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Awards and ideals

Poster: TAWNYKAT <TAWNYKAT@aol.com>

In a message  Lord Rhodri ap Hywel writes: <<...if someone want to go trophy-
hunting (a disgusting pasttime...there are well-established procedures
...Unfortunately, I think that this whole discussion of rewards and honors,
while useful, can easily dominate our thinking to the point that we forget why
we *really* play SCA, which is to have fun, learn cool stuff and hang out with
our friends.>>

Firmly (and knowingly) perching a pair of rose coloured glasses upon my nose,
I also find this whole discussion about merit badge systems to be thoroughly
disheartening.  I too appreciate a good pat on the back (s'only human), but I
take the time to learn a craft because it is something I enjoy and find
pleasure in...or to satisfy my overanxious curiousity (imagine that!).  Yes, I
thoroughly admit that it'd be nifty to be a peer someday, but I'm not making
that my goal.  I've heard many peers and non-peers, whose opinions I value,
state it more succintly:
A true peer is a peer long before he/she is recongized. 
I think the merit badge system: 
1) ignores that it's not just a matter of  specific skills one learns, but (in
my book,
    at least )also a matter of how one acts and interacts with others.
2)the artistry or dedication that one applies to thier chosen path
If we make this a matter of levels and points and such, this becomes a
checklist procedure instead of an act of dedication, learning, and excitement.

I realize this is VERY idealized, VERY rosy (and many of you will tell me to
come back to the real world), but it's also true.  Why are you playing this
game?  Is it for the danglies and who knows you....or is it because you derive
pleasure from the actual playing of it.....For me, I play (when I can) and
learn what I can because I enjoy it...the danglies are just really, really
Playing with string because I LIKE IT, really!
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