NR - Court & Herald Idea

Scott Powers spowers at
Thu Feb 26 10:48:51 PST 1998

>Since I started this thread, I'd like to say that I actually prefer awards
>done in pre-posted courts.  I missed Lord Guillame's Thistle at NRT since it
>was handed out at an impromptu court during the dancing.  Though I know this
>wasn't planned, it is an example of what happens with unannounced courts.
>Since the majority of us seem to favor doing business at the main court and
>let's put up with the length, what is the feeling about what belongs in
>court and what doesn't?
>I think all awards and announcements of general interest.  I don't think
>squire/apprenticing at the main court, but perhaps at a morning court?  I
>think presentations from other kingdoms (or other baronies in a baronial
>court), but not from shires, individuals, etc.  And no household business!
>If a household wishes to give a gift or a presentation, take it private.  I
>think households are the glue of the society, but they have no official
>function within the SCA and shouldn't take time from the business of the
>court.  Keep them in the background, where they do their best work anyway.

While I pretty much agree with you, I would stipulate that this would only
be the rule in what are expected to be long courts.  I have no problem with
whatever business one wants to do, as long as the entire court is kept
short.  In the case of some very short courts, this sort of thing could
actually add some interest.

Except for household stuff.  I think that should never be done in court.  I
belong to no household, have no interest in joining one, and am utterly
uninterested in what goes on in someone's household.  Keep household stuff
in your household.

Actually, I think the problem is not that court is ever too long.  The
problem is restlessness.  If the events going on in court are of interest
to everyone, then everyone will stay interested and attentive, even for a
five hour court.  But if there are a number of private jokes, personal
presentations, apprenticships or whatever, which are of interest to only a
few people, then it is difficult for people to stay interested in what is
going on.  And once the attention slips, then it starts to get noisy.  Then
nobody can hear, and attention drops even more.  Then you have people
yelling "ATTEND" every couple of minutes.  That's my personal favorite
thing in the world.  :-}

Of course, you could argue that people who are bored should go outside.
But for a very long court, that might be almost everyone.  A better
solution would be to break it up into a couple of smaller courts, or move
some functions to other courts as discussed above.  And for special
occasions like NRT, I don't mind in the least sitting still for a long
court.  There was lots to be done.  I just don't want to make a habit of it.

On a related note, I have noticed that Master Lucaise never has to yell
attend while he is speaking, because he is so good at keeping people's
attention.  So if you start to do a presentation, and immediately everyone
loses interest and start talking among themselves, then get a clue.  You
might want to keep it short.  I have to watch this myself from time to time
when giving an officer's report or something.  I watch the populace
carefully.  If they are not riveted to what I am saying (which is most of
the time.  How interesting can a treasurer's report get, anyway.), then
they get the short version.


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