April 12th, 2010: Tiyuk Quellmalz

Today wanted to be a lazy day, but it ended up being a sweltering hot, busy work day. Faced with a tight deadline on an assignment, I spent most of the day fiercely plugging away at my code, with the mellifluous voice of Charles Aznavour in my ears. I was so addicted to some of his songs that I played them over and over, and soon began to associate certain blocks of code with passages of the lyrics of the song. Not a hard thing to do when both your server code and the song have the word “heartbeat” in them.

For a time, I had all but forgotten about Second Life and its residents because my life has been so busy with different things lately. My mind has been occupied with the wonders of new client-server programs; my acceptance into the technical team of a volunteer-run MMORPG; and an increasing workload at university. But I never truly forget my virtual family. I can’t help but feel that we are slowly meeting less and less often, and that one day we will just stop meeting at all. I will try to resuscitate our frequent meetings before that happens.

I logged into SL tonight to be greeted by only two people from my virtual family. I guess the change of season and the ramping up of real life obligations is eating away at all of us this time of year. My virtual family always jokes that when I am away for an extended period, it’s because I’ve found a girl. They should know better.

The last of the Easter candy is gone. Bugs and pollen blanket the air. Aloof, I sit in my chair, spending many sleepless nights hacking away at my software: work, play, university, and sometimes a combination of these. I crave freedom: a place of my own, the freedom to find love and to chase it in the real world. I am locked inside, instructed to bend my mind around arcane algorithms, and told to wait. But through it all I have music — mostly Aznavour — to keep me sane. “I Didn’t See the Time Go By”? Indeed.

____________________

Tiyuk Quellmalz is a 24 year-old software engineer living in Maryland, USA. He is nearing completion of his Computer Science degree at University of Maryland. He owns the Envision sim in Second Life, a non-profit residential island founded in late 2008. His main interests in Second Life are scripting, managing his island, and tending to his tight-knit virtual family, which usually meets every night for socialization on Envision.

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