First SL Class for CyberOne

We had our first “official” class on SL on Berkman Island. We were divided into two groups – one went into Austin Hall with Gene and the other sat in an outdoor ampitheather-type area with Rebecca. One thing I’m not certain is that I’m not even sure if I should be calling my professors by their first names, it’s something I feel very uncomfortable about.

Although this is taking place on a cyber platform, I feel there should be a certain level of decorum, but I don’t know what that level should be. Also, it seems that the senior and junior Nesson, at least, are more liberal-minded that I am, so perhaps they do not care about those kind of formalities. It is strange how some societies work very hard to establish such cultures and some already have it but don’t know how precious it is. For instance, when a professor walks into a classroom, in the past, the students stood up, like when the judge enters a courtroom. These days, however, students don’t even stop talking even when the professor is standing at the podium. Sometimes I wonder to what complete freedom has benefited us all, which is related to one of the ongoing themes we are discussing regarding whether or not cyberspace is a truly independent (and/or democratic) arena. I say *BARF*.

I was excited to find that we were pretty much a very diverse group of people and that most of the members were taking the class because we thought it was cool, not because of the credit. As for myself, I wanted to part of what I thought would later be remembered as a “historic event” – kind of like the first woman going to the moon – only that’s a very bad analogy. I think this project is amazing in that it opens up an entirely new interactive education platform that transcends time and space (not entirely, but enough to conduct an ongoing class). While it is an extension of previous courses that have been offered through online video, this course adds the interactive feature through participation in SL, which is three-dimensional and real time. Of course, all this could not be done without boosts in technology, so this project also marks how technologically advanced our society has become on a global scale.

I am so excited about this project it is becoming harder for me to keep it secret from people at work that I am taking it. I now realize why I was so unhappy on the national beat, covering stories about political corruption, crime, and rapes. I feel I don’t have the emotional capacity to deal with such depressing information – I think it is because I relate so much to what I read and write about.

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