[Ansteorra-rapier] Re: <Cadet's Corner> Modius'Academy Thoughts

Kathleen Gormanshaw kgormanshaw at rogers.com
Wed Jan 23 06:54:21 PST 2002

Perception, perception, perception, it all seems to be about what you
perceive and how you interpret.

Modius wrote:
> > In the past 8 years I have seen something creep in.
> > Apathy? Less passion? I am not certain.  I have seen
> > it even in cadets close to me.  Even in some Dons.
> > Look around.  When I was made a WS (White Scarf)
> > there were 56 or so with maybe 20 actives.  Now with
> > 73+ WS, we have 25+ actives.  I personally knew of
> > at least 5 WS that vanished after receiving the
> > scarf. Why?

It seems to me that he is complaining that there are lots more WS but only
a few more active WS.  (Or maybe that's just me and he's trying to say
something else?  Oh well.)  But if 20 out of 56 were active that's 35.7% (I
don't know how long ago Modius was made a WS), and if 25 out of 73 are
active now well that's...34.2%.

Doesn't seem like a difference to me.  But my perception, based only on the
numbers, is different from Modius' perception based on living with the

So there was a discussion at the Ansteorran Academy that didn't stay polite
and didn't live up to the ideals of the SCA (nor the ideals of people with
scarves) and left a bad impression on some newer people.  Well, we're all
human, and occasionally we forget to be on our best behaviour.  Taking a
deep breath, remembering that we're all in this together and don't hate
each other, would be a good course of action.

The notes I've seen suggest, to me :-), that a number of people think
things could be better but they have no idea how to change things for the
better.  It seems like a few cadets (5-10 of them?) are doing a lot of good
service work, but there's not enough of them to fulfill the ideals of some
people watching them.  I can't figure out if there are more cadets hanging
around who aren't doing much work, or just not enough cadets to reasonably
fulfill the ideals.

This is where the debate over whether cadets are a group or just a bunch of
people with relationships to dons seems silly (to me :-).  The dons seem to
expect cadets to work together on some projects, people without scarves
seem to expect cadets to work together on some projects, and the cadets are
trying to fulfill these projects.  The cadets are not standing back and
saying "Hey wait, this isn't part of my relationship with my don."  They're
responding to the expectation and trying to live up to it.

Or are there cadets out there who do feel that their relationship is to
their don and there are no outside projects involved?  They would be
following their beliefs if they did not participate in the service to the
Princess and other projects.  But I can't see far enough to see if this
type of person exists, it's a hypothetical question from me.

So is the problem in the expectations that are held or the people trying to
do the work?  I think a definite part of the problem is that the
expectations are not consistent.  Nothing is written down or defined, so
everyone has a different perception of what a cadet is and what "the
cadets" should be doing.  And some of those expectations may not be
reasonable, or they may have been reasonable at a point where there were 40
cadets but not so reasonable when there are 20 of them.  But people don't
often evaluate their expectations for reasonableness, they just react.

I think (there's that personal perception thing again), what you guys need
is a Moot.  What's a Moot you ask?  A Moot is an Ealdormerian tradition
(now a law) in which the populace gathers, the royalty takes off their
crowns, and the lawspeaker (another Ealdormerian tradition, pick someone
respected but not involved in the issue) organizes a discussion of whatever
is desired.  Our crowns are required to hold at least one moot per reign,
often they come with a particular topic or two to be discussed, but there
is always time for any member of the populace to bring up a topic as
well.  The lawspeaker organizes simply by keeping a list of the order hands
were put up so that everyone has a fair chance to speak, and occasionally
bringing in an "expert" to respond (like when our Minister of A&S described
the process that led to a change).

We had a moot, before we became a kingdom, to discuss whether fencing would
be allowed as an activity within the Kingdom of Ealdormere.  It's painful,
to have to defend your favourite activity against people who want it to go
away, but it was highly reassuring as well, to hear support and
encouragement from members of the populace who seemed to be entirely
oblivious... until they had a forum where they were invited to speak.

Those are my perceptions.... and opinions, it can be very hard to separate
the two. :-)

a few kingdoms away, but very interested

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