On Being A Good Apprentice

At Cattle Raids recently I took an apprentice. You probably can tell I’ve been giving a lot of thought to that by some earlier posts. This post is about what I believe makes a successful apprentice relationship. I’ve been in several positions as the apprentice and the mentor both within the SCA and without. And my apprenticeship relationship knowledge is gleaned from my mentors. From my days as a hospital Unit Secretary when I was in my 20s to being a military wife in my 30s and later as an apprentice in the Society for Creative Anachronism. I’ve learned from people more knowledgeable than me. Some relationships were successful, long lasting friendships. Others were frustrating and tiresome. Everyone learns differently and everyone coaches differently. It’s no different in the SCA. This is what I’ve observed and what’s worked for me. You may agree or maybe you won’t. Be Purposeful Ask yourself why you want to learn from your selected possible mentor, whether peer or other esteemed person. This isn’t about what specifically you want to learn but the reason you want that particular learning experience relationship. As a service wife there’s no school to attend, but there are traditions and etiquette to follow. And you don’t want to make your military spouse look bad. That could affect their advancement and your future life. So you find a more experienced person to guide you. In the SCA you might seek an […]

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Changing Times

I’ve been in the Society for Creative Anachronism since the 1990s. And the world is a different place now. It’s no longer the “hippies” era like 1966 when the Society began. It’s a multi-cultural stew. And the SCA must adapt with it just like Dylan Thomas’ song The Times They Are a-Changin. Faced with recent serious issues people at the top are truly taking action. The Board of Directors is modernizing the way the Society operates. For its long-term viability this is a must. I am personally very pleased. I’d felt this wonderful organization’s shriveling losses, discussed it with long-time friends. Thankfully the SCA is adapting. In August 2018 the SCA mission statement changed. The “Western Europe” reference was removed leaving only the specified pre-17th century time frame. The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) is an international non-profit volunteer educational organization. The SCA is devoted to the research and re-creation of pre-seventeenth century skills, arts, combat, culture, and employing knowledge of history to enrich the lives of participants through events, demonstrations, and other educational presentations and activities. Society for Creative Anachronism But will this change affect us now? Personally as an SCA scribe I won’t have to finagle my Arts and Sciences documentation as often. I can now recreate a page from the earliest extant complete illuminated Christian manuscript and just state it comes from Ethiopia‘s Abba Garima Monastery The ancient Garima Gospels are from there and probably never left it. So until […]

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SCA Apprentice Scouting

My first published novel, ‘American Rust,’ took three and a half years of full-time work to write. But I wrote two apprentice novels before that. Philipp Meyer You probably know an apprentice is someone learning a trade. For Meyer it was writing novels. In the SCA it can be any pre-17th century craft. Or multiple crafts based on a theme you choose. In the Middle Ages apprentices were legally bound to a master craftsman. In the SCA there’s a sorta similar relationship. For laurel’s their student is called an apprentice. So, how do you become a laurel’s apprentice? Are there specific steps you follow? It’s a process. It begins when you have an affinity with an SCA Laurel. That affinity doesn’t have to be based on a shared skill, persona, or even similar Kingdoms. If you’re not already their friend and sometimes if you are, you send out feelers. You say something that lets the peer know you’d like to be more than hangout-friends. You’re scouting. Ok, but what’s the typical way you do that? Sorry folks I don’t have an answer for you. There’s no set person that must ask. Either the Laurel or the interested friend can do it. The tough part is some peers have a preference. If you think that’s case you might ask an intermediate friend to help. To act as your matchmaker. Once you both agree the next step is also fuzzy. Together you […]

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Old Age Difficulties

I have a birthday coming soon. 73. Not a decade or great milestone. I’ve simply lived thru another great year. When you’re 30 you think anyone my age would be sitting in their rocking chair with a lap-blanket warming their legs while watching soaps on TV. But my perception’s changed. In my mind I’m 53. But my body signals otherwise. Weird sleep patterns, achier hands and feet, thinning white hair, and less accommodating eye-sight. I’m fortunate people in my family live well into their 80’s. I hope to have a long journey yet to go. I do what I can to keep in shape. Tai Chi twice a week and walking miles at a nearby enclosed mall on the other days. I enjoy spirited visits with my extended family and friends. And have three crazy pets I love. I volunteer – sorta – keeping my mind active as Lonely Tower’s Social Media Officer and writing this blog. Occasionally I travel away from Lonely Tower and home. When I get a round “tuit” I have a project list to do. That’s all fun and good. Now I have an added annoyance. Clogged eye-lid ducts. My tears don’t have enough oil. It’s drying my eyes and fogging my vision. I can improve it with daily heat and eyelid washing using common baby shampoo. Thankfully it’s not a big deal. I’m up for the small challenge adjusting to my new eye-wash routine. I […]

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The Myopic Scribe

Illuminated manuscripts have the tiniest strokes details. They’re so intricate I don’t see how they were made without a visual aid. Unless….they were created by someone who could naturally see with precision. Even in the ancient world magnification was technically possible. Crystal or glass lenses were known. But no deliberately created lenses have been found from then. And Pliny didn’t […]

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Making Your SCA Life List

How many times have you sat with your SCA friends listening to stories about their experiences and creations? Did you wonder where they got the idea to do such a thing? How they even began to figure it all out?  One way to create distinctive life experiences – SCA or otherwise – is to have a Life List. I had never […]

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