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Re: [Authentic_SCA] Re: Experiment

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 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
          >
          > 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 4 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 5 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 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.)



                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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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 17 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 18 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 19 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 20 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 21 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 22 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 23 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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