Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Professor, Avatar, Student, Writer, Editor, Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister, and Friend

It is wicked exciting to see your name in print; it is even MORE wicked exciting to see it in the Chronicle of Higher Ed. Andrea Foster did a nice job of writing up a ditty about some awesome work going on in Second Life. Balancing out the article from last week, I thought Andrea did a nice balance...she didn't sugar coat life in virtual space, but she didn't slam dunk our efforts.

What strikes me about the article, though, isn't about what she wrote, but about who she wrote about. These folks are some of the most talented folk around, and they are super busy. I know - for a fact - that Intellagirl must be busy; she has THREE wee ones, and I merely have two. All of the people represented there are super crazy busy, but all of them take their time to do an excellent job in this life and their virtual lives.

So, that lead me to think of the roles we all play. In real life, I am NERD...FT professor to students at a community college and PT professor to students at an awesome 4-year private Catholic college. NERD is a nickname that the honors students tapped me with a few years back, and is, evidently, easier to say than Professor Ritter-Guth. In this role, I am zany, unconventional, fair, but tough.

In real life, I am a student in the Tech Comm and Rhet doctoral program at Texas Tech University. I read volumes, write volumes, and discuss all sorts of theory. I am not as zany or unconventional, but I do my best and act like a nerd.

In real life, I am a writer. Mostly, I blog, but I do other sorts of academic research and writing, and I am working on creative things that aren't public. I also write lots of notes to teachers, therapists, and government officials. I write lists that I lose. I write cards that I forget to send.

In real life, I edit things. Most recently, I accepted a guest co-editorship for Innovate on a special issue about Second Life. I also do reviews and other editing work for journals and student conferences.

But the best roles, are the ones that don't involve work. While I am not so domestic, and only roughly know the makings of an oven, I enjoy my role as Mom. It helps that my kids are wicked cool and creative, but still at an age where Mommy is awesome, and all other girls have cooties. My husband tells me that this Mama worship will end soon, and I have seen my five year old eyeing up Daisy, it must be true. In the mail today, two packages with 50 Spider man toothbrushes and the other with 25 Superman spinny toothbrushes. We have to give them out, you seem in the impending birthday bags...because we simply can't let our friends wander around with yucky breath. In the washing machine is the purple sheet used to create the Bat Cave in the living room...the polar bear flashlight has fresh batteries, and the AWESOME new batman costumes are hanging near the door - waiting for their owners to slip into them for another day of fighting the bad guys and saving the day.

In my email bin are recipes from my mother who is convinced that I can still learn domesticity, an email from my brother begging me to bid on a paintball part for his birthday, and a bunch of emails from my best friend from college who is having her very first baby (do I have any advice? Yes..get the epidural...screw Lamaze...bathe alone now as you never will again...remove all sharpies from the house...lock the toilet...invest in Magic Erasers).

So, we all play many roles...we mix and match, and some of us run to virtual worlds to do all that we can there that we can't in real life. The most important thing, of course, is to love all your roles and realities.

1 comment:

SusNyrop said...

You're ny Hero - or, can I say Heroine in the feminine form?. What you just managed to express, helps me undertake some very different and sometimes opposing roles in life, RL as well as SL! One year in SL has allowed - and encouraged - me to develop a certain local, domain specific mini-expertise that I wish I had also been able to undertale in RL.