[Bards] No sugar why the college was killed

Michael Silverhands silverhands at sbcglobal.net
Thu Nov 2 03:48:35 PST 2006

Willow wrote:
> I heard stories about how people
> don't know how to play persona. The Bards used to teach them about
> culture and history. I hear about Knights not knowing about the Code
> of Chivalry.  I hear about Peers not understanding that they are
> suppose to teach. I hear about gentlemen and ladies not knowing the
> courtesies. I listen to new comers saying no one will teach them what
> they need to know to be good citizens of Ansteorra. The Bards used to
> teach people what they needed to know the same way the
> Bards/Performers taught people in the Middle Ages.

Your Grace (and Robin),

With respect, I was pretty active during that time period, and I'm  
sorry but I don't remember the bardic college doing any of those  
things for me or mine.

I believe the Knights do a pretty fair job of teaching the Code of  
Chivalry. I believe that teaching and leading is a primary  
consideration in all of our Peerage circles when considering a  
candidate (even in the Pelican circle). I believe that *all* of us  
who've been in the SCA for any length of time teach gentlemen and  
ladies "the courtesies" (or ought to be doing so). And every branch  
in my area conducts regular newcomer workshops to teach newcomers  
"what they need to know". (I can't speak for the rest of the kingdom,  
but if your area doesn't, then I suggest you motivate your Hospitaler  
or someone else to do so.) And I hadn't thought about it before, but  
the persona workshops I've attended were all taught by Lions, as it  

I'm sorry, but all I remember of the college was a few folks going  
around with these sashes with lots of hash marks on them. If  
anything, it made bards like them *less* approachable, not more so --  
at least, for me.

And I was *closely* involved in the research and creation of the  
Tournament of the Nine Worthies. I still have the masters for the  
booklet that I published for the event -- based on history and  
research done entirely (to my knowledge) by Sigmund and Siglinda. I  
admit to being totally surprised by your story about the College  
doing primary research for the Nine Worthies events.

I have to question why *4* kings, 2 of which I personally know well  
and think extremely highly of (Patrick and Inman), would have gone  
out of their way to suppress the college *unless there was a good  
reason* -- like, maybe, there was a group of folks who were doing  
more harm than good (in their eyes), and who had decided to place  
themselves above the Crown (in a position to judge them). I believe  
that only the Lions in this kingdom have succeeded in placing  
themselves *apart* from (not beholding to) the Crown, but even they  
do not place themselves *above* the Crown.

I was ok with Robin's argument that a College might help the current  
bards of Ansteorra pull together. I'm willing and ready to "go out to  
the meadow and see that the bumblebee can fly". But I'm deeply  
disturbed by these claims and accusations, and about the idea that we  
might be setting ourselves up to "do it all again". Is it *truly*  
your wish to set the bards up as judges of everyone else's behavior?  
As the "primary source" in the kingdom for what is the "right way to  
act" for everyone from newcomers to Peers? If so, then I can see why  
the college was suppressed in the first place. Most folks don't  
appreciate that. :-(

I'm in favor of creating a fellowship that will give bards a feeling  
of belonging to something good and worthwhile (although I personally  
find that being a "bard of Ansteorra" is good enough for me). But I'm  
not in favor of doing so if it just sets us once again in the  
position of being "holier than thou" to everyone.

If we're going to build a fellowship/fraternity/college/whatever,  
then let's do so "Not as it was, but as it should have been."


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