d. Aphrodite Macbain

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    Aphrodite Macbain has been a very active and energetic guardian since arriving in PaB about seventeen months ago. I met Aph at her lovely house in the PaB village, Oak Tree Common. We sat on cushions facing each other.

    Adams: I want to first apologize for taking so long getting around to interview you. Thank you for being so patient with me. I am glad to finally get to sit down and talk to you.
    Aphrodite: me too
    Adams: By my calculations, you have been coming to PaB sessions for almost a year and a half. Did you know you are present in 590 wiki pages. That is more than one entry a day. You have been very, very active.

    I ask Aphrodite when she first came to PaB and whether she remembered the guardian of her first session. She recounts how she came to learn about PaB.

    Aphrodite: No I don't remember who it was; but then I was not even aware of the concept of guardian at that stage!
    Aphrodite: But I was introduced to PaB by Bruce Mowbray .
    Aphrodite: He and I had been in the same SL meditation group where I got to know him
    Adams: Nice, I did not know that
    Aphrodite: Up until then I was wandering around SL looking for something engaging for me to do
    Aphrodite: and joined some philosophical discussion groups
    Aphrodite: but I found them difficult to participate in. Too many people, too many voices competing to be heard. No one listening.
    Adams Rubble nods
    Aphrodite: When I came to the PaB meetings I felt listened to for the first time
    Aphrodite: I felt I had something to offer
    Aphrodite: Not long after I was invited to be a Guardian and I was very flattered.
    Aphrodite: I can’t remember when that was.

    Second Life

    Adams: I know you became a guardian in August 2010 from the Chronicles :)
    Adams: Did you have a particular reason for coming into SL?
    Aphrodite: ah. OK that makes sense
    Aphrodite: I had become retired and had more time on my hands.
    Adams: :)
    Aphrodite: So I began to explore new things and am always curious about new technologies, social media etc.
    Aphrodite: I teach a class on the Internet so am somewhat familiar with text communication on the Internet
    Adams: :)
    Aphrodite: I saw a play that was put on as part of the Winter Olympics
    Adams: oh?
    Aphrodite: and it included actors playing avatars! I became curious...
    Aphrodite: and Googled Second Life and became hooked (and Aphrodite) immediately!
    Adams: :)

    I ask what attracts her to PaB

    Aphrodite: I found a whole new community to connect with.
    Aphrodite: It had a history, it was well organized,and had a spiritual aspect to it;
    Aphrodite: it had avariety of  interesting things going on (Art as Being, etc)
    Aphrodite: and it was an opportunity to learn new things.
    Aphrodite: Plus, 98% of the people here are really lovely, considerate and smart
    Aphrodite: (It's hard to explain all this to my RL friends without sounding strange!)
    Adams: Yes RL friends have a hard time understanding SL
    Aphrodite: Everyone here is on a path, everyone has some form of struggle or search
    Adams Rubble nods, yes a richness of backgrounds and interests
    Aphrodite: Then, as a Guardian, I was given an opportunity to build on my own plot so I learned how to do more new things - like build.
    Adams: yes
    Aphrodite: Got a chance to be creative in a new way and to learn from others.
    Aphrodite: Some people like Storm and Bleu, and Bruce have been so helpful and patient!
    Adams: Yes, they are good about sharing their knowledge
    Aphrodite: nods

    I ask her about her perspective from being in the Working Group most of her time in PaB

    Adams: You bravely took on the role of a working group member only a few months after becoming a guardian. You have served for more than a year now. Please talk about the events and changes in PaB during that time.
    Aphrodite: Hmm
    Aphrodite: I'm not sure I can remember all the changes - change is constant with the arrival and
    departure of avis
    Aphrodite: The wiki is slowly updated or changed slightly as issues arise;
    Aphrodite: Theme groups come and go;
    Aphrodite: Right now we are looking at ways to implement the proposals that were offered by the Vashon Retreat members – that involve updating our wiki.
    Aphrodite: We have looked at the PAB budget and tried to keep the donations coming in. I've done a small fundraising campaign 3 times now
    Adams: Yes, you have done a wonderful job with that
    Aphrodite: People are generous once they are reminded of the need
    Aphrodite: My most favourite event was our 3rd anniversary in April of 2011
    Aphrodite: Everybody participated and came. It was great to see so many people involved, so many activities.
    Adams: were you in on the planning of that?



    Aphrodite: Yes, I initiated it and then oversaw it with lots and lots of help from people like Storm, Sun and Bleu.
    Adams: :)
    Aphrodite: Did you attend any of the sessions? It was a 3 day event
    Adams: yes I did
    Aphrodite: That was a high point for me
    Adams: It was a very impressive event
    Aphrodite: I'm now organizing a Solstice Party for Perfect Paradise
    Adams: There was a Solstice Exhibition and Workshop at the museum two years

    Aphrodite: So- Other changes; hmmm....

    Aphrodite: new avatars brought new ideas.
    Aphrodite: and new guardians.
    Aphrodite: I notice however that fewer and fewer people are taking responsibility for the 1AM sessions and I wonder whether that is an indication of some other trend
    Aphrodite: The Working Group will be looking at new Guardian proposals next week, hopefully some who are from Europe
    Adams: The 1 am sessions have always been a bit difficult to schedule
    Adams: There used to be more active European guardians than now
    Aphrodite: We have had to deal with the problem of griefers and what to do with them, as well as in once case someone who joined a session who was underage.
    Adams Rubble nods. The latter was a tricky situation and dealt with very sensitively
    Aphrodite: It is often hard to find a balance between being a gatekeeper and being a facilitator
    Aphrodite: We can't always be "nice"
    Aphrodite: It's hard for the Guardian at each session to know what to do

    I ask about the effect of the change in the number of members in the working group

    Adams: The working group has fewer members than it did the last go around. Does the number of wg members make a difference?
    Aphrodite: Yes, we move more quickly and get stuff done more quickly. We do look for advice from beyond the group however. We often invite advisors for certain issues like Eliza, Bleu and Storm
    Aphrodite: A lot of complex stuff gets to be dealt with more easily when there are fewer.
    Aphrodite: I tried to bring up some complex stuff at the 8AM Guardian meeting but it was hard to manage.
    Adams Rubble nods
    Aphrodite: So back it came to the WG and to email conversations- which sometimes is the most efficient means of thoughtfully addressing complicated subjects.
    Aphrodite: The Retreaters from Vashon Island have come up with a series of recommendations but it's taking time to go through them since, as co-chair, I prefer a consensus-based decision making process.
    Aphrodite: Those are all the changes seen from the WG perspective that come to mind right now.



    I ask what other question Aphrodite might have asked herself if she were doing the interviewing

    Adams: what have I forgotten?

    And the question is “What are my plans within PaB?”

    Adams: sounds good
    Aphrodite: :-)
    Aphrodite: I am feeling a bit tired right now as I am taking on far too many things.
    Adams Rubble understands that
    Aphrodite: I will have to decide what I will continue with and what I'll drop
    Aphrodite: I will keep doing those things that give me the most satisfaction and where I can feel most useful
    Aphrodite: Right now I feel a bit like a dictator!
    Adams: I think we may be too unruly a group of subjects. hehe
    Aphrodite: and I'd prefer to be an artist and play in Art as Being and the Theatre Players
    Aphrodite: I'd prefer to be one of the unruly!!
    Adams: It's much more fun :)
    Aphrodite: I have been told that I need to learn how to play more often
    Aphrodite: and was reminded that play can be serious too!
    Aphrodite: In fact I would like to explore the whole notion of play within Play as Being
    Adams: :)
    Adams: Our avatars are a convenient way to play at things
    Aphrodite: I need to figure out what forms of play I can engage in within SL.
    Adams: of course
    Aphrodite: Onigokko still cracks me up!

    Adams: Thank you for sitting down with me for this interview, Aphrodite
    Aphrodite: You're welcome Adams

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