Wednesday, 25 November 2009

In memory of Bluewave

This is a serious blog entry, as you can't get much more serious than death. A couple of hours ago I heard that someone who I admired and liked greatly in Second Life died last night. I knew her mostly as Bluewave Ogee: in the physical world she was Professor Leslie Jarmon.

When I saw the subject line on the SLED discussion list I was first disbelieving, and then stunned. She was one of the co-founders of the Educators Coop, and after I got to know her co-founder, North Lamar, I was invited in, even though I wasn't renting Coop land. It has been wonderful being part of the Coop, a group of people to chat with, learn from and share frustrations with. Bluewave was always helpful, always encouraging, a real leader and mentor. People say a lot things about people being loved and inspirational in obituaries (which I suppose is what I am writing) but Bluewave was those things.

I suppose I will be getting increasing numbers of cold shocks from electronic messages beamed out to discussion lists or twitter - deaths of real friends, but who are not so close that I would be someone who was told before all the others who will be mourning too. There is a memorial set up on the University of Texas sim at with pictures of her in both lives and a box to post notecards with tributes and memories. I teleported in and left a notecard and exchanged words with people there, but there wasn't anyone I knew.

Then I saw that North had come inworld, and when I checked on the map there was someone on the newest Educators Coop island, so I teleported over and he was there at a memorial that Rx has made. Bluewave was North's advisor for his PhD, and he had been with her shortly before she died. I learnt a bit more about her family, and her illness, but mostly it was good to be in the Coop, with North, who I think must have introduced us, and who must feel her loss greatly. While we were standing there, North sent out a message to the Coop group, and so gradually a few others arrived.
The second picture shows us there: we are adding flowers around the pool and North put up a word bubble that a friend of Bluewave's had made.

North said that she had sent a message for the Educators Coop members "tell them it's been REAL". It is real, and that means the loss is real too. Going back to find a decent picture of Bluewave I remember the many Coop meetings, the visits, Coop projects ... it seems impossible that she won't still be part of that. She had just had an amazing success: Texas had bought 50 islands, to invest significantly in SL as an environment for learning, and her leadership had managed that: so it will be a loss for SL education too. However what I will miss most is the chat, the IMs to "Dear Sheila!"

Don't think I'll be putting any jokey tags on this entry.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Happenings, meetings, all too much

Storyquests taken: 1 (excellent); Educators meetings attended: 4 (approx) (good); Teaching sessions held: several (as good as can be expected); No. of days between writing this entry and publishing it: 12 (bad)
As is usual when v. active in SL and indeed RL have been failing somewhat on the blogging front. Have, though, noticed unerving tendency to compose blog entries in head as working into work. Alas when get to work am swept away in happy (ahem) whirl of email, teaching, etc. etc. Also may have noted before that tend to avoid blogging about students since would not want to offend them by sounding offhand or slighting. Thus will not say to much about that side of things, perhaps will reserve that for special post in dull and factual tone.
In fact did a lot of reflecting about SL because did talk as part a research seminar series and was invited by Jackie and DrJoolz to talk about my adventures in SL in autoethnographic fashion. Since "SL" and "myself" are 2 of my favourite things, was v. excited about this, and will upload ppt in due course. Actually should be sooner than "due course" as am getting polite reminders from organisers. And could be doing that instead of blogging whilst uploading to flickr (these are the two tasks currently being multi-ed)

Note: Have returned to blogging after mad whirl of information literacy week in SL, and discovered this sad stump of a post. Decide might as well publish it, although it is pretty dull. Picture doesn't show any of the events mentioned above: once infolit week was over decided to spend 40 minutes recreationally, & created moody autumnal island with new sculpty reindeer from G Field, 50 Linden greenhouse and my new favourite birch trees from AG.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009


Trenches visited: 1 (sobering); Remembrance day areas created: 1 (tasteful, hopefully)
Am in midst of Infolit Week in SL prep, but took time out to locate remembrance day poppy wreath, poppy rezzer and Heart garden centre poppy plants (Big and Small) in inventory. Remembrance Day is (for non-Brits) on the 11th day of the 11th month, but the big commemoration (Cenotaph, Queen, wreath-laying etc.) is on the Sunday nearest to the 11th. Oxford Uni have just opened a Western Front Trenches & war poems archive sim (in case people needed reminding that war not good thing), and from that I got a full permissions poppy, so you can get one on Infolit, also there is a tablet that gives a landmark to the Western Front. The Infolit area, with poppies and tablet, (pictured here) is at

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