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Re: [SCA Newcomers] Authenticity as an OPTION for newcomers

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  • Milica of Varna
    That s what he needs, another career! :-P Milica ... d -- ************************************************************************************** THL
    Message 1 of 11 , Jul 1, 2004
      <snort!> That's what he needs, another career! :-P

      Milica

      On Thursday 01 July 2004 18:42, Lisa Briner wrote:
      > Once again, Justin, you are the voice of reason. (Have you considered a
      > career in conflict management?)
      >
      > Thank you,
      > Ysabel
      >
      >
      d

      --
      **************************************************************************************

      THL Milica of Varna
      Middle Kingdom Chronicler
      chronicler@...

      **************************************************************************************
    • Milica of Varna
      Boy can I relate! My first event, as well as Justin s, was Pennsic. I can t say that I was really scared, but intimidated, yes. So many people in fancy garb
      Message 2 of 11 , Jul 1, 2004
        Boy can I relate! My first event, as well as Justin's, was Pennsic. I can't
        say that I was really scared, but intimidated, yes. So many people in fancy
        garb and brass hats. What I did learn is that most of them were not only
        friendly and very nice, but also delighted to answer all the crazy questions
        I put to them.

        When we decided to attempt to start a shire several years later, we made many
        mistakes, but again, we were fortunate to find many kind people in the SCA
        who were patient with our foibles and willing to gently guide us.

        I guess that's why I'm still playing 14 years later. :-)

        Milica

        On Thursday 01 July 2004 20:01, Kirianna wrote:
        > Three years later, we'll be trying it again. We'll be attending a rather
        > large event. I'm excited again. But I tell ya... it IS scary. We are
        > truly newbies, and will probably make mistakes. I only hope that when
        > corrected the next time, it will be done so tactfully and tastefully as
        > I do want to be corrected if I do something wrong and I certainly want
        > to learn!

        --
        **************************************************************************************

        THL Milica of Varna
        Middle Kingdom Chronicler
        chronicler@...

        **************************************************************************************
      • tori T
        Brangwayna, I was not trying to attack you or say anything bad about you, I m sorry if it seemed that way. Things in your first post were a bit rash and harsh,
        Message 3 of 11 , Jul 1, 2004
          Brangwayna,
          I was not trying to attack you or say anything bad about you, I'm sorry if it seemed that way. Things in your first post were a bit rash and harsh, and it seemed to me (and I may not be the only one) that the bed sheet and dollar-a-yard comments that I made you were saying "no it should not be done this way at all". I was only offering beginners advice that I was given. Not always is it assumed that newbies are incapable of doing anything turely period. This past winter at the winter moot in the canton of wolfhome, principality of northshield, we had classes on true period fabrics. we even went to walmart and browsed the fabric showing examples of what was and was not true period. we were also taught what would be acceptable for those of us who didn't at the time WANT to put a lot of money into it. all of the newbies were especially encouraged to go with for this class. maybe we have different opinions because we have had different experences, and I'm willing to accept that since no
          one is the same, and no place is the same. maybe next time it might be a little bit better to express that it is an opinion, and I do thank you for offering the advice that you did, because frankly I didn't know about some of the things you had said. again I do appologize if it seemed like I was trying to attack you. I wasn't.
          Antonia

          bronwynmgn@... wrote:
          In a message dated 7/1/2004 3:55:19 PM Eastern Standard Time,
          scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com writes:

          <<That is the reason why our
          corpora states that the only requirement is that you make an 'attempt"
          at pre-seveteenth century clothing. We do not want to restrict them. We
          want them to come and to learn and to play. Maybe someday they will
          convert as you did, maybe they will not. >>

          Why is it always assumed that newcomers are incapable of handling information
          about how to make accurate clothes? That's an insult to our newcomers.
          I presented a well-reasoned argument about why it may (note: *may*, not is,
          or is the only right way, or anything else coercive) be more practical to go
          with period options from the beginning, and I got told that I'm being
          unreasonable, that I'm elitist, that I must be rolling in money or throwing it away to
          the exclusion of other things - and that I am going to drive every newcomer who
          encounters me away. In short, because I'm an authenticist, I am, of course,
          pushy, overbearing, and think everyone must play the game the same way I do or
          they are WRONG. If you re-read my post in the "Fabric Choices" thread, you
          will see that I never ONCE said using cheap fabric was wrong; I compared the
          two options and stated that *in my opinion and experience* the use of period
          fabric was better - not RIGHT, just better. But I then get told that I'm
          ragging on people, that I am "restricting people", and that I am somehow preventing
          them from coming and learning and playing, simply because I presented a
          minority opinion of how to come and learn and play. How can I be "restricting
          people" or "preventing them from learning" when I'm offering another option of how
          to play this game, which has not been presented to them before? I'm
          broadening their options and their chances to learn something, not restricting them.

          How about the newcomers who come in (and I've encountered a sizeable
          minority of them over the last 14 years) who WANT an authentic experience, who want
          to learn about how things were really done, and get disillusioned when
          everybody tells them they can just fudge it like everybody else, and they never get
          to find the people who they want to talk to because everybody else steers them
          away from us and tells them how terrible we are or just neglects to tell them
          we exist at all? Those people go away and either find other groups to play
          in, and tell stories about how everyone in the SCA are all boobs who can't tell
          history from sword and sorcery novels, and us calling ourselves an
          "educational organization" is a joke, or drop out of the history scene entirely. That
          benefits nobody.

          I don't care if people choose to use cheap fabrics because they are just
          getting started, or for any other reason that seems good to them, as long as they
          are making an informed decision. I'll even help them make their standard SCA
          T-tunic or wench garb out of their old bedsheet if that's what they decide
          they really want to do after learning about all the options. Heck, I just taught
          a newcomer to my shire the old chemise cheat I was taught when I joined, and
          gave her and her daughters some of my old clothes that I don't wear anymore
          because they aren't accurate enough for my tastes. We'd talked about period
          options and they decided they aren't really interested until one of them learns
          to sew better.

          What I mind is that newcomers are never given the chance to make an informed
          choice, because no one even offers them the period option. They are told how
          to do things based on SCA cheats and tradition. People assume that because
          these are newcomers they a) aren't interested in anything else, b) can't handle
          the information ("it will scare them away"), c) will be content to do the
          SCAdian shortcuts until they've been around some undetermined number of years,
          and d) at all costs must be kept away from those authenticity people who will
          force them at swordpoint to go to the fabric store and spend all their money on
          wool and linen - or buy and raise a flock of sheep and make their own wool,
          not to mention growing their own linen, building their own loom with a
          pocketknife, and so on.

          I never even heard about either period construction methods or even what
          period fabrics were until I'd been in the SCA for about 5 or 6 years, because
          nobody ever mentioned it to me. I never knew that what scadians had taught me
          about how to make period clothes was entirely incorrect, and that mattered to
          me, even as a newcomer. I found out by doing my own research and finding out
          I'd been wrong all along, and it took me another three or 4 years to find out
          that there is a thriving group of Scadians, some new, some not, who are deeply
          interested in authenticity and helping people get started with it - not forcing
          them to, just making the information available for those who want it. That's
          not right. All the options should be presented equally, valued equally, and
          the newcomer allowed to choose how they want to play the game. That's all I'm
          trying to do - present another option.


          Brangwayna Morgan
          Shire of Silver Rylle, East Kingdom
          Lancaster, PA


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        • Mackenzie
          ... experience, ... my garb ... Ditto. I spent 4 or 5 months researching everything I could find about fabrics, construction, names, anything I could think of.
          Message 4 of 11 , Jul 1, 2004
            > >>How about the newcomers who come in (and I've encountered a sizeable
            > minority of them over the last 14 years) who WANT an authentic
            experience,
            > who want
            > to learn about how things were really done, and get disillusioned when
            > everybody tells them they can just fudge it like everybody else,
            >
            > Count me as one of those newcomers. I want to be more authentic in
            my garb
            > for MYSELF.

            Ditto.

            I spent 4 or 5 months researching everything I could find about
            fabrics, construction, names, anything I could think of. That started
            a year and a half ago. Five months ago I used 12th Century Fashion
            for English Women as the topic of my research paper in school, and did
            it all from memory (luckily I documented a lot of what was in my
            notebook, the rest I just fudged around to find sources for). The
            teacher said she could tell I was interested in it, and that it was
            well-researched. Simple being interested in something is enough to
            start that spark that'll grow into the need to study everything you
            can. I'm currently restraining myself from reading Le Morte D'Arthur
            since I want to save it for reading in school. If anyone's interested
            in that time period I can type the report into my computer (it has
            crashed since then, but I have a paper copy) and you guys can see
            what's really authentic, even if you choose to use just the
            construction techniques (a wise choice, it will save much more fabric
            than will darts, flares, or princess seams) and use random cheap fabric.

            Maybe the prices are slightly easier for me since I'm in high school
            and don't really have any financial commitments except what I choose
            to commit to: buying the clothes I want so I'm not taken to K-Mart for
            my clothes (Kohls, WalMart, I don't have a problem, but K-Mart is for
            little kids or adults, they don't even have t-shirts that I know of)
            or buying CDs or a new guitar. But then, in my area the average
            annual family income is $40,000, which I am of course no where near at
            $5 an hour every other week for 3 months a year (uh, try dividing it
            by 100).

            Even after all that research, I still haven't sewn anything, just in
            case there's something I'm missing (I think I got it all now, my dress
            pattern was approved by an long-time-member), so now I just need a
            ride to the fabric store since I got everything in my head, on paper,
            and online that I could need to know to make garb.
          • Tirloch O'Riordain
            ... There was no insult implied or meant. I was merely stating what the corpora states, as information for any new people who may have been confused by this
            Message 5 of 11 , Jul 2, 2004
              bronwynmgn@... wrote:

              > Why is it always assumed that newcomers are incapable of handling
              > information
              > about how to make accurate clothes? That's an insult to our newcomers.


              There was no insult implied or meant. I was merely stating what the
              corpora states, as information for any new people who may have been
              confused by this thread. There is nothing wrong with trying to instruct
              new people about period fabrics and period methods. I encourage it. At
              the same time, they should know that these methods will not be required
              of them. The SCA has written minimum standards, which is the only thing
              I was trying to point out.

              >
              > I presented a well-reasoned argument about why it may (note: *may*,
              > not is,
              > or is the only right way, or anything else coercive) be more practical
              > to go
              > with period options from the beginning, and I got told that I'm being
              > unreasonable, that I'm elitist, that I must be rolling in money or
              > throwing it away to
              > the exclusion of other things - and that I am going to drive every
              > newcomer who
              > encounters me away. In short, because I'm an authenticist, I am, of
              > course,
              > pushy, overbearing, and think everyone must play the game the same way
              > I do or
              > they are WRONG. If you re-read my post in the "Fabric Choices"
              > thread, you
              > will see that I never ONCE said using cheap fabric was wrong; I
              > compared the
              > two options and stated that *in my opinion and experience* the use of
              > period
              > fabric was better - not RIGHT, just better. But I then get told that I'm
              > ragging on people, that I am "restricting people", and that I am
              > somehow preventing
              > them from coming and learning and playing, simply because I presented a
              > minority opinion of how to come and learn and play. How can I be
              > "restricting
              > people" or "preventing them from learning" when I'm offering another
              > option of how
              > to play this game, which has not been presented to them before? I'm
              > broadening their options and their chances to learn something, not
              > restricting them.


              I apologize if you feel that any personal attack was made. My comment
              about not wanting to "restrict" them was not made at you. I was pointing
              out that the SCA has a very low minimum standard, and that there is a
              reason for this. While many recreation groups are very stringent about
              "period", the SCA, inc. made the conscious decision not to be. This
              decision was made so that we (the SCA) would not be restrictive. It was
              made to encourage people to participate and to have fun. There are very
              period medieval recreation groups out there. One of them is the Regia
              Anglorum, which is extremely authenticity based. None of them have the
              membership numbers that we enjoy. One of the reasons for this is that we
              as a Society, are much less stringent. While I agree that teaching new
              people about period methods is a good thing, I disagree on how it should
              be presented. I think that it should be presented as an option, but not
              as a superior option. We are not an authenticity based group, in many
              respects we are not even an actual recreationist group. We are an
              historical interest group. While this may bother many people drawn to
              the actual recreation aspect of the Society, it is the trade off that we
              have that allows so many people to play. If authenticity is your major
              concern, the Regia Anglorum is branching out from the U.K. to the U.S.
              and I can get you their contact information if you wish.

              > How about the newcomers who come in (and I've encountered a sizable
              > minority of them over the last 14 years) who WANT an authentic
              > experience, who want
              > to learn about how things were really done, and get disillusioned when
              > everybody tells them they can just fudge it like everybody else, and
              > they never get
              > to find the people who they want to talk to because everybody else
              > steers them
              > away from us and tells them how terrible we are or just neglects to
              > tell them
              > we exist at all? Those people go away and either find other groups to
              > play
              > in, and tell stories about how everyone in the SCA are all boobs who
              > can't tell
              > history from sword and sorcery novels, and us calling ourselves an
              > "educational organization" is a joke, or drop out of the history scene
              > entirely. That
              > benefits nobody.


              I have had similar experiences. Many people I have known from collegiate
              history departments that find the SCA, often find it much too open and
              loose to actually interest them. The SCA often embraces Arthurian Legend
              history over actual historical practices. This is even evident in our
              highest orders of the Knighthood, Pelican, and Laurel. They are our
              system, but they are not compatible with actual historical systems. The
              thing is, that some of us learn to accept this breaks, because of the
              other things that this Society offers us. Others cannot accept this, and
              they leave. While this is a loss to our Society, I personally can see no
              easy fix for this. My recommendation for people who really want a
              historical authentic experience is to a) find the others in the SCA who
              play this way (such as Caraidoc of the Bow and his enchanted ground at
              Pennsic) and play as they do by setting an example. b) find a group that
              actually creates an historical authentic experience.

              As for the comment: "...because everybody else steers them away from us
              and tells them how terrible we are or just neglects to tell them we
              exist at all?" I assume that you are speaking of authenticity
              supporters? While I agree with you that they sometimes get the wrong end
              of the stick (that's a Roman reference by the way for you historical
              people), they also can be rather adamant about trying to impose their
              beliefs on people who do not follow this methodology. Just as you have
              seen people discouraged because they wish authenticity, others have been
              discouraged because of rude authenticity supporters. This list should
              present both arguments, but it should do so without any judgments, or
              recriminations. Merely as "these are your options".

              > I never even heard about either period construction methods or even what
              > period fabrics were until I'd been in the SCA for about 5 or 6 years,
              > because
              > nobody ever mentioned it to me. I never knew that what scadians had
              > taught me
              > about how to make period clothes was entirely incorrect, and that
              > mattered to
              > me, even as a newcomer. I found out by doing my own research and
              > finding out
              > I'd been wrong all along, and it took me another three or 4 years to
              > find out
              > that there is a thriving group of Scadians, some new, some not, who
              > are deeply
              > interested in authenticity and helping people get started with it -
              > not forcing
              > them to, just making the information available for those who want it.
              > That's
              > not right. All the options should be presented equally, valued
              > equally, and
              > the newcomer allowed to choose how they want to play the game. That's
              > all I'm
              > trying to do - present another option.


              That may simply be due to the area, or group with which you started. I
              do not find this attitude prevalent within our Barony or for that matter
              our Kingdom as a whole. I believe that most people are exposed to the
              many options that are open to them. I think that the main difference is
              that while they are taught the different options, that no one option is
              presented as being "better" than any other. I am sorry that you feel
              that you were somehow cheated by your early experiences, and happy that
              you did find that place that is good and comfortable for you. My opinion
              of this list, and of being a Chatelain, is merely to help new people
              find that same place for themselves.

              Your Servant,

              Tirloch
            • bronwynmgn@aol.com
              In a message dated 7/2/2004 4:11:54 PM Eastern Standard Time, scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com writes:
              Message 6 of 11 , Jul 5, 2004
                In a message dated 7/2/2004 4:11:54 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com writes:

                <<If authenticity is your major
                concern, the Regia Anglorum is branching out from the U.K. to the U.S.
                and I can get you their contact information if you wish.>>

                Regia Anglorum, a primarily Anglo-Saxon era group, does neither 12th century
                English, which is my particular area of interest, nor 14th century English,
                which is my husband's area. La Belle Compagnie, a group here in the US, does
                14th century, which might work for my husband, but leaves no outlet for my
                interest in the 12th century. There is no "authentic" reenactment group in which
                both my husband and I can indulge our primary areas of interest at the same
                time. Neither of us is interested in switching to the other's time period, nor
                do we consider involvement in two separate groups to be feasible in terms of
                both time and money outlay, not to mention the fact that it would mean we either
                can't pursue our hobbies together or we would both have to go in-depth in
                areas we simply aren't interested in.
                The SCA is literally the only group out there that allows us both to
                participate in our specific areas of interest at the same time. Counseling people who
                want more authenticity to find another group that would meet their needs
                better ignores the facts that a) authenticity can be done in the SCA in a
                satisfying manner, and b) that there may simply be no other such group available.


                Brangwayna Morgan
                Shire of Silver Rylle, East Kingdom
                Lancaster, PA


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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