Saturday, September 27, 2008

So Many Roads

My RL is full of challenges. I suppose I design it that way. Raising children, keeping my marriage working, writing my dissertation, teaching, working on extra projects - robots, SL Teen Grid platform, and biking. I was posed another challenge a few months ago - describe your life in six words or less: work hard, play hard, crash, burn. So I've been through the cycle - again. I crashed and burned in June. Now I'm back at the beginning working hard. And in a better frame of mind to handle the challenges than I was the last time. Its the balance thats working this time.

My SL challenges are interesting. I have two avatars. My alt is Sarah Marcus - she is the avatar I use when teaching my colleagues. She is my professional persona - the one who is knowledgeable on the topic of education in SL. On October 8th, Juniper Breize (my RL and SL friend and colleague) and I will give a presentation to our superintendent, high school and middle school principals, technology coordinator, colleagues, and a grant committee to "sell" our project to develop a virtual world platform on the teen grid. Am I nervous? You bet. Am I confident we can pull this off? Definitely.

And Yamis? Well, Yamis is really me. And in SL I am just as busy - listing to music, dancing, building, loving, exploring. I'm learning to make clothing and stained glass windows and lamps. And I go from one activity to another with my mind on three other tasks. I'm having fun. Hey Woodly, lets go ride bikes!

Well, my bike challenge is tomorrow - 100 miles - Graeme - this one's for you! Thanks =)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Going Down the Road Feeling Great

Perspective is a wonderful thing. And when I took a step back from my second life to examine my first life, i began to realize how much i was missing for a while: my family - playing with my kids, spending time with my husband, running around with my dog, talking with my parents. I was also not giving my students what they deserved. I'm glad I did this before school started. The year has been going so much better. At home and at work.

The time on my bike has been a huge factor in keeping me balanced - every pun intended. No ipod and only an occasional riding partner on the longer rides. Mostly its just me and my thoughts, recentering myself; reflecting on the day or looking to the next. My self-confidence has grown tremendously, and many of my issues with body image and self-esteem have fallen down on the totem pole of my general neurosis. In other words - I'm feeling great.

I read a bed-time story to my son last night, Bubba and Trixie by Lisa Campbell Ernst about a caterpillar, Bubba, with very low self-confidence, afraid to leave the leaf he was born on. He is befriended by Trixie, a lady bug with a crimped wing and a zest for life. She gently encourages him to go out into the garden and explore. He finds it a wonderful magical place. When it is time for Bubba to become a butterfly, he is again fearful of change. When he awakes and sees his wings, he is confused - he doesn't feel different. Trixie explains that he's the same on the inside, just the outside changed. He smiles and declares "I'm downright gorgeous!" Trixie now asks Bubba to help her fly, something she could never do with her bum wing. The two take off and soar high up to the wishing stars. Hooray for Bubba and Trixie.

No wonder I love my butterfly wings!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

DarkStar crashes, pouring its light into ashes

Reason tatters
the forces tear loose
from the axis

Searchlight casting
for faults in the
clouds of delusion

shall we go,
you and I
While we can?
the transitive nightfall
of diamonds

Mirror shatters
in formless reflections
of matter

Glass hand dissolving
to ice petal flowers

Lady in velvet
in the nights of goodbye

Shall we go,
you and I
While we can?
the transitive nightfall
of diamonds

spinning a set the stars through which the tattered tales of axis roll about the waxen wind of never set to motion in the unbecoming round about the reason hardly matters nor the wise through which the stars were set in spin


And from my SL sister, Kitzie Lane:

As many of you are aware, there has been what I would call a tragedy at the DarkStar sim complex. It appears that this was an issue where SL bled into RL and caused some major hurt.
Most of us try to keep SL and RL separate, but we are human. Human beings drive these avatars, and we bring with us our personalities, quirks and frailties. We have feelings, and desires and we act on them in both positive and negative ways.
One who is hurting has chosen a very negative way of reacting to their pain. While we in no way condone the actions, we should understand the pain that has caused this response. It is inevitable for our RLs to be impacted by SL, especially if we are not content in our RLs.
I hope the family from DarkStar will find some peace and move forward. After all, no matter what a place looks like or feels like, it is the people who congregate there that make it feel like a home. A new home will be found, for we ARE a family and families move on together. If it happens that the family can remain on Ripple or return to DS, so be it, but the family will be together.
Please keep those who are hurting at this time in your hearts, pray that they will find their way safely in their RLs and that they too will move on in the way that is best for them.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Keep On Going - Just A Mile To Go

For motivational purposes, I am going to keep track of my training and progress for my big ride on the 28th. I'm registered for the 100 mile ride. I'll be honest - I will be incredibly impressed if four weeks of post fracture training and a still sore elbow is going to make it that far. The reality is I would be thrilled if I went 75. That would still be my farthest ride to date.

So...what have we done this week...
Sunday 30 miles even pace
Monday 26 miles even pace
Tuesday 10 miles hill practice
Friday 18 miles sprints
Sunday 45 miles even pace

getting there - but let me tell you by the end... I was moving much to slooooooooow

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Wake Up to Find Out...

Its been an interesting week - back to work and back in my usual routine: work, school, carpools, errands,'s good. I've been spending more time with my kids. That has been really refreshing. The time goes so quickly. I can't believe I've got a 4th grader and a 1st grader. Where did the time go?
I've been back on my bike - my RL butterfly wings. I can fly on my bike and I get to watch the world flutter by. Now I'm training for my century ride at the end of the month. We'll see how I do... Graeme is a great friend and has been coaching me all along. I want to make him proud.
Balancing between my RL and my SL has been an interesting endeavor. On the one hand, I am really enjoying RL, but on the other, I miss the time I spend with my friends online. I suppose that is what life is about though - juggling and keeping as many balls in the air as you can. I might have too many up there, but i'm trying to keep them from crashing down on me. I am grateful to all the people in my life who cheer me on and believe in me even when I am not sure if I can do all this. They keep me balanced. And honestly, I'm just too damn stubborn to give up anyway ;-)