Seat Yourself" policy. Here's something you can do if you're working this shift and want to attract customers to your section.

When you see someone approaching the door, go to a table in your area of the restaurant and wipe it with a towel. Finish up just as they enter, straighten up the condiments, and walk away briskly. Nine times out of ten, they'd head right over.

-- Sean

Posted by Matthew at 2:24 PM

September 26, 2007

Animator

If the animation you are working on just doesn't look right, get out of your chair and act it out yourself. If you exaggerate the movements, you'll eventually pick out the subtleties you were missing.

Even better, film yourself acting out these bits. Many digital cameras have a short video setting, and it can really help with the timing. Just make sure that these videos don't find their way onto the internet.

-- Will

Posted by Matthew at 2:27 PM