[Bards] The College concept

Scott Barrett barrett1 at cox.net
Thu Nov 2 14:38:40 PST 2006

> Well, here's how I see it.
> A College or Guild is generally going to have a few "leaders" or at 
> least officers who handle the administrative aspects of such a body. 
> We already have them. We have a webminister for bards.ansteorra.org 
> and we have the Deputy Minister of A&S for Performance to act as an 
> ambassador to other Kingdom and local officers. We could include the 
> Premier Bard in this, which brings us to three administrators whose 
> positions are limited in term and subject to rotation.
> We have this mailing list as a forum, and if we wished, we could 
> actually convert it to a message board format at bards.ansteorra.org
> We have a symbol that any performer can display, Or, a mullet of five 
> greater and five lesser points within the frame of an Irish harp sable 
> (The one with the rose is reserved for the current Premier bard). 
> Let's display versions of that in our campsites and at our circles 
> instead of figuring out how to make a blue sash fit with our persona's 
> wardrobe. I've often fantasized about getting one of those butane fed 
> fire baskets that provide great light, one with the space around the 
> harp and star cut out so that they are visible against the fire at a 
> distance. Instant bardic circle.
> We have a performance track of classes at most Kingdom Colleges, and 
> the Deputy Minister, along with the Premier bard, could start a bardic 
> collegium as a distinct event if they chose to, despite evidence that 
> it likely wouldn't have as much attendance.
> Further education is only going to come from either attending circles 
> and observing like the vast majority of us did, attending classes 
> taught by more experienced performers in certain fields, or having a 
> bard mentor you as a close friend, which is nothing a college will be 
> able to contribute to, it's far too personal.
> A community communicates. I say we already have the tools in place. If 
> we want to call ourselves a fellowship or a guild or a college or a 
> grove or an order or a university, that's fine by me, but charters and 
> college-specific officers and college events don't strike me as valid 
> or useful. In fact, they strike me as... well, exclusive and 
> conditional.
> It creates the impression, false or accurate, that there are certain 
> things requiring the approval of the representatives of the college. 
> There is an instant concern as to how the authorities of the college 
> will reacte to a piece or a class. Simple human psychology follows 
> this line of reasoning. If a person has some criticism or distaste for 
> something you've done, and that person happens to be an officer in the 
> college, the entire college is displeased with you by proxy. After 
> all, this a trusted and experienced performer with administrative 
> responsibilities in a "college", who would dare disagree?
> I say we all agree to get out there and encourage people to use this 
> list and the website. That is all the structure we need to my way of 
> thinking. The website could have more content, that's not on Alden, 
> that's up to us to contribute. I think that is what leads to the 
> impression that northern kingdoms have more high-end bards. They 
> don't, I know, I've been there, they're about on par with us. It's 
> just that they have a more visible presence online.
> I also would suggest that we, all of us, insure that this list is kept 
> informed as to who won what title, what events are coming up, where 
> the bardic circle will be at that event, if we need to have people 
> there to start a circle, etc. You know, just like we do now.
> The only improvement I can see is a message board at 
> bards.ansteorra.org, one that includes optional email alerts, but I'm 
> loathe to push for it since I lack the skills to make it happen.
> ~Finnacan

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