I. Marc Carlson LIB_IMC at
Tue Mar 28 18:00:07 PST 1995

I'm coming into this discussion rather late, but I wanted to add my own

Not getting recognized for your efforts can be disheartening.  I've been
their myself: it took me five years to get my first award, and not because
I hadn't earned it.  I was a college student and on the move a lot, and as
soon as a group in one area got to know me, I moved again.  I guess the
idea of talking to folks in other groups about what individuals were doing
wasn't done then.  And in those days I was foolish and insecure and vain
enough that not getting the dangly I knew I was damn well qualified for
was very upsetting.

Today, being ever so much more mature and wise :) I try not to let this 
happen to others.  As much as I can, I communicate with people in other
areas to see what is going on.  I can't keep track of everyone, and just
this week I was told about the wonderful things someone in my own shire
was doing, under me very nose, that I knew nothing about.  You've got
to talk to people if you want to know what is going on.  And much of the
time people come to me to tell me about others - and themselves.

Also, there's nothing in the rules that says you can't give someone 
anything but an award.  I love the Laurel Prize Tourney tradition of
giving little gewgaws out to show that you like something.  I gathered
a basketfull of glass beads that way, beads I have no use for, but 
they are precious to me, much more so than prize scrolls would have been.
The only A&S contest I ever won was anti-climatic in that court was running
late and the prize was the last thing on the agenda and the sun had gone 
down and there were no torches and everyone was bored and as a result no one
heard my name annouced or paid any attention to my getting my prize.  I got
a lot more out of those personal little tokens.  I've made a habit of trying
to give a little something whenever someone does something that impresses me,
whether it's a little piece of costume jewelry for helping me in the kitchen
or a letter to the knight of a squire whose actions show him to believe in
the knightly qualities he strives for.  I truly believe that doing this sort
of thing does more good in encouraging people than pushing them into contests
and tournaments that might only get their hopes up and feelings hurt.

Also, I'd like to get my hands on whoever started that utter tripe about
"you should have an AoA by the end of your first year in the SCA, or there's
something wrong."  That has done more damage to people than I care to think
about.  One thing that separates us from Scouting is that going after "merit
badges" as it were, is optional.  I've seen people burned by this kind of 
thinking, and I've seen otherwise good people turned into ravening cookie
hounds.  Yes, some people are ready for an award at six months.  Some arent'
(I hate this mailer) aren't ready after a decade.

And, as a final note, on the topic of people who don't want awards.  As with
sex, "No" means "No."  It does not mean "maybe."  Some may be being modest.
But some really mean it.  Don't think they will just stick the scroll in a
drawer and forget about it.  I've got a good friend who made it clear to
everyone she didn't want an award, but when friends of hers became king and
queen, they thought they'd pull one of those famous "gotcha!" situations.
You would not believe how angry she was.  People she though were her friends
did not respect her wishes enough to do as she had asked.  They did not 
respect her enough to take her wishes seriously.  Because they interpreted
her "no" as "maybe."  When someone tells you they don't want an award, 
treat them with enough respect to take them seriously.  And you can always
approach them down the road and find out if they've reconsidered.

Well, enough ranting.

Yours in service,

Dunstana Talana the Violet, OL
Who is once again employed!

More information about the Ansteorra mailing list