Virtuosity 11.11

Where words become worlds…

Archive for the month “March, 2014”

The History of Distance Education

What does the future of distance education look like?  Or better yet, how does technology transform education into opportunity for everyone?



Common Crossroads

he has cats

she has dogs

she’s a bird

he’s a frog

a boy and a girl

from very different places

find common connections

in virtual spaces

Relay for Life in Second Life

This year, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in the Relay For Life event on Second Life!  Although I’ve been to the amazing event in the past (multiple sims with just drop dead gorgeous works of art and sights to see), I’ve never been this much involved until now, and am really excited about it!

Why is this so amazing?  Relay for Life (RFL) is a huge fundraising event for the American Cancer Society.  However, I do not know a whole lot about it, save for the little white kiosks that appear all over the grid for donations around this time.  SooooOOO….. with a little help from the RFL Volunteers group, I decided to learn a bit more.  Did you know, when you click on a kiosk, you can get notecards for info on this stuff?!  Without further ado, I post the info on RFL.  Hope that you will relay with me!!!

PS.  Another neat blog from someone more informed about RFL:


What is Relay For Life of Second Life?

Relay For Life is the signature event of the American Cancer Society and has been active, and continually growing in Second Life for 10 years. In 2005, the first Relay For Life of Second Life (RFL of SL) was attended by a few hundred avatars and raised almost $5,000 US dollars for the American Cancer Society. Five years later, in 2010 the Relay For Life of Second Life raised over $220,000. The 1 MILLIONTH US dollar was raised in 2011 when more than 2000 volunteers raised over $375,000. In 2013 we passed the 2 million dollar mark and another milestone had been reached and surpassed.

Individuals who are willing to give their time and energy to this exciting event, as a volunteer or participant, have made a commitment to fight back against this disease and let the community know that you can beat cancer.

Relay For Life Teams form in February and early March, and we begin to fundraise after the March kickoff. Teams continue to sign up and fundraise from March through July by holding events. The Relay For Life of Second Life finishes with the official overnight Relay on July 19th & 20th, 2014. During that weekend, team members gather at their Team Campsites, walk the Relay Track, enjoy live music, participate in fun events, and explore the many Relay Sims (more than 40!) as the event runs overnight and into the next morning. In 2013, over 200 RFL of SL Teams and over 3,549 avatars participated in the largest virtual fundraising walk in the world and this year the number may be even higher.

The Relay For Life of Second Life has the ability to virtually bring together friends, families, businesses, and support organizations from all over the world, all with the goal of raising money and awareness in the fight against cancer!

Fighting cancer is a team effort. The strength of people coming together for a common cause is greater than the strength of one. Teams are the spirit of Relay For Life of Second Life!

For more information please contact:

Nikki Mathieson
Event Chair

Random Padar Darrow
Event Co-Chair

Dawnbeam Dreamscape
Event Co-Chair
You can also join our group, Relay For Life Volunteers, to keep abreast of important dates and information.
Visit our website:

Returning Home

The Return of the Crazy, Blue-haired Dog Lady!

The Return of the Crazy, Blue-haired Dog Lady!

Returning from home after a long journey is not the same as never leaving in the first place.  The experience changes you in many ways, and you look at things with different eyes.

It’s been nearly a month since my return to Second Life, and I write this first blog post reflecting on the many changes that have occurred since my departure. I start with Second Life itself.

We have mesh! Before I left, mesh existed in the form of promises that were nearly two years old in the making. I admit that when I had first heard about it, I was excited about it coming in-world, but not ecstatic (three exclamation points). It would be a way to reduce the number of prims on your land usage, but other than that, I didn’t think it was that big a deal. That is, until coming back.

Talk about an explosion in the quality of clothing, builds, and overall creations on the market, now! The first thing I did when I came back was do a total and complete overhaul of what I owned. Suddenly, my 23 prim hammock I was so fond of now because six prims. That 50 prim house? 22 prims. Not only did my prim count drop, but lets talk about the rich texturing, shadings and shadows that now come into builds. I can inspect a building for hours, enjoying the incredible artwork available to me in-world. I can also wear clothes that look like clothes, and not like body paint! Rigged mesh and soon, liquid mesh, have revolutionized the clothing industry in SL, and it was well worth the wait.

It also means that all the clothes and creations that I made so long ago, with painstaking attention to detail, are becoming outdated, and rightfully so. I’ve discounted a lot of the things I’ve made, because of course they cannot compare to the wonderful mesh items that are now out there. What I’ve also realized though, is that I no longer have the time (being a grad student) to invest in all those hours learning and rebuilding my things to start from new. At least, maybe not yet, but most definitely not as quickly. …and surprisingly? I’m okay with that. Maybe this also reflects a change in myself and my attitudes.

There are less people in SL now. This is both good and bad. Most of my old friends have left, which means I must rebuild and find new ones. I used to have neighbors that completely surrounded my property, and now, it is empty and quiet. I don’t mind this, because gone are the obnoxious prims, nosy neighbors, squatters and griefers that would occasionally upset the peace or disrupt the scenery.

I was able to get a nice waterfront property in the same sim that I’ve lived in for years. It is very secluded, and just a wonderful place to be. This was the biggest reason for staying in SL. I could be alone by the water, in a peaceful setting to write and think. I like that a lot.

I am also back to breeding horses, and have added dogs to my collection. Before, Amaretto boasted that their horses had ten traits to choose from. Upon my return, there are now 23! The market isn’t as crazy as it used to be – lots of horse sims that I had have all closed. However, it seems that the people that have been around are ones that truly love the art of breeding, and they stay because of the hobby, and not because of the money. In fact, there is a new group, the Amaretto Market Owner’s Coalition, that exists to stabilize the market. They are the nicest people you will ever meet, and I’ve already found some wonderful friends there.

Before I left, I had just been accepted to a doctoral program in Teaching and Curriculum. This is now year 3 for me, and I’m starting to put everything I’ve learned and experienced together! What’s next in the year to come? I’m working on creating a genetics course in-world for high school students that teaches concepts of inheritance using the virtual horses. Stay tuned as I develop more on this!

In any case, here is the first step in a new journey back to my Second Life home. I invite you to walk along side me, and join me along the way!

Until the next blog, happy living in all your lives!

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