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Tutor profile: Rolando T.

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Rolando T.
Creative Writing & Discourse Fanatic, Moonlights as Student Gov Chief of Staff
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Questions

Subject: SAT

TutorMe
Question:

You are playing a popular MOBA and are looking to better understand your favorite character. This character has an ability that gives you a unique empowerment based on how much of a particular item stat you have. The ability itself works such that it gives a defensive mechanic that reduces damage you take when you use it, which can stack up to 3 times with subsequent uses- starting at 5% damage reduction. The effectiveness ranges from a maximum of 15%-45%, as your item stat goes from 0 to a maximum of 100 points. If your item stat is currently 50, how much total effectiveness are you gaining from a single stack of your ability?

Inactive
Rolando T.
Answer:

1. 15~45%= 30% difference; >>> 30% divided by 100 = +0.3% for every 1 point of the item stat, at maximum stacks. (Because “max” = [15% + “percentage bonus from item stat value”]) 2. Knowing that max stacks stack will be no less than 15% (“ranging from a maximum of 15%-45%”), this gives us the function of “15 + 0.3x” (if we let X equal our “item stat value”) for calculating the percent bonus gained from your item stat, at max stacks. 3. In order to then deduce a single stack’s percentage bonus, we would just need to divide the maximum value’s corresponding function by a factor of 3 (since the empowerment’s bonus stacks up to 3 times), which gives us “5 + 0.1x” ([15/3=5] & [0.3x/3=0.1x]). 4. Substituting in 50 for X gives us the equation of “5 + 0.1(50)” which solves to “5+5” = 10, which gives us our answer; a 10% bonus per stack.

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

Chris Marker referred to “La Jetee” not as a film but as a “photo-novel”. Although very little is known about the production of this film, it is rumored that he started making La Jetee without having any definite plot in mind, but by walking around Paris taking still images, then letting them come together to form a story. The effect of Chris Marker’s technique is to give us a sense of circular time: by returning to common imagery he is able to evoke the way we experience time as both a premonition and a loop. Using this method, can you write a short story, thinking more like a filmmaker and less like a fiction writer?

Inactive
Rolando T.
Answer:

You are being asked to use the college method to showcase your descriptive writing. Allow yourself to focus on cutting up space and playing around with time! Instead of asking, “what comes next?”, ask yourself, “what do I want to see next?” “What can I associate with an image?” Go with whatever images come to mind even if they each seem to be irrelevant to the last. Let your mind freely associate to find the next instead of trying to think in a more linear, logical way. Conceptualize your technique as more like sketching freehand than writing. Follow your series of images until you find yourself spontaneously returning to the first. And then, most likely, you’ll feel that you truly are done. Say you were to take this prompt and write a story that aims to convey the experience of a particularly disorienting kind of psychosis, or perhaps of a magical world in which multiple dimensions are converging, either in reality or in the main character’s mind- using the implicit disjointedness of time as an advantage for your narrative framework. With special focus on the circularity of time, you might begin like this: "A stream of water. Placid- as if rendered totally immobile from a summer’s lethargic heat, and yet opaque- as if dastardly cold. Like marble; tacitly self-imposing when viewed immediately before one’s very eyes. The smoke-steam arises and encroaches, all about me once again as I lift my head to take a gasp of air. How expensive has this shower been? How can my tears be so sodden and yet so arid? So many threads of reality have continued to unravel since that last text- like the bathroom vapors currently escaping into my window’s air... I no longer feel the bullets of liquid fever fulminating against me. I know not whether it is too scorching in here, or if my mind has truly begun to truly freeze... 'She’s gone, she’s gone, Oh I…' Some listless person’s cell phone echoes from the lavatory’s sink. He’s right; here yesterday and yet missing in action today... she didn’t want to go down this river with me anymore. My river of incessant tears and excuses. I only feel the lifeless tile beneath my feet now. I wake up, already lonely. She’s not across from me, but I can hear her behind our leftmost door, peeing. Even amongst sounds, she’s blameless; a steady, unbroken stream… I have to get up again..."

Subject: Music Theory

TutorMe
Question:

Analyze the first four measures of Thad Jones’ “A Child Is Born” (original composition).

Inactive
Rolando T.
Answer:

When providing a harmonic analysis of a piece of music, the first thing to always do is to scan the overall composition in order to figure out what tonal key you’re in. Your primary clue- and where you should always want to pay attention to first- is the key signature. How many sharps/flats does it have? Is it none, or many? In our composition we can see that the staff has two flats, suggesting that the key we are in in this piece should at least center around “B flat Major (BbMaj)” (you should know this from your familiarity with the Circle of Fifths). Bear in mind, however, that not all compositions are in the “Major” mode and that the minor mode exists; you should always leave open the possibility that a piece is in the signature’s indicated relative minor. In this case, the relative minor of the “B flat” key is “G minor (gmin)”, as G is the submediant of the Bb key. The next thing to look for would be the beginning harmony of the piece. We know that in Western Tonal Art Music (and for the purposes of this example, I have not provided a piece for inspection that vastly deviates from the norm), which mostly pertains to and includes Jazz, compositions usually begin on the tonic of the key, and thus usually indicate the key that the piece exists within- in beginning, at least. Keeping that in mind, we may then infer that when we examine the first measure, we should be looking for potential chords that indicate either a BbMaj or a gmin harmony. Surely enough, when we glance at the first measure, we see the pitches [Bb-F-D] all sounding concurrently, which fit neatly into the BbMaj triad structure. With this much information, it would normally be safe to assume, moving forward, that we are indeed beginning in the key of BbMaj, as Bb is already tonicized. However, we will look to the next measure to confirm something else we should know about western tonal harmony, that being it’s typical I-IV-V-I progression. Moving onto the next measure, we find the initial sounding pitches to be [Bb-Gb-Eb] in chord form, with [Eb-F-Bb] acting as the proceeding melody and the Gb featuring an accidental. In terms of potential chord structures, we might ascertain this to be a very uncharacteristic minor four chord, but if we notice that it is also a 6/4 chord and recall that those have special properties, we may then find ourselves paying attention to how the chord is both approached and resolved. Whereas a minor four (iv) does not naturally exist within BbMajor, if you look at the notes proceeding iv6/4 you find that the notes in measure two are approached in steps, and then later “left” in steps. The fifth of the triad is also doubled Recalling the rules for the slightly special 6/4-inversion chords, this lets us know that we are dealing with a pedal 6/4, which should always resolve to the I chord. Surely enough, in measure four we see the same structure as measure one repeated, albeit with an A added. This A can be interpreted as serving to be a seventh scale degree appended to the chord, making this measure’s harmony a I7. Lastly, in moving from the I7 to the fourth measure we see the notes [Bb-Gb-C-Eb] sounding off in harmony at the very beginning, with an added F later in the melody. Seeing as the initial structure falls very succinctly into a ii chord, all that is left to do is to discern what variety of ii chord this is. Starting from C, C to Eb forms a minor third, Eb to Gb forms another minor third, and Gb to Bb a major third, {0, 3, 6, 11} giving us a C diminished major seventh triad, or “CdimMaj7” in third inversion, since the Bb is appearing beneath the root. For our intermediate music theory purposes, we will simplify this to merely a four diminished chord in third inversion, or “iidim2”. In summary, our analysis would be: I, iv6/4, I7,and iidim2. This explanation would normally be supplemented by a document.

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