The Secret Gaming Legend at Grace

Media provided by the editors

We all have played video games. Whether we went to a friend’s house to play a round of Mario Kart or own a specialized gaming PC, we’ve all been exposed to the videogame world. Some may foster a skill in finishing a game fast, completing a level, or getting the most points, while others may learn a unique way of completing a level. 

Frank Newman, one of our beloved math teachers at Grace, has had his fair share of video game experience. We know him as a talented mathematician, being able to complete complex problems in seconds or recite digits of pi. But he’s hiding a skill that might be more impressive. 

Academic prowess isn’t the only thing that creates a great math teacher, as Mr. Newman exemplifies. In college, Mr. Newman developed an interesting video game skill that sounds near impossible. While playing the original Mario Bros. game on his Nintendo, Mr. Newman listened carefully to the music playing in the background and how it aligned with the movement of the character. After just one day, Mr. Newman could finish the first level with his eyes closed, using his memory of the background music to navigate where he was in the level. He then went on to learn to complete the second level, again with his eyes closed; however, this time, it took him around a week as the complexity and difficulty of the game increased as he progressed. This meant Mr. Newman had to memorize the precise timing of each obstacle perfectly. 

Once Mr. Newman learned to complete the first two levels of Mario with his eyes closed, the word began to spread around his college. Classmates would gather around him as he played the game, cheering him on. However, this wasn’t the only video game trick that he picked up over the years. Along with Mario Bros, he also became especially good at completing the Rainbow Road race in Mario Kart, notoriously the hardest level out there. 

Mr. Newman says he “likes the idea of being good at something really unusual that will also make people laugh.” Skills like this seem to be Mr. Newman’s way of bringing people together. For the rest of his life, Mr. Newman won’t be known solely for his math teaching and impressive skills in that realm, but also, for his unique Mario Bros skill that has entertained the masses.