An Essay I wrote.

About the Rennaisance faire I went to this past summer. I had to write an essay for class, and I chose this. I’ve never done this before, posting a writing online, but I’m that proud of it. It is long though at over four pages. But Please take the time to read it. Feel free to comment on it, too as there’s always room for improvement.

Edit: note to self- post the essay before clicking submit

The Renaissance Faire

I had never been to the Renaissance Faire before my girlfriend Jami asked (well, told me) to go with her.  I’d never really thought much about it.  I thought it would just be a bunch of people dressed up as peasants, knights, and lords.  And while that’s pretty much what it was, it was so much more.  It was like getting away from the real world for a day, and into a fantasy world.

The big day arrived. We arrived at the grounds at 9:30 am- Jami, Jami’s friend Janette, and me. The Faire didn’t open until 10, so we had some time to kill. The first thing we did was get our tickets. I found it rather amusing when the ticket seller said to me, “G’day, Milord!” in an old English accent. I tried to reply in kind, but all that came out was a slight chuckle and a simple “hello.” As we continued to wait, I took a look around the front grounds. I must admit, I was a bit surprised at the range of costume selections. Besides the obvious peasant, knight, or lord costumes, there were also people dressed up as Vikings, or figures out of fantasy novels, such as fairies, wraiths, barbarians, and even Samurais out of eastern Asia! There was also a group who looked like they came from the colonial US. Seeing these costumes, I didn’t feel quite as out of place dressed as a pirate.

Eventually, this big, lumbering drunkard of a man ambled onto a platform holding a staff. I thought it was just some moron seeking attention, even though he didn’t really act like he was. He just spoke to a couple people at first, but everyone couldn’t help but watch him. Soon he announced, “And now, a magic trick!” He held his arms in the air… and dropped the staff… and took a bow. That was the trick. It was stupid. It was pointless. It was… funny! I clapped along with everyone else. This must’ve been the “village idiot.”

The Village Idiot’s show continued, as he then had some kids step onto the platform. “We don’t have time for you all to say your names one at a time, so everyone just shout them out at once,” he said, and they did. He decided it was their birthday, and insisted that we sing “Happy Birthday” to the jumbled mess their names comprised of. Again, it was stupid, but funny. The Village Idiot lived up to his name. Finally, he had three couples come up-a dating, an engaged, and a married couple-for a make-shift “Love Connection” type of game. He asked them each a multiple choice question. They were dumb questions, really. It didn’t even matter if they were right or not. It somehow ended up a draw, and for the tie breaker he had them engage in a “kiss-off.” The couple who could give the best kiss to their partner would be declared the winners. I thought he just wanted to see them kiss because he was lonely.

Suddenly, a woman‘s voice boomed from balcony. “Welcome, ladies and lords, to the Bristol Renaissance Faire!” she proclaimed, indicating the end of Mr. Idiot‘s time with us. This turned out to be the court jester to Queen Elizabeth herself! She told us of events to come, including an exciting showdown between Robin Hood and the abominable Sheriff of Nottingham. Then, as if on cue, a short, sleazy looking man dressed all in black, and wearing a small black helmet and a sinister looking goatee, stomped onto the platform. He said that he was the Sheriff, and he went on about how he would take care of Robin Hood. He also pointed to a woman next to the jester-Maid Marion-who was holding a red bottle which contained a special love potion, and said that she would be his bride. That was the end of that. If we wanted to see what would come of that, and what that love potion had to do with anything, we would just have to catch the show at 2:30 that afternoon. Finally, the doors opened and people slowly filed in. The Jester goaded us on by yelling, “C’mon, move it! Push and shove! Push and shove!”

Eventually, we made it in. We started by just looking around. The Faire was set up just like the kind of 15th century European-style village you see in fantasy films and books. The shops resembled straw huts and houses and were all lined up in the “village square,” and the roads were simple dirt paths. The shops were as varied as the costumes of the staff and patrons. There were a couple weapon shops selling all sorts of arms, from your basic long swords and broadswords, to morning stars (those spiked balls at the end of a chain), to Japanese-style katana and nunchaku. The armor shops had breastplates of gold, bronze and silver, chain mail, gauntlets, and my personal favorite-a full suit of armor! There was a bookstore with material that covered everything from the Renaissance, to alchemy, witchcraft, and Shakespeare. There were stands set up to braid one’s hair in a nice old fantasy style, or paint one’s face. The only thing that surprised me more than the variety was the prices. The suit of armor was $1,300!

After touring the Faire, and before going on to see the Robin Hood show, we decided to get something to eat. Jami and Janette split a portion of portabella mushrooms fried in butter, and some sassafras, which was root beer with a hint of licorice. I just had a nice size turkey leg. It was slightly smaller than a bowling pin, and it was to die for. The bee hovering around me seemed to agree, as the damned thing wouldn’t leave it alone for a second.

From there, we started to make our way to the stage where the Robin Hood show would be. On the way however, I got distracted by the antics of “Moonie the Mime.” He didn’t say anything, instead he only whistled. We walked in on him as he was juggling ping-pong balls by spitting them out and catching them with his mouth, which was fairly amusing. He then pretended to hit on a girl in the crowd. The girl could only laugh. He then turned around, pulled out a hat, put it on sideways, pulled his shorts down below his waist, (he was wearing tights underneath), and strutted around the stage like an extra from a Snoop Dogg concert, thinking she would go for the “thug” type. After sticking around for a few more minutes, we continued on our way to the Robin Hood stage.
The Robin Hood show was probably the highlight of the whole day. The Sheriff of Nottingham stomped onto the stage with his men and announced that he would steal the love potion Marion had, make her drink it, and would use her to kill Robin Hood. It seemed to be working at first. They captured her and forced her to drink it. Sure enough, she was in a love-struck stupor for the Sheriff. She would do anything for him, even kill Robin Hood.

Just then Robin and the Merry Men arrived to save her. The Sheriff tossed Marion a gun and ordered Marion to kill Robin. Marion cocked the gun and pointed it at him. “No, Marion!” he pleaded, “You are not in love with him! Your mind has been clouded by the love potion!” “I don’t care!” she retorted, “It doesn’t matter where my feelings come from. All that matters is that I love him with all my heart!” The Sheriff gave a textbook evil laugh… and then threw himself flat onto the floor. Marion had whipped around and turned the gun on him! Marion had been pretending the whole time, just to try and lure the Sheriff out and kill him herself! That’s when Robin stepped in, and after a spectacular duel with the Sheriff, he defeated him, and saved the day. After that fine performance, we decided to head home.

I had never been to the Renaissance Faire before. I wasn’t at all sure what to expect. But I had a blast in that fantasy world, and it was a shame to get back to the real world. I would definitely go back if given a chance.

nods Not bad.

That’s one thing that I’d like to do sometime…that, and do pen/paper RPing. :\

Watch grammar, punctuation, and syntax. Good form.

It’s fairly good, the style is a little bit too colloquial. Also, listen to Cless Alivein: the Purdue Online Writing Lab ought to be a great help.

i’ve been inspired to actually go to one of those things.

It is to some people, but I say p:unch:: them. Excuse a little rant, but I HATE professionalism just for the sake of professionalism. Why does wearing dress pants make you smarter than wearing jean shorts? Why does a tie make you smarter than a t-shirt? How does conforming to someone else’s style of writing make you a more intelligent person? You can’t really use the argument that the structure makes it easier to understand since people sure seem to like/understand novels (better than essays I imagine) written that way. Write how you want as long as it gets the point across, flows nicely, and is not too long. You followed those three things so bleep being “too colloquial.” and also go wear a pair of shorts and t-shirt to your next business meeting.

I think it makes you more stupid.

If you wear a tie, you are more likely to get strangled to death.

Oh, I agree, but I’m not the one who grades him.

Wearing a t-shirt to a business meeting would show that you’re:

a) Stupid and incapable of getting a proper suit.
b) Completely unaware of social conventions; therefore, ignorant.
c) Completely disregard social convetions and simply don’t care. If you don’t care about a simple thing as wearing a suit, why would you care about business and responsibilities?
d) Trying to be a rebel. There is, however, no purpose to rebelling against formal attire, so your goals are vapid and useless at best.

Yes, comfort and all that, but currently it’s too ingrained in society in order for someone to “rebel” without appearing ignorant, petty, or careless. Maybe in a long, long time.

This is the thinking I will never understand.

A. Why is it that I am stupid and incapable instead of just wanting to be comfortable?

B. I am obviously fully aware of the convention. My whole question being why is there that convention there to begin with? The reasoning of “oh that’s just the way it is” is what I am ranting about.

C. How about I don’t care about the suit because I have more important things on my mind like the work I have to do for the job? Again if I program in a suit it does not make my program any better than if I programmed in a t-shirt and shorts.

D. It is rebelling, but it does serve a purpose. I feel more comfortable in a t-shirt and shorts and tennis shoes than clothes that are made to look nice and not feel comfortable.

“but currently it’s too ingrained in society in order for someone to “rebel” without appearing ignorant, petty, or careless.”

I consider it way more petty to judge someone’s ability based on what they wear than it is to not want to wear a suit.

It is a good indication of a good environment to work in in my opinion. I purposely did not dress up for the interview of my current job because if it is something they would look bad on me for I doubt I would want to work for them anyway. Those are the type of companies that will promote the guy that looks nice and kisses their hiney and does little work over the guy that does a majority of the work. As it turns out, my company couldn’t give a rat’s behind as long as I could do the work. They did not call me ignorant or a rebel or socially inept. That is how it should be everywhere.

Anyway, we have officially hijacked the essay thread and I apologize.

You should be a <i>real</i> rebel and not <i>bathe</i>. We bathe way more often than we would need to for purely hygenic reasons. Or washing your hands: not washing your hands can actually result in a stronger immune system!

If you want to be part of the group, you have to act like part of the group. Otherwise go start a new company with the other hippies, and see how much your employees get done when they’re wearing the same clothes to work that they loaf around drinking beer and watching <i>Jeopardy</i> in.

This is a very rational line of thinking explains exactly why open-source software has caught up and in a lot of instances passed commercial software. It must be because all these hackers are wearing suits while they work!

I’m talking about office work. OSS developers are casual, but actually invested in what they’re doing. It’s not a 9 to 5 code grind for them.

Exception noted, rule proven :stuck_out_tongue:

This is the thinking I will never understand.

Perhaps you need to “dumb down” your thinking to a more intuitive level. Understanding this type of thinking can be crucial in getting a good job. It’s not only for shallow, simple people, it’s somewhat of a first-impressions thing that can never be fully controlled no matter what kind of reasoning you give yourself.

A. Why is it that I am stupid and incapable instead of just wanting to be comfortable?

Option A is, of course, an unlikely possibility. I refer you to option c or d as the true reason if “just wanting to be comfortable” was the motive.

B. I am obviously fully aware of the convention. My whole question being why is there that convention there to begin with? The reasoning of “oh that’s just the way it is” is what I am ranting about.

If you really want to know, the style originated first in England and France, and then in North America and was accepted as a <i>casual</i> standard (much like how a shirt or a t-shirt is the casual standard of today. Why wear t-shirts, after all, when you can go naked?

C. How about I don’t care about the suit because I have more important things on my mind like the work I have to do for the job? Again if I program in a suit it does not make my program any better than if I programmed in a t-shirt and shorts.

It has no bearing at all, but the first message it sends is that you <i>don’t care</i>. If you’d care to explain that every time someone asks, go right ahead, but most people are not going to ask and simply assume. If someone’s socks don’t match, I’ll assume that they were careless that morning, not that they are a creative artist expressing their <i>outre</i> taste.

D. It is rebelling, but it does serve a purpose. I feel more comfortable in a t-shirt and shorts and tennis shoes than clothes that are made to look nice and not feel comfortable.

Not a good purpose, anyway. Mild personal discomfort seems a mighty petty problem.

“I consider it way more petty to judge someone’s ability based on what they wear than it is to not want to wear a suit.”

Again, people are going to make assumptions on the quality of your character based on the way you dress, not judge you differently solely based on clothing. If you came in with mud on your cheeks, they’ll assume you are either habitually dirty or careless, not that you just finished coaching your son’s soccer game and bought all the kids ice cream to boot.

It is a good indication of a good environment to work in in my opinion. I purposely did not dress up for the interview of my current job because if it is something they would look bad on me for I doubt I would want to work for them anyway. Those are the type of companies that will promote the guy that looks nice and kisses their hiney and does little work over the guy that does a majority of the work. As it turns out, my company couldn’t give a rat’s behind as long as I could do the work. They did not call me ignorant or a rebel or socially inept. That is how it should be everywhere.

Good for you, but many other companies use dress as an immediate standard to filter applicants. If casual dress works for you and your peers, great. Professionalism is like the IQ test; it by no means measures adeptness in all areas, but an exceptionally high IQ immediately makes one “smart” in most people’s minds. That might not mean that they’re a good artist, or a good mathematician, or even a good person. It’s a skill that anyone can develop with a little practice, so I don’t see why this little test for how much effort you’d be willing to put into something is something worth rebelling against.

we will never agree on this, but

“Not a good purpose, anyway. Mild personal discomfort seems a mighty petty problem.”

There is more than just the mild discomfort of the clothes chafing or shoes rubbing your ankles . There is the psychological aspect of it. This is what plays big in the success of open source in my mind. If you have to put on a suit to go to work you automatically feel like you are working. This goes for any uniform. If you are allowed your own individual freedoms it feels less like a job and thus most people feel more motivated. Paul Graham wrote a good essay on this. The environment that OSS people are allowed to work in is part of its success.

http://www.paulgraham.com/opensource.html

Your IQ is a good example, but that is why they don’t ask people’s IQs during the vast majority of interviews. It is a very sketchy and easily manipulated statistic. Just like how I view judging someone’s intelligence based on dress. I do not believe it is a subconscious judgement that we can not make up for. Your assumptions based on someone’s socks mismatching as careless is a conscious judgement on your part and you could very easily say “that is pointless to think about something so trivial.” If you ask yourself why you aren’t hiring someone and the only thing you can come up with is “he did not look professional” then you are not asking the right interview questions.

Like you said dressing a certain way requires no individual talent. Heck, someone else can even do it for you. It is the same as asking pointless interview questions like “What does so-and-so class in java do?” They may or may not know, but even if they don’t they can look it up on Sun’s website in less than a minute. Questions like that tell you nothing of the person’s worth/intelligence/capabilities.