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recommendations was (RE: atlantia V1 #143)

Poster: Becky McEllistrem <beckymc@MICROSOFT.com>


> An even better idea is to take this responsibility upon one's self.  It is the
> responsibility of *everyone* in the SCA, from Dutchess Sir Mistress, Mistress
> Dinosaur, a.l.p.h.a.b.e.t. to Neddie Newby, to write letters of recommendation
> for people they see performing arts, service, fighting or otherwise exhibiting
> the qualities that deserve award.
> Personally, I also copy the Kingdom MOAS on recommendations for the three
> Kingdom-level A&S awards (this probably has something to do with being deputy
> MOAS for Caer Mear) and I also copy my Baron and Baroness.


I was wondering if anyone was going  to jump in on this or not.  Having lived in three different
kingdoms in three different years (before I lived in Atlantia for the past 5), I've seen rather a lot
of different opinions on this.  When I started out as a Midrealmer my seneschal used to
beg us to write letters of recommendation for members of the group because she knew she was
missing folks.  It was generally considered a responsibility of the group officers to write letters
of recommendation because the officers did at least get to see a variety of activities.  When I
moved to Meridies, it was generally considered the responsibility of the seneschal and other
members of the group (officers or not) to write letters.  Hadi and Ameraude were trying so hard
to encourage letters of recommendation so much they finally created a form because folks were
writing such wonderful letters and forgetting things like oh... the name of the recipient to be.
Atlantia doesn't seem to encourage members of the general populace to write letters as much
as other kingdoms although it's not frowned upon.  A lot of peers give me the impression that
it's really the responsibilities of the peers to be keeping in touch with the "doers" but that doesn't
mean that I won't write.  Previous seneschals of my local group or barony rarely openly 
requested help with letters of recommendation, (unless it was a meeting that I missed but I don't
miss many locally).  When I suggested that a lady be given her AOA for helping all the fighters at 
demos on a regular basis with all kinds of legwork, etc.  I was told "she's on my watch list we'll wait 
and see".   Since I don't believe in any kind of "watch list" for anything but orders of merit or peerage 
orders, I wrote anyway.  I do know that many group officers do use their own form of "watch list" as 
a way of managing recommendations.  I never did.

When I write letters I generally go on a binge and send Their Majesties several letters at once.
I try to give a new King and Queen a packet of letters at the start of their reign (unfortunately I
have been a little busier this time but have Saturday off <G>).  Even though I'm sending letters
as a group packet, each letter still gets treated in the format of what I call an SCA business letter.

				Top of letter:

				My mundane name
				My group name
				My address
				My phone number
				My email

When discussing the recipient, I mention their name as soon as I can in the letter and give the
same information about them the first time I mention their name.  I do also copy any related
principals mentioned in the Acorn.  Sometimes I'll copy a related kingdom officer as well if it's
because of efforts in their field.  I usually mention a general area of service and several examples
of events where the service took place, or a specific skill and several examples of the skill
(hopefully I can name public examples).  I also save my letters of recommendation and give
updates as the years move on.  I always thank whomever it is for taking the time to read and 
wish them well.  I also make certain there is no negative in the letter.  I have no patience for
whining and I'm sure individuals getting my letters don't either.  

I usually forget the check but my friends do eventually get recognition anyway. <VbG> I don't claim
that my letters get them recognition but I think several of us reminding decision makers is what 
helps the most.  If you have friends with no recognition at all, see if you can start at the baronial
level.  If they don't get recognized, they're at least in administrator's minds when choices are
being made.

I hope this was helpful.  I didn't mean to ramble so much but it is a subject near and dear to my


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