Earlier this summer, I was chatting with a friend of mine who said she felt like she needed a new way to challenge herself in the arts and sciences. She’s done the research, she’s made things, she’s entered pentathlons in A&S faires, and she’s taught classes. What next?
So I suggested, “Why not teach a pentathlon of classes?” Since we live in the SCA kingdom of the Midrealm, we have five regions — so she could teach one class in each region. Each class would represent the divisions of the A&S faire, in the same way as a pentathlon faire entry.
She happened to like this idea, and because it dovetails with another issue — encouraging more people to travel to events outside their home regions, and get more people to learn about and recognize each other — we decided to make it into a challenge to more teachers in the kingdom.
And, well, I found myself getting swept up in the momentum. I haven’t been teaching as many types of classes for a while, so I figured this challenge would give me a much-needed push to do a little more research and share more about what I’ve been learning and doing.
The rules are simple:
Time duration of the challenge — from August 1, 2016 to July 31, 2017
Teach at least 5 classes, one in each region (Midlands, Constellation, Pentamere, North and South Oaken)
Each class needs to represent a different division of A&S (or total 4 out of 5 divisions among the 5 classes):
- Division 1 – performing arts
- Division 2 – fiber arts
- Division 3 – technical sciences (including research)
- Division 4 – studio arts
- Division 5 – domestic arts
Post a message in a Facebook group for the challenge, in character for your persona about your experience traveling to the event and teaching the class.
There is more to the challenge for those who want to go above and beyond this scope and try to teach a pentathlon of classes in each region, or at each event. Knowing where I’m approaching this challenge from, and how many classes I’ll be able to attend in each region before the end of next July, I’ll consider it an accomplishment if I can achieve the bare minimum.
I’m giving myself an additional challenge to prepare more of my classes in Russian topics. I just taught a general leatherworking class yesterday, however, so I’m not sure if I’ve already lost that challenge or if I’ll pull together a Russian-themed studio arts class by then. I’ll count it for now, because…I taught a class and it applies to the challenge. 🙂
Other classes I’m preparing:
One on The Song of Igor’s Campaign for Division 1 (and because I’d like to do more teaching of literary topics anyway).
Division 2 — I’ve done a variation of a class on ozherele (Russian collars) that I could teach again, or teach a hands-on class about Russian embroidery techniques, or one about various Russian costume accessories.
Division 3 — I’m still puzzling this one out. My best bet is probably research. Or, it could be a lecture class on Russian metalworking finds….hmm.
Division 4 — Technically I’ve already accomplished this one, though I might do something more Russian-oriented in the way of leatherwork, birch-bark writing (or craft), or maybe even decorative metalwork if I learn more about making jewelry bits. 🙂
Division 5 — This could be something on food and beverages, advice from the Domostroi on running a Muscovite household, or lessons learned about Novgorodian domestic issues by reading birch-bark letters (I recently read Letters One Thousand Years Old and gleaned quite a bit that could be shared in a class. Literate peasants had plenty to say!).
Again, this is all subject to change. Nothing is final until I’ve taught the class and completed the challenge. Here goes!
Each time I complete a class and write about it in persona, I’ll share the written entry here on this blog.