Awards -- a query..

I. Marc Carlson IMC at
Fri Mar 17 10:47:00 PST 1995

<James Crouchet <crouchet at>>
>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."

No, you are correct.  I *was* taking a literal interpretation of the
statistics, for a number of reasons.  The first is that many people see
statistics and just accept them with no interpretation, and might think
that *indeed* having a thistle in costuming _might_ somehow think that
it would somehow stop them from progressing (a slight jab at the phrase 
"kiss of death").  Obviously, what the numbers mean is either that people
who receive costuming thistles either receive other thistles as well in
other things, or perhaps are so focused on just the one area of study that
they never broaden their scope sufficiently to interest the Laurelate.

The second reason for taking a literal approach was to attempt to seque
into the question of declining awards in general.  One thing I have learned
over the time I've been associated with the SCA is that people interpret
awards differently.  I've known people who think of them, as you suggested,
as stepping stones to "greater things", while others consider awards as 
rewards or merit badges for having completed some great unwritten scavanger
hunt of activities.  I've even known people who have some sort of mental
timetable, whereby if you been "In for so long" you *should* have such and
such an award (or, the implication is, there's something wrong with you).
Some people find them to be a pat-on-the-back "attaboy" sort of thing, in
acknowledgement that the recipient has contributed to the group somehow.

Some people take awards *very* seriously, however, and may or may not consider
themselves worthy of them, that they've not really earned such a thing,
whatever. Others find awards to be a granting (or an infliction) of
responsibility onto them that either they feel they aren't ready for, or
quite simply don't want.  There are all sorts of reasons why someone might
not WANT to receive recognition for their efforts.

This topic has, of course, been looming in the hindmost part of my mind for
some time, more so recently since lately we've been trying to recognize members
of our shire who's contributions have long gone unnoticed.  Personally, I
don't think I've done *anything* in the past goodness knows how long to deserve
even the most minor of awards, and therefore richly deserve my lack of
recognition for my efforts :) , and would prefer to keep it that way until
I feel I *do* deserve it.  I asked my favorite Herald what the protocol was
and I thought I'd have to perform CPR, she was so taken aback by the thought
that anyone would EVER turn down an award.


"Mihi Satis Apparet Propter     Diarmuit Ui Dhuinn
  Se Ipsum Appetenda Sapientia"	University of Northkeep
 -- St. Dunstan			Northkeepshire, Ansteorra
				(I. Marc Carlson/IMC at

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