Dottie Elliott macdj at
Thu Mar 30 14:53:39 PST 1995

>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.

People who move a lot are the ones most likely to be overlooked,
particularly if moving involves changing kingdoms or at least being
geographically far away from their last group. Its hard to toot one's own
horn on past achievements and folks rarely think to write to the old group
to find out about the new member's achievements so far.  It basically means
starting over and that can be hard to accept. When I left Atlantia after 3
years to move to the East, I realized that any previous accomplishments
were now mute. When I saw that many folks in the East go 7 years before
getting an AOA, I stopped worrying about awards at all. This doesn't mean I
wasn't angry, upset and scandalized at first but I got over it. I spent my
time working for the good of my group and getting my 'reward' from watching
the group grow and helping it run well.  I discovered after a while that
not worrying about awards and just trying to do a good job was much more
fun.    And as much as possible I tried to watch the small groups in our
area to make sure those folks got the recognition they were due.

> 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.
This is a wonderful idea, my lady!  I believe I may try and emulate you in
this manner, if you would not mind.  As I think on it, small tokens of
appreciation are as lasting as the big awards because they are can be
received more often and more personally.

>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.

I agree with you completely.

>Yours in service,
>Dunstana Talana the Violet, OL
>Who is once again employed!

Baroness Clarissa

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