Sunday, May 22, 2016

7 SCA Peer Mentoring Expectations

I've apprenticed to two different Laurels in the SCA and live more remotely than many in Calontir. It's why I've considered peer mentoring at length. 

When asked, my answers depend on who's asking. Still, I have turned over in my mind the essence and aspects of floating a peer-associate boat . 

Proximity--The closer the better. There should be a possibility to connect more often than at SCA events. You don't have to live in the same town, but I would limit travel to day-tripping, three hours one-way tops. You want to spend more time sharing than driving, to bond and work as mates. 

Respect--Each must know and respect the other to succeed. Without mutual respect, the student won't take the peer's advice seriously. The peer's guidance may seem inconsiderate. Does the student consider the peer's craft, service and deportment appropriate? Does the peer feel the student exudes learning desire and caring? 

Honor--Reputations rub off on close associates and each person's behavior reflects on the other. Do you share compatible moral codes? Who does each visit at events? Even before a formal announcement, repeated connections are noted by others. The relationship should be a blessing for all, and the community too.

Learning Environment--Do both have available time and compatible schedules? Does the teacher know what the student wants to learn or where to find it? How is criticism shared and taken? These considerations float the association boat and make learning possible.

Goals--Mutual goals are important to any relationship. What does each want from the association: skill knowledge, authentic encampment or an event pal? Goals set the boat's direction.

My opinion: I wouldn't take an apprentice if hanging out was their only goal. I would gladly welcome them and offer hospitality.

Length of Commitment--My experience leads me to believe there should be a designated length of time.  Both should re-evaluate renewing the commitment annually or agree to automatically disassociate. Sort of an escape hatch.

Household--My experience is the siblings in the household build a close relationship, sometimes closer than with the peer. For a joyful household, a bond must form for them to become shipmates. How can each of you build that? What consultation is asked and given to take a new member?

These and similar questions take time (perhaps a year) for each and all to consider and test, together and separately, prior to associating. Except for honor, I could make concessions. Sharing and weighing the details sets the boat's direction toward its port.