Litch and the Hospitaler's office

Fri Mar 24 08:21:04 PST 1995

	 This commentary has drifted far from the heading of Litch & the
	 Hospitaller's office.

	 In spite of Litch's scepticism, I too feel that there is too much
	 emphasis placed on awards as ends in themselves.  When I joined
	 the SCA (in '72), I didn't know there were such things (as
	 awards), and to a very large extent, there were not.  I "received"
	 my AoA over the phone, in a call made by my seneschal to the Crown
	 of Atenvelt, I got the scroll 20 years later.

	 I do what I do for the sake of my love for the Society and its
	 Ideals.  It's growth and continuation are my reward.  If I have
	 been recognized over the years since, I am grateful.  If the need
	 for such recognition was what drove me, I would be a bitter person
	 indeed.  Instead, I have always been surprised at the recognition
	 that I've gotten (my reaction to receiving a Star of Merit is

	 For the last eight years, it has been my honour to sit in fealty
	 to the Crown, as Baron of Stargate.  The intimate view of the
	 workings of awards it has given me, has frustrated me in ways I
	 would have never expected.
	 I have pleaded with autocrats to give me lists of those who slaved
	 away in the "back room" to make their events successful.  I can
	 count the number of lists received on the fingers on one hand.
	 I request of the populace, that they give me recommendations for
	 individuals who they believe are due recognition.
	 All too often, they would rather complain than simply say "x
	 really ought to have an AoA."
	 Artisans too are often overlooked.  The example of the pottery
	 cited, is quite topical.  If it never comes to an event, no one
	 can possibly be expected to recommend recognition for it.  If it
	 comes to an event, and serves as feast gear, it may be years
	 before it is realized that the ceramics are not bought at some
	 import shop.
	 Only if they are exhibited at an A&S function (whatever kind),
	 will anyone realize where they came from.  Worse, only good
	 documentation can tell what kind of effort went in to the work.
	 "Did you buy a greenware bowl, decorate it and take it to be
	 fired?  Did you buy a greenware bowl, decorate it and fire it
	 yourself?  Did you throw it on a wheel, decorate it and fire it
	 The best artisans are often rotten publicist!	DOCUMENT!
	 Where did the idea come from?	Where did you get the materials?
	 How did you develop the design?  What problems did you encounter?
	 How did you overcome them?
	 Everyone has a Laurel horror story (I've been collecting them for
	 years), but a Laurel in your corner can do more by just making
	 certain that your work is seen, than words can describe.  Most of
	 them (the Laurels) want very much to help.  They'll do so at the
	 drop of a hat.  They have a duty to promote the Arts.	They take
	 it seriously.	When you ask for their criticism, and get it look
	 for a positive aspect first (Laurels are artist, not diplomats) in
	 all probability a comment was meant to be helpful.  If you want
	 help, ask.

	 Finally, this forum is quite useful for the exchange of ideas and
	 insights.  It will correct no ills.  If you feel someone deserves
	 an award.  Write it down.  Send a copy to the Crown, and your
	 local nobility.  When the Crown changes, send it again (a new
	 Crown is usually far too busy getting their act together to dig
	 very far into the files they receive).  There are a finite number
	 of opportunities per reign, the earlier in a reign the Crown
	 receives a recommendation, the better chance they have of figuring
	 out how to see it presented (it doesn't hurt to see that the
	 person you have recommended will be at the event).

	 No one will hand you a perfect world.	Fashion what you can with
	 what you have.  If you wait for someone else to make it perfect,
	 you'll wait a long time indeed.


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