Awards and Coronets
miller at pp.okstate.edu
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
More information about the Ansteorra