doniago: (Default)
[personal profile] doniago
In my attempts to try to explain the Lyceum to people I feel like I've just made a mess of things. People aren't getting it, quite possibly because I'm not explaining it well. But the worst part is that I feel like people don't _want_ to get it to some degree. I feel like they're reflexively assuming this is some sort of attempt to supplant the EKU when it's nothing of the sort. I've thought about deleting my posts on the SCA LJ Community, I've thought about just freezing them, and I've thought about leaving the community entirely.

And I've also thought about trying to fight the good fight and continue trying to fight what I perceive to be misapprehensions.

What really saddens me? I point out that someone (I have no idea who) started talking up my posting to the Maunche list, and people are more concerned with the fact that I know about this despite being a non-Maunche, and that someone told me about it, than they are with the fact that someone didn't even have the basic courtesy to say "Hey, would you mind if I brought up the Lyceum on the Maunche list to see how people there feel?" Would it have killed someone to do this?

Sigh.

I still think the Lyceum is worth pursuing. I think some people get it. I think more people _could_ get it. I think there's a real chance I'm explaining it badly. I think there's a real chance that some people just won't get it until they have a chance to experience it.

I...I just don't know anymore. But I think it deserves a chance to be tried, and I'll do what I can to give it that chance. Why? Because if it succeeds in what it's trying to do, it could be totally worth it.

As to the SCA Community issue...like I said, I'm tired of playing Sole Defender, but if there are people who genuinely like to hear what I have to say, maybe it's worth it in the end, right?

[Poll #1180482]

Date: 2008-04-30 11:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wyldemoon.livejournal.com
You've got the skills, go forth, kick ass, and take names. *grin*

And have fun while doing it!

Date: 2008-05-01 01:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] doniago.livejournal.com
(smiles) Thanks guy. I'd give you a hug or something, but, well, I read the sign. :)

Date: 2008-05-01 02:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wyldemoon.livejournal.com
Well, the icon was for you. Give'em hell.

Date: 2008-04-30 11:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] albreda.livejournal.com
I think that it is important to hear what folks actually think of the project and concept as they understand it, because I really don't see a single issue on that main thread that doesn't warrant closer examination.

Date: 2008-05-01 01:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] doniago.livejournal.com
There were definitely issues raised that warranted closer examination. There were also issues raised where no matter how I tried to explain it it didn't seem like I was getting through (though see a quck-and-dirty analogy I made up below). When you start getting 100 messages in under a day burning out (or at least needing a bit of breathing room) becomes a lot easier.

Date: 2008-05-01 01:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] albreda.livejournal.com
I think your analogy is a good one *from the student POV*, but the whole 'who approves the teachers, and how do teachers approve final projects' piece is a potential nightmare.

And I really don't think anyone doesn't understand that you got overwhelmed by the vehement response; I think folks were just a little disappointed that you asked folks to shut it down.

So - breathe. You certainly got folks talking and telling you what they thought - you can go through their answers and think about them when your ears stop bleeding. ;)

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Date: 2008-05-01 01:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] derekl1963.livejournal.com
By definition this endeavor supplants, or attempts to supplant, the EKU.

What mental gyrations could lead you to believe otherwise?

Date: 2008-05-01 01:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] doniago.livejournal.com
Okay, imagine that college classes were audited by default. Let's call this the EKU.

Now imagine that being graded in classes was an option, but not a requirement. Let's call this the Lyceum.

You see how one can exist next to the other without interference? The only people it matters to is the student who's being graded, the teacher who has to do the grading (and grading isn't an issue within the Lyceum), and the administration which has to keep records and such.
Edited Date: 2008-05-01 01:14 am (UTC)

Date: 2008-05-01 01:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] derekl1963.livejournal.com
No, I cannot see how one can coexist beside the other without interference - because ultimately they draw on the same limited pool of teachers, students, and weekends available on the calendar.

Grading v. auditing is utterly irrelevant.

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Date: 2008-05-01 01:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chrystie69.livejournal.com
ok I don't think I've been open to read your posts ab out this so what the heck is it?

Date: 2008-05-01 01:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] doniago.livejournal.com
Teachers teach, students learn. Students contact a Registrar to let them know they attended a class, Registrar checks them off in a database. Student takes enough classes, has option to graduate if they a) teach, or b) do a project which they arrange with a Prefect (department head, classes organized into departments). They graduate, they get scroll or something. Woo.

How this interferes with the existing EKU system is something I'm failing to comprehend, which is one of the reasons we're calling it an "enhancement" to the EKU system. It's sure as heck not competition, or at least not by intent, and I haven't actually seen a good counter-argument as to why it would be yet.

Date: 2008-05-01 01:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] albreda.livejournal.com
Hm. You don't think that there would be the potential for teachers who opted NOT to participate in the Lyceum system to be bumped from teaching rosters in favor of those who were?

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Date: 2008-05-01 02:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] derekl1963.livejournal.com
"It's sure as heck not competition, or at least not by intent"

If you are teaching within the writ of the East Kingdom, you are competing with the EKU by design.

"I haven't actually seen a good counter-argument as to why it would be yet"

Mostly because you seem to have decided a priori that it isn't competition and thus reject without comprehension any argument that does not match your preconceived notion.

I'm not trying to be nasty, but that's really what it looks like from here.

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Embrace the power of "and".

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Re: Embrace the power of "and".

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Re: Embrace the power of "and".

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Re: Embrace the power of "and".

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Re: Embrace the power of "and".

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Date: 2008-05-01 06:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] noveldevice.livejournal.com
In my attempts to try to explain the Lyceum to people I feel like I've just made a mess of things. People aren't getting it, quite possibly because I'm not explaining it well.

Speaking of tilting at windmills, let me try to explain something.

You are operating under a misapprehension--a very common one, but a misapprehension nonetheless. You seem to believe that the people who disagree with you disagree with you because we do not properly understand what you're saying. That is not at all the case. We understand. We understood the first time, and if we hadn't, we would surely understand by now. We just think it's a bad idea.

It is entirely possible for someone to comprehend every single point of your argument and still disagree that it leads where you think it does. In this case, many of the people commenting on your original [livejournal.com profile] sca post demonstrably felt that this was a bad idea. Explaining it further will not have the effect you wish, because there is no problem with our comprehension.

We do not misapprehend; we merely disagree.

Date: 2008-05-01 11:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] albreda.livejournal.com
That is the distinct impression I had from the posters as well. I think part of the issue is here is that the Lyceum crew, to my understanding, has lots of *ideas*, but not yet any fixed *plan* for how to deal with some of the likely headaches everyone has pointed out. They are, to my understanding, still thinking this all through themselves, thus the posting to get peoples' views (which I think they found diverged from their own more than anticipated), and the 'trying to explain' as they are still, again to my understanding, trying to explain it in full detail to themselves.

As far as being 'unofficial,' I'm just going to point out NOTHING we do was official, right up until it became so; we all started as a backyard party, remember? ;)

As the Founder of the A&S 50 Challenge, I, too, run something 'unofficial;' we have our OWN official policies, of course (one of which being that NO ONE judges whether an entrant is 'doing it right' except the entrant!), and NO, I didn't ask permission to issue a general challenge to the populace. The SCA has LOTS of Challenges, and I've never heard of there being any special requirement to be able to put one forth, or of limits on how it may be run (in our case, with as little beaurocracy and 'approval' process as was conceivable - basically nil!)

As there are many Challenges in the SCA, there are many Scola, and they likewise do not need anyone's permission to be held, but nor do they have any type of accreditation process in place, and thus grant themselves no authority, official or otherwise. Each Kingdom has but one (if one at all) University, run as an official part of that Kingdom. I think the Lyceum, by having that accreditation process (of suitable teachers, curriculum, general distribution requirements, and of student's final project/teaching test) is falling into a grey zone between Schola and University, and it is THAT that is making people nervous, and fear for this to upset the apple cart that is the current University system. It also hurts them that teachers have only to volunteer to teach at the University level, and, if slots and class balance permit, WILL be able to teach at EKU - no hoops, no judgement of their 'suitability' to teach. By taking on even the *perception* of self-granted authority, officially recognized or not, and particularly one that the official University has chosen not to assume, the Lyceum WILL be seen by many as trying to place itself above the current University system. (The fact that they refer to it as an 'enhancement' helps perpetuate the idea that this is their goal, IMO.)

To badly paraphrase the Bible "Judge not, lest ye be judged," yet this is the arena into which the Lyceum Committee has chosen to enter the public eye, with their accreditation worldview intact, and still they are surprised when they step into a less than flattering limelight. Hopefully the experience will be educational for them....

Date: 2008-05-01 05:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] doniago.livejournal.com
As the Lyceum is still in its formative stages, you're quite correct that it doesn't yet have a fixed plan. It seemed, to me anyway, like a good idea to get as broad a selection of views as possible before carving anything in stone.

I think "accreditation of teachers" may be overstating the matter since it could still boil down to "anyone who's willing to teach we're happy to have."

I can deal with people being nervous. Heck, I expect it. I'd be nervous if people _didn't_ seem nervous. But there's a difference between "I'm not sure this is a good idea," and, "this is a bad idea and should be destroyed at once." It's that latter view that I take issue with. Maybe it will fall flat on its face, maybe it will stumble a few times before getting it right...or maybe it will take off and be glorious. I don't think there's any way to know until it's been tried, and I think it at least deserves the attempt as long as there are people willing to attempt it.

Ironically, we chose the term "enhancement" specifically to avoid controversy that would doubtless be caused by decidedly incorrect terms such as "alternative", "replacement", "better". I'm more than open to a better term though.

I'm not surprised that there are a lot of people who find the whole Lyceum idea worrisome...it's the ways in which some people have chosen to express their concerns that surprises me, and leads to unfortunate thoughts like, "I thought we were better than this."

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Date: 2008-05-01 05:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] doniago.livejournal.com
Okay, just one question, and I'm sorry if I sound like a smartass here- considering that I'm not even certain I'm conveying an accurate impression of what the Lyceum is intended to be, isn't it entirely possble that people are reading what I'm saying and believing themselves to understand it, when in reality they don't? The fault may not lie with the one being spoken to so much as the one speaking.

I don't know whether the Lyceum's a good idea or not. A bunch of people seem to think it is, a bunch of people seem to think it isn't. And a bunch of people don't seem to feel very strongly either way, and I'm cool with that. That being said...if it can be done without causing problems, doesn't it deserve a chance? Or is it really such an utterly horrifying concept that it should be shut down without even seeing the light of day? If the Lyceum started to come into existence and Bad Things Happened, I'd be among the first to condemn it. And while the LJ...stuff...has been A Bad Thing for me personally, I don't think it necessarily reflects on what the consequences of creating this Lyceum might actually be. There's just so much room for miscommunication and misunderstanding here, I feel any final verdict should wait until it at least exists in some tangible form instead of a hypothetical one.

Wow, I've gone totally bi-polar. In Committee I'm the Devil's Advocate and Skeptic, yet outside the Committee I seem to be its Chief Defender. This is fubar'ed.

Date: 2008-05-01 05:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] noveldevice.livejournal.com
If you feel that you are not able to explain the Lyceum, you should not make the attempt until you can. If you do not refrain from the attempt and people react to what you've said, you cannot criticize them and dismiss their reactions as uninformed simply because they have reacted to what you said. We are not mind-readers. We react to your words on the screen. If the sum of your explanation's parts do not equal the whole of the concept, whose fault is that? Ours, for failing to divine your intent? I think not.

I fail to see what value your scheme adds to the existing system for the users of that system. I am not alone in that. The reason that schemes which do not add value and do add cost should not be pursued is self-evident.

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Date: 2008-05-03 09:23 pm (UTC)
jducoeur: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jducoeur
That being said...if it can be done without causing problems, doesn't it deserve a chance? Or is it really such an utterly horrifying concept that it should be shut down without even seeing the light of day? If the Lyceum started to come into existence and Bad Things Happened, I'd be among the first to condemn it.

A fair point, but honestly -- there is every chance that it would get away from you. I mean, I'm speaking as someone who has been involved in creating a bunch of SCA institutions: The Letter of Dance, the Grand Council, the Carolingian Accademia della Danza, etc. None of them have ever wound up the way I originally intended them, and none have really wound up meaningfully under my control after very long. In the case of the Grand Council, the end result was *horrifying* to me -- exactly what I was trying to avoid and prevent in the beginning -- but I wound up with little influence over it. So your willingness to condemn it if it proves to be a bad idea doesn't entirely comfort me: it's rarely the creators who turn these things into bureaucracies.

I'll admit, I'm pretty against it, because it looks to me like it's introducing a measure of hassle with no clear advantage over lower-hassle methods. There are probably some genuine needs, but I suspect there are less-structured ways to meet those needs, that are less likely to get out of control. In general, the more structured something in the SCA is, the more likely it is to *become* official (whether the creators intended that or not), and the more likely it is to keep on accumulating rules, regulations and bureaucracy. Keep in mind, nearly every heavyweight SCA structure started as something "unofficial". Heck, some of the Kingdom's awards were originally supposed to be unofficial. (Eg, the Queen's Honor of Distinction, which was supposed to be Elspeth's *personal* token, specifically in lieu of something official. Subsequent royalty decided to make it official anyway. That's how these things typically work.)

So I'm pretty suspicious of it. I'm sure you're all well-intentioned, but I'd rather see lighter-weight personal-level options pursued instead: they're less likely to turn into the tail wagging the dog...

Date: 2008-05-01 07:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] liamstliam.livejournal.com
Iago, you know I like you.

You gotta give up on the Maunche thing.

No one needed to ask.

If people are discussing it in their personal LJs, they dpon't need to ask.

If I want to go up to Mistress Unicorn and discuss it, I do not need your permission.

If I wanted to write something about it for SCA Today, I would not need your permission.

It's an idea. It has wings.

The person who told you *did* violate a trust.

As I have said previously, one you found out, you were free to use it.

The way to explain the proposal "well" would be to really explain the benefit and how it differs from EKU.

It would also help a lot if your "backers" in the shadows would step forward.

Just my opinion.

Liam

Date: 2008-05-01 10:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] doniago.livejournal.com
I _did_ give up the Maunche thing. I uprooted my original post to the SCA Community and left any comments about it in _my_ journal. And until the content becomes illegal (or possibly outright offensive) I'll defend peoples' rights to post whatever the heck they want in their personal journals. That's kind of why they're called personal journals. The only people I've even talked about it with are either a) my friends or b) people who brought it up to me first.

Whether permission is needed isn't the point, the point is that asking first would have been the _courteous_ thing to do. You're welcome to disagree with me on that, but you're not going to change my opinion. This whole subject was controversial enough without getting shunted into an entirely new forum, particularly one where nobody with actual knowledge of the topic could speak on it.

Nobody backed me. I wanted to get a pulse on this idea from a larger target audience, hence a poll. Believe me, if I had it to do over again the SCA LJ Community would have been a lot less active for the past 48 hours. And frankly, knowing what I walked into, I would NEVER ask another person to join me. I mean really, worst invitation ever.

For all the crap I take about stirring up controversy, it seems I rarely get any acknowledgement that that's not my intention.

I am _so_ fucking tired of this whole thing right now, so I'm sorry if I'm not addressing some of your points. When I have half a brain cell again (could take weeks, ha) I'm going to try to set up an LJ Community where things can be addressed in a more careful, deliberate format... It's going to be fairly regulated for the sake of my own sanity, and if that drives people off...oh well.

I'm passionate about the Lyceum (kind of) but I'm becoming dangerously apathetic about discussing it on LJ.

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Date: 2008-05-01 09:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] albreda.livejournal.com
I just want to say that I think Iago is doing a decent job portraying and answering charges about a concept as currently murky as this one, especially when I really get the impression that he had no idea what the charges would be ahead of time, or that he would even be seen as a representative of the project, and thus be facing charges at all. This one of those times when I think problems could have been foreseen, but groupthink does strange things to one's perceptions of commonly-held realities.

I DO think this project (and Iago's mental health) would be served by allowing the general Scadian public the chance to openly speak with the originators of the idea on a regular basis, or at least in an online forum (not everyone can make it to Panteria, obviously). If Iago just stopped responding here, I wouldn't blame him; this isn't his Pet Project; he asked a question (perhaps more than a little naively as to its implications), and has been getting pretty soundly hammered ever since...

Date: 2008-05-01 10:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] doniago.livejournal.com
I love you a great deal.

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Date: 2008-05-03 07:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zaduzbina.livejournal.com
Ex EKU Chancellor here

When I took over the EKU, I brought forth this exact proposal to change EKU into it.

I polled the populace.

Hands down- nobody wanted it.

The idea that "someone" was in charge of giving scrolls- keeping points tallies- deciding what teachers or classes would make up the point tallies.- it caused exactly the ruckus you are getting.


Is it a good idea?- sounds interesting.

Will the people support it?- unlikely.
1) the East does not like extreme change
2)Easterners are very wary of politics and it affects their decisions, actions, and intentions.
3)We tend to operate on a "less is more" philosophy

That said: It is better to be try and "be forgiven"- than it is to get out right approval.


Mistress Andrea MacIntyre (scadian@hotmail.com)

Date: 2008-05-03 07:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] doniago.livejournal.com
Hi there,

Thank you very much for your feedback. I really appreciate it. I personally wasn't aware that this had been brought up by anyone else, much less as an official (rather than unofficial) notion.

From the original poll it actually seems like most people don't really care that much or think it may incline them towards taking more classes...OTOH, the people who are very wary about it are being a lot more vocal. At least, that's what I'm getting from it.

In any case, it was great to hear from you. I've had to take a major step back in terms of addressing peoples' concerns regarding the LJ side of things because it was just burning me out, and had gone well beyond my original tensions of just getting a "gut reaction" from people.

Thanks again.
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