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5208Re: peers,pels.laurels, proteges & apprentices (older thread)

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  • jenny tavernier
    Aug 3, 2005
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      Over on the Aten list(az) there has recently been some discussion and forwarded details - and not only to find out that my best first lady friend is wearing a yellow belt -
      I remember that there was discussion here of choice - ,do you need -if you chose) and thought I'd send this on - (aside from it is grist for a bardic lay) it's a bit long - but in having observed one 1st hand - (a pel and her protoge) At highlands war -
      should one choose to go this route - it was rather a magical and touching and amazing interplay
      Posted with permission by the author.

      A discussion on the Protonet egroup asking about those who are on the list who are not in a Peer/Student relationship.

      This is an extremely touching missive in reflection to how important and meaningful a student/Peer relationship can be.

      To inspiration:

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Kat Robinson
      Subject: [ProtoNet] Associates, peers, households and the like

      Quite honestly, I am jealous.

      Now, first off, I took my own sweet time picking a Peer... the utter lack of Pels in Arkansas for so long had a lot to do with that.  I was very fortunate to end up with Carlwyn.  It was one of those great little matches you don't often find.  We ended up somehow in the same tent at Gulf Wars for a full week while I learned the ropes doing Info Point and he was the War Herald.  We found out we were an awful lot alike -- right down to our SCA interests and the cars we drove!

      Even when Carlwyn made me the offer, I didn't decide right away.  That has a lot to do with the fact that he sent his offer by email the night of September 10th, 2001 -- and I had just opened and read his email when all hell broke loose in New York... me being a newsie, that was it.  I dropped him a line back and begged for time, which he graciously gave me.  It was nearly two months later when I finally accepted his belt at Samhain.

      Living 10 hours apart meant we didn't spend much time together in person.  There were a lot of emails, and a few phone calls.  He even drove all the way over to attend Diamond Wars the year I was learning the autocrat ropes there, to give me a backup and meet all these people I had been talking about for so long.

      Last time I saw him was at my proto-brother's wedding.  I was still recovering from a banged up ankle and hobbling around (my husband would have been very upset with me if he'd known I wasn't using my crutches!).  Somehow or another I didn't see how ill Carlwyn was... he never, NEVER talked about it.

      We continued to email each other for another month or so.  Life was turning into trash for me as it was -- my grandfather had just passed away, my husband lost his job (the day we came back from my grandfather's funeral), and I was just feeling a very heavy loss of confidence.  I had just taken over as Diamond Pursuivant and felt like I was beating my head against a wall trying to secure Gleann Abhann's heraldic autonomy.  Carlwyn's last few emails to me were the best advice I could receive -- keep your chin up, head high, and never let them see you sweat.  He told me everyone loses their jobs -- in fact, he was looking for a new one himself.  He assured me that everyone loses people in their lives... it's just something that happens, you deal and go on.  And he gave me this sage piece of advice... "cows come, cows go, but the bull goes on forever."

      And then the emails stopped.  It was weeks before I found out he'd had a stroke, and the Carlwyn I knew was virtually gone.  I went to Gulf Wars, and was struck the first day with a strange request -- to take over the job as War Herald.  I was utterly unprepared, but something in me kept saying "What Would Carlwyn do?"  It became my mantra that week.  I'd prepared for that job for years, and I didn't do the job I wanted to (I KNOW I could have done better with a little prep time) but I did my best.

      That week was really hard.  As people came in through the week, they brought in updates -- none of them good.  I really wanted to go see him, but what good would it have done?  He didn't recognize anyone -- how should I have expected him to recognize me?

      Two weeks later was Meridian 25th Year.  I was preparing to go... I still hadn't heard anything since Gulf Wars but knew someone there would be able to let me know more.  And then I saw a posting on the Tavern Yard that Carlwyn was dead.  THAT hurt.  I got in touch with Mistress Christina, his wife... she was so sorry, she hadn't been able to reach me by phone and she was upset I had to find out that way.

      I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Carlwyn's memorial service at Dreamstone.  And there I met a lot of people who'd known him for years, who could tell me so much I didn't know about him.  I'd only known him for a couple of years (okay -- more if you count those times we met in passing at this and that sort of heraldic deal) but these were people who'd shared 20 years in his company.

      For a while after that I was sad... and angry.  It wasn't fair that I didn't have much time with my Peer.  It just wasn't fair.  I felt robbed of a great opportunity.  Why did this have to happen?

      Over time, the pain lessened.  And I realized that I was part of something special for a brief moment in time.  I'm blessed to have had such a great Peer.  And in the end, that's what matters.

      Well, it's been over two years now.  I still think of Carlwyn.  Sometime's he's my Jiminy Cricket -- my second conscience helping me think things out.  He'd probably be on my case for taking on so much -- with the feast last weekend and the feast at the end of this month, and especially the Known World Heraldic and Scribal Symposium next year.  THAT little seed started at a table at the 2002 KWHSS in Orlando, where he and I and my husband and a whole lot of people with thick bands and coronets on their heads sat around and nodded and prodded me on as I postulated on whether Gleann Abhann could do a KWHSS... in New Orleans.  Well -- almost everyone had a coronet on.  Everyone at that table was telling me I should do it -- and Carlwyn spoke up and said it was my decision to make.  Carlwyn, wherever you are, I hope you're not too mad.  I'm pretty sure I can pull this off.

      I've wondered what the relationship is really like, though.  I hear a lot of my fellow proteges here in Gleann Abhann talk about going over to see their Peer, and what sort of experiences they're sharing.  Sometimes I feel a little jealous.  But the short of it is, it took me a long time to choose a Peer, and I'm not going to just jump into the relationship again with someone.  I feel flak for this... there are a couple of Pels in Meridies who have made me feel as if I shouldn't be wearing my belt after all this time.  -I- feel I should wear it... to me, that's my choice.  And if they don't consider me to be a protege, well, that's their problem.  I still do.

      I am fortunate to have a good household, though... my own family, so to say.  I find myself doing more with each person in Golden Panther these days.  Even outside the SCA, these relationships are the ones that seem truly important.  And I don't do so many events anymore.  I was going to two or three a month.  Now I make it a point to spend as much time as I can with my husband, brother, and mother.

      Whether I'll ever reach a point to be recognized as a Peer... right now doesn't really matter.  It did when I was belted, but my priorities have changed.  I've spent most of the last year (at least since I stepped down as Diamond at Diamond Wars) researching food, and learning a whole lot.  Once I'm past the second feast this month, I'll start seriously doing the rest of what needs to be done to put on a KWHSS... I have a very competant staff that's been very patient with me.  Past that... I don't know.  My husband jokes I'm too busy to have a Peer! 

      Boy, that's longwinded.  As you can tell, I'm still a little emotional about being a protegee, period.  But it's what I'm comfortable with.

      Thanks for reading my short novel.

      THL Katryne MacIntosh the Strange (Kat the Strange) of Gleann Abhann

      nightcapped, gowned,
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      which pained the housekeeper no end

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