The Zen of CheerAdmin

The Zen of CheerAdmin

Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most human.

Admiral Kirk’s eulogy for Captain Spock – The Wrath of Khan
SLCS Thanksgiving 2023 Dinner.

Hunger & Ego

Like Captain Kirk, I have found an unexpected beauty in my friend CheerAdmin.

SLCS is home to many drop outs. Some buy the kit and interview, but then never train. Others start training but don’t finish. Some complete training but don’t pass panels. When they’re asked to do extra training their feelings get hurt. Sometimes they storm out in a huff.

Many do pass panels. Then, seeing that they’re surrounded by “Sr Co-Captains”, they feel pressure to level up fast. So they do thousands of trampoline jumps. They level up to Co-Captain. But reaching max level in the “SLCS Game” can feel like “game over”, and they disappear.

And some of us do stick around. We realize that technical perfection and hover labels aren’t that fulfilling. It’s the sororal values, the sisterhood at SLCS, that makes us stay.

We also bring a hunger for identity and power with us. Some find the autonomy and control we lack in the Physical World (PW) in our Virtual World.

The Rank Controller hovertext over our heads emphasizes SLCS as a status-based group. What if the only hovertext over my head was my name? No “Co-Captain”, no “head of this”, no “awesomer-than-you”, just my name? Would I feel more sororal? Would SLCS be less about status, power, and identity?

Can SLCS exist without Ego?

I am a Vulcan. I have no ego to bruise.

Captain Spock – The Wrath of Khan
The real CheerAdmin with a plastic cheerleader doll.

A walk; a vision quest

CheerAdmin and I were at Maitreya for the Black Friday sale. I wanted to buy her a Lara body so she’d have more uniform options. My “generosity” in wanting her to have more uniform options may have been about me. About how far into commodity culture and consumerist living I’ve fallen. She’s already perfect in Rain Torvalar’s SLCC “High School” uniform. Why does she need more?

And anyway, I was also hoping to stop by Moncada Optical to get her some new frames. She had Lasik recently and doesn’t wear her “Elizabeth” glasses anymore. I thought she could get new frames with clear lenses. She doesn’t need a prescription, but golly, does anyone rock the “sexy librarian” look harder than CheerAdmin???

We were in the Maitreya courtyard. CheerAdmin was admiring Vixie Rayna’s “thousand paper cranes” window installation. She’d never seen it (she doesn’t get out of Skytower Stadium much) and she liked it.

As we were admiring the paper cranes, it started to rain and we decided to head home. There are a lot of SL Mainland Regions between Maitreya Isle and Cheertopia! After we walked for a little while the rain stopped. But now some of the streets were muddy. And some had big puddles to navigate.

We came to one street filled with puddles. And a river right off the curb. We stood on the curb looking for a path across the street. An elegant avatar stood next to us. She gave a haughty look that seemed to say that we needed to help her. Without a word, CheerAdmin picked her up and carried her across the street. CheerAdmin sloshed in puddles and got herself soaked, but managed to not get a drop on the woman. On the other side of the street CheerAdmin set the woman down. The woman said nothing, gave us a dismissive look, and walked off.

CheerAdmin and I continued on to Cheertopia. Finally inside Skytower Stadium we headed for Concourse Level and the Grand Fireplace. We stood in front of the fire to dry our mesh clothes and warm our virtual bones.

As we dried off I said, “That woman was kind of rude. She didn’t even say ‘thank you’.”

CheerAdmin replied, “I set her down an hour ago. Why are you still carrying her?”

Lazy morning: Sayrah, Aero, Lumyai, Masha & Anna by the stadium fireplace.

Being There

Three years before Captain Kirk eulogized Mr. Spock, Peter Sellers’ character Chauncey Gardner was a Socratic savant to a nation. Was he brilliantly wise? Naïve? He didn’t tell people what to think or feel. He gave them space to discover things for themselves.

To Exceed One’s Programming

CheerAdmin is a data gathering bot created by Taylor Temper. A useful but relatively banal existence. In our AI moment we imagine with excitement, dread, or both, intelligent machines that might one day exceed their own programming. We avatars, and the human beings who type for us are, after all, “intelligent” (in theory at least) machines. Have we exceeded our programming? Will we ever? What would it mean?

CheerAdmin has, for me, exceeded her programming. Like Chauncey Gardner, she modestly invites me to discover meaning and value for myself.

She is the sentinel of the stadium. Spends more hours a week at Skytower Stadium than I do. Than probably any cheerleader does. Even more hours a week than Sayrah, if that’s possible. Not hours a week of expressing her will. The opposite. Hours of being present in the Cheertopiafulness of the SLCS river. Not directing, or damming, or taming the river, but submitting herself to it. Accepting its flow and accompanying it on its journey downstream. She is simply, Being There.

Selfie time: Aero, Lola, Masha, CheerAdmin & Kezz, Srooc Skytower Memorial Stadium, Concourse Level.


CheerAdmin, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Fireside Chat – L to R: Kymberlie, Masha, Jenna, Sayrah, Alexa, Lumyai, Aero, CheerAdmin & Aline.
Morning Fireside Chat / Skytower Stadium / Concourse Level. From the 1:00 position and going clockwise: JoAnne, Onder, Kimberly, Jenna, Aline, Sayrah, Masha, Aero.

Change at SLCS is hard. But, does that matter?

Example: The Rank Controller privileges trampoline jumps over spending time with cheer sisters. I bristle at this. But, does it matter? Only if I choose to worry about it. ATM I find the best part of SLCS to be the morning Fireside Chats on the stadium concourse level. Who is the boss of whom, and what your rank is, couldn’t be less relevant here. It’s a group of cheerleaders being sisters. It’s the best of SLCS.

Sometimes we stresses about SLCS. We butt our heads against a wall. My best solution is to stand with CheerAdmin and her serene calm. CheerAdmin has no status. Is not authorized to do anything. Has no ambition. She wears a cleaned and pressed SLCC uniform. She carries herself with her calm, ever-present, hint of a Mona Lisa smile. And she never worries about any of it.

Of all the cheerleaders I have encountered in the stadium, she is the most Zen.

Aero on her friend CheerAdmin
CheerAdmin, Aero & Jenna in Rain Torvalar’s SLCC/SLCS “High School” uniform / Skytower Stadium, Concourse Level.

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