Hello, I’m Lyr Lobo in the Metaverse. I'm Education Chair of our Nonprofit Commons Board. I'm a professor, a researcher, and a storyteller. Since 2002, I've published 3 academic press books, two book chapters and over 30 papers. I'm fascinated by the power of a good story and the importance of archiving our challenges and triumphs. Today’s focus is on the importance of story and how it strengthens our commitment to social good.
May is Mental Health month, a tradition that began in 1949. http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may Thanks to Virtual Ability, Gentle Heron, Namaara MacMoragh, and Dr. Diana Anderson from the 2017 Mental Health Symposium at Virtual Ability, I will forever think of Mental Health as nurturing the mind, the body, and the spirit through virtual and physical green spaces.
Diana Anderson spoke of caregivers in Canada who had a high attrition rate due to burnout. In hospitals, the nurses and doctors lounges were sometimes dismal storage closets with no green spaces in sight. The emotional and physical costs take their toll and they suffer in the sterile hospital environment. She spoke of how architectural designs and green spaces, even virtual gardens, uplift patients and medical professionals. She noted that patients in critical care who failed to respond to treatment might also benefit from seeing a garden outside the window or a virtual garden through video or 3D spaces. For more on this story, visit: https://virtualability.org/mental-health-symposium-2017/ See Dr. Anderson's 3PM session for more details.
As we continue through the examples, let your mind wander and think of your story. Our stories acknowledge the challenges and the fears that we face. Stories invite other people into our experiences to share the pain, the laughter, and the triumph of the spirit. Today, let's look at some of our stories as told through images from recent exhibits. As we examine these images, tell us what the image means or where it occurred. Slide 4 has a rich set of color, runes, and symbols, and features a circle of standing stones. What kind of social good place designed this exhibit? If you guessed a school, then you are correct. The Woolston-Steen Theological Seminary designed an exhibit to intrigue guests in the mystical arts. https://www.wiccanseminary.edu/
I was intrigued by the areas around each exhibit and how they drew me into experiences with the people who erected them. Who designed the bottom two exhibits? Which university library is featured in the background of the top image? Just by location, we start to see interesting connections between the exhibits and the stories behind them.
Spring is a time of growth and transformation. What does the exhibit in Slide 6 recommend? It features several recommendations. If you guessed a change in diet and exercise to promote better vision, that is true, but the green arrows also recommend that we read the story in a particular order. So in addition to the 5 senses and the power of imagery, we also have order and moderation to consider.
What do these two exhibits recommend that we do? The top refers to one of our NPC communities and their tireless work across 4+ virtual worlds. What does the bottom image advocate? If you guessed content curation, recordkeeping to encourage people to participate, educate, and innovate, you are correct! Our world is constantly changing. We need to write down our stories and keep track of them, share them, and learn from them.
Based on the props that you see in Slide 8, what is the theme of this exhibit? "One must accept the challenge with boldness" said Edna Mode, The Incredibles 2. "Don't dream it, be it," said Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Rocky Horror Picture Show. I'm fond of dreams and sharing your visions. In this context, he meant to take action and not just dream of a bright future while wandering aimlessly through life.
Thinkerer Selby is a champion for virtual world education. Why is he a champion for 3D Web Worldz? What is featured on the mysterious white signs? Media on a prim allows us to easily share video and to allow users to control it.
Marly Milena's Symbolic Modeling workshops help us to use our creativity and self-expression in designs that evoke an emotional response to the story prompts. Participants model their ideas from these prompts, collaborating in fast-paced creative designs. Two events featured examples of these sessions. What was the event for the workshop featured in the bottom images?
The Whole Brain Health Institute has had an impact on our lives, helping us to remember to strive for good cognitive health. What is featured in these two images? Why do I have an image of shoes? Many thanks for Zinnia Zauber for sharing her designs and to Rhiannon Chatnoir for the cool space suits.
Stories connect us. They share our memories, the challenges we faced, and what we learned from the experience. Donald Maass, a famous literary agent said in a 2017 workshop that the difference between genre fiction, such as romance, science fiction or mysteries and literary novels is transformation. In genre fiction, the character changes over the course of the story. In literary fiction, the reader is transformed. The focus is less on the growth of the character or solving the mystery. Instead, it is on transforming the reader through the shared experiences. This is a powerful thought. We are used to stories as events that happened to other people. Now, literary fiction is fiction, despite how compelling, and here we are reflecting on real life stories that describe our commitment to social good. Can your story include fiction? Or do we have to provide only accurate accounts of life events?
Marylou Goldrosen spoke at VWBPE 2019 about her class and their imaginative way of rewriting stories to take them in new directions. Her words remind us that while the goal of non-fiction is to provide accurate information, fiction gives us artistic license and the ability to explore the unknown. Through fictional representations of actual events, we can describe the power of the story while protecting its participants.
Stories involve the senses, evoke a mood, & make us inquisitive. What is featured in slide 14? The first year that I toured around Second Life from 2005-2006, I visited this island, listening to music videos, enjoying the tiki huts, the WebHeads notes, and loved it. The note about Holodecks in the far right corner reminds me of my first game in SL. In 2006 or 2007, an English as a Second Language teacher in SL, Fire Centaur, hosted a country fair with games and a scavenger hunt in 2006 or 2007. He sent invitations to the 2000+ members of the Real Life Education in Second Life group to particpate in his English Village game. I saw his group notice and volunteered. It was 3 AM my time and his students were in Thailand, so we had only a small group of gamemasters. The students came and asked for the items in English. When if they asked correctly, I gave them the items. Later, Fire Centaur set up story worlds using Holodecks as conversation nooks for learning to speak English as a Second Language. The exhibit is, I believe, from Gwen Gwasi, also known as Heike Philp from EduNation and the GUINEVERE project.
We mentioned Namaara's recommendation of green spaces earlier, and at VWBPE, she included a little garden to illustrate what she meant. What is the story behind her exhibit? Her exhibit extends beyond brain injury and green spaces to think about the social good agency's vision. In her vision infographic is the need to communicate, collaborate, develop funds, institute a plan for governance, nurture its leadership, and to develop a culture of care and consideration for everyone.
As we think about our stories, we often think of others and forget our needs. Nurture yourself. What is the story that strengthens the caregiver? What is your vision of the future? What do you do today to shape the future?
Do you enjoy green spaces daily? How do you nourish your mind and your body?
The Power of Story Collect your stories. Jot them down, journal them, write them as short blog posts, but get them onto paper or record them using electronic media. Stories inspire others to join you. They make a community stronger. Personally, they help us to work through our fears and to nurture our inner fire.
Be courageous. Share your story & inspire the world. As we end today's journey, do not forget. You are the heart of your social good story. You can tell other people's stories, but they come alive if you share it from your unique perspective. Tell us what you saw, what you felt, what you tasted, what you heard, and how you reacted to these experiences. A collection of stories from your social good community may be grouped into an anthology and published. When telling stories about other people, keep their identities and experiences confidential. Do not make it easy for us to guess. Instead, let us see the world through your lens and transform us. Thank you! Wishing you many great stories to share!