Monday, 27 October 2008

Three weeks

Weeks since last blogging: 3 (v. bad); Buildings to be demolished or gutted: 3 (nostalgic already); No of Halloween hairstyles obtained: 3 (really, really good)

Must be in the blogging naughty corner since is so long since last put pixel to keyboard. Is pointless trying to catch up since one of reasons why haven't blogged is that have been v. busy in SL. This morning was in fact last of sessions where attempt to get whole class of first years into SL and was mistressful exercise in getting 4 x 2 x 3 students** to their various tutors so that they (the students) could be observed practicing interviewing.

Have taken pics of this and some are not embarrassing so will post them later. In meantime is All Change at Infolit iSchool. The Farradane Centre is now reduced to a wooden platform. Had thought of replacing it altogether with a tea house but somehow this did not seem fair to that giant of information science, Jason Farradane.

Secondly, the old Student Common Room is now replaced by a Common Room for all, staff and students. Was rather proud that had managed to capture that rather desultory and souless feeling you get in a true student kitchenette, but wanted something a bit more welcoming. Saw a post about creator Mudshack on the feeds and it was farewell Linden Dollars as Mudshack do exceedingly cute houses, of which one is now installed and furnished on Infolit. It retains the TV, dishwasher, washing machine, toaster and (of course) the Whack-a-mole.

Have my eye on another Mudshack as replacement for Nigl, or rather Nigl's tiki, as I am evicting him due to the biggest change of all. The white and glass CILR building will soon be but a series of brown boxes in my inventory, since I have taken delivery of a large new building which will house both education and Information Studies in what one hopes will be synergistic and rapturous harmony.

The pictures show the new Farradane Centre, Nigl taking his notice of eviction moderately well, and me and Nigl looking like characters from a 70s cottage-sink drama as we view his potential new home. You will see my hair is orange - this is just a halloween thing.

**I mean 3 sets of student pairs, though in point of fact there were just 6 students in the middle batch and I skived off tutor duty.

Monday, 6 October 2008


Students inducted: 25 (good); No. of magic carpet rides: 1 (good); No. of typos in responses to Siversprite's questionnaire: infinite (v. bad)

Today was first session of new 1st year BSc Information Management students in SL. Had done much preparation, and this year other members of team are principally Ishbel and Tim, since Maggie can't do Mondays this year. 1st pic shows three of us discussing the session last Friday in the Centre for Information Literacy Research.

Will draw a veil over evening prior to induction session when discovered that in fact some PCs were not supporting SL as previously thought. Will move swiftly to day itself where had prepared posters, boxes, poses for group photo in Moorish House etc. Had tested these poses out with alts, and though Zoe in fact did not have to make appearance Mikael (see below) and Haruki (not strictly an alt, but borrowed) did.

Have yet to get feedback from Ishbel and Tim, but seemed to go fairly well and all were walking, flying, opening boxes etc. In end was easier letting people log directly into SL then offering teleport, since people were coming into lab in batches and by time had booted up email or WebCT to get exact SLURL to click could have zoomed twice round the island.

At weekend completed ny responses for Silversprite's latest snapshot of UK higher ed in SL. He came back with query, where I had omitted word, and I noticed that in just that one short sentence there was not only 1 omitted word but also 1 careless spelling. And had thought had spellchecked. Note how ability to write accurate and complete sentences fast declining (e.g. writing "the" as "the" first go is rare occurance). Silversprite emailed that some answers from heavy SL-ers chock-full of mistakes, but he has great fortune to have proofreader as significant other. Sounds v. useful and should perhaps consider ditching own significants for posse of writing assistants and proofreaders, as would certainly boost academic productivity (n.b., joking).

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Learning from experience

Lessons learned: 1 (i.e. read your own blog)

When had posted previous post, clicked on tag butterflies at end of entry (as can do you, gentle reader) to check that could indeed thus miraculously retrieve entire Curse of Butterflies saga. However when reread posts realised that solution to invisible butterfly emitter issue (CTRL+ALT+T) was given in said posts. So rather than troubling colleagues could simply have read own blog. Is a lesson there for all of us, particularly me.

The pic shows Zoe, who was nervous in case she has to appear at the student session on Monday* and went on a dollarbie hunt to the Glamour fashion show. However, she ended up wearing some group gift butterfly wings and a dress she'd picked up at Relay For Life, always the way. Fun unpacking the boxes, though.

*In case some students have failed to create own avatars as instructed. Is currently odds-on that she will, sigh, but live in hope.


Hot tubs made: 1 (good): Grass patches made: 1 (good); Creative wall, um, created: 1 (good); Glass flower room created: 1 (v. good, at least I think so)

Am still involved in the Educator's Coop challenge to do a build. Deadline was going to be Oct 5th, but we seem to have a coursework extension, and this without normal procedure of faking a doctor's note or family bereavement. Grandma has done some really nice scripts so that on top level of our build there is a script in each corner. One is for group chat, one 2-person chat, one is a diary room and one will pose pre-set questions. Chat is captured on a website with a page for each session. V. cool.

Since no-one stopped me I spent couple of hours creating settings for each of those: flower/butterfly group area; Diary room; Oriental hot tub (for questioning, might as well be relaxing while you are interrogated) and urban area (as see-saw had already been put in and it looked a bit rusty). The pics show the group and diary room areas (some of which are changed for latest version) and then whole thing.

Wall is rather cool IMHO since I textured each side differently with bark/stone effect on the flowery side, and a photo of some street art in Copenhagen on the grungey side. Am also rather pleased with look of diary room. Used a SL picture twirled round a bit, for the texture, and effect is like a rather expensive pink glass decorative bottle I have. In fact wonder whether might be good enough to offer as freebie in forthcoming Juicy Sim birthday hunt.

Whilst looking for butterfly emitters in inventory, by mistake rezzed the blue butterfly emitter that had such problems with in my early days. Despite my intervening skills acquisition, when fatal blue butterflies started to swarm, and, realising error, I attempted to TAKE it:

a) removed section of floor by mistake; and

b) almost deleted various other objects, since emitter is invisible and had forgotten how to make invisible things appear.

Anyway, is OK now, as other Educators Coop members able to provide answer and blue perils are now back in inventory. Should really delete them altogether. Perhaps can give it to someone that want to annoy someday, though, so best to hang on. What is one item amongst 18,000 (latest inventory count) after all.

Thursday, 2 October 2008


Events planned: 10 (v. good); Notecards updated: 1 (good); Notices sent to SL Groups: 3 (good): Discussion lists emailed: 3 (good); Entries posted to Google Calendars: 20 (tedious); Notecards placed in posters inworld: 4 (even more tedious); Textures in posters updated and replaced (I am bored with publicising these events); Events created on Facebook: zero (simply can't face it) (no pun intended)

Have finally got together schedule for autumn discussion series. Have got some excellent discussion leaders. Is a bit light on RESEARCH side though, so will see if can slip that in somehow. Tedious but obviously essential bit is publicising events. Pic shows me in the CILR office on Eduserv Island which still haven't been chucked out of so try to keep the discussion info up to date.

First session (today) is one where hope will get some ideas for Info Lit "7 Pillars" build, in area formerly occupied by student homes. Latter will go on an Open Space sim if ever get round to ordering it, or in meantime they can have skyboxes. Have kept student common room, and as think noted in previous entry, have upgraded it with sea pool, shower with detailed animation (just right side of decent, I think) and dance ball on roof (2nd pic is of me dancing). Have left Tim's shack since he is now Research Assistant for colleague and can help with SL sessions which is v.v. good.

Hello avatar

New services signed up for: 1 (pointless)

Do not use Facebook much any more as seems much too 2-dimensional, however was in it today when eye was caught by ad for service called Avatars United. As ever, was happy to follow path of serendipity and a mere 10 minutes later (ok, 20) was fully signed up & documented member of this social network for pixellated entities. Cool or what.

Had uploaded pic of self looking cute, added a few smart-alec comments in biog, connected to RSS stream from Flickr and this blog, and suddenly have full and vibrant profile. Completed endeveour by identifying Friend (HVX, who had seen only today) and asking service to Unite us.

And here is my profile page. Hey ho. It is at Have put that here as bound to forget it as soon as next glittering social networking bauble comes along.

The blog of Sheila Yoshikawa on her adventures in Second Life. This may be very thrilling. Or possibly not.