Thursday, February 19, 2009

Friends In Low Places

I'm sure you've heard the old addage, "You lay down with dogs and you wake up with fleas." Have you ever felt like a friend was a bad influence on you? Recently, I've realized that I've got just such a friend.

We'll call her..."Tiffany". Tiffany is like a gateway drug. She is my portal to addiction. Perhaps, I should explain.

First of all, Tiffany is the reason this blog exists. As well as my THREE other blogs. (Can you say NEUROTIC, boys and girls?) Tiffany is the reason I twitter. Tiffany is the reason I Googled my life a few years back. Or whenever it was - I've lost track. Let me check my Google Calendar... Tiffany is the reason I, subsequently, needed a Blackberry. And, finally, Tiffany is the reason I recently experimented AGAIN.

To be fair, I can take blame for her "involvement" (I really wouldn't classify it as an addiction) in well as a few others. And, like a good little addict (You know I try to be the best at everything I do. None of this wishy-washy, willy-nilly stuff for me.), I try to recruit as many new Blackberry users, twitterers, and bloggers as possible, too. But, I wouldn't be "spreading the word" if it weren't for her. (Think: pyramid scheme.)

Now, don't get me wrong...I love Tiffany. (Don't worry, Mr. Starbucks Man. It's not the same as you and me.) Our Little Darlings get along, we have a lot in common, we laugh together, we see eye-t0-eye about a lot of Really Important Teacher Stuff, she gives me's a good thing. (Which is lucky, because she keeps telling me she may be moving in with me next year.)

I think now, dear readers, would be a good time to tell you about my latest experimentation.

You see, Tiffany has been granted this Very Exciting Professional Opportunity. She's going to host a "blog tour" with a REAL AUTHOR to promote their new book. Now, in typical Tiffany fashion, she had to think big. So, what did she decide to do? Well, she's hosting the book talk in Second Life.

Being the Gateway to the Empire of Addictions, as she is, this is not the first time she's pitched Second Life to me. Prior to this upcoming event, it seemed too "Little Brother" for me. (My brother Jethro is fluent in the online gaming world.) It also reminded me of a CSI episode I saw a long time ago (a "long time ago" in TV Land time, that is). I decided it was NOT FOR ME.

However, I'm not afraid of a little experimentation. I can handle something a little "outside my boundaries", right? I live on the edge. I can strut my stuff on the wild side, too, right?

I sucked it up and registered for Second Life.


"Standing" in Second Life, taking care of a few priorities first (sculpting the perfect face and body), I flashed back to my first frat party at UF.

There I was, this street-stupid girl with issues about crowds, standing amidst a sea of nearly professional drinkers. A sea of STRANGERS. Well, all except my street-smart Miamian roommate. I'll never forget the moment someone said "5-0". I stood motionless, completely unaware and oblivious, until my guardian roommate took action and drug me along. As I followed her stupidly, she had to explain to me that "5-0" means COPS. (Turned out to be a prank, by the way. But it wouldn't have mattered to me, right? I don't like beer.)

How was it the same, you ask? Well, not unlike the fraternity party, I felt completely inferior to others around me. I felt completely vulnerable. I wanted to be invisible. I prayed that no one tried to talk to me - or, worse, proposition me. I wanted to make a sign to hang above my head that said, "New here. Don't come near me." Or, a sign that said, "I'm not here to have fun. I just want to look decent for this teacher thing coming up." I considered playing mute. (That wasn't too far from the truth. I was definitely handicapped.)

To make a long story short, I don't think SL is compatible with my computer, which is a good thing. I don't think I'm ready for that...yet. So, if you are a Second Lifer, and you happen to run into this newbie gal named "Ella Rembrandt" who is standing somewhere staring at a wall - don't bother trying to talk to her. Just walk the other way...

As for Tiffany and I? No hard feelings. I love her like a druggie loves their dealer.

Will you be my BFF?

**Author's Note: As it turns out, the plans have changed for the blog book tour. It will not be hosted in Second Life...but, that's another blog post.**


  1. I will definitely be your BFF! And even though this identifies me I don't mind leaving a comment. Jenny - you are a dream teacher. Give you an idea, and you run with it. You think beyond the boundries, rethink your teaching constantly and embed more depth than most people think is possible and most importantly have a passion for this work. Getting hooked on technology will just keep you working smarter! (And it's a lot of fun) So don't let anyone give you grief about your habit! <3

  2. Thanks,, Melanie. :) You're too kind! (Flattery is always welcome here.)

  3. You and Tiffany in a classroom together might be too much. Your students would be exceptional student bloggers, connected to the global audience through social networks, and be wiki creatin' fools. What just a minute! Wouldn't this teach them readin' and writin'? Might not be so bad after all! Oh golly...

  4. @Suzanne Aaaaw, shucks. I can teach them kids that readin' and writin' stuff...but who will teach them kids that-there 'rithmatic? LOL

  5. LOL, this is too much. I KNOW I couldn't handle another obsession, so I'm glad that you're keeping this Second Life thing on the DL. ;)

  6. LOL! I am terrified of Second Life, mainly because of that CSI episode you're talking about. How is it that adult experiences, even virtual ones, can sometimes make us feel like we're still in middle school (when I suffered my biggest inferiority complex)?


Care to comment? Be my guest! Just remember, be classy -- not too sassy! (My young fans may be reading!)

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