Saturday June 18, 2009
Finally getting somewhat back on course after the tsunami that was NECC09, I received my nicely printed, frameable, official thank-you from ISTE for my small part in co-facilitating the Second Life Playground in the snail-mailbox yesterday. That of course reminded me how slack I have been in getting out my own thanks to everyone involved in the project. It's true, I'm a slacker. I've never been very good at writing thank you notes, either. I'm going to try here.
First, thanks goes to Lisa Linn, my co-facilitator. Lisa's a 6th grade teacher in Oceanside, California, She's smart, outspoken, and driven to learn and to share. Without Lisa's careful presence nothing would have happened in the Playground (I wish we could change the nomenclature next year, since although play is certainly an element of what goes on there, it may be more of a Hive, or a Factory, or a Tribal Village than a Playground). Whatever we call it, thanks to Jennifer Ragan-Fore and Anita and Laurie and Terra and everyone else at NECC09 for providing the organization, the support, and the encouragement to make it work.
I have two large groups of folks to thank, beginning with Susan Toth-Cohen and her co-Inworld Supreme Poobah Jeff Agamenoni, who completely took over making inworld things happen and assuring that all the things that could go wrong did not go wrong. Onsite in DC, in the glaringly brightly sunlit Playground, dozens of volunteers, each with two names as is our way, gave countless hours simply being there and helping the initially inquisitive satisify their budding curiosities. Thanks then to the onsite Supreme Poobahs and their minions for their dedication and their gentleness...Thanks to the tech folks at the Washington Convention Center, though I would have them lobby for a complete reworking of their NATted network and wireless infrastructure, which failed on many levels as soon as 18,000 laptops fired up and tried to get work done over them. To their credit, they seemed to recover at least acceptably, if not robustly.
Next year I wish for just a few things:
  • That the Second Life areas are more public
  • That the setup allows for maximal functionality 100% of the time (lighting is optimal, audio is optimal, and streaming into Second Life is optimized and easy)
  • That everyone who came to NECC09 comes to ISTE Conference 2010 with the same love of tribe and outreach attitudes--that one's a given!
I can't thank everyone personally, at least not until I see them inworld or in world next. But at the sure-thing risk of leaving out someone important, and apologizing for that in advance, I do want to call up just a few more names, and I'll use whichever one (SL or rw) that comes to mind first:Knowclue Kidd--Marianne, you are a glowing charm on the face of the earth. I felt that your contributions to our presentations (the ones that may have been underattended in quantity but which were loaded with quality in the attendees as well as the teams up front) rendered each and every one of them magical. I will always recall the resigned sigh when you capitulated and helped make the Second Life Birds of a Feather the charming session that it turned out to be. That's all I can say without getting teardrops on my laptop, and you know what kind of damage that can do.Kevin Jarrett--You are the bomb. Kindred K-4 Tech Coordinator burning your innovation flame boldly in spite of all the efforts that circumstances might make to dampen them, you are an inspiration to me. I cherish your friendship and your kindness in all things.Cathy Walker and John Miller--You had no official roles in the Playgrounds, but you were there. You both share such intelligence and vision, coupled with a shared and transparent intolerance for bullhockey, that I am consistently awed and blessed to know you and to work with you. My role in MUVErs is about as unclear as my roles in other life arenas are, I'm a cloud guy, I think, unavailable for pigeon-holing, unwilling to settle down or to grow up excepting for in my parenting and my writing. You're stuck with me, at least for now, and likely for always. As it's always been, business is only part of it. We persevere. You thrive toward global appreciation of your work, as witnessed by John's recent appearance in an article about innovation in Second Life distance education.Louise Borgnine--You were there, all over our area, supporting and smiling and helping and sharing. The little ways you showed that ISTE cared really touched home. Thank you so much.Mark Dunk--Dude, did you ever sleep? Did you ever see any of NECC09 besides the Second Life Playground? No, well neither did I, really. But you where there every waking moment, excepting perhaps for the occasional bio-break. Your help and presence helped define the overall ambience in ways for which we are all grateful. Malinda McCormick--Thank you for bringing your charm and your Frontline Digital Nation friends into our space. Thank you for the charm and gentle spirit you shared with us.Claudia Linden--You didn't bring your gentle and spiritually awe-inspiring physical self to us, but you did spend significant time with us inworld (and onsite via projected SL) chatting and consulting, most specifically on the topics of education case studies and grant collaboration. This was some real, down-to-earth/metaverse roll-up-sleeves work, and we appreciate you for it. I have to say that I personally value your friendship and I feel confident that we will continue to build upon our foundations for a long time to come. Lindy Mckeown--What a pleasure to meet someone who in my heart and mind I now cluster in with that tiny group of fierce and friendly fighters for innovation. Your help in sessions and your presence all along was a key enhancer to every moment I had the pleasure of sharing with you. Peggy Sheehy--What can I say that sufficiently describes the joy of your just being there. You supercharge every place you grace with vibrant insistence upon excellence and truth. It must feel scary to hold that much sway over a group of human beings (or avatars). Larry Klugman--Physically overlording a concurrent conference in Austin, Texas, you set up your streaming server with every potential for success so that we could stream into Second Life for all the VirtualNECCers who could be in SL but couldn't be in DC. You spent hours working with me to make it work, only to be thwarted by the Convention Center's NAT. Not for want of effort, man, not for want of effort.Christie Thomas--You jumped in to facilitate when I was limping over from my presentation during Claudia's first scheduled appearance and you did so just because you saw a need. That's the way you are. I don't regret that my two bags of cables and hardware were whisked off to Eugene on "The Pallet" while we quaffed a couple beers after the closing keynote. I would do it again, and may well in Denver!Bernajean Porter--You do, milady, rock. It's no wonder that you and Peggy are often invoked in the same sentence, since your energy levels and degrees of intensity do so align. You are very different people in many other ways, and it is my eternal good fortune to have met you and to look forward to many future collaborations. Lor Frederickson--A sweet and gentle presence there to help, your efforts during the three days will reap benefits for years to come as those you helped into our tribe contribute their own insight and efffort.Lee Ann Merrick--You let me go, then after it was all done and said, you welcomed me back home. When I try to envision the significant others implied for all the names above and below, I can only hope that they are to any degree as supportive of their loved ones as you are of me. You may not "get it," but you Get It.
Lyr Lobo, Tegan Jenvieve, Laela Laval, Komputer Merlin, Norma Underwood, Bronwyn Stuckey, Victoria Gloucester, Spiff Whitfield, and everyone on the schedules below (some are repeated, or their "other names" repeat them, but I'm out of breath here). Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Edith Halderman, Esparanza Freese, Tuxedo Ninetails, Blu Heron, Corla Kanik, Penelope Drucker, Lori Galli, Mari Asturias, Laural McCallen, Faythe Fouroux, Mari Asturias, Cynthia Deere, Ella Bebb, Cyrus Hush, Pmat Pinion, KarenKate Sands, Rurik Bellingshausen, Ludovica Muhindra, Valibrarian Gregg, Lori Galli, Jackie Rexen, Eliza Vanalten, Emilia Cornwall, SeeThe Wobbit, Jackie Rexen, Roshana Rives, Jackie Rexen, Pmat Pinion, KarenKate Sands, Fred Delventhal, Louise Maine, Andrew Wheelock, Lisa Thumann, Ken Shelton, Lori Abrahams, Julie LaChance, Rosie and Bob Vojtek, Nancy Sharoff, Jackie Gerstein, Cindy Burton, and Philipe Santiago
I have a set of all my pics from NECC09 , many of them from the SL Playground, at Flickr.There's a little movie from the roving co-fac onine at the NECC NingLots of ongoing stuff at http://scottsecondlife.blogspot.com
One more thing: I love you all,
Scott
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It's all at http://scottmerrick.net