Sunday, July 29, 2007

Jail Break!

In a very exciting twist of events, I got locked up in the Relay for Life Slammer! Avatars donated Linden to place me in the slammer, and then shelled out more to meet the 50,000 Linden bail. I crashed shortly after the bail was met.

SL was laggy, wouldn't allow linden transfers, locked up the friends lists, and locked me on a island I never heard of... My shoes went south to take shelter in my pixelated tookas, my hair reverted to newbie-mullet, and nothing worked, no matter how hard I tried.

Now, it may serve some to get angry about all that, but, lo, it is cause for celebration!

It has long been my philosophy that people will choose GOOD content over porn if it is there. This weekend is an excellent example.

In the short time I was there, the Relay-for-Life Jail cells made about 100,000 Linden. There was no room at the Inn, and no avatars could teleport in. People had to send linden so that the bail could be posted. What a WONDERFUL problem to have!!!!

Now, admittedly, I have a vested interest. My Dad is one year in remission. So, Relay for Life is important on a few levels. But, ore than that, it was an event that pulled together most of the grid for an excellent cause. All over the grid, events were held to raise money and awareness.

Tasia Tonic reports that her group raised 130,000 Linden at a concert earlier that night. All over the grid, people were donating money to help others. They were participating in events like concerts, walks, and contests to help others. They were using SL technology to raise awareness and money about a RL killer. They were celebrating living heroes and remembering the fallen heroes.

I can live with getting stuck on some unknown island, and I can live with newbie hair and my shoes up my butt. I would take a million days of that if it means that people will continue to use SL to help others struggling for REAL hair, REAL movement, REAL life.

Many congratulations to the organizers of the RFL activities. Many thanks to Larry Pixel (Larry Johnson) and NMC for letting me get locked up. Many thanks to all of the avatars that helped bail me out: Gus Plisskin, Happyholly Grigges, Eloise Pasteur, JJ Drinkwater, Desmond Shang, Tasia Tonic, Vernox Myng, Lilleth Bailey, Anastacia Austinmer, Zak Carter, Larry Pixel, and the many others that donated that I didn't know.

People will pick good content if it is there to choose. The RFL campaign in an excellent example!!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Back in the V-Saddle

Is that Hell in your pocket, or are you unhappy to see me?

I was on vacation these last few days - well a conf-acation (first two days conference; second two days vacationing). I had a nice break from SL as I played about 60000 boardwalk games with my boys, ate way tooooooo much butta, and raced around in the Grand Prix family fun car.

On Sunday, I returned home and Eloise and I packed up the Inferno/Linden Hills project. It was like ripping apart my heart (not to be overly dramatic or anything). But, it was a dream of mine to build something like that (thank GOD for the building/scripting skills of Miss Eloise...!!!), and I am ever-sooo-appreciative of NMC for hosting it for 10 days. You can read about it at the Lit Alive! Blog.

Lots of fun things always happen when I go away. In my home town of oh-little-town-of-Bethlehem, there was a wickedly cool gas price war between the WaWa and Hess gas stations. The lines caused accidents; the people scurried in the streets! But, lo, I was playing a mean game of beach volleyball with the tykes and missed the fist fights.

The Educators Co-Op launched its program (and yes, of COURSE, I secured a spot - it is like the ideal college dorm!!!!). NMC launched their poster sessions from their RL conference, and my good puppy pal, CDB, just launched a new NMC video jukebox

Adrian and I found out where all the random prims were hiding at our private residence and the Renaissance Classroom had to be packed up while the prim hoggers were identified (it is being moved to the Herot Hall Classroom).

SLNN hired a new reporter, a teacher, to be the reporter for educational news. He is funny, but BRUTALLY honest (much like Eloise who writes for SL Insider). It is good to see someone dedicated to educational news (besides the goddess Eloise and that wonderful Milosun, who runs the Picayune) in a community-wide paper.

ok, I think that is all the news on this front, more later - I have to do about 18 loads of beach laundry....woot!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Go to Hell (visit, then come back)

At faculty convocation, when all my peer faculty peeps talk about their vacations and various landscaping mishaps, it will no doubt be asked:

So....Beth...what did YOU do this summer?

Oh, my friend Eloise and I built Hell in 48 hours; you?

The Dante's Inferno classroom is actually not the prime focus of our recent build. The Linden Hills Classroom is TRULY the focus (if you have not read it, stop here, tarry not, go to Amazon, buy Linden Hills by Gloria Naylor). The students at DeSales University are reading the novel as part of their contemporary fiction course as part of an author study on Naylor. Literature Alive! created all of her novels in SL except her newest (1996). But, if you click on my profile, you can visit the Men and Women of Brewster Place, Bailey's Cafe, and Mama

Linden Hills (ironic name, indeed) is based on the concept of the Inferno. Each layer leads down to Luther Nedeed's house at the center of the bottom. I have taught this novel for the last 10 years, and have never been able to communicate the links to the Inferno effectively. Students did not have a foundation in Dante to understand the connections. In SL, students are able to SEE the connections, and are "getting it."

Residents can also participate by adding suggestions for content. All of the Literature Alive! builds are intended for community use, and the Inferno, in the 48 hours it has been open, has attracted about 200 visitors.

Eloise Pasteur did an amazing job terraforming, and the display, itself, is low prim. Larry Pixel at NMC has been so kind to loan the space for the class (the actual RL class), but it can't stay there. The problem isn't prim (believe it or not, Hell weighs in at about 350 prims). The problem is is a full sim. Sadly, most folks dont have a spare sim to donate. So, if you know anyone with some extra space (like, an island), send em my way :-)

And, so, on Wednesday night, the Inferno will get placed in my inventory. How many people can say, "Hell will be in my pocket."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Virtual Rights

If a tree falls in Second Life, is it still a tree?

That question seems somewhat pointless when another tree is so easy to rez. But, what happens when Joe-the-neighbor steals the design for Suzie's Falling Tree?

Are ideas fantasy? Are ideas in a virtual world fantastical? The court system will have to decide!

Frank Taney, an amazingly nice man in real life and sharp as a tack about intellectual property and Second Life, is representing a client dealing with these issues. His client's sex-bed was copied and reproduced and sold by some other chap. His client is suing for infringement of intellectual property violations.

Now, let's pretend for a moment we are not talking about virtual sex-beds. Let's think, for example, that we are talking about textbooks. If I create a textbook for use in Second Life, and someone comes along, steals the content but changes the color, and then sells it as his or her own, is that an infringement of my rights? Or, is it automatically assumed that anything created in SL is part of the public domain? Well, certainly, THAT can't be the rule or IBM and Nissan would high tail it outta there.

While I don't necessarily care about sex-beds in Second Life (nor could I even think of one person that makes or sells them), I think this issue has a HUGE impact on all of us...educators...RL businesses...teensy shop owners...

In the CNBC Video, the opposing lawyer says that virtual worlds are fantasy lands and, therefore, this intellectual property issue should be dealt with virtually; the weight of the ruling only applying within the virtual world.

But, YE GADS! If that is the truth, we are reducing ideas to fantasy!!! I don't know about you, but my academic work in SL is not is TRULY my RL work prepared for RL students. While I share the work through Creative Commons, I do retain attribution rights. Placing it in a virtual world does not change the IDEA of the content, just the format of it.

If a ruling like this passes, professional game designers are screwed out of their ideas, since their ideas will be reduced to fantasy.

The interesting question here is whether or not the NEW sex bed is an improved version of the OLD sex bed or a duplication. If I make a BETTER textbook than one previous (using my own words and examples), is THAT IDEA (creating a textbook for teaching English in SL) the intellectual property or the content WITHIN the book?

Hmmmm....going to chew on this idea....any thoughts?

Dumpster Diving and The Literature Alive! Team: Woot!

Daliah was a student of mine in the Spring semester, and now is a professional shopper for Literature Alive! Her unofficial title is Daliah, Queen of the Freebies. I give her a list of things I need for the classrooms, pack her up with some Linden, she runs off to those magical landmarks of hers, and POOF! Dynamic Daliah scores (and brings me change!).

In our spare time (what little I have anymore, har har), we go lucky chair hunting (which is hard seeing as our names both start with a D). We also like to go dumpster diving!

We then repack the freebies and pass them out at the School Store in our Lucky Chairs or Daliah loads them into the dumpster, garbage can, or (in the gothic classroom) coffin. You can stop in anytime, right click, harvest, and grab freebie goodies. She has some sort of system of folders and more folders and categories and whatnot. But, only Daliah understands the mechanisms of her job.

Eloise, that Goddess of Building and Scripting, creates most of the builds for Literature Alive! I give her my ideas, tell her what I would like to see, and she either makes it or laughs at me. Neoznet Watts, the other builder for Literature Alive!, laughs along with her.

Most of the content is done by me, but, recently, I brought on LauraMaria as a content developer. She and I share a passion for teaching, and we often teach many of the same texts. We also have about 5 other volunteers that pitch in to help on various projects.

As Literature Alive! continues to grow, we will need more land and more volunteers. Ideally, we might find an actual sponsor that will foot the bills and provide stipends to some of the workers and pay for texture uploads. But, there is always tomorrow :-)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Mama Day, Gloria Naylor, and Teaching Novels in Second Life

The DeSales Contemporary Fiction class spent its last night working on the novel Mama Day by Gloria Naylor. It should be noted that Gloria Naylor is my favorite American writer; her use of classical literature, the intertwining of novels through characterization, setting, attention to details, language....really, we could be here all night.

Wednesday, we move on to explore Linden Hills - another novel by Naylor - that is based off the premise of Dante's Inferno. Both will be built in Second Life, and students will, again, work to create content. did it go?

Well, I learned A LOT about teaching literature inworld. Students need basic directions and minimal distractions, and, since the classes are open to anyone and everyone, that can be kind of rough. Also, it is important to remember that the students can not be graded on the use of technology; the writing is what counts.

But what did they think?

Here are their anonymous assessments - unedited, passed through Eloise, and compiled.

The story relates to some mysteries which I don't get it. The fact
Mama Day tells George go to the chicken coop & he does that is
unrealistic. I also don't like the ending since it's sad. Good people
should have happy life. Sacrifice something needs to be returned by
something else. Even it's not perfect, I like its beginning when
Cocoa has interview with George. She shows her view while choosing
working & family. I believe in her situation, family is more important.


I enjoyed the reading. I have always been interested in life in the
southern states for some reason and this gave me a new perspective on

The dialogue was difficult to follow at times because of my
unfamiliarity with it. Once I was more familiar it was much easier
though. I did have to re-read many sections because of this.

Gloria Naylor has a way of bringing a mental picture into the head of
the reader. I was able to visualize the homes of Abigail and Miranda
including the chicken coup. It was easy to visualize George playing
cards with Dr. Buzzard and the others because of this ability to

This is a book I would enjoy reading again. I would rank it up with
"To Kill A Mockingbird" which is one of my favorites


The book, Mama Day, is a good book. It was interesting and every
character brought something different to the story. You can
definitely understand the way they live through the technology we use
in class. I think recreating the scenes was a good thing. You
understand the characters a little more and can get a visual in your
mind about the characters and what they might look like. The only
thing negative I have to say is that there are too many people in
second life while we are trying to understand the assignments.
Sometimes those people can be distracting and take away from the
learning experience. It can get confusing and frustrating.


I enjoyed recreating the scenes from Mama Day. It was neat to see
what others saw when they read the book. Making fiction reality in a
way. The time frame seemed to pass by quickly almost to the point of
not enough time to truly get all of the detail it deserves. This
is a good way to learn fiction.


So far I have enjoyed our projects for Mama Day, a little bit
confusing at times, but fun none the less. This platform allows us to
get involved in the book a bit more. The only problem the I thought
of was we learned about these projects after we read the book so we
had to go back and try to pick out info that we could find. If
informed of them before reading we could of made notes and proper
documentation, rather then going back skimming for info. All and all
for what its worth its a fun time.


I think at first it was very difficult and I really didn't enjoy it
because I was having a hard time grasping everything. but I'm
starting to understand it better and I'm liking the projects were
doing.I enjoyed tonight class using more of our imagination then
anything and I also liked the class that we had to decorate our
houses. the only one I didn't enjoy was when we had all the people
from everywhere join in with us on the activities because I was really
lost and had no idea what was going on. i enjoy it better when it's
our little group from class. but I also didnt enjoy the book so
maybe that's why I didn't really want to get into the assignments.


When we first started working on Second life i was not a big fan. I
am not comfortable with the virtual environment, but as we continued
to work with it, i am becoming more comfortable. I enjoyed the
decorating of the house and i really enjoyed the gravestones. To be
honest i did not think i would enjoy this, but it really makes you
think about the book more. At least when i read the next book i will
observe more of the detail and really think about what i am reading.
The activities have been fun and meaningful, and i am sure that when i
become even more familiar with Second life i will see how this all
comes together.


Sl for mama day was difficult because of the technology and not
understanding that technology. I think that SL could be a great
teaching tool if you know what you're doing. It actually made trying
to learn more about the story and characters more difficult because
we were too busy trying to learn SL and what to do in it and when to
do it.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Tommy Taney, Remembered

Many moons ago, I wrote about how RL emotions happen in SL. Whether it be love, spite, jealousy, fear...those emotions affect us in RL.

On Thursday, a SL friend died. He was young, smart, funny, kind, generous, loving, witty, and energetic. In SL, he could dance, played a mean game of poker, and was a blast. to be around. In RL, he was all of those things, but he had muscular dystrophy and was wheel chair bound.

Tommy and I met during my research phase; he was one of only a handful of people that knew I was doing research on gender discourse; he was a guy you could trust. It turned out that we live only miles from each other. We became Skype friends and, well, he taught me some tricks on how to play SL poker!

It is sometime hard to remember that real people operate these avatars. Tommy's kind heart and his sense of humor kept him on the friends list past those 30 days. I spoke to him before he got really sick, and he never mentioned it. He didn't' want to be know that way in SL.

I tried to think of a way to remember him, but fell short. I knew he would be mad if we sat around and cried (though I did), and would rather we celebrate the life he did have and the fun he could have in Second Life. so I gathered up some friends, gave them all linden money, whipped out a blackjack table, and we played to celebrate his life.

They only gave him 2 years to live at birth. He lived 25 more. He lived fully in RL and fully in SL. He will be missed in all realities.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Desi Stockton's Tips for Classroom Management

Well, ok, I have no tips to share. I am usually busy helping students rez things and balance text on lap and keyboard in hand...

But, this week - my BEST student (excellent writer, diligent, yadda yadda) was being all GRIEFY is class! OMG!

How does a professor respond? Um, in Real Life class, I said "Joe...cut it out" and in open chat I said "Joe...cut it out" and in IM I said "cut it out." He didn't cut it out. Any advice out there?

A few days ago, I hosted some trainings on ethical use of Flickr, YouTube, and Vixy. In one class, I had an ACADEMIC being absolutely disruptive (acting like it was a social affair and not an actual class). I immed her (nicely) and said "cut it out" and, guess what, she didn't.

In thinking about it and chatting with friends, they suggested I charge for these lessons to prevent people from being moronic. But, charging for education is against the mission of Literature Alive! So, I am not doing that. Another friend suggested I use the EJECT button, but, I don't own any of my land, you see, so I don't have those yummy powers.

So....what to do? Someone send xanax or a tazer? How do others handle this?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Literary Holodeck Project

Attending SL Views 5 was inspirational.

BUT....what is MORE inspirational are the people flooding in to work on the Literary Holodeck Project.

The LHP is an open access/open content Holodeck that produces scenes from literature. While Laura Nicosia and I generated the root list, many folks have added on to the list and others have volunteered to build the scenes listed. The main list can be found on the Literature Alive! site. Many thanks to Eloise Pasteur for her generous donation of time, and to George Kurtz for the donation of land for the workshop!

What makes it most brilliant is represented in this conversation at 5AM my time with Aaron Griffiths/Isa Goodman (all permissions granted for posting). Aaron has volunteered to build the set for Elie Wiesel's Night in SL. This build will be part of the holodeck and can be used by anyone:

[2:21] Isa Goodman: Heya
[2:21] You: Hi Isa!
[2:21] You: excellent barbed wire
[2:22] Isa Goodman: Just the fence so far... modelled off photographs
[2:22] Isa Goodman: and the sign the same
[2:22] Isa Goodman: Will have the brickbuilding in some form
[2:22] Isa Goodman: with the block numers on the door
[2:23] Isa Goodman: Any block number specific to the book?
[2:23] You: there were a few
[2:23] You: but let me grab this for you
[2:23] You: gimme one sec
[2:23] Isa Goodman: I know 10 was Mengele
[2:23] You: yes
[2:26] You: here is one but this speaks more to the feeling of it
[2:26] You: "Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never."
[2:28] Isa Goodman: Got it
[2:29] You: so, my hope is to create more of a general barracks
[2:29] You: place for standing
[2:29] You: then have the students fill in details
[2:29] You: with the text
[2:29] Isa Goodman: k
[2:29] You: but, there will be some things that we add
[2:29] You: before we pack it up
[2:30] Isa Goodman: k
[2:30] Isa Goodman: Like?
[2:31] You: well, we will imbed some things we absolutely want them to have
[2:32] You: like journal articles
[2:32] Isa Goodman: of course
[2:32] You: definitions
[2:32] You: resources
[2:32] Isa Goodman: At the moment I'm just creating props based on photos
[2:32] Isa Goodman: Then we can assewmble them
[2:32] You: that is the best we can do
[2:33] You: take pics of Auschwitz
[2:33] Isa Goodman: Very much a stage setting
[2:33] You: and then try to create them here
[2:33] You: exactly
[2:33] Isa Goodman: YEs... evoke the feeling of more
[2:33] Isa Goodman: and the flag pole you mentioned
[2:34] You: well, i think that might be hard in SL
[2:34] You: i am very drawn by the image of roll call
[2:34] You: having to run out
[2:34] You: stand
[2:34] You: wait
[2:34] You: for people not to call you human
[2:34] You: just to make you less human than you were
[2:35] You: before deciding if you could live ot die one more day
[2:35] Isa Goodman: Yes
[2:35] You: that strikes me
[2:35] You: I dont know how to make that here
[2:35] Isa Goodman: Particle systems and fade in ranks... is possible
[2:35] You: lol
[2:36] You: well, you speak Greek to me
[2:36] You: see, I have the back end passion
[2:36] You: but not the skill
[2:36] Isa Goodman: and to myself... but we can get some effects that will engage the students
[2:36] Isa Goodman: and give more credence to the display
[2:36] You: Eloise is up on all that too
[2:36] You: yes
[2:36] You: when they come here
[2:36] You: they should feel that they have made the choice to live
[2:37] You: and to live is a choice they can make
[2:37] You: but not all humans - over time- have had equal choices in that regard
[2:37] Isa Goodman: Yes
[2:37] Isa Goodman: k
[2:37] Isa Goodman: ... a big ask... but I'm sure we can pll it off
[2:37] Desideria Stockton thinks you didnt want to get me blabbering on
[2:37] Isa Goodman: *smiles*
[2:37] You: well it is hard
[2:38] You: the challenge is to pull off emotion with content
[2:38] Isa Goodman: I'm up for it *grins*
[2:38] You: anyone can build a cinderblock barrack
[2:38] Isa Goodman: yes
[2:38] You: but, to build in the piece that will TEACH people to be humane by capturing the human spirit, tugging it, and letting it fly again - THAT is a test for an artist
[2:39] Isa Goodman: lol
[2:39] Isa Goodman: Then we'll see wont we *smiles*
[2:39] You: lol
[2:39] You: How do you feel about doing this?
[2:39] Isa Goodman: This is not the hohlodeck btw... just a sandbox
[2:40] Isa Goodman: Fine... though I go elvish for comfort
[2:40] You: nah, tis ok
[2:40] You: lol
[2:40] Isa Goodman: Is a dark subject
[2:40] You: yes
[2:40] You: very
[2:40] You: BUT
[2:40] You: there is light
[2:40] You: he survived to tell a story
[2:40] You: that story teaches us to love
[2:41] You: so, yes, the darkest hours bring about the most brilliant lights
[2:41] Isa Goodman: as always
[2:41] You: you are capturing the dark
[2:41] You: but the students weave it to light
[2:41] Isa Goodman: Yes... that will be their task
[2:42] Isa Goodman: OK.. so thats it so far... will call you with progress later on in the week
[2:42] You: May I post a record of this chat?
[2:42] Isa Goodman: Yeah sure
[2:42] You: What you are doing here goes to the heart of all of these projects
[2:42] You: taking words
[2:42] You: any random words
[2:42] You: and making them meaningful
[2:43] You: in a 3D place it might be a little harder
[2:43] You: in 2D we could show a movie
[2:43] You: but you have to make the movie
[2:43] Isa Goodman: *grins*... thats the fun of it
[2:43] You: and capture the dark side of human nature
[2:43] You: to allow for the light side to emerge
[2:43] Isa Goodman: well not that bit
[2:43] Isa Goodman: lol
[2:44] Isa Goodman: but is all part of the process
[2:44] You: has it changed you at all?
[2:44] You: or affected you?
[2:44] Isa Goodman: As I've said... I wear elvish a lot... not my normal attire but feel the need for an opposite to this
[2:45] Isa Goodman: if that makes sense
[2:45] You: yes
[2:45] You: that makes perfect sense
[2:45] Isa Goodman: OK
[2:45] Isa Goodman: did to me... hehe
[2:45] You: ok, go ahead and create
[2:45] You: I am off to find the perfect tools for Drexel
[2:45] Isa Goodman: OK... and thx for the opportunity
[2:46] Isa Goodman: k
[2:46] You: thank you for volunteering!
[2:46] You: that is the beauty of this enterprise
[2:46] You: the collaboration
[2:46] Isa Goodman: yes... k... later
[2:46] Isa Goodman: *smiles*
[2:46] You: and - truly- the community creates t he content

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Imagination Station

As some of you know, I just returned from SL Views 5 in San Francisco. This is a gathering of various residents from different communities in SL that provide feedback to LL about SL. It was an incredible experience and one of the top 10 coolest things I have ever done (sorry, child birth still out ranks it, lol).

Now, before we all grab tea, settle in, and peruse this post for juicy inside details, I have to preface these comments by saying, sorry, there are no juicy details. I gave my word that I wouldn't share the details, and I am sticking to it - since our word really is the only thing we have in Second Life to give. I won't even tell my RL husband who doesn't even have an SL account. I take it THAT seriously.

Having said that, you might wonder - well, Desi, WHY are you writing a post that is much ado about nothing?


There is some criticism of the SL views program by persons that are clearly jealous about not being asked to participate. In reality, the SL views program is structured so that there are voices from all over the grid. This is far more practical than having a town hall or forums. SL Views is not about elitism, it is really an opportunity for people to advocate for their areas of interest in SL. I can honestly say that not one person in this team was self serving; everyone advocated generously and carefully for their representative populations. It was truly educational to learn about these other communities, as 99% of my time inworld is spent in engaging in educational adventures.

So, the questions you might have are ones that I can't answer. SLed mailing list REALLY is the best place to get ideas and advice for education. Shared collaboration is truly the best route toward knowledge. Philip Linden is a REALLY cool guy and very down to earth, normal, and funny. He truly has a heart of gold. That may sound all Velveeta, but it is true. He is a nice guy. It makes me WANT to make SL an even better place knowing that its creator isn't all about the money, but is truly passionate about the human condition. The Lindens, likewise, share that passion. They are funny, kind, wear cool shoes, and are brilliant. I don't mean that in the typical wishy-washy way (ah, such and who is a brilliant chap). These people are over-the-edge brilliant.

The other residents (some have been "outed" elsewhere, but I won't get into all that here), are just an amazing mix of people. Hats off to LL for their choices in creating this team. We were all very different, didn't always agree about things, but our passion for SL rooted us in a common bond. The group was diverse but dynamic, and these folks are some of the COOLEST and SMARTEST people I have ever met (in all realities).

To sum up, SL Views 5 was an honor, and it is among the coolest things I have ever done. But, what made it cool wasn't just the opportunity to go, but the opportunity to meet other people that live on the side of creativity and passion.

The experience can be summed up in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.