Angela Thomas: Liminal Agent

These past few days I have had various meetings with colleagues interested in blogging, social media, and Second Life. Somehow the word must have trickled through the system to others that I am using social media for various purposes, and people are interested. It’s really affirming for me to talk with them and to have them register surprise or shock or excitement when they walk with me through Virtual Macbeth, or when they learn that I use twitter. Yesterday one person said to me “I never really got Second Life until now, here, with you”, and today, another person said “before I walked into your office I didn’t know these things existed” and yet another person said “wow, what an incredible adventure this afternoon has been for me”. It struck me that people walking into my office are never allowed to escape quite the same person and for some reason that thought has amused me ever since. I love this quote from a paper about immigration and liminal spaces:

Liminal spaces, both physical and psychological, can provide a space of creativity and new possibilities, allowing immigrants to “free to negotiate and translate their cultural identities” (Bhabha, 1994, p. 38) and to create new knowledge about self and community. (Gibb, Hamdon and Jamal, 2006, Re/Claiming Agency)

and I am thinking of applying to my faculty for acknowledgement (by way of workload points) of my new self-appointed role as “liminal agent”. Somehow I don’t think the idea would go over too well, but still, it amuses me to imagine the look on the workloads administrator’s face should they ever receive such a proposal🙂

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