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Experiment

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  • asackville@juno.com
    Hi all, I m going to an event tomorrow and I thought I d try an experiment by not wearing my glasses nor contacts to the event. I ll obviously drive there with
    Message 1 of 26 , Nov 3, 2006
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      Hi all,

      I'm going to an event tomorrow and I thought I'd try an experiment by
      not wearing my glasses nor contacts to the event. I'll obviously drive
      there with my glasses on, but once I'm in garb, remove them just to
      see what it would be like to have to deal with the inconvienience of
      not being able to see clearly much at all. I don't intend to sit still
      in my place all day. Not at all. I have three classes I want to take
      plus a possible stint doing Royalty duty. The whole discussion several
      weeks back on eyewear made me curious and I'm willing to give it a try
      just to see (ha!) what it would be like if I there wasn't the option
      of contacts for me, not that I see all that stellarly in my
      contacts.... Wish me luck

      Fionnuala
    • Sarah Michele Ford
      ... Good luck - I would keep your glasses close at hand so that you can put them on if you need to. I did this experiment unwittingly several years ago (we
      Message 2 of 26 , Nov 3, 2006
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        On 11/3/06, asackville@... <asackville@...> wrote:

        > I'm going to an event tomorrow and I thought I'd try an experiment by
        > not wearing my glasses nor contacts to the event. I'll obviously drive
        > there with my glasses on, but once I'm in garb, remove them just to
        > see what it would be like to have to deal with the inconvienience of
        > not being able to see clearly much at all. I don't intend to sit still
        > in my place all day. Not at all. I have three classes I want to take
        > plus a possible stint doing Royalty duty. The whole discussion several
        > weeks back on eyewear made me curious and I'm willing to give it a try
        > just to see (ha!) what it would be like if I there wasn't the option
        > of contacts for me, not that I see all that stellarly in my
        > contacts.... Wish me luck

        Good luck - I would keep your glasses close at hand so that you can
        put them on if you need to. I did this experiment unwittingly several
        years ago (we were on an overnight trip, one of my contacts tore, and
        of course I'd forgotten my glasses) and it was not a pleasant
        experience. I have 20/400 vision and I very quickly got a killer
        headache and had to hang on to Matatias' arm when walking because I
        couldn't perceive changes in terrain and so I kept tripping on things.

        Alianor de R.
      • Julie Stackable, SCA Margaret Hepburn
        ... by ... I ll chime in with take some Advil or Tylenol with you - whatever works for you for headaches. Whenever I have to go without my glasses or contacts,
        Message 3 of 26 , Nov 3, 2006
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          > On 11/3/06, asackville@... <asackville@...> wrote:
          >
          > > I'm going to an event tomorrow and I thought I'd try an experiment
          by
          > > not wearing my glasses nor contacts to the event.

          I'll chime in with take some Advil or Tylenol with you - whatever
          works for you for headaches. Whenever I have to go without my glasses
          or contacts, I inevitably spend the whole time trying to focus and see
          things even though I know I can't and after about an hour, I get one
          of those 'spike through the back of my head' headaches. I've
          considered trying it, but I've never been brave enough - good luck to
          you.
          Toujours a vos ordres,
          Margaret Hepburn
        • asackville@juno.com
          No Advil nor anything will be necessary. I ve had to forego glasses before, and for several hours. I ve needed to take my contacts out at the Ren. Faire where
          Message 4 of 26 , Nov 3, 2006
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            No Advil nor anything will be necessary. I've had to forego glasses
            before, and for several hours. I've needed to take my contacts out at
            the Ren. Faire where I work in the summer and cannot use my glasses.
            It's one of those things out there. We strive for historical accuracy
            and most of our glasses are too modern to pass muster. If you can't
            safely function without them if you need to remove your contacts, then
            get out of costume and you're done for the day. Our Guildemaster, who
            wears glasses, abides by this as well. I needed a seeing-eye courtier
            to avoid the tree stumps, but trying to force my eyes to focus is
            something I know cannot do, so why strain myself to try doing it and
            give myself a headache? Everything will be in a nice, pleasant, fuzzy
            haze. If I've done it before where there is uneven ground and tree
            stumps trying to kill you, then I can do it easily at an indoor site
            with a nice even floor.

            Fionnuala
          • Wanda Pease
            Hi all, ... LUCK!!! That s going to be an interesting experiment. I ll be interested in how you fared several hours into being without glasses. I had a
            Message 5 of 26 , Nov 3, 2006
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              Hi all,
              >
              > I'm going to an event tomorrow and I thought I'd try an experiment by
              > not wearing my glasses nor contacts to the event. I'll obviously drive
              > there with my glasses on, but once I'm in garb, remove them just to
              > see what it would be like to have to deal with the inconvienience of
              > not being able to see clearly much at all. I don't intend to sit still
              > in my place all day. Not at all. I have three classes I want to take
              > plus a possible stint doing Royalty duty. The whole discussion several
              > weeks back on eyewear made me curious and I'm willing to give it a try
              > just to see (ha!) what it would be like if I there wasn't the option
              > of contacts for me, not that I see all that stellarly in my
              > contacts.... Wish me luck

              LUCK!!!

              That's going to be an interesting experiment. I'll be interested in how you
              fared several hours into being without glasses. I had a complete mental
              breakdown on Tuesday because I though I had to be at work by 8am for an
              online/teleconference class. Of course everything that possibly could go
              wrong the moment my feet hit the carpet. I got in at 4 minutes to 8 and
              suddenly realized that I was rubbing my eyes and not having to reach around
              glasses! Horrors! I had forgotten to get my glasses off the night stand.

              I've worn glasses since I was 7 years old and almost never forgotten them
              before. I've been told every time I've asked that I'm not a good candidate
              for surgery (Hope springs eternal) because my problem is likely to come back
              shortly. Sigh!

              Desperately I dialed in and found out that the Expletive Deleted conference
              call was 8pm Eastern Standard Time - I'm there at 8am Pacific Standard time.
              Grrr... Next thing I find myself on the phone and the day simply progresses
              with me with no glasses and no time to go home and retrieve them. By the
              end of the day I was doing fairly well identifying individual words on my
              screen without enlarging them.

              My brother, the cheapskate, spent years avoiding glasses and telling
              everyone that he could see perfectly well because he did eye exercises every
              morning and evening which strengthened his eye muscles. I don't know if it
              actually really worked, but at 65 he only recently had to get prescription
              ones because the magnifiers they sell for a couple of bucks at the pharmacy
              weren't working for him any more.

              I wonder if the medieval person wouldn't invent all kinds of work arounds
              for being without glasses. They wouldn't miss them because they had never
              had clearer vision, or the blurring came on slowly. At 80 my father had
              cataracts removed. He said it was incredible how clear everything was. He
              just hadn't noticed a difference because the problem had gotten worse so
              slowly.

              Certainly I'm not going to make the experiment of spending several days
              without my glasses (everyone who uses the roads in Oregon should now give
              thanks.) Nor do I expect anyone else to do so. Mistress Arlys' wonderful
              embroidery is worth the price of a bit of "face jewelry". So are the many
              people who recognize the difference between a tree and one of their friends,
              a la Mr. Magoo!

              As I say, it will be an interesting experiment and I'll be interested in
              hearing the results just for information purposes.

              Regina
              >
              >
            • Carmen Beaudry
              Hi all, ... Very cool, let us know how it goes. Melusine
              Message 6 of 26 , Nov 3, 2006
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                Hi all,
                >
                > I'm going to an event tomorrow and I thought I'd try an experiment by
                > not wearing my glasses nor contacts to the event. I'll obviously drive
                > there with my glasses on, but once I'm in garb, remove them just to
                > see what it would be like to have to deal with the inconvienience of
                > not being able to see clearly much at all. I don't intend to sit still
                > in my place all day. Not at all. I have three classes I want to take
                > plus a possible stint doing Royalty duty. The whole discussion several
                > weeks back on eyewear made me curious and I'm willing to give it a try
                > just to see (ha!) what it would be like if I there wasn't the option
                > of contacts for me, not that I see all that stellarly in my
                > contacts.... Wish me luck
                >
                > Fionnuala

                Very cool, let us know how it goes.

                Melusine
              • Andrea Pfeifer
                Hello to the list, I do this whenever I am in an exposed position or wearing fancy headgear (usually at feast, when I don t have to see much further beyond
                Message 7 of 26 , Nov 4, 2006
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                  Hello to the list,

                  I do this whenever I am in an exposed position or wearing fancy
                  headgear (usually at feast, when I don't have to see much further
                  beyond what's going on at my table), don't have to do needlework and
                  the event isn't too crowded. At the first event I tried this I
                  actually didn't realise that a bunch of my aquaintances are there
                  until the end of the event because I can only see the people close
                  around me properly. By now they have learned that I am not being rude
                  when I don't say hello but simply cannot see them so they have to
                  come closer and say hello themselves.
                  The biggest problem for me is not being able to do work, i.e. kitchen
                  work, needle work, other A&S related things without my glasses. So I
                  will wear them whenever I work, but when I am just there to look
                  pretty (TM) I will not wear them.

                  But that is one experience that is going to be different for each
                  person, very much depending on how bad your eyes are and what you do
                  in the Society.

                  Also curious how it went for you...
                  Carolin
                • Cynthia J Ley
                  ... Thank you, Sweet Cousin. :-) I don t wear glasses most of the time but have to have them to be able to embroider--otherwise I can t distinguish between the
                  Message 8 of 26 , Nov 4, 2006
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                    > Certainly I'm not going to make the experiment of spending several
                    > days
                    > without my glasses (everyone who uses the roads in Oregon should now
                    > give
                    > thanks.) Nor do I expect anyone else to do so. Mistress Arlys'
                    > wonderful
                    > embroidery is worth the price of a bit of "face jewelry". So are
                    > the many
                    > people who recognize the difference between a tree and one of their
                    > friends,
                    > a la Mr. Magoo!

                    Thank you, Sweet Cousin. :-) I don't wear glasses most of the time but
                    have to have them to be able to embroider--otherwise I can't distinguish
                    between the needle and the thread. ;)

                    Arlys
                  • Sandra Dodd
                    Certainly I m not going to make the experiment of spending several ... Driving 70 mph isn t period, even when I m in costume. I have to take my glasses OFF to
                    Message 9 of 26 , Nov 4, 2006
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                      Certainly I'm not going to make the experiment of spending several
                      > days
                      > without my glasses (everyone who uses the roads in Oregon should now
                      > give
                      > thanks.)



                      Driving 70 mph isn't period, even when I'm in costume.

                      I have to take my glasses OFF to drive (for which pedestrians and
                      such should be grateful in New Mexico), but I do need them to write.

                      As to embroidery and such, it's an interesting thing not to have
                      servants who would do such things. It's so "non-period" too for a
                      knight to brag about having made his own armor and garb and shoes and
                      spoon. Wouldn't he have people do that for him? <g>

                      Long, long ago a queen who was wont to be in personna to a fault...

                      Wait. This was a queen of Atenveldt, when I was seneschal of
                      Atenveldt. A queen whose deeds and words caused frequent clean-up,
                      and whose desires were often costly in terms of the time spent by her
                      officers, and yet I served her well and faithfully.

                      At an event far from my home, in front of several people she knew
                      better than I did, she fingered the sleeve of my plain overdress,
                      after speaking of all the plowing and planting her servants had been
                      doing, and said "and where is your fine Saxon embroidery, my lady?"

                      There was just a brief moment of expectation in those around us
                      before I said, "In the filing cabinet, Your Majesty."

                      I had no more real-world servants than she did, but I would have had
                      more time for embroidery had I not been one of her SCA servants.



                      Glasses or no glasses, some things are mundanely done (by ourselves,
                      serving as our servants between events) and some are in-personna done.

                      AElflaed

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Francesca Tiepolo
                      Depending on the period of course, there were magnifying glasses to help with close up things for the wealthier. I have heard it said that if your vision isnt
                      Message 10 of 26 , Nov 4, 2006
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                        Depending on the period of course, there were magnifying glasses to help with close up things for the wealthier.

                        I have heard it said that if your vision isnt really bad, eye exercises can help.

                        I would think people back then who had poor vision just learned to compensate & their eyes adjusted naturally without them straining all the time. Signs were not always 'written' as many could not read... merchants & Inns would have signs large enough to see from a distance. If you lived for years in a town you would be familiar with things so you would know where the tree stumps, pot holes, wells etc were.

                        It will be interesting to see how you do!! Good luck!

                        YIS
                        Francesca Tiepolo
                        (Thank goodness for modern eyewear)


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                      • Marioun
                        ... I tried this, but my eyesight is so bad I couldnt see across the table and didnt recognize my own son...So I invested in some contacts, which even so dont
                        Message 11 of 26 , Nov 4, 2006
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                          > I do this whenever I am in an exposed position or wearing fancy
                          > headgear (usually at feast, when I don't have to see much further
                          > beyond what's going on at my table), don't have to do needlework and
                          > the event isn't too crowded.

                          I tried this, but my eyesight is so bad I couldnt see across the table
                          and didnt recognize my own son...So I invested in some contacts, which
                          even so dont compleatly correct my vision as well as glasses do, but
                          for the period of occasional weekend events, dont cause too much of a
                          problem, no headaches so far.


                          deb
                        • Andrea Hughett
                          ... I suspect that as a young lady with my poor eyesight in the 12th century, I probably would have been given to a monastery as soon as it became evident. It
                          Message 12 of 26 , Nov 6, 2006
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                            --- Francesca Tiepolo <moonlightfairy911@...>
                            wrote:

                            >
                            > I would think people back then who had poor vision
                            > just learned to compensate & their eyes adjusted
                            > naturally without them straining all the time. Signs
                            > were not always 'written' as many could not read...
                            > merchants & Inns would have signs large enough to
                            > see from a distance. If you lived for years in a
                            > town you would be familiar with things so you would
                            > know where the tree stumps, pot holes, wells etc
                            > were.
                            >

                            I suspect that as a young lady with my poor eyesight
                            in the 12th century, I probably would have been given
                            to a monastery as soon as it became evident. It would
                            most likely have worked out well, too. My near vision
                            is good enough for sewing and reading, my sisters
                            would be familiar enough that I would recognize them,
                            beyond a few feet away, by voice and general outline,
                            and furnishings would be sparse and seldom changed.

                            There is a modern trilogy (I think - it may have more
                            or less than three books) about Guenivere which
                            portrays her as nearsighted. In later life she
                            realizes that her aversion to wide open spaces may be
                            related to her poor vision. Anyone know the one I mean?

                            Andrea of Anglespur
                            kitscaa Gwervyl verch Hywel Gwyddwyllt
                            So many books, so little time!

                            __________________________________________________
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                          • asackville@juno.com
                            Hi all! The experiment went fabulously! Once I got used to the fuzziness of everything around me I had no problems. No headaches other than the one I woke up
                            Message 13 of 26 , Nov 6, 2006
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                              Hi all!

                              The experiment went fabulously! Once I got used to the fuzziness of
                              everything around me I had no problems. No headaches other than the
                              one I woke up with, which going without my glasses actually helped
                              relieve. I took my Anglo-Saxon breads and cereals class, complete with
                              handouts, took my cheesemaking class, with handouts, was asked to
                              judge some lace that was gifted to Their Majesties, did a little of my
                              own needlework (and it was easier to do without my glasses...go
                              figure), stood guard duty outside the Royalty Room, and sang a mini-
                              concert. I bought a couple of good books from Folo and actually
                              managed to read some points in one of the books. I really didn't have
                              any problems at all and I've been dependant on my glasses since I was
                              seven. It was kinda freeing, actually. Just recently there had been a
                              blow-up in my local group and I had been on the receiving end of some
                              of the flack and fall-out and without being able to see faces clearly
                              I couldn't tell if someone was pulling faces at me. That was pretty
                              cool. This is an experiment that I will not mind repeating.

                              Fionnuala
                            • Terri Morgan
                              ... ... Cool! I do it for LH demos and have found that it s about the same for me - there were some scary moments when I had to walk a block to find a
                              Message 14 of 26 , Nov 7, 2006
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                                > The experiment went fabulously!
                                <snip>
                                > Fionnuala

                                Cool! I do it for LH demos and have found that it's about the same for me -
                                there were some 'scary moments' when I had to walk a block to find a
                                bathroom and had no escort but at the same time, it was almost like I'd let
                                my eyes out of a cage for a day... kind of a weird feeling of freedom. After
                                30 years of wearing glasses as a programmed action, it was very odd and
                                rather fun to go without. Of course, where I do LH stuff, it's mostly nice,
                                grassy parks with clear differences between woodland and 'people space'. I
                                haven't tried it at someplace wild and woolly - and don't think I will.

                                But it was really neat, the way my innards relaxed, rather than tensed up,
                                as the day went on. And now I'm thinking I might try a later-period outfit
                                with a veil. I've avoided them all this time because I look like one of the
                                singing nuns from the 'Sound of Music' but without my glasses - maybe not.
                                It'd be worth it to find out. There's a whole bracket of time I don't
                                attempt because of that restriction of pride.


                                Hrothny
                                (trifocals w/2 prisms, at no less than -6.5, for those who'd like to compare
                                to their own prescription.)
                              • Sandra Dodd
                                -=-And now I m thinking I might try a later-period outfit with a veil. I ve avoided them all this time because I look like one of the singing nuns from the
                                Message 15 of 26 , Nov 7, 2006
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                                  -=-And now I'm thinking I might try a later-period outfit
                                  with a veil. I've avoided them all this time because I look like one
                                  of the
                                  singing nuns from the 'Sound of Music' but without my glasses - maybe
                                  not.
                                  It'd be worth it to find out. There's a whole bracket of time I don't
                                  attempt because of that restriction of pride.
                                  -=-

                                  Before I wore glasses, I wore wimples and veils most of the time.
                                  The glasses just don't fit with that.
                                  I have three magnifying glasses. Two can be hung on a belt. They're
                                  good for reading, or looking at embroidery and such if someone wants
                                  me to look at their work.

                                  I have to be very trusting with food. <g> The first few years I wore
                                  glasses I didn't wear them to eat. Now I do. I just want to know
                                  pepper from dirt, y'know...

                                  AElflaed

                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Francesca Tiepolo
                                  Oh I hope someone can post the title or author of that book(s) ~ would enjoy reading it!! I had to chuckle envisioning a whole monastary of nearsighted women (
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Nov 7, 2006
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                                    Oh I hope someone can post the title or author of that book(s) ~ would enjoy reading it!!

                                    I had to chuckle envisioning a whole monastary of nearsighted women ( I would have probably been there too!) wondering around 'bumping' into each other! <g>

                                    YIS

                                    Francesca Tiepolo

                                    (sorry I can't trim the post - it doesn't show me any of it in my reply to email window)



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                                  • Sharon L. Krossa
                                    ... Do keep in mind that in the Middle Ages, just like modernly, people learn to adapt and adjust to their physical disabilities that can t be fixed . The
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Nov 8, 2006
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                                      At 4:41 PM -0800 11/7/06, Francesca Tiepolo wrote:
                                      > I had to chuckle envisioning a whole monastary of nearsighted
                                      >women ( I would have probably been there too!) wondering around
                                      >'bumping' into each other! <g>

                                      Do keep in mind that in the Middle Ages, just like modernly, people
                                      learn to adapt and adjust to their physical disabilities that can't
                                      be "fixed". The relevant experience we should be considering, with
                                      regard to the medieval near-sighted and visually impaired, is not
                                      that of modern people whose sight _can_ be corrected by modern
                                      technology, but that of modern people whose sight can _not_ be
                                      corrected -- that is, those who are always visually impaired or even
                                      blind (not just when they choose not to wear their glasses).

                                      And their experience -- their ability to function, including
                                      recognizing people (by means other than clear vision), not being
                                      doomed to constantly wander around bumping into objects and people,
                                      etc. -- strongly suggests that medieval people with similar visual
                                      impairments would also be able to function. Some of the specific
                                      adaptations may be different in our different ages (e.g., a seeing
                                      eye servant/family member rather than a seeing eye dog for the blind,
                                      a generic staff rather than a special white cane with a red tip,
                                      etc.), and there would have been more things that really were simply
                                      impossible (e.g., reading for oneself, as braille did not exist --
                                      but of course, few could or needed to do that, anyway, in the Middle
                                      Ages), but the basic ability to function, and even make a living,
                                      would not have been all that different (or, if it was different, in
                                      some cases it may have been easier then than now, giving the much
                                      greater dependence on such things as reading, driving, etc., today
                                      than historically, as well as the greater emphasis on independent
                                      accomplishment, and scarcity of servants, today).

                                      And while I'm intrigued by the idea that some visually impaired women
                                      got sent off to nunneries, I'm curious is this conclusion is based on
                                      some specific research by someone? That is, what known examples do we
                                      have of visually impaired women in nunneries -- especially of women
                                      being sent to nunneries specifically because they were visually
                                      impaired?

                                      I haven't myself done any specific research into what sorts of things
                                      medieval blind and visually impaired people did, but just in general
                                      I am aware that there are known to have been medieval (and early
                                      modern, and ancient) musicians/poets/minstrels/entertainers who were
                                      blind. An example that comes immediately to my mind is "Blind Harry",
                                      who was the author of the famous 15th century epic poem about Sir
                                      William Wallace. Also, in the late 17th/early 18th century, there was
                                      O'Carolan, the famous blind Irish harper. Much earlier, of course,
                                      was Homer (who was known in the Middle Ages, too).

                                      Of course, these examples are of people who were identified as
                                      actually blind -- I suspect that discovering what the merely
                                      near-sighted did will be harder to determine, as I expect it would
                                      cause less comment.

                                      In any case, it might be interesting to collect together documented
                                      examples of occupations, etc., of historical medieval blind/visually
                                      impaired people...

                                      Sharon
                                      --
                                      Sharon Krossa, skrossa-ml@...
                                      Need help with technology for your research or teaching? Hire me!
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                                    • Sandra Dodd
                                      -=-And their experience -- their ability to function, including recognizing people (by means other than clear vision), not being doomed to constantly wander
                                      Message 18 of 26 , Nov 8, 2006
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                                        -=-And their experience -- their ability to function, including
                                        recognizing people (by means other than clear vision), not being
                                        doomed to constantly wander around bumping into objects and people,
                                        etc. -- strongly suggests that medieval people with similar visual
                                        impairments would also be able to function-=-

                                        They weren't trying to read Newsweek.
                                        (That was my first indication that I needed glasses, when I was 40--
                                        couldn't read Newsweek or Time Magazine.)

                                        If an older woman couldn't still weave or embroider, she should still
                                        have been able to spin. Maybe not LEARN to spin, but if she'd been
                                        doing it all her life, it wouldn't require sight to know whether the
                                        thread was right.

                                        AElflaed

                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • Alexis
                                        ... would enjoy reading it!! ... women ( I would have probably been there too!) wondering around bumping into each other! ... Pls tell me you both would
                                        Message 19 of 26 , Nov 8, 2006
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                                          --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, Francesca Tiepolo
                                          <moonlightfairy911@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > Oh I hope someone can post the title or author of that book(s) ~
                                          would enjoy reading it!!
                                          >
                                          > I had to chuckle envisioning a whole monastary of nearsighted
                                          women ( I would have probably been there too!) wondering
                                          around 'bumping' into each other! <g>
                                          >
                                          > YIS
                                          >
                                          > Francesca Tiepolo

                                          Pls tell me you both would have been in a Convent!!! Not to say
                                          brailing the monks might not have been fun, but way too much time
                                          doing penances.

                                          You would not have to worry about recognizing people. Just answer
                                          yes Sister and you are off the hook.

                                          BTW blind people can weave if someone sets up the loom for them.

                                          Yis,
                                          Cassandra
                                        • Terri Morgan
                                          ... Trivia point: Convents are for people who take simple vows (they can leave*), of either sex, monasteries for folks of either sex
                                          Message 20 of 26 , Nov 8, 2006
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                                            > Pls tell me you both would have been in a Convent!!!
                                            <snip of fun comment>

                                            Trivia point: "Convents" are for people who take simple vows (they can
                                            leave*), of either sex, monasteries for folks of either sex who make
                                            perpetual vows (they can't leave unless the Pope releases them from their
                                            vows).

                                            Some Orders use the two 'house designations' interchangeably while others
                                            are quite strict about which is which... but secular folks tend to think
                                            that convents are for women and monasteries are for men, usually thanks to
                                            inexact writers of fiction.


                                            But the mental image of someone 'brailing' the monks gave me a much-needed
                                            giggle.


                                            Hrothny
                                            *without losing their ability to be in Communion with the Church/God.
                                          • Cynthia J Ley
                                            ... Francesco Landini, a famous composer during the 1300 s is nearly always identified as being blind. He composed music, sang, and played the portative
                                            Message 21 of 26 , Nov 8, 2006
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                                              > In any case, it might be interesting to collect together documented
                                              > examples of occupations, etc., of historical medieval blind/visually
                                              >
                                              > impaired people...
                                              >
                                              > Sharon

                                              Francesco Landini, a famous composer during the 1300's is nearly always
                                              identified as being blind. He composed music, sang, and played the
                                              portative organ.

                                              Arlys
                                            • Robert Van Rens
                                              ... Master John of Calador, OL (Northshield) is an accomplished weaver - and he is not only blind, he lacks hands as well. Eadric the Potter
                                              Message 22 of 26 , Nov 8, 2006
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                                                >
                                                >BTW blind people can weave if someone sets up the loom for them.
                                                >
                                                >Yis,
                                                >Cassandra

                                                Master John of Calador, OL (Northshield) is an accomplished weaver - and he
                                                is not only blind, he lacks hands as well.

                                                Eadric the Potter

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                                              • Tiffany Brown
                                                ... The British BBC TV show worst jobs in History claimed that the sort of giant man powered hamster wheels used to drive cranes/winches in construction of
                                                Message 23 of 26 , Nov 8, 2006
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                                                  On 09/11/06, Sharon L. Krossa <skrossa-ml@...> wrote:
                                                  > In any case, it might be interesting to collect together documented
                                                  > examples of occupations, etc., of historical medieval blind/visually
                                                  > impaired people...

                                                  The British BBC TV show "worst jobs in History" claimed that the sort
                                                  of giant man powered hamster wheels used to drive cranes/winches in
                                                  construction of cathedrals were generally manned by blind people.
                                                  That it suited better as a fully blind person wasn't subject to the
                                                  same fear of heights when they couldn't see how far up they were
                                                  constantly. And could put in a useful days work, needing only to be
                                                  lead to work at the start of the day. This is hardly a citation, but
                                                  a starting point for research.

                                                  I can imagine a range of manual jobs being given to sightless people
                                                  eg polishing or sanding objects, braiding, turning a handle, etc. If
                                                  many were considered charity cases (feel free to object to this) then
                                                  they might be cheap labour for repeditive jobs- working only for basic
                                                  food and lodging with no extras.

                                                  Teffania
                                                • NINacide@aol.com
                                                  I think sight helps a lot when sanding or polishing. Just my 2 cents, don t mean to contradict you. Mikhail [Non-text portions of this message have been
                                                  Message 24 of 26 , Nov 8, 2006
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                                                    I think sight helps a lot when sanding or polishing. Just my 2 cents, don't
                                                    mean to contradict you.

                                                    Mikhail


                                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                  • Chris Laning
                                                    Actually, I think nearsighted people whose vision isn t corrected might have some advantage when it comes to extremely fine work. The reason for the most
                                                    Message 25 of 26 , Nov 11, 2006
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                                                      Actually, I think nearsighted people whose vision isn't corrected
                                                      might have some advantage when it comes to extremely fine work.

                                                      The reason for the most common type of nearsightedness is a
                                                      difference in the shape of the cornea, which moves the optimum focal
                                                      point closer to the eye than it is for "normal" sighted people. So
                                                      while it may be harder to focus the eye sharply at far distances,
                                                      it's actually _easier_ for nearsighted people to focus at very close
                                                      distances, closer than a normal person can focus. Being able to see
                                                      clearly at closer-than-normal distances means you don't need as much
                                                      magnification to do fine, close-up work -- though of course, HOW
                                                      close you can focus depends on just how nearsighted you are. So while
                                                      your ability to navigate in unfamiliar environments, recognize faces
                                                      at a distance, etc. might be impaired, you might actually be _more_
                                                      able to do certain tasks easily (such as fine embroidery) than your
                                                      normal-sighted companions. While some form of magnification was
                                                      available at some times and places in the Middle Ages, precisely
                                                      ground glass lenses were expensive, so being able to do without them
                                                      might be something of an advantage.

                                                      (This, of course, leaves out all the possible complications -- a good
                                                      many people who are nearsighted also have astigmatism or other visual
                                                      problems, which might interfere with good close vision as well.)

                                                      I also suspect that many people who have never experienced vision
                                                      correction might be less aware of limitations and actually might see
                                                      better than modern people who _have_ worn glasses. I can certainly
                                                      remember that when I first wore glasses (around age 8 or 9) I was
                                                      surprised at how much blurrier my vision was when I took them off
                                                      than it had been before I ever tried them.

                                                      My eye doctor later explained to me that there's a reason for this:
                                                      being able to see "clearly" is actually as much a function of the
                                                      brain as it is a function of the eye. The eye always presents the
                                                      brain with multiple images, varying in sharpness, and with time, the
                                                      brain learns to pick out the one that's clearest and ignore all the
                                                      others. Glasses, in particular (it's less true of contact lenses)
                                                      change the focal distance in such a way that the brain is forced to
                                                      choose a _different_ image than the one it would choose without
                                                      glasses -- as witness the fact that most people take a few days to
                                                      adjust to glasses with a new prescription (I always found that my
                                                      feet looked too far away until I adjusted). Then when you take the
                                                      glasses off, the brain still chooses the same (new) image, which is
                                                      now fuzzy. So someone who's never tried spectacles might very well
                                                      see a bit more clearly at a distance than someone who's used to
                                                      spectacles.

                                                      While I think most people know, I should also point out that physical
                                                      disability didn't necessarily "doom" a woman to life in a monastery.
                                                      Parents' reasons to dedicate a daughter to a monastery were many and
                                                      various, including how much it would cost to provide a marriage dowry
                                                      versus a monastery entrance fee, the daughter's own preference,
                                                      possibilities for a politically successful marriage alliance and so
                                                      forth. A disability that affected the possibility of bearing children
                                                      might well tip the balance toward monastery life, since a woman
                                                      suspected to be "barren' would be a much less attractive marriage
                                                      prospect, but I'm not sure one could say that other disabilities
                                                      would necessarily have the same effect. I don't have a lot of data on
                                                      this subject, but it would be interesting to find out to what extent
                                                      this common stereotype actually is or isn't borne out by the facts.
                                                      --
                                                      ____________________________________________________________

                                                      O (Lady) Christian de Holacombe , Shire of Windy Meads
                                                      + Kingdom of the West - Chris Laning <claning@...>
                                                      http://paternoster-row.org - http://paternosters.blogspot.com
                                                      ____________________________________________________________
                                                    • Sue Warner
                                                      ... Oh tell me about it--- My eye Dr. has *estimated* my vision at 5/1400, needless to say my *clear* vision stops about 3 inches from my nose. (I am literally
                                                      Message 26 of 26 , Nov 12, 2006
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                                                        --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, Chris Laning <claning@...> wrote:
                                                        >
                                                        > Actually, I think nearsighted people whose vision isn't corrected
                                                        > might have some advantage when it comes to extremely fine work.

                                                        >>>>>Much Snippage<<<<<

                                                        Oh tell me about it---

                                                        My eye Dr. has *estimated* my vision at 5/1400, needless to say my
                                                        *clear* vision stops about 3 inches from my nose. (I am literally at
                                                        arms length to the eye chart till I can see the "big E" on top.)

                                                        However, withen that 3 inches of clear vision I can see things that
                                                        most other people can't.

                                                        A for instance - when I was younger I had contact lenses (can't wear
                                                        them anymore-->sigh<) and I kept the right one frome the left one
                                                        straight by the code numbers around the edge. His Nurse told me that
                                                        she needed to use the microscope to see them and I wasn't supposed to
                                                        know that they were there.

                                                        I now work in the electronics devision and I can't tell you how often
                                                        my co-workers call me over to "read" the numbers on the parts. They
                                                        need to find an open microscope to read them.

                                                        So you won't find me at an event without the specs, I would be too
                                                        much of a health hazard to myself and the people around me. (tent
                                                        ropes disapear and so do the list ropes at a distace of about 3 feet.)

                                                        Mariassa Ashgrove (the near blind - thank you glasses)
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