Awards -- a query..

Deborah Sweet dssweet at
Fri Mar 17 09:48:10 PST 1995

Savian writes:

>I think you are taking this a bit too literally. I doubt the Laurels 
>get together and say, "Gee, this person seem qualified, but they have a 
>thistle in costuming, so they are out."

I never meant to imply that *that* is what happens. It's just some weird 
quirk that shows up when you look at the numbers. If you get a Thistle 
in Costuming your chances just aren't all that great at getting a 
Laurel. See below.

>One is that costuming is our most common A&S.  Everyone does costuming,
>... With so many people doing it there will be a lot of thistles given.
>That also means that there will be a lot of folks who are really good at 
>it, so to shine above the crowd is much harder in costuming than in areas 
>where there is less compitition.

I agree with all of this. At least 13 of the Laurels excelled in areas 
where only one or two Thistles have been given.

>A person's first thistle very often indicates their primary area of A&S 
>interest, and so one could expect that to be their main focus in their 
>quest for a Laurel.

If this was true, I still would expect more Laurels to have Thistles for
Costuming than is current. According to my figures (which have not been 
updated for a 1 1/2 yrs) here are the top five Thistle categories:

     89 - Costuming
     46 - Calligraphy
     34 - Illumination
     33 - Bardcraft
     26 - Embroidery

If we go up one level to Iris holders with Thistles here are the top 

     22 - Costuming      (or 26% of all Costuming Thistles)
     22 - Calligraphy    (or 48% of all Calligraphy Thistles)
     15 - Embroidery     (or 58% of all Embroidery Thistles)
     14 - Illumination   (or 41% of all Illumination Thistles)
     12 - Bardcraft      (or 38% of all Bardcraft Thistles)

The same five, in a slightly different order. Pretty darn consistent 
looking to me.

However when we look at Laurels it changes:

     9 - Illumination    (or 26% of all Illumination Thist.)
     8 - Calligraphy     (or 17% of all Calligraphy Thist.)
     6 - Embroidery      (or 23% of all Embroidery Thist.)
     5 - Metalwork       (or 19% of all Metalwork Thist.)
     4 - Bardcraft &     (or 13% of all Bardcraft Thist.)
     4 - Armoring        (or 18% of all Armoring Thist.)

     Costuming is number 7 with 3 people (ties with Needlework & 
Needlecraft)             (or 3% of all Costuming Thist.)
                         (Needlework: 18%; Needlecraft: 38%)
     What happened? 

For example: If we could assume that of the top five categories 
(Costuming, Calligraphy, Illumination, Embroidery, & Bardcraft) that 
there is basically an consistent number of people (x) who will achieve 
a Thistle, and then go on to achieve an Iris (x/3), and then go on to 
achieve a Laurel (x/6), *there should be more Costuming Laurels*. Is it 
just extremely difficult to get a Laurel unless your costumes are 
authentic down to the last inch, stitch, and fiber content? Or is it a 
case of "everyone does costume, therefore it's nothing that special"? 
Or is there some other factor? 

I still maintain that it's a very strange phenomenon.

Estrill Swet
Dancemonger & keeper of lists
dssweet at

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