Awards. . . .
LANGJ at mail.syntron.com
Mon Mar 20 12:23:00 PST 1995
I would like to address the question of awards.
It is the responsibility of the officers and landed nobility to
recognize and encourage those who contribute to the Society,
whether by service or artistic endeavors (which are not mutually
It is far more useful to examine the statistics regarding the
numbers of Sable Thistles given for certain categories, as an
indication for the numbers of people who are involved in them.
Since everyone is expected to attend SCA events in costume, there
are many who have shown skill in this area. Most individuals who
do costuming, are content to produce sturdy and serviceable
garments. Those few who are truly interested in the subject, will
go on to research period designs and techniques of construction
Those who take the next step are likely to receive an Iris of
Merit. Those who EXCEL, may receive a Laurel.
Unlike the necessity of proper garments, it is quite possible to
spend a "lifetime" in the SCA without ever feeling a need to pick
up a pen, and learn calligraphy. Those who have the interest and
the skill are likely to receive the appropriate recognition as they
refine their art.
When I receive a recommendation for an award for an individual, and
then subsequently request the award from the Crown, it is always
with the understanding of the need to recognize publicly, our
members for their contributions.
Oddly, the wishes of the recipient may not be the most important
consideration (few REALLY don't want a public acknowledgment).
It is far more demoralizing to see someone slave away for years
and be unappreciated, than to see an unwanted recognition occur.
It is important that the POPULACE, as a whole, see hard work and
effort be recognized.
I would certainly never ask if a person was going to progress to
"Laurel Quality" work before requesting a Sable Thistle.
If you really don't want the Sable Thistle, just smile politely,
and stick the medallion in your sock drawer. Refusing an award can
be a "kiss of death." If you turn down a Sable Thistle, it is
likely that you'll not get a chance to turn down anything else.
The statistics are quite fascinating, but it will take some
strange twists of correlation to produce some meaningful results.
Relating numbers of Thistles to popularity of categories of
involvement is most certainly valid. Trying to correlate it to
likelihood of receiving a Laurel for it in the long run is most
[langj at mail.syntron.com]
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