Hi! I am a PhD student researching the effects of different modes of Computer-Mediated Communication on foreign language learning and social presence. (Have a look at Staff_Research_Interests_in_SPP for a little more information.) I am involved in SPP for about three weeks now, starting with forum moderation until my avatar was ready. I am more involved in moderating the wiki these days and thinking about ways of how to improve its usability. And I am looking forward for some foreign language/community building activities in-world. I will try to keep this space as my activites log and a record of experience (though, I have never been good at record keeping!!)
As to my avatar name - my initial preference was a French (or Italian) spelling of my RL name. However, it was not supported at all, which is understandable considering AUP. Anyway, then Alice was my second choice. Here is why;
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. Not only the books had been my favourite as a child, Schome Park could be the wonderland where we could create our own worlds.. From the introduction of the Disneyland movie, Alice says: "Nonsense? If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary-wise, what it is, it wouldn’t be, and what it wouldn’t be it would. You see?"
'Introduction to Linguistics' was a course I took in my undergaduate degree (English Language Teaching). And the book we used had quite a lot of quotations from "Through the Looking Glass". I still find the use of language there very clever. It was then I realised the books were still my favourites ;) Here's a quotation from Through the Looking Glass:
"So I wasn't dreaming, after all,' she said to herself, `unless -- unless we're all part of the same dream. Only I do hope it's my dream, and not the Red King's! I don't like belonging to another person's dream"
I was very disappointed to have missed Alice's Day in Oxford last year (7th July 2007). I would be grateful if anyone lets me know of any similar event :))
The second reason for my SL name comes from the chatbot Alice. If I wasn't studying human-human CMC, (and if I had more scripting skills) I would definetely have worked on chatbots! Alice was the first bot I tried :)
And lastly, very recently, I heard of the 3D authoring software Alice which is "an educational software that teaches students computer programming in a 3D environment". The explanation goes on: it "is a free 3D authoring package from Carnegie Mellon. Objects can be placed in worlds and behaviours are created by dragging programming constructs (loops, conditions, calculations, etc) onto a sequence, but without needing to write code or worry about syntax". Wow! This could change the male dominance in the computer programming/scripting sector!!
And a last word from Shakespeare: "We are such stuff as dreams are made on." (Tempest, Act 4, Scene 1)