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Re: Re[4]: Earl Dafydd

Scripsit Leifr:

>Second.  If a candidate actually behaves like a peer; dresses spiff, 
>expresses opinions, builds a household, and particularly,  teaches, then 
>he or she is as often as not accused of putting on airs.

Hm.  I'vecdone pretty much all of these things (with the exception of
building a household) and never come under any fire for it.  Of course,
attitude may be an issue.  When I taught a weekly dance class back on My Old
Stomping Grounds <tm>, it was solely on the basis of my status as the most
knowledgable person in the shire, rather than my possession of any sort of
peer-like expertise, and I never thought or pretended otherwise.  Likewise,
when I teach at University, it is solely on my mundane credentials as
Stephanie Thorsson, Professional Nerd and (now) Doctoral Student in Medieval
History.  And I've heard no complaints that I put on airs there, either.  If
I wear spiffy clothes, it's because I like pretty dresses, and if I express
opinions, I do it in the widely broadcast knowledge that I could be wrong.
 And the mere fact of my wearing nice clothes and having opinions has never
gotten me into trouble.

I also mean what I say about attitude being important.  The most important
lesson I ever learned in  my life was never to be afraid of learning
something from *anyone*, no matter who or what.  It's a deeply humbling
lesson and maybe that sense of humility helps keep me from too much harm or
being accused of putting on airs.  

I think one of the fundamental problems in this debate is distinguishing the
difference between being of the rank of a peer and being WORTHY of the rank
of a peer.    I do think it's important to keep hold of the idea that wanting
*the award* is one thing, and wanting *to be worthy of it* is entirely
another.  As Tadgh said, peers aren't constructed out of some lego kit.  They
are only *made* insofar as they consciously strive to embody the values and
ideals associated with the peerage.