There is no greater joy for me than learning new interesting information and passing it on to others who might enjoy it.
This has led to a lot of my teaching in the SCA. My excitement about sharing lots and lots of information tends to lead to my running on (and on, and on…) when I try to get ALL the fun stuff into a handout. This has led to booklets that I have to ask for compensation for the printing costs, but I still want to have a one or two page handout I can afford to share in the class for free.
The short flyers I’m sorting into this section and the longer ones into the booklets section. This is somewhat arbitrary, and both are free to download, although I would appreciate it if you don’t present large parts as your own writing (this is a gentle poke at high school students with a looming deadline). Besides, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in 40 plus years studying the same subject, the facts keep changing! I adore some of the 19th century books- but some of their conclusions, and even some from more recent decades have turned out to have serious flaws.
(Did I tell you the one about the first reconstruction of the Sutton Hoo helm, and it was Queen Elizabeth II who looked at it and asked if it wouldn’t have have been resting on the wearer’s nose uncomfortably. As I understand it, that’s what motivated the second reconstruction!) When I started in the SCA, they didn’t even know whether there was a body in the ship or not, and Oh my! have I been excited by the Prittlewell Prince and Staffordshire Horde finds! Every year there are new discoveries!
How I write these: I seriously dislike presentations where the verbal content is the same as the written material (the teacher reading from notes). However, I also have a hard time remembering names, dates and sources where I found any facts, so I bring notes (printed out in increasingly large type) and my compromise is to try to put the fun and interesting bits in the presentation, and get the important facts in the free handouts.
I always try to let people know in the presentations when something I’m sharing is a personal theory, or a fun but possibly dubious story. Still, I have noticed in my decades of study that even “facts” seem to change as new information comes to light. I remember seeing a beautifully drawn image of some Anglo-Saxon “crowns” in a 19th century book, which turn out to be fittings from a bucket decorated with triangular projections. We should celebrate both their attempts and our increasing knowledge and understanding. So I recognize that I may be promulgating misinformation; please let me know if you find any.
Also, the older I get, the more I come to appreciate good footnoting, and wish that I’d used it all along, which I most certainly did not. I apologize for this lack most sincerely. At some point I would love to go over these various booklets and flyers and put in appropriate footnotes, however I fear that’s going to happen only after the happy year I organize my library. Until then, as with other questions, please feel free to contact me with any questions, or corrections and I’ll be happy to try to figure out where I got the information I put in the flyers.
I also sincerely regret that I neither get around to making handouts for all my workshops, and even when I do, sometimes don’t get them posted here- if they aren’t the chances are that I lost them in a computer crash, so if you have one and can send it to me so I can post it, that would be marvelous!
Later Anglo-Saxon Pottery