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Why we serve

Since becoming a peer, and particularly since becoming a landed baroness, there's often this moment where I go to take action and three or more people leap to stop me. Now, I have accepted that I will often not carry my own things - though this is sometimes difficult. I have accepted that I will often delegate a problem solved that I would have often taken care of myself - though this too is difficult.

But there's a reason that sometimes at the end of feast James and I stealth off to the kitchen to grab pots and towels and dirty dishes. There's a reason sometimes we are found with coronets safely tucked aside as we move tent poles or hold stakes or wield a hammer, or why sometimes we even unload our own thrones from the car when there are hands nearby to help. There is a reason when people say "I want you happy at the event" that my response is always "I want the populace happy. We are here for you."

Understand that it is not because we do not wish assi…
Recent posts

The importance of the journey and the destination

A lot of time, as a peer, the discussion comes up of "what do you do to become a peer?"  "What steps do you take?" "Are there jobs or goals?" "How long does it take?"

While the answer to all of that is - yes, there are certain tasks and jobs you can take on that will get you the recognition or experience that peerages look for, there's a far more important question to ask.

Why are you worrying?

Goal is setting is *fabulous* and I absolutely commend you if becoming a peer is something you want to do someday and you have that as one of your things you'd like to happen.  It's good to keep goals like that in mind as you make choices and, particularly, because peerage is a reflection (we hope) of a better self we hope to be in service to the Dream.  If you want to someday be a peer, acting like one is a good step - being chivalrous, discreet, working hard, and all those other qualities we discuss.

But a better question is are you enjoyin…

Growth mindset

This post is a two-fer, relevant to both the SCA and to my work as an educator.

We are reading a book called "Mindset" for our professional development book this year at our school. I'm at a new school this year and it was a book that was readily available and encouraged in my old school so this is actually my second read of this particular theory.  Really, I'm posting about it today because the subject of "panic!" came up in discussion.  I don't like panic. Panic shuts your brain down and stops you from making decisions. Panic doesn't help. Panic, really, just gets the heck in the way of getting things done in my life. Whenever possible, I try to not panic. It is, in general, much more beneficial for me to take a step back and instead of being upset, try to figure out how to fix whatever situation it is that is causing the upset.  Sometimes that is managing a tremendous amount of mentor activity at work. Sometimes that is trying to figure out why l…

On new apprentices

This weekend I am taking my first apprentices since having become a laurel about a year ago. The timing is marginally off as one of them is about to give birth so we bumped belting up a few weeks so I didn't have to orchestrate around birthing schedules. Good that.

This is a learning curve for me but one I'm enjoying.  I already work very well with all three of these ladies and they have been my students formally for several months now. They also get along with my existing household as I have not split off to form my own after my elevation.

The fun - and learning part - is learning to understand their backgrounds. It's very easy to assume that someone you are taking as a student knows less than you about "all the things." In truth, that's rarely true. Tatiana can school me in the general organizational finances of a group and knows more about Russian history than I ever will.  Toki has all of this incredible drawing skill and is an awesome and ever improving …

St-st-studio

Bonus generational points if you get the title reference.  Someone on the SCA scribes group recently asked what folks work spaces looked like so it's time for some studio pictures.  One of the requirements of buying our house was that my lord needed his own office and I needed my own studio space. Scribing is - by no means - the only art I work on and so having space where projects can get laid out, left out, and worked on without interference from furry felines or the rest of the world is extremely important for me.



 This first one is my main work space.  It's a little cluttered looking here but mostly that's poor lighting as it's late afternoon in these pictures. This is my central desk with light coming in from a side window, an overhead fan light, and a desk lamp. I also have an ott lite that isn't shown here. Love the rolling chair and the laminate wood flooring (great for spills).   The phoenix on the wall was painted by me and is a stylized design given to m…

Happiness inside yourself

There's an interesting phenomenon I sometimes encounter in the SCA - and in the mundane world as well - wherein the idea of self-satisfaction has been completely removed from the individual and placed upon others. This sometimes plays off mildly with moments of cranky and sometimes seems to lead to intense dissatisfaction with almost everything.

There are two key facets to this I've been contemplating.  The first is that someone else doing something they enjoy does not reduce or depreciate the thing you enjoy.  We all have vastly different interests and its important that we give ourselves - and our populace - the opportunity to pursue those interests.   Events do better when they are open to any number of those interests and offer activities that hit more than one area. We've seen this again and again with "specific" events that cater to only one subsection which then do substantially better if other interest areas are pulled in in various ways (Art Sci and Scot…

Courtesy and Being a Peer

This one's a bit rambling but is something I'm contemplating.

Courtesy tends to be a double edged sword. We seek it as a laudable quality but the practitioners of it who value it the most are sometimes then caught by it as we try to maintain it around those are acting discourteously.

I have a pretty strong stance on addressing issues of rudeness or discourteous behavior. I am strongly in the camp of "if it's not addressed it will continue to happen" but I struggle with how best to do this, both as a person and as a peer.  There is, in the end, no one right answer I suppose which is why its something we always struggle with.

 I have realized I don't like the internet for these purposes - FB and email and other electronic forums lack the force of having a face to back an opinion and make it easy for arguments to spiral out of control with name calling and commentary, often from parties who have nothing to do with the original problem.  On the other hand, discou…