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Thoughts of the Lady in the Tower

2004-06-16 - 1:54 p.m.

Attendance at A&S Classes

The class went well last night. I stayed out way too late and am paying for it today, though. Bleh.

Molly was an interesting addition to the class. I call it a directed discussion, or a lecture/discussion, but I don't think I've ever been interrupted so many times by the same person! Not that I minded, for the most part it was good stuff, but it was still awfully amusing.

I was a bit disappointed in the attendance . . . just three people showed up. The A&S classes have been suffering a bit from apathy, but I don't know how to encourage people to show up.

Molly is the A&S officer, and she's been keeping attendance at these things, too. I wonder if we could somehow turn that into something worthy of recognition each year for Baronial Birthday? Perhaps a small presentation at court (or at feast if too much is going on) thanking people who've taught and attended. I dunno . . .

During a discussion in my other journal, it was mentioned that one of the purposes of awards is to tell the community what types of things are important. I don't know that we need a specific award to encourage attendance/participation at A&S nights, but certainly calling people up and handing out tokens wouldn't be a bad thing.

On the other hand, the Mark of Excellence is a "you did something cool, here's a medallion!" for the first one, and after that you get an "augmentation" for later Marks (I've been told it's a bead to hang on the string of the medallion). It's set up for getting multiples, but in looking through the Order of Precedence I notice that there are FEW augmentations. Why not use that existing award more?

One of the things I added to this class was discussion of religious stuff that your persona would have: would they have a Book of Hours or a set of Prayer Beads that they would carry around? So we digressed a bit into Books of Hours (I passed around my copy of Mary of Burgundy with the leather cover and the same size as the original manuscript; I love that book!). At one point someone mentioned having an A&S class where everyone produces a cloth bound belt book (the type you stick in or on your belt, patterned after some of the Books of Hours, but you could do it as a notebook to write stuff in, or a cover for the book you're currently reading or whatever).

I've been pondering A&S classes and the low attendance . . . often we gear them towards learning a 'skill' and I wonder if we shouldn't (also) gear them towards making one THING to take home with you. Would people feel better about the class if they had something to take with them to the next event?

For instance, I took a card weaving class from Molly. While it was great fun, I need ANOTHER craft like I need a hole in my head! It's to the point now where I try to avoid learning another craft so I can finish the projects that I have (I'm a chronic craft butterfly, flitting from one to the next). So now (6 months later) I haven't TOUCHED the card weaving and I feel horribly guilty.

For another example, an Italian Laurel up here (I forget which group) recently announced that she would take a day and help fit X number of people for Italian garb: they would walk out of the class with a pattern. The response on the mailing list was phenomenal! It seemed that everyone wanted to participate. If she had instead offered a class on styles of Italian clothing, I wonder if she would have gotten near as much a response. Food for thought...

And if we start having A&S nights (days for the more involved stuff) where we make stuff, and the rest of the barony SEES the cool stuff we have, perhaps they'll start showing up to A&S as well.