After I posted my cross-border thoughts on pent, I had someone comment that based on the title, they figured I was going to post my thoughts on Pent 2015 vs Pent 2016. Which sounded like a darn fine idea, and I’m all for not letting good blog fodder go to waste. Good ideas are rare in my world! I gotta steal them where I can.
Some history, just to catch you up. KA&S 2014 was my first event in this go round of the SCA. (I attended a couple of events in the early 90s, it didn’t stick, I called mulligan and started again 20 yrs later.) My first entry in any form of A&S anything was QPT 2014 (novice tourney, sponsored by Crucibles and Laurels to provide mentorship.)
My second entry into A&S anything was KA&S 2014 and I entered Pentathlon. I had very little idea what I was doing, although I’d read everything I could find on the internet. Stressed over documentation (why is that so much more stressful than any 3 projects combined?) and was oh so very grateful it wasn’t all /that/ far from home when we arrived and a bag with 3 of my projects was still at home. (My spouse is a saint. Just saying.) As Pent 2016 was a 6 hr drive away, you can be certain I double and triple checked I had all five projects before we left.
I am going to say here, that I am new enough to Ealdormere that the style of pent entry that I discussed in the last blog post (face to face with judges, pent entires grouped as a whole etc etc) is the only way I’ve experienced A&S in Ealdormere. I know it’s not always been that way, but that’s all I’ve got.
Pent 2015 (Pent 1 for me. P1 for ease of typing) was nerve rattling, exhilarating, a bit of a blur and amazing. I took five items that I felt gave a fairly good overview of me as an artisan and presented them and then held my breath as I spent all day talking about them mostly with people I didn’t know. (Yet.) There was no theme. No connection between them beyond ‘things Lucia has done’. How to display them, and their documentation occurred to me as I was laying them out on the table and they looked lonely and flat. The day was a blur, especially after the adrenaline rush of forgotten things, and not /quite/ knowing what was going on. (Present an overview to the judges? Uhhh. Okay!) I didn’t expect to win, I wasn’t sad when I didn’t.
P2 was so much easier, and a bit harder all at once. I knew mostly what to expect, but I also felt I had the expectation (perhaps only in my own mind) that I needed to up my game from P1. I spent more time researching, more time finding connections between my items, pulling the group into a more cohesive entity. I’m not sure my work was all that much better, but I know I was a lot more confident in my research and my choices made. I was also a lot more comfortable with the process, and I wasn’t meeting most of my judges for the very first time. It felt more like a conversation about my work, about choices and decisions and next steps. (And a bit of historical trivia quiz show, just to keep me humble.) Both of them felt like a step in the journey, P1 was an earlier pit stop, and P2 was a smidge further down that road.
I’ve enjoyed the hell out of entering pent both times. It’s not for everyone, and I am looking forward to not doing the pent freak out all through March of 2017. P3 is planned for 2018. I can’t let a pair of baronesses go unchallenged, now can I?