Friday, 21 May 2010

The Last Bell I Will Ever Hear

So today was the last day of the twelfth week of the second semester of my final year at Sheffield University. I'll never take another class again, unless I do another degree or a masters course or something similar, but I can't see that happening any time soon. Starting Japanese four years ago seems like a distant memory, and to be honest, four years is a long time, but we've all come a long way, most of the class going from knowing no Japanese to knowing quite a lot in that time. Today we had a listening assessment, listening to a short lecture on Japan and then making a summary of it. Over the weekend I have a translation assignment to complete, and then there's just my exam next Thursday left.

I'm thinking of moving back to parents' house soon after I finish. I could stay at my house in Crookesmoor until the end of June, but the allure of my mum's cooking and a massive TV screen to watch the World Cup on is too strong. I'll stay there until the end of July when I'll be flying out to Japan to work. And I should be finding out where I'll be working soon. I called the JET office today and they said they were sending out notifications today.

Have you been to the Google homepage today? You know how Google often change their logo to reflect national holidays or anniversaries, well today it's Pac-Man's 30th anniversary and they've gone one step further - you can actually play a full working game of Pac-Man on the Google homepage, complete with SFX.

I've played Pac-Man quite a bit over the years and still have a copy for my GBA SP which I bought when the NES Classics series came out a while back. I bought a board game version when I was younger, and I've even studied the relatively simple physics that govern the game in order to improve my strategy. And it nearly all paid off when I was in the university bar one night last semester. Sony Ericsson were running a promotion where they had a big screen set up and you could play Pac-Man on it using the buttons on your mobile phone. You phoned this special number and once connected you used your dial pad to control Pac-Man - 2 to go up, 4 to go left, 6 to go right and 8 to go down. As you'd expect, there was quite a bit of lag, meaning you'd have to estimate your turn way before you actually wanted to make it. I ended up coming second by 10 points and missing out on winning a free Sony Ericsson phone, settling for a Pac-Man t-shirt instead.

It's pretty strange playing around the shape of the Google logo and with five power-pills instead of four, but the physics all seem to be intact - I even managed to perform the pass-through bug a couple of times.

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