ES - Are we welcoming enough?

Richard Threlkeld rjt at
Sat May 16 07:57:20 PDT 1998

If I may attempt an answer, your Grace.

I am new enough to easily remember my first encounters with the 
SCA (and it was Elfsea).  You were, in fact, the second person 
I met and were exceptionally gracious.  

The problem you mention derives from the authority that a "brass hat" 
carries (and that seems even greater to the new player).  You might 
use that authority to ask someone to mentor the potential player during 
the current event and ask the mentor to tell them about titles 
and such.  This would reduce the impact of being told you goofed 
up on addressing such a high person.  In fact, I was told something 
like that "She should be addressed as Your Grace, but don't 
worry about it.  We don't expect you to know such things until 
you've been in the SCA a little while.  Try calling everyone 
Lord or Lady when you don't know.  They won't take offence."

The mentor is there to answer the mirad of questions that a 
new player will ask.  Our social fabric is very complicated 
and requires some study.  After 1.5 years, I still need help 
with some of it.  Luckily, many are willing and gracious about 
providing it to me even though I am not still a new player.

Mentoring, by the way, teaches you a lot about our society.  Most 
of the questions are easily answered from your own experience, but 
some require you to ask others or research.  It also reminds you 
what new people want to know and what they need to learn quickly 
to enjoy the experience.

In service to the dream, Ansterroa, and Elfsea,

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-elfsea at Ansteorra.ORG [mailto:owner-elfsea at Ansteorra.ORG]On
> Behalf Of willow l herbert
> Sent: Monday, April 27, 1998 7:15 PM
> To: elfsea at Ansteorra.ORG
> Subject: Re: ES - Are we welcoming enough?
> Hi Gwennydd this is Willow
> I hope I wasn't the brass hat that told you that but If I was I am sorry
> for not putting it better. 
> This brings up a difficult question. If you were around a new person and
> they got their titles wrong you would probably try to give them
> information but as a brass hat if I try to give data (even if I try to
> explain it is OK) the person is often upset. If they find out later that
> they used the wrong title and I didn't tell them they are also upset . I
> get it coming and going. How would you deal with this situation?
> I believe that the courtesy and titles give a special air to our
> activities. I believe they do more than all the wall-hangings in the
> world in making the magic. Of course, in keeping with my 12th century
> background, I believe all should be greeted by their title. I received my
> Laurel after being in the SCA for 12 years without a single title. I love
> my Mistress but during those 12 years I would had died for a Lady. I know
> of many a person who is no longer in Elfsea because after they received
> their AOA no one greeted them as Lord or Lady. Most people work very hard
> for whatever awards they have gotten and we should all respect them for
> their work. I known sometimes we don't agree that someone should get an
> award but we shouldn't take away from others that do deserve their
> awards. 
> I would like everyone to get used to using titles and doing the
> courtesies. People in the MIddle Ages didn't see them as a boundary but
> simply a social greeting.
> Willow
> >At one of my first fighter practices, I was told by a brass hat "My 
> >proper title 
> >is . . . "  I was crushed!  If I hadn't been stubborn, that probably 
> >would have 
> >stopped my playing altogether because of that.  But I'm more stubborn 
> >than I 
> >am shy, so I'm still here. ;-) o approach *you*!  
> >
> >Yours in service,
> >
> >Gwennydd of Dovey
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