On those who are entirely research-oriented

A question to the Kingdom A&S Minister, Master Philip White:

“I’m not a maker, I’m a researcher. Does the East Kingdom have an outlet for those who do research but do not make things? Is there a way to share my research with the Kingdom, or enter a research paper into a competition?”

A reply from the Minister:

ABSOLUTELY!

I know. I know. It is gauche to use all caps when typing. (Unless it is Thursday, or so I understand!) I’m just really excited. My apologies!

Still. Why my excitement?

Because I love research. Many of us love research. Even those of us who make things. Or who perform things. Because the research part helps us all be better at the things we love to do.

So, while you’re not making anything physical, you are making the knowledge part possible. You’re learning. And you’re helping the rest of us to learn too. And that’s super important to the success of our organization.

So, yes!

We want research, in all possible forms, happening. It is encouraged!

So lets look at possible outlets. Here’s just a few!

Crown’s A&S Championship Competition:

That’s right! Research papers and projects are VERY welcome at the Kingdom’s top A&S competition. In fact, our current Kingdom artisans both were selected off of research projects. Here’s a link with more information:

Other A&S competitions:

Many of our local and regional competitions welcome research entries. Some may not state it directly, so, just ask! They may be able to accommodate your entry.

We also make the Kingdom Research Rubric available for these events. So it may be entered in a format that you are used to.

A&S Display Opportunities:

Please consider A&S displays too! Not everything is a competition. Sometimes events set up space for people to share their work too. Your reseach is work! Think about sharing it!

SCA Demonstrations:

This is basically an A&S display opportunity. Just to the public! Bring out your research and have some great conversations with people. And maybe bring in new members at the same time!

The East Kingdom Gazette:

Reach out to the Curator of Feature Articles. They may be interested in working with you to publish your research!

Maybe your local branch has an active newsletter. They could want content. Publish there!

Or maybe you could publish for the SCA.

Tournaments Illuminated
The Compleat Anachronist

There may also be some subject specific SCA newsletters. Check and see if there is another place your work could be wanted.

Classes:

Classes are not always about making a thing. Or learning how to perform a thing. Sometimes they are simply set up for learning. People might use the hour with a set of PowerPoint slides or a handout and give a lecture class. Just like you might see at a modern university.

At a local event you might not get many attendees. But even a few people could be fun to share and talk with while you cover your information. Wars and Society events might be suited well for more in-depth classes.

Personal Blogs / Social Media:

Self publish! House everything you are working on at your own blog. And then share that blog with others. Put your links to the Kingdom social media pages.

Or, skip the blog, and share your work directly through social media posts. I’ve seen a number of people successfully engage others through their research work with these posts.


Now, before you head out there, a note about communicating your research.

Know your audience.

Are you writing a research paper?

That might be best for something like the East Kingdom Gazette or Crown’s A&S Championship. That’s where you will find readers.

But, attendees at a display or a demo? Or people walking by your competition piece? They will not have time to read a whole paper.

For them, you may want to have a shorter synopsis of your work that you can share with them. Maybe samples, examples, pictures, notes, and the like. Things that are engaging and help you have a conversation and teach people. That’s great. Then you could follow up with the research paper later at another date.

That said?

I’m sure there are other ways to share your research. This is just a start. And by no means an end. I only answered ways that we share research within the SCA. Some of our members publish or teach modernly and well!

Is there a way you liked to share your research? Please share here!

Is there a format of sharing research from others that really worked well for you? Please share that here too!

Remember… Have fun! Learn! Teach!

Your Servant to Command,
~p.w.

On “mean peers”

A question to the Kingdom A&S Minister, Master Philip White:

“Master P! Can you help me with something…? There’s this art I want to learn, but, the Laurels who do it are snobs. They’re hoity toity. They’re unapproachable. What should I do?”

A reply from the Minister:

Let me try this. I’ll start with my reply, but then, add two stories to help illustrate my thoughts.

First, where are these assumptions coming from?

How do you know someone is a snob? How do you know they are hoity toity? How do you know they are unapproachable?

Where’s that coming from?

Is it because of the way they dress? Because they wear fancy dress-up Court clothing all the time? Is it because of whom they hang out with? Because they might be serving on the Crown’s retinue? Is it because of how they talk? How they laugh? How they smile?

Are you projecting something about their behavior?

Could it be how you were raised? Or the social norms you grew up with? Were you taught it was inappropriate to talk to others first? Were you raised to show respect by not approaching people in charge? Do you have cultural inhibitions playing a part of how you see others?

Is something else influencing you?

It could be your own biases coming into it. Your own prejudices. Your own past experiences interfering with your opportunities to learn. Or it could be the influence of your friends or your household. All of that could be coming into it when you judge someone as a snob or as unapproachable.

So, maybe try this?

Pause for a moment.

Be careful making judgments about people you don’t know. Be cautious making assumptions about people you’ve never even talked to. Or maybe only talked to once. Or just met in passing. First impressions can also be misleading.

Think about where these judgments are coming from. Maybe this has nothing to do with the Laurel at all. And maybe it has to do with your past experiences.

Remember, Laurels are people too. And, really, all Peers, at the end of the day, are people.

We might have bad days. We might have a frowns on our faces. We might have a headache. We might say the wrong thing. We might stick our feet in our mouths. We might make mistakes. We might have personalities that don’t match. We might have trouble making eye contact. We might be self-conscious. We might have imposter syndrome.

We’re people. We’re not perfect.

But for all that? We do try.

We love the arts and sciences. We love learning. We love teaching. We love building our communities.

So, give us a chance. Get past the assumptions and the pre-conceived notions. And share in the arts and sciences with us.

Here. Let me share some personal examples now. A couple of stories.

Story 1.

Me? I know that people call me snobbish, or hoity toity, or unapproachable. And it makes me sad. Because I try very hard to be friendly.

I also really like to dress up. It is one of the reasons I am in the SCA. And something I have done from the very very beginning of my SCA activity. I like pretty fancy clothing. I have spent lots of time researching my garments. I have spent lots of effort assembling my clothes. My friends have spent a good deal of effort making clothing for me. And I have searched out merchants who can help me with my look, too.

And, yes, just because I dress this way, people can find me unapproachable. These are people who have never even talked to me. I’ve not done anything, except dress up.

Story 2.

I was new to the East. Sure, I moved in as a Peer into the Kingdom. But I still didn’t know anyone. I was always self-conscious about fitting in. I was always worried people wouldn’t like me. (Sometimes I still am!) I was always afraid to meet people.

I remember seeing Mistress Eloise Coulter at events. She always looked impeccable. Her kit was perfection. Her composure always maintained. The more I learned about her the more impressed I was by her. She was a Landed Baroness. She was a Laurel and Pelican. She had decades of service and artistic contributions to the Kingdom. She was one of the best scribes in the Kingdom. She was the epitome of “The Dream” to me.

And I found her completely unapproachable.

Was that her fault? No. Not at all. It was wholly on me. It was my peer fear. My insecurities. My issues.

Thankfully, a common friend eventually introduced us. And I learned that she’s quite remarkable as a person. And one of the people I am most thankful to know. I’m sad that my inhibitions didn’t give us a chance to be friends earlier.

So?

Let’s give each other a try. Let’s forgive ourselves for making assumptions. Let’s forgive each other for having the occasional bad day. And let’s figure out how we can pursue awesome artistic adventures together.

Not sure how to go about it?

Walk up and say hello at an event. Let them know what you’re interested in. And ask about when you could talk more. They might be busy already! So, give them a chance to make another time to talk more.

Send an email! Introduce yourself and share with them what you’re interested in. Ask if they can help, or, if there is someone they think might be better to assist you.

Attend one of their classes and use that as a chance to meet them. Teachers expect to meet people while teaching. So, if you’re worried about being an imposition, this could be a great place to get past that issue.

Ask a friend to introduce you. Or maybe one of the local A&S officers. Or really ask anyone to help you. Get an introduction so that you don’t have to do it on your own.

You’re waning to learn. They may want to teach you. But, they can’t know unless you say something. Give it a chance! It may not work. But at least you have tried!

Remember… Have fun! Learn! Teach!

Your Servant to Command,
~p.w.