[Bards] Kingdom Eisteddfod

Jay Rudin rudin at ev1.net
Wed Nov 1 08:03:10 PST 2006

Finnacan wrote:

> I also want to mention this. I found the phrase "With no College to rally
> around,..." very interesting. It indicates, obviously, that the College
> is/was intended as a rallying point, a common ground. That is a worthwhile
> endeavor. 
> However, that is how I view THIS mailing list and bard.ansteorra.org. I am at
> a complete loss as to what the College could offer that these things do not.
> They're certainly more available to folks in far-flung shires that are just
> starting out, moreso than the College I knew. If we need to spread the word
> more about this list and the site, I understand completely. Better yet, if we
> want to call this list and bard.ansteorra.org the College (or at least incorporate
> them) I can see that being viable as well. I see no need to have a College as
> a separate entity. Is there something that I'm not grasping that the College
> could provide aside from formal statements and meetings that less than half
> of us can attend?

> Tell me. I want to know what I'm missing. It's almost Halloween, and my mind
> is elsewhere a lot these days.

> If the College can offer something aside from what we already have, I wanna
> know about it.

It took me awhile to even understand your point.  Does anybody actually rally around an e-list?  I'm on the White Scarf list, but I don't rally around that.  I rally around my brothers and sisters who I see and fence with and meet with and share things with.  The e-list isn't a real entity.  It's just a tool to support something real.

Consider:  A new person joins the SCA.  He walks around at night and sees the occasional circle or party.  He joins in the sing-alongs, learns a couple of dirty songs, and even writes a (poor) sonnet or two.  He occasionally takes part in the entertainment, but he doesn't feel like he's really a part of it.  He's considering dropping this and going back to the things he really does in the SCA

Then a college appears, and people ask him if he'd like to join the College of Bards.  Suddenly he sees himself as a member of the club.  He has the blue sash and everything.  He attends some of the meetings, and gets to know who the bards are.  People assume that they will help him, and he starts thinking it's his job to help other performers, too.  He's a Bard.

The year was 1981 or so, and he was Lord Robin of Gilwell.  The College is why I'm a bard.  Without the College, I would be a fencer and a fighter and a herald and lots of other things, but I would not be a bard.  How many Robins have we missed because there was no official group at events to welcome them in?

No e-list does this, or can do this.  No e-list exists at events, for one thing.  I saw the college hold meetings; nobody off this list ever sees our discussions here.  So while the list is a tool for helping people who have already joined the bardic community, it cannot in any way help encourage people to join the community.

The Pelican list does not replace Pelican circles; the Heralds' list does not replace the College of Heralds.  Guilds help brewers, and needle-workers, and potters and many other artists.  Why am I having to answer, over and over, doubts that a guild could help us?

And By the way, there's one other advantage a college has over an e-list.  It's an actual period thing to do.  We're part of a re-enactment society; a re-enactment of period activity is not unreasonable.

But over and over again, I come back to the same thing -- the college drew me into bardcraft.  It's why I'm here.

Robin of Gilwell / Jay Rudin
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