[Northkeep] On Newcomers

Kris Jouwsma decoysaunt at cox.net
Thu Apr 6 09:08:13 PDT 2006

Hi all -

I'm kind of an old newcomer. I participated a tiny bit a few years back 
but mundane life kept me from becoming very active, even though I've 
remained very interested. I lurk on the lists and do some research here 
and there and have been looking for the right opportunity to try to get 
my feet wet again. Even having read the Known World Handbook cover to 
cover multiple times, I am still somewhat intimidated and often at a 
loss. The Handbook, as a tool for newcomers, is limited for one big 
reason - it can't really convey what level of formality and/or 
familiarity is accepted as the norm for their local group.

It's easy for long-term players to say "well, just jump right in," but 
as we all know first impressions are generally lasting and none of us 
newcomers (old and new) want to offend anyone or embarrass ourselves. 
Because we don't know you "oldtimers" we don't yet have any SCA 
experiences or relationships in common. The newcomer's limited SCA 
experience makes it harder to maintain an SCA centered conversation but 
we don't know what mundane topics are okay to discuss that won't 
interfere with someone else's experience. We don't know the rules for 
participating in competitions, we don't know how formal or informal to 
be with the titled, we don't want to be in anyone's way, we want to 
help but given our newness we don't know what we can help with, and we 
don't want to be a nuisance because we ask too many questions.

I don't mean to imply that anyone in Northkeep is anything but friendly 
and helpful or that newcomer's don't have a responsibility to be 
proactive in learning how to play. I don't expect a veteran to spoon 
feed me. But some of us are a little shy and none of us want to do 
anything stupid. In my humble opinion, a few "etiquette" classes for 
newbies would be very helpful and might encourage the timid to 
contribute more and feel less anxious. I would gladly attend.

Returning to lurk mode.

Kristyne of Northkeep

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