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3.4 First Battle  

2012-06-24 11:54:15|  分类: Effortless Engli |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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 A howl from the opposing army..... swords thudded against shields... thunder
beat in unison. Hearts pounded. I gripped my sword... and braced the shield
against my shoulder. Giddy tendrils raced through my gut and chest....... a wild
grin broke upon my face. I began to bounce.... knees spring-like.....standing on
toes. A racehorse in the gate.

VOCAB:

howl: n. yell, scream
thudded: v. hit, pounded
in unison: adv. at the same time,
together, in harmony
braced: v. held
giddy: adj. nervous
tendrils: n. lines, tentacles

                                                                                                                                      
A wild shout went up to my left..... I turned to see a wiry warrior clad in
sparkling scale and a green cape..... carrying a coffin shaped shield. He strode
the front of our lines, turned to our enemies and threw insults against them,
“Cowardly vermin of Trimaris, prepare to die”... he shook his sword and our
army let out a cackling howl. Goose bumps spread across arms and belly..... I
thudded the butt of my (rattan) sword on the inside of the shield.... our lines
advanced.

VOCAB:

wiry: adj. thin with muscles
clad in: v. wearing
scale: n. scale armor
strode: v. walked (confidently)
cackling: v./adj. laughing (loudly)
goose bumps: n. bumps on skin
(caused by fear or excitement)
butt: n. bottom
rattan: n. a plant similar to bamboo
advanced: v. moved forward

                                                                                                                                                 
The enemy continued drumming their shields, and likewise strode forward. Full
of adrenaline, eyes wide with awe, muscles tense as steel....... I approached my
first battle... almost forgetting that none of this was “real”. No one would die.
No one would kill.

VOCAB:

adrenaline: n. a hormone, a body
chemical (released by fear or
excitement)
awe: n. amazement

                                                                                                                                                   

This was my introduction to the SCA, or the “Society for Creative
Anachronism”. The SCA is a collection of oddballs who dress in medieval
clothing, strap on armor, and beat each other with wooden swords. They also
dance, sing, and create works of art. The group is a collection of outlandish
creatives, hyper-intelligent geeks, talented artists, hammish performers, history
buffs, academics, poets, social misfits, and folks who simply refuse to succumb
to the drudgery of being “normal”. I was a member for nearly ten years.... and
loved every minute.

VOCAB:

anachronism: n. something out
of place in time/history (doesn’t
belong to that time period)
oddballs: n. strange people
medieval: adj. middle ages period
strap on: v. put on, wear
outlandish: adj. dramatic, fun &
creative
hyper-intelligent: adj. very smart
geeks: idiom. smart uncool people
hammish: adj. too dramatic
buffs: n. people who like something,
fans
misfits: n. people who don’t fit in
with normal society
to succumb: v. to be beaten by, to
surrender to
drudgery: n. boring work

                                                                                                                                            
The heart of the SCA is the weekend “event”..... an affair that revolves around
a number of semi-historic activities, usually held at a state park. Typically, a
battle or tournament is the centerpiece of the “event”. My first battle was
small by today’s standards..... each army had only 100 people. The group now
hosts battles which involve thousands of participants... the largest is held annually
in Pennsylvania, in August, and is known as the “Pennsics War”. As the
Pennsics example implies, SCA groups and events are spread throughout the
United States. In fact, the group is growing internationally, especially in
Europe. There are also groups in Japan and Korea.

VOCAB:

affair: n. experience, event
revolves around: v. focuses on
centerpiece: n. most important
part
implies: v. says indirectly, suggests

                                                                                                                                                             

The SCA divides the US, and the world, into a patchwork of regional organizations,
called “kingdoms”. Georgia, for example, is part of the “Kingdom of
Meridies”, which also includes Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi. North and
South Carolina are the “Kingdom of Atlantia”. California is in the “West
Kingdom”. Each Kingdom is further divided into local groups, called Baronies
or Shires.

VOCAB:

patchwork: n. a loose collection

                                                                                                                                                            
The function of local groups is to host events, welcome newcomers, and teach
medieval skills. Skills include arts such as calligraphy, jewelry making, woodworking,
and costuming; craft arts such as armoring & blacksmithing; performing
arts such as medieval dancing and singing; and martial arts such as hand-tohand
fighting and archery. Most groups host a weekly business meeting and
various “guild meetings” to practice these arts.

VOCAB:

guild: n. a trade group, a union

                                                                                                                                                                
Since I joined, the organization has expanded tremendously and is now a fullfledged
counter society: with its own government (a monarchy- with rulers
chosen by combat), its own economy (some members make a full-time living
selling their arts), and its own social system (a system of titles, clans, knights,
and nobles). Every member of the SCA develops an alternate persona: a
medieval character they become during events.

VOCAB:

full-fledged: n. complete, total
counter-society: n. alternative
society, alternative culture
monarchy: n. a government
ruled by a king or queen
clans: n. large extended families,
tribes
persona: n. personality, character

                                                                                                                                                                     
The combined effects are stunning. At times, I felt I’d been transported back in
time. My first SCA battle produced all the nerves, all the excitement, all the
intensity of entering a “real” battle: pounding heart and manic energy and fear
of being “killed”.

VOCAB:

stunning: adj. amazing
nerves: n. nervous feeling
intensity: n. power
manic: adj. super-energetic

                                                                                                                                                                    
For some, the SCA is an exercise in living history. Many members are meticulous
researchers- accomplished experts in a chosen discipline of history. Others
join the group for its unique social characteristics-- its embracement of eccentricity....
its community and camaraderie. But for me, the SCA was an act of
jubuliant defiance: an enthusiastic refusal to surrender to tedium.

VOCAB:

meticulous: adj. very careful
accomplished: adj. successful
embracement: n. acceptance
eccentricity: n. weirdness
(harmless strangeness)
camaraderie: n. friendship,
feelings of friendship
jubuliant: adj. very happy
defiance: n. rebellion, disobedience
tedium: n. boredom

                                                                                                                                                                    
I did not, and do not, want to abandon the creative flow of childhood. I am
convinced that play.... fantasy and creativity for its own sake... is a deep and
profound human need; one we, as adults, must nurture and maintain. Play is
not an escape.... it is a celebration. Play is the essence of creativity.
We, as adults-- for the sake of our happiness and our souls, should re-discover it.

VOCAB:

abandon: v. leave, neglect
for its own sake: idiom. for
enjoyment only
profound: adj. very important,
very meaningful
nurture: v. take care of, help
grow
essence: n. central part, most
important part


 


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