[Bards] What's *your* idea of what a college is (or ought to be)?

Scott Barrett barrett1 at cox.net
Wed Nov 8 10:27:04 PST 2006

Finnacan's answer -
> Basic concept:
> What do you think this idea called "college of bards" is (or ought to
> be)? In general terms at least, or specifically if you have specific
> ideas.
My understanding of a college is a place of higher learning or applied 
education. As such I would expect a College of Bards to provide 
training and education to those wishing to pursue the bardic arts. What 
it ought to be is an informal society within the Society that provides 
for fellowship among practicing performers, a news source and a library 
of information available in the most convenient medium possible. This 
would likely require administrators or officials that work to keep the 
College afloat and vibrant.

> Function:
> Whatever that thing is, what do you think it would do for you --
> specifically, if you can -- that you and the current company of bards
> either aren't able to do for themselves, or would be done better by a
> college (whatever that is)? I.e., "What would you do with one if you
> had one?"
It would become another place for me to read information posted by 
others, share information, like articles and class handouts, and get 
updates concerning events and meetings. The tools for this are already 
in place and I use them, and I do not see how a College increases their 
use or value.
In fact, I believe that using the term College will create a symbolic 
wall in people's minds, and they will view the College as a separate 
entity requiring membership. No matter how informal that might be, it 
will still strike a number of our less-traveled bards as elitist or 
exclusionary, even if they know members in their area fairly well. Some 
will simply scoff at the use of the word College, considering it 
arrogant. Many will also perceive an inherent pressure to join simply 
because the College exists. I believe that pressure is anathema to an 
open community.

> Form:
> Whatever that thing is, how do you think it would it work? What form
> do you think it would it have?
I believe that it would quickly devolve into a group of dedicated 
individuals who work to accomplish a number of goals while the majority 
either express a passing interest with no real commitment (likely for a 
number of good reasons)
and/or the dedicated few would become focused enough that the College 
would no longer have the aspects of an open community. Fellowship, 
mentoring, research and performance would continue in spite of the 
College, in conjunction with the College or without the College. 
Eventually the College will become what we have now, but at the 
exclusion of some who had no real connection to the College and will 
consider this list and any open forums held at events as part of a 
structure they are not invested in.

> Benefit:
> Whatever that thing is, why would you want one?

I don't. I believe the minute the community attempts to formalize it's 
relationship, many will back away simply to avoid any conflicts or 
perceptions of obligation, even those who might agree with the 
philosophy the College is founded on. I believe that the bards of this 
Kingdom can increase their visibility and strengthen their community 
using other, more intimate methods, such as hosting circles, going to 
household camps and encouraging their bards (who often feel like fringe 
players and need recognition, not competition) teaching classes 
whenever possible and looking to perform outside of circles, such as 
praising warriors at the list field or offering a piece at pop meetings.
> Michael
> p.s. As a courtesy to others, when you reply to this, please cut out
> all but the survey itself and your replies. Thanks.
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