November may be a long way away, yet I canít help but feel like itís Thanksgiving. All of us in House Corvus have so much to be thankful for this Spring. While our membership represents a wide diversity of religious beliefs, I myself have been thankful to God for watching over all of you, my beloved Corvus family.
After several weeks in the hospital, Lord Joseph is at home recuperating from his heart surgery. Several trips in to and out of Intensive Care had all of us focused not just on his speedy recovery, but also our fellow housemates who are closest to him; Lady Sara, Lady Alys, and Lord William. I have little doubt that they all felt the intensity of our love and support during that especially harrowing time. It is the same devotion we hope they continue to feel, not just for Joe, but also for their first child, whose delivery we anticipate with great excitement this Summer!
The first weekend in April, some of us managed to get together in Winston-Salem for a Household work weekend. What a wonderful get together! Master Oshi and Lord Helfdane worked on armor. Mistress Rhiannon, Lady Isolde, and I worked on fabric stamping. Lady Sine and Lady Anne worked on garb. Lady Siobhan was teaching spinning. Lord Robert, Baron Peter, and Lord Guillaume held forth. It was a delightful time, not just for us, but for several newcomers. We also celebrated the wedding of Baron Peter and Lady Anne, which they had earlier.
We talked about holding one of these Corvus Work Weekends quarterly and I think thatís an excellent idea. Obviously, we all wonít be able to attend each one. But it affords us regular opportunities to get together, at least on the local level. By the same token, I highly encourage everyone in the Household, if possible, to devote their own energies on Household projects on those same dates. That way, even if weíre not all together physically, spiritually, weíll all be focused on our mutual Household goals.
While counting our blessings, the one closest to home is one for which I am extremely grateful. On his way home from school the afternoon of April 8th, Lord Robertís car was struck from behind by a pick-up truck, pushed forward into another car, and his own car totaled. Thankfully, Robertís vehicle absorbed all of the impact (God bless modern car engineering) and he was completely fine. In fact, in a bizarre coincidence, Robert was actually getting a new car only a few days later. So, he not only escaped potential injury, but he wasnít even without a car for very long at all.
Never ones to wait for the actual due date, Lord Michael and Lady Krystyne went to the hospital a week early to welcome their second child, our newest House brother, Colin of House Corvus. Young Colin entered this world healthy and truly loved on 13 April 2003. Even in far off An Tir, I hope that he sleeps at night wrapped in the warmth of our combined affection as surely as he is wrapped in the beautiful blanket Lady Sine sent upon his arrival home.
Iím very much looking forward flying out to Seattle for a few days in early June to visit. Iím lucky that Lord Michaelís schedule will allow me to visit not just Lady Krystyne, MacKenzie, and Colin; but Mike himself will still be there even though he ships out again that same month. If anyone has anything they would like me to take out to Seattle during my visit, bring it to me at Hidden Mountainís Baronial Birthday and Iíll be sure to get it out there.
In preparation for said event, I managed to finally get together with Lady Rowen the Shiftless here in Tear-Seaís Shore for an evening. Lady Rowen had taught a class in metal casting which Iíd managed to miss, not once, but twice! Setting some time aside for me, I finally learned how to cast simple metal objects. What a joy! This is one of those things Iíve always wanted to do in the SCA.
I watched Messer Giuseppe cast pilgrim medals at Pennsic one year and I know our own Lord Joseph also cast metal tokens for various events in Aire Faucon and Sacred Stone. I also remember Lord Alriker taking an Atlantian University on metal casting. But, for one reason or another, I never managed to learn this myself. Well, no longer! No sooner had Lady Rowen graciously passed along her knowledge, then Lord Robert bought me my very own casting kit. Within a few days, Lord Guillaume came by the house to see me up to my elbows casting new award medallions for the Barony.
Both Lord Guillaume and Lady Ygraine have been very supportive of my projects here in Hidden Mountain. While itís a certainty that we are all supporting each otherís various endeavors, itís reassuring to have that local encouragement as well. Itís been a great blessing that so many members of House Corvus live proximate to others with similar interests. Just as Siobhan and Helfdane manage to inspire Sine and Oshi with their respective spinning and armoring, so too do I get enthused by Guillaume, Ygraine, and Robertís support.
Donít think for a minute though that youíre not profoundly influencing House Corvus and everyone in it just because you might seem remote or isolated. Nothing makes me smile faster and earlier than reading e-mail from Giueseppe, Rhiannon, or Lord Cassan first thing in the morning on the House Corvus e-list.
And Lady Medb Renata has volunteered all manner of help with Hidden Mountainís Baronial Birthday this month, despite being on the other side of the country! Some of the props sheís sent me for Decameron are just awesome. Thank you so much, Renata!
The House Corvus e-list continues to be an invaluable tool for our staying in regular communication. I realize that there are a few Corvites who rarely post, but that doesnít mean they arenít reading your e-mails and donít enjoy being kept in the know. At the same time, Iíve been working on getting the House Corvus website updated along with a variety of new photo galleries. Between the e-list, our newsletter, and all those photos, you should definitely be up to speed. I know that itís not the same as being together as much as weíd all like, but itís the next best thing. It reminds us that we are a part of each otherís lives, regardless of physical distance-- that love and mutual respect arenít dependent on proximity, but on dedication: to each other and our Household.
Be sure and take a few minutes periodically to check your individual House Corvus webpages. I try to update the website weekly on Wednesday evenings. So, changes of contact info, new offices or awards, new links, etc. can all be kept current with a little help from you. Remember, the website is for your benefit, not the general populace who sometimes peruse it. --BRAN
As I write this, my graduation from medical school is imminent and Scot and I continue our preparations for the journey to Houston. Scot and I both have very mixed feelings about the move. On one hand, I have a great opportunity to study ophthalmology in one of the best residency programs in the country at the biggest medical center in the world. In addition, Houston is a huge city with all manner of cosmopolitan offerings. On the other hand, Scot and I have become very fond of Charleston. The Holy City has been a great home for us for the past four years and we will be sorry to leave it behind. It will be sad to say goodbye to all the friends that we have made in the city of Charleston and in the Barony of Hidden Mountain.
One of the most difficult parts of our journey is the fact that Scot and I are leaving behind the origin of House Corvus in the Kingdom of Atlantia. Atlantian members of House Corvus will likely feel the loss of Scot much more than the loss of me, given that my work and school schedules have not allowed me to be an active part of the household for several years. However, it is important to realize that while you may not see Scot and me in the flesh as much as in the past, we will always be just a phone call or an e-mail message away. Remember that events like Pennsic, Gulf Wars, Great Western War, and Estrella, as well as household trips and other events will still occur with regularity and these will be special chances for us to see each other face to face. It is up to all of us to work hard to take advantage of these opportunities.
Many of you may still not understand why I chose to travel so far away for my specialty training. In a sense, I didn't choose Baylor as much as Baylor chose me. Remember that residency application is not like applying for college, medical school, or law school where one might get accepted at several schools and then pick the school that one likes best. There is a matching process where students send in a rank list of their favorite programs. Residency programs also send in a rank list of the medical students that they interview. The central application computer then "matches" up the rank lists. Students match at one and only one program, and I matched at Baylor. Ophthalmology is one of the most competitive specialties in medicine to get into, and Baylor is one of the best programs. Taking the long view and looking forward to my future career, this is an outstanding opportunity for me, even though it is halfway across the country.
In terms of our plans for the future, I have some idea about how I would like things to occur. I've committed to one year of internship in general medicine and then three years of residency training in ophthalmology at Baylor. After residency, I plan to pursue fellowship training in a sub-specialty of ophthalmology such as cornea and refractive surgery, retina surgery, pediatric ophthalmology, ocular plastic surgery, or neuro-ophthalmology. This will likely take me two additional years to complete. I think that there's a fairly high likelihood that I would stay at Baylor for those two years of fellowship, but I may have the opportunity to go elsewhere. My plan is to eventually have my practice at an academic medical center. This way I could treat patients, do research and help train future ophthalmologists. To achieve this goal, it's important that I go to the best residency and fellowship programs that I can.
That being said, I would love to come back to Charleston some day and practice ophthalmology. The idea of working as an attending physician at the Medical University of South Carolina is very appealing to me. The better I do in residency and fellowship the more likely this is to happen. So, six years from now, there's a good chance that Scot and I will be Atlantians once again.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Scot for his love and support. He has been an exemplar of fidelity and constancy these past few years. His influence keeps me humble and his advice keeps me focused on what is truly important. I know what a hardship it will be for Scot to move to Texas, but I hope that Houston will bring many opportunities for him as well. Perhaps weíll get to work together if he decides to put his EMS training to use. There is also a good chance that one of the three law schools in Houston will be wise enough to allow Scot to train at their institution. I canít wait to see how great an attorney heíll be.
So, with that, we turn our gaze to the West, with the hills and plains of the Lone Star State calling us forth. Weíve had grand adventures so far, and I look forward to many more. I hope that you all will continue to share these with us. Yours truly, --ROBERT
House Corvus has done three different tours in the United Kingdom and Ireland over the years. All three of those trips have virtual tours recreating their progress on the House Corvus website and Iím getting more elaborate galleries from those tours uploaded as well. While working on those galleries, I have been reminded of just how extraordinary those trips have been.
The online tours themselves are fairly dry with a simple chronological recounting of locales along with historical data on the sites. It was when I was scanning in photos of the Corvus í99 tour, however, that the enormity of what we had done struck me. We have been to those places! It sounds idiotic, but virtual tours, personal journals, photo galleries-theyíre all well and good. And they serve their purpose: to share the experiences of those who could go on the actual trips with those who couldnít make it at that time.
Iím still overwhelmed, and even a bit humbled, when I think about the adventures weíve shared. Each of those trips has been magical in every sense of the word. And itís high time we start plotting another one!
Looking over the tour maps from our previous journeys, Iíve been considering leaving the Great Britain and Ireland behind for another rich, medieval locale with which I still have the same comfort level as the UK. Iíd like your input and interest on me putting together a Corvus tour of Italy, specifically Rome and Florence.
We seem to have fallen in to the rhythm of scheduling these ďbigĒ trips every five years with ďsmallerĒ tours interspersed. Thus, we have Corvus í94 and Corvus í99 with the Corvus í02 (Ireland) coming along as a serendipitous happenstance. It has been in the background, though, to do a Corvus tour in late 2004. Is that schedule still tenable? Are their 6-8 people who would be interested in doing a trip to Italy? Iíll start making a basic itinerary and checking prices and availability for November 2004 and keep everyone posted.
I feel the loss of major Household event efforts such as our much missed Pennsic encampment. In an attempt to get us back in to the swing of things, Iíd like to delegate the coordinating of House Corvus attendance at several big events to various Household members. Just as Mistress Rhiannon first began her excellent management of the House Corvusí Pennsic encampment some years back, Iíd like other events to be tackled with similar zeal, planning, and follow through.
We all get so much more done when we have a plan, but itís hard to juggle all of the events weíd like to do on our own. Some dedicated people to oversee all of the planning aspects of these events would help House Corvus enormously. Iíll be making a few suggestions on the e-list, so stay tuned.
How easier to change a riverís course,
Than to change the mind of one willful man;
Rushing waters yield to forethought and plan,
While idle minds their delusions enforce.
Belief and ignorance seldom divorce,
Heaping fallacies as high as one can,
Smothering more kind and vital ťlan,
Inflicting malodorous lies perforce.
Even decades long fallacies must yield,
When baptized in Alpheusí mysteries;
All hearts conjoin in cleansing solution.
If not, less pleasant and dire fate is sealed,
Frozen figures throughout our histories,
As Peneusí divine retribution.
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