February 21, 2019: Symbolic Modeling

Transcript of the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable: February 21, 2019
Topic: Symbolic Modeling
Photos by Beth Ghostraven

Marly and Sheila

Sheila Yoshikawa: yes just start! You can contact Fran if you have problems. also to rez here you need to have the VWER group active. I will do some transcribing for those who need text
Bluezy (bluezy.bleac) knows a little bit about firestorm so if you can’t get voice or stuff working, just poke me or francisco
Sheila Yoshikawa: there are shapes round the circle; you can click that to get the shape; don’t do it now though; but you can also get the box
Beth Ghostraven: the texture board isn’t working for me: DD Texture Viewer: does not have security clearance.
Sheila Yoshikawa: so Marly has some notes in a speakeasy so I will hand over to that for now
Marly: Symbolic modeling
Marly: Hi my name is Marly Milena and I am the founder of Octagon: Creative Exploration in Second Life. My work has been largely about developing ways of using SL technology symbolically to explore values, ideas, feeling states and decision making processes. Sometimes, these are builds like today and sometimes they are images like original paintings, drawings and/or photos which I use in one program I do called Visions of Self. Since we only have an hour I decided to provide shapes today for us to play with rather than having you build shapes from scratch which is what I usually do.
Marly: There are two basic approaches to working with shapes:
– One way is inside out, where you start with a question or an idea that you’d like to explore and then you create or choose the shape that in some way helps you generate data about that Focus.
– The other way is outside in, where you start with the shape and then see where it leads you

Sheila’s SymMod

Today you can decide which way you would like to work. When you have a chance, please watch the two short introductory YouTubes that were in the event announcement:
https://youtu.be/QrAgxGs4Ya4 – Introduction to the Creative Process and Symbolic Modeling (5:20)
https://youtu.be/ZgGUqhYPAHg – Symbolic Modeling: Gestalt and Field Theory (3:25)
These videos will give you more background for this approach, particularly the Gestalt and Field work one. The Octagon Cinema Grove on Inspiration Island has other YouTubes devoted to three areas: Education, Personal Development and Creative Expression. We are adding other films as we go along.
Marly: I’d like to do a demonstration first with one person. So maybe we can start with you, Sheila. She already decided which shape she wanted to play with. After I do a little exploring with Sheila, a few more of you might like to Play and others observe. I have put out building platforms so that you can drag your shape to that place and I will guide you in the process.
Marly: Those who are observing can be thinking about ways symbolic modeling might be used with your students to help them gain a greater understanding of whatever content you’re dealing with. You could also use it as a planning tool for getting new ideas about your own teaching approaches.
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): it’s making sense to me – I’m ridiculously excited!
Beth Ghostraven: hearing you, Marly, dealing with multiple inputs and challenges
Bluezy (bluezy.bleac): I’m trying to figure out how it might be used but scratching my head at the moment…
Marly: Later we can talk about ideas you get about applications, and I also want to tell you about a training here in Second Life that I will be doing later in the spring. If you wish, you can add color or texture to your shape, either initially or as you go along. Pay attention to your body responses to what you are seeing on the screen and let this guide you regarding any changes or additions to the object. Take some notes at home about any insights or new perspectives you come up with.
Marly: [GUIDING SHEILA] These are samples of questions for helping someone through an exploration of their SymMod. They vary according to who the client or learner is and what the focus is. Have a paper and pen near you/ Color, size, texture… body barometer
Marly: So which approach are you using? Are you starting with something specific you want to investigate or starting with the object to find out when it’s telling you? I would like you to describe yourself as that object as though you were playing that object in a play, so use “I” language. Listen for metaphors and adjectives. Jot them down. How does it, or might it, connect to something going on in your work or regular life right now?
[Lots of talking in voice between Marly and Sheila]
Marly: What ideas does it give you that might be new perspectives for approaching whatever the focus is? What happens if you put that object in different positions or put yourself in different positions in relation to the object?
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): it was fascinating!
Bluezy (bluezy.bleac): I do like it, it was fascinating however, I am having some trouble to see how I can apply it to what I teach. It’s a bit too focused on one subject.
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): i love this concept–i haven’t been to a symbolic modeling workshop quite like this one before; i can see how we are using as an application for education rather than solely for our emotional well being/artistic spirits
FionaFei: Hello
Sheila Yoshikawa: Yes @Bluezy it’s thinking how to integrate it into different subjects
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): i noticed bluezy had commented earlier as well, just before me
Bluezy (bluezy.bleac): basically same thing.

Marly: Whoever would like to play with an object now, please go pick one and drag it to a building platform. I will use some of the generic guiding questions, but if you would like me to come and work individually with you for a few minutes please ask. Those who are observing, please write down any metaphors or adjectives that you hear people using, because this can be valuable feedback.
Sheila Yoshikawa: yes please other people play with a shape so it isn’t just me ;-)) you can also buy one of the shapes and then rez it yourself
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): i am starting with a shape rather than a concept, like sheila did
Sheila Yoshikawa: I’m going to add things to this one
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): i have been thinking about this one and wrote some stuff down 🙂 i will share in a moment
Sheila Yoshikawa: great Alyse!
FionaFei: What do they do with the shapes? Sorry I arrived late.
Bluezy (bluezy.bleac): I don’t see how I could do it…
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): oh fiona, you can pick a shape and then you explore the shape and think about what it means to you
FionaFei: me please 🙂 thank you
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): alternatively, you can think about an education concept, and then pick a shape that symbolizes that for you. You can retexture it and modify it
Bluezy (bluezy.bleac): I picked this shape because to me, it presents the way I can help enlarge the knowledge of the students. Of course I only teach a very narrow subject
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): 12:32] Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): i am starting with a shape rather than a concept
[12:32] Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): like sheila did
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): sorry it got lost in the chat!
Bluezy (bluezy.bleac): We all start out with a tiny starting point and through learning and experience and even making mistakes we become a more knowledgeable person.
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): i am a beautiful clown, a bright star in a circus. playful but also sad and constrained.
i am symmetrical, even, quite simple and small.
but i am also defensive and prickly. no one can harm me but me, were i to implode upon myself.
am i unstable then? fragile if i were to break myself apart? or would i just become two spears rather than one piece of armor?
Bluezy (bluezy.bleac): I find that hard
Bluezy (bluezy.bleac): yes
FionaFei: hi Duke
Bluezy (bluezy.bleac): yes
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): hmmm
Sheila Yoshikawa: the colours?
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): ahh, that was the clown part 😀 you are right though!
[comments in text interspersed with voice comments]
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): oooh, let’s see
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): i am a bright bird’s beak
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): oh haha
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): i apparently don’t know basic shapes >.<
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): oops…
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): lol
Fran (francisco.koolhoven): lol
Sheila Yoshikawa: lol
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): i am part of a quilt
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): it is happy like sunshine, but also a little too bright for me
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): i hurt my own eyes!
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): i will! it is very fun 🙂
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): i will

Alyse with her SymMod

Sheila Yoshikawa: yes
Sheila Yoshikawa: I was thinking that with Alyse
Sheila Yoshikawa: I saw the colours as joyful
Sheila Yoshikawa: rather than clownish!
Sheila Yoshikawa: I really like the colours
Bluezy (bluezy.bleac): thing is, my subject is very technical…
FionaFei: Thank for the talk. I have to run!.
Bluezy (bluezy.bleac): true
Beth Ghostraven: Bluezy, what’s your subject?
Fran (francisco.koolhoven): Thank you Fiona
Beth Ghostraven: thanks for coming, Fiona!
Bluezy (bluezy.bleac): I teach in Secondlife the viewer Firestorm
Dr. Duke Van Acker (dukevan.acker): bows and waves
Sheila Yoshikawa: with technical subjects you do have to have basic knowledge before you can progress
Beth Ghostraven: thanks for coming, Duke!
Sheila Yoshikawa: yes I like that representation @Bluezy
Bluezy (bluezy.bleac): Oh no, if you want to learn the viewer, you will need at least 19 hours of classes to learn the basics 😉
Sheila Yoshikawa: eek
Sheila Yoshikawa: 😉
Marly: Whoever would like to play with an object now, please go pick one and drag it to a building platform.
Marly: What happens if you put that object in different positions or put yourself in different positions in relation to the object? What ideas does it give you that might be new perspectives for approaching whatever the focus is? How does it, or might it, connect to something going on in your work or regular life right now?
Sheila Yoshikawa: possibly to get people’s conceptions of information, or information literacy
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): i can see potential for information science students and new info professionals
Marly: Discussion- Applications, training
Marly: Training- In the spring, training (3 sessions, on THREE consecutive Saturdays in May, EACH TWO HOURS) We will be doing a crash course in how to be an effective guide in using SymMods, either when you’re planning a class or an actual teaching, not to mention as a tool for your personal life as well (but I mentioned it didn’t I)? :-))
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): and very much so for thinking about reference work for librarians
Marly: Please send a notecard to Katsii Tennen if you are interested in RECEIVING FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT this training.
Sheila Yoshikawa: I want people to reflect on what “information” and “information literacy” mean to them
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Writing prompts
Bluezy (bluezy.bleac): I have been thinking hard about it, there’s not many ways I see me using it right now.
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): and coping with problem behaviors in patrons/users
Sheila Yoshikawa: so it would fit in with my research and teaching
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Great!!!
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): i am also thinking about my work in comparing virtual worlds with VR; starting with that concept and creating and describing an object that represents that complex relationship could be very helpful
Sheila Yoshikawa: could be also – for writers, if they were having problems
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): oh and for write-ins, they would be fun
Sheila Yoshikawa: trying to work out what their problem or block was?
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): representing a story, plot, or character, or writer’s block
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Right, Alyse
Bluezy (bluezy.bleac): yes I see that, I might be able to try to use that.
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): 😀
Bluezy (bluezy.bleac): It is
[interspersed with voice comments]
Bluezy (bluezy.bleac): I need to think about it.
Bluezy (bluezy.bleac): Oh I understand that
Bluezy (bluezy.bleac): that’s why we do these classes
Bluezy (bluezy.bleac): well why I teach people
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): haha, sheila, just noticed you and i are right on the same wavelength along with selby re: uses for writers
Bluezy (bluezy.bleac): it’s just… I need to think about it
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): yay!!
[interspersed with voice comments]
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): bwa hahahaha
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): yes!
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): 😀
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): yes!
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): definitely
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Role play as writing
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): we made good time
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): you and fran were very flexible
Fran (francisco.koolhoven): 🙂
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): oh no
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): haha
Sheila Yoshikawa: I could see this as a method of data collection in research, in revealing people’s conceptions and feelings about something
Beth Ghostraven: I’ve copied the chat, but it’s not going to make much sense when read later
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): sheila’s reminds me a of a chaotic, separated universe–a very apt for a department!
Sheila Yoshikawa: lol yes
Fran (francisco.koolhoven): Beth, would you like me to send you a cleaned-up copy of the chat?
Sheila Yoshikawa: we’ve got photos to put in
Beth Ghostraven: Fran, if you can add in everything Marly said, then yes! Otherwise, no :o)
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Thematic apperception test (TAT) is a projective psychological test. Proponents of the technique assert that subjects’ responses, in the narratives they make up about ambiguous pictures of people, reveal their underlying motives, concerns, and the way they see the social world.[1] Historically, the test has been among the most widely researched, taught, and used of such techniques.[2]
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): The TAT is popularly known as the picture interpretation technique because it uses a series of provocative yet ambiguous pictures about which the subject is asked to tell a story. The TAT manual provides the administration instructions used by Murray,[7] although these procedures are commonly altered. The subject is asked to tell as dramatic a story as they can for each picture presented, including the following:
what has led up to the event shown
what is happening at the moment
what the characters are feeling and thinking
what the outcome of the story was
Sheila Yoshikawa: Thank you very much Marly; it’s nice to use a different VWER space this week
Sheila Yoshikawa: should we remove our shapes, Marly?
Alyse – CVL Assistant Director (alysedunavantjones): thank you for hosting! This was great event for VWER
Sheila Yoshikawa: I took a copy of mine
Beth Ghostraven: Thank you for this, Marly and Fran, it’s always interesting!

VWER Meeting Transcripts by Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://vwer.info.

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