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Happy Rez Day

I’d like to wish a Happy Rez Day to two of my most favorite people here at Montclair State.

Les Writer’s 1st Rez Day was on the 16th – so this is belated – which is no reflection on the respect I have for Les. He teaches in our History Department and is, hands down, one of the most respected faculty members at MSU (just ask his students AND colleagues).

Garrett Congrejo’s 1st Rez Day is today, the 21st. Thanks to his vision and leadership, the CHSS is no longer all alone out in the metaverse. We now have neighbors to our north and its very exciting watching that space grow and develop.

The Price We Pay

Many of you don’t believe me when I tell you about all the wacky things that go on where I work. I know, higher education is a strange, but glorious, profession. I don’t disagree. I also know that it attracts some unusual folks – as faculty, I mean (well, staff too, I guess). Ok – we’re almost all an odd lot, truth be told.

I’m not going to comment on the content or the faculty member – I’ll let the article speak for itself.

http://media.www.themontclarion.org/media/storage/paper374/news/2008/02/14/Opinion/The-Price.Is.Right.With.Dr.Theodore.Price-3210744.shtml

I encourage comment.

Happy Rez Day

A VERY VERY Happy Rez day to my dear friend Mystical Cookie. I would be nowhere close to where I am in SL without Mysti.

First, she create the greatest HUD every, the MystiTool. Second, about a year ago she bought her first sim, Nevi, and I was a major tenant there, owning, at one point, nearly 1/5 of the sim. I have since sold all of that but the original parcel. But Mysti didn’t stop with Nevi, she added Adeo, Cila, Avendale, Avendale Ruins, and soon (we hope), Myla will be moved over to join us.

On a personal note, Mysti has been there every time I had a question or needed advice. Most of my building skills are thanks to her direction and anything I know about scripting (which is darn little) is only because she has been so patient.

Thanks for being a great liege, a leader, and a good friend.

ENWR class update

Things have really started to come together for my Introduction to College Writing I class. At the start, we had some turnover. I believe this is in part because the pop up students get is rather generic. If that message could be customized, that would be wonderful. Even if it couldn’t be customize for each class, if we had more than one classification, that would even be better. Right now all is says is that many of the classes are going to take place online.

I reached out to those who were in BlackBoard prior to the end of last semester. I reached out again after the new year, also through BlackBoard. A few days before classes started I sent an email to each individual, not through BlackBoard, and used their MSU email address as well as the email address they have listed in WESS. I was fairly clear in all the emails that there was a strong technology component to this course and to contact me with questions.

Once the first day of class came and went a few students got it and decided it was not for them. The problem, of course, is that a student leaving at that point leaves an opening in the class, so other students can register – and some did. Some even registered right up to the registration deadline, which meant they missed two or three classes.

I don’t go over the syllabus on the first night and then let them go – we start class, so any student coming in after the second class is going to be at a disadvantage. Does this mean they can’t make up for it, no, of course not – a little hard work to catch up and they’ll have no problem. The key here is that the student should have contacted me as soon as they registered to find out what to make up. All but one did not do this. The students also get access to BlackBoard after midnight once the register. If it were me, I’d go through all the announcements and posting and see what I missed. Even when I was an undergraduate, I would have done that. Many of these students did not.

So, now the class is settled, we’re into Second Life, and almost every student is excited about it. We have had a problem using Google Docs to share papers and so tonight I’m going to have to can that and we’ll have to go back to paper. I was hoping to go paperless this time around, there are just so many advantages, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to work out. As the semester progresses, if it seems we might be able to go back to it, maybe we’ll try it again.

Tonight, Dr. Patty Kahn will be coming to our class to go over the RAVE/Campus Connect program. We’ll be using the phones for polling and also for the students to get announcement from BlackBoard and also get notification when they have a grade posted. Each student should have this phone already, its part of the fee structure. The only students who will not have it will be Junior who are not living on campus and Seniors. This group will be able to use their regular cell phone.

More as it comes up.

Happy Rez Day!

My guess is that many of you out there are starring at the screen wondering what on earth a rez day is and why you should care about it.

Well, for most of you, the answer to that last question will probably be, you shouldn’t. For those of you in Second Life, your rez day is the day you signed up for your account. You can find your rez day (or birthday) by looking at the upper left hand side of the profile. You can see anyone’s rez day from his or her profile.

I just celebrated my 1-year Rez Day. I find it so hard to believe that so much has happened in only one year. I’ve presented countless times, built an island, taught classes, helped others teach classes, help another academic unit here come in-world, and most amazingly been highlighted in an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education and been published on the subject. All this in less than a year. It’s been a wild ride.

Seeing the importance of marking important dates in SL as well as RL, I hope to note, from time to time, the Rez Dates of some of my friends. To start this off, I’m going to go through some I missed in January.

AnthonyFontana Chevalier (January 1st) – 1 year
Elmont Carver (January 7th) – signed up
Irwin Nitely (January 7th) – signed up
Hugo VanSant (January 16th) – 1 year – (Hugo is the first person I met on Orientation Island. It turns out that not only is he from Brasil, he lives in the next town over from the one I usually visit. Guess even the virtual world is a small world.
Rixhawz Milestone (January 16th) – 1 year
Me, AJ Brooks (January 16th) – 1 year
Bret Rydell (January 17th) – 1 year
Theresa Hawks (January 17th) – 1 year
EdTek Zeno (January 19th) – 1 year
LauraMaria Onomatopoeia (January 23rd) – 1 year
KenBain Brooks (January 25th) – 1 Year
Larry Pixel (January 26th) – 2 years