I went, I taught, I had a great time!
On the trip down, I stopped at Duke University to view a microfilm copy of Christopher Page's 1981 dissertation on "Anglo-Saxon Hearpan: History, tuning and techniques." It was awesome, and three hours was not enough to take all the notes I wanted. But I was a clever monkey, and noticed that the microfilm box came from the British Library. So, once home again, I Googled "British Library thesis."
Behold, EThOS! The Electronic Thesis Online Service of the British Library, which will let you download FREE PDFs of digitized British theses. Including (drumroll) Page's from 1981. Hurrah!
I stayed in the lovely and affordable Augustus T. Zevely Inn in Old Salem, where I met Lord Mungo Napier and his lovely wife, Lady Sarah. Alas that the historic Salem Tavern was closed for kitchen repairs.
Getting to the event was easy enough. I took Master Efenwealt's helpful and informative class on DIY recording and got some useful hints and tricks. Then it was time for my teach-a-thon.
'Writing a Research Paper' had but five students, although they were wonderful and engaged students. I felt it went a little unevenly in parts, but overall seemed like it went well. I should have the class notes posted today.
'Constructive Criticism' went very, very well! A large class, with lots of back and forth - almost more of a workshop. The students raised the difficult but very relevant question of what to do if we saw/heard another judge being unnecessarily harsh and mean, and I think we eventually decided that the right thing to do would be to say something. (We were trying to balance minding one's own business/not escalating drama with damage control, and concluded that stopping real damage was more important.)
'Research and Documentation for the Bardic Arts' also had good turnout and vocal, involved students. I've come up with a refinement not in the current handout - about Information Search being used to find content, context, and performance information, which I quite like and helps organize that section much better. I'll try to do an update soon.
But I did leave with a sense that I need to be doing a bit more actual performing. Of course, we've been mostly out of the SCA since The Boo was born two years ago; that's just the nature of the small, grabby beast. But as the outdoor spring events start up, we're going to try to make more of them. We'll probably have to leave before feast/bardic, but it's a start!