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Re: Experiment

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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

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                • 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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@...
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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 16 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 17 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 18 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 19 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 20 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 21 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 22 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 23 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 24 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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