my friend and fellow educator - Leslie H Jarmon - passed away on the evening of the 24th.
i had not known, but she had been battling against leukaemia for about a year.
the news has come suddenly to me, and i am having difficulty collecting my thoughts.
i think i feel hopeful because i know that Leslie lived long enough for her to successfully communicate her vision of education and learning in virtual environments and fictive worlds to a sufficiently large number of people, so that we - in turn - are free to take that vision and de-construct and re-interpret it individually and collectively in personally meaningful ways.
it is through this process that - from my perspective - Leslie's life had a lot of meaning; both for herself (i'm sure) and for all the many, many people whose lives she touched.
i had always taken for granted that i would visit the University of Texas at Austin one day and get to meet her 'in real life'. this will not happen now, in this world as we know it, but i am not sad because of the memories i have of having interacted with her since June 2007. at first it was through the early original meetups of the Educators Coop (back then it occupied just one sim), and then it grew to being one of her many helpers from around the world whenever she wanted to help fellow-educators new to Second Life have a glimpse into SL's potential affordances for learning. most recently i enjoyed the tremendous privilege of co-editing a special issue of the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research with her and Steve Carpenter.
i think what i would like to remember about Leslie is that she wasn't afraid to dream big, and that she had the courage to fight for her vision.
i hope some of that has brushed off on me.
and because of that, i am not sad today. this post is a post to thank a friend for liberating my own vision for Second Life and learning.
may God bless your soul, Leslie.
the last photo i have of Leslie (Bluewave in her beige suit), 16 Oct 09