Awards and Coronets

Leslie Miller miller at
Fri Mar 24 09:03:07 PST 1995

> I was interested to note, Gunhilda, that you listed the awards by type. My
> first reaction was to list them in order of precdence. I wonder if that's
> a result of thinking like a herald.

I think it has to do with how I explain the award structure to 
newcomers.  There are the three peerages with three "paths" for 
getting there, A&S, Service, and Martial.  Most awards will fit into 
one of those three categories with the exception of the Lion (and how 
could I have forgotten that?! *ugh*)  I tend to think of it as 
climbing a ladder, and where people are on the ladder toward each 

I'm not exactly sure why I explain it like that, except that it seems 
to simplify things in my wn mind.  If earning awards could be a 
motivating factor for a newcomer, it gives them a place to start: by 
picking a likely path that fits their talents and interests.

I guess this ties in with the thread about awards and why we do what 
we do in the SCA.  I would be lying if I said I was never motivated 
by the thought of someday earning a peerage.  It was pretty tough 
when it became apparent that my knees/body/skill would never allow me 
to be good enough to be knighted.  Fighting was my first love ad 
desired path, and it's been tough to shift my focus onto other 
things and give up that goal.  

But I have a personality which is goal oriented - I knew that I 
wanted to be a knight someday, and to get it, I knew I had to climb the 
ladder, follow the path, jump through the hoops, hack of that limb, 
whatever. But there *are* people out there who are not as goal 
oriented as myself, and they may not care one whit about receiving awards. 
They aren't playing the game to climb the ladder.  Maybe they're ust playing 
it to have fun and that's the end of it.  

There are also self sacrificing souls out there who really do enjoy 
working and helping other people simply for the sake of working and 
helping other people. At a guess, I'd say that Her Excellency 
Baroness Clarissa (sp?), is one of them.  Even when I was working towards 
that elusive white belt (and had little else on my mind), I did a lot of 
work for my shire, not because I was trying to earn awards, but rather 
because the work needed to be don.  The awards were nice 
side-effects, but I would have, and still do, work just as hard - 
because I enjoy it, and somebody has to do it.

People are motivated by different things.  I think it's wrong to assume 
that people who work hard are only doing it to earn "cookies".  And 
even if they are, I don't think it's necessarily *bad*.  They may have 
ego problems, and *I* would say that they may be missing an essential 
element of the dream, but let's face it, the system is set up to 
encourage it.  Is it rong to aspire to be a peer?  And if you do, 
what do you have to do to get there?  You've got to climb the ladder.
I have moral quandaries about punishing somebody (by denying them the 
awards they "want *too* badly", even if they've earned them) because 
they play the system as we ourselves have set it up.  

I'd just like to add that in my experience, sending award 
recommendations in to the Crown actually works.  Really.  Honest.  
I've seen it happen.  I sometimes suspect that people complain 
loudly, ut have never actually bothered to put pen to paper.  I 
know, because I'm guilty of it myself.  I can also say that every 
award recommendation I *have* sent in to the Crown has been granted.  
100%, and it's been more than a few.

Shire of Mooneschadowe
Stillwater, OK


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