Archived FAQ's of the Brown Ajah

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I don't like rum. Don't you have to drink tons of rum to be Brown?

Ismene: This is something important which I have been wanting to address. The Tower does function as a social club, and those of us who are of age do tend to drink at RL gatherings and parties. I think many of the Ajahs have some "pet drink" which they love to joke around about (witness the Greens and their Jagermeister, the Yellows and their mudslides, the SDS and their beer) We do joke around about rum quite a bit, but, if you are not a drinker, for health or religious reasons, or even if you are in recovery, please don't feel that you won't fit in with us. Personally, I'm a huge fan of rum, but it's not the be all and end all! If you ever feel uncomfortable, just pipe up and let us know! Rum is great, but it's not any kind of substitute for making new friends.

Rinwyn: It's against my religion to drink rum and they still raised me!

Taika: I've tasted rum maybe two times in my life... And some time ago I didn't even know what tiki drinks are.

Shara: Of course not, but it sure does make for good Brown times! If rum is not your thing then bring your gin and tonic or just plain water and join in.

Cinnamin: I only like some rum, Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum in particular. My actual drink of choice is bourbon, Wild Turkey Rare Breed. As for the Brown tiki drinks, I've been known to drink a Mai Tai on occasion, but that's about it. I'm not partial to fruity stuff.

Zashara: Who told you about our initiation ritual? D:

What's the deal with cheese anyway? I think it just smells bad.

Madelaine: Cheese is good... but not all Browns like all kinds of cheese. And just like you don't need to like Rum or Tiki Drinks to be a proper Brown, you don't need to like cheese either.

Shara: It may smell bad, but the worse it smells the better it tastes.

Taika: Again, matter of opinion. Lots of Browns like cheese, though.

Zashara: That is blasphemy.

What if I don't read a lot? I thought that all Browns read like 10 books a week.

Miriya: Ten books? Well, I am a fast reader (very fast), but with school and homework and hanging out with friends I only manage max two books a week If they're fun books and I can be bothered to read anyway

Sela: Well... yeah, I'm fairly entrenched in the reading part. I read books fast, and I read many. But not all Browns are like that. Which is totally cool, too. It's not like we'd blackball you for not having a certain reading quota.

Dracaenaa: No not at all. I personally love to read but I don’t get a lot of time to do it. Plus I’m not a very fast reader either so I don’t think there is any way I “could” read ten books a week unless they were comic books

Shala: If you managed to get through the Wheel of Time, you're already as dedicated a reader as you have to be to fit in with Brown.

Cinnamin: While I have been known to read that fast, it's not a constant thing and I haven't done anything like that for ages. My usual is a few pages a day, and I might be reading more than one book at a time. Now when a new book comes out from one of my particular series, I'll usually devour that in a few hours. Then I'll go back and reread the entire series at my usual pace of a few pages a day.

Shara: You don't even need to read 10 books a year to be Brown. It's more about having a passion for books, movies, tv shows or anything and expressing that passion in some way and wanting to gain as much knowledge as possible on that subject.

Keara: No one reads 10 books a week. No one I know anyway. Many of us do read a lot (me for example, but I'm in grad school), but many of us don't read that much. Being Brown isn't about who's the biggest book worm. It's about feeling comfortable with a really interesting group of women, whether you're reading Dostoevsky or Cat Fancy.

Zashara: Keep thinking that.

The Brown sisters in the book seem kind of well... frumpy. Is that what the Browns are like here?

Ismene: It's time to admit it! I have a dual personality! On the one hand, I am an utter shop-a-holic slave to fashion... I love cute shoes, and putting on an outfit that looks great really makes me feel like a million bucks! And yet, I am a big fan of staying cozy as well, with soft sweatpants and baggy cardigans. If I had to choose comfort over style though, I'd go with style every time. My undergraduate degree is in theatre with a concentration in costuming, so yes, I do appreciate nice clothes!

Dracaenaa: Me frumpy. No way! You would never find me w/ ink on my nose or even hands for that matter, I yes I do like to write w/ a quill Plus I love jewelry and clothes. I love being “girly” when I can. That is not to say I don’t get dirty, which I do for my job, and like comfy clothes

Cinnamin: I might qualify for that one. I'm all for comfort. My typical outfit would be jeans and a t-shirt. In my home where I can't be seen by the public, I'm more likely to be in less.. sometimes, a LOT less.

Shara: Heck no, we have some of the best looking wenches in the Tower!

Keara:No way. I'm not a clothes horse by any means, but I stay up on fashion and try to appear decent. Nothing wrong with looking good on your way to the library. Browns are good looking and well dressed women. *nodses*

Zashara: Yes. Go up to a couple Brown Sisters and call them frumpy. I dare you.

I haven't got a college degree/I don't plan on getting my Masters or Ph.D. Would I still fit in with the Brown Ajah?

Taika: That's not an issue. If you feel comfortable with us then you'd fit in with us.

Miriya: Oh, of course. While I'm personally planning to get a Masters doesn't mean everyone has to! If you're Brown, you're Brown, no matter what sort of education you choose

Kytera: I haven't a college degree/Masters or PhD and there is no need to have any of the aforementioned to fit in with the Brown Ajah. Having a degree doesn't always mean that you will seek and discover knowledge in a better way.

Sela: Of course! Whoever said that a piece of paper and attendance at endless lectures and classes makes a Brown? But then, it *is* an attribute at times, because some people go the academic route in their pursuit of knowledge. Others go different ways.

Dracaenaa: Yes! I do not have a college degree. I’ve taken a few classes but that’s it. It’s not about your education that makes you Brown

Cinnamin: I only have an Associate's Degree. But I'm continually learning, because I enjoy researching things I don't know about. I love all the information you can find on the web.

Lillian: As for college degrees, I don't have one. I am very academic in my own way, but it's more of a study of life. I like to watch people. To see what they are like and learn from their experiences. There is no degree that covers that particular pursuit of knowledge, I'm afraid. Even therapists have to actually talk to people.

Zashara: Maybe.

I'm really not a shy person. I love to go out and be the life of the party. Doesn't that mean I wouldn't fit in the Brown Ajah?

Serenla: Ok, some of you have met me. I defy you to call me a wallflower! Really, I dare ya! Don't get me wrong, there are times when I don't want to hang out and would rather curl up with a good book, but I love to go out, go in, go somewhere and live it up!

Ismene: There are many Browns who are shy, but if you aren't shy, that doesn't mean that you wouldn't fit in. I think some of the primary traits for a Brown are curiousity and a thirst for knowledge, and you don't need to be shy to possess those.

Dracaenaa: Not at all I have both kinds of moments where I love to party but then I also have my moments of wanting to be alone. Plus we are known to throw some great parties

Cinnamin: Shy isn't in my vocabulary. I'll talk to anyone, anytime, about anything. I talk to strangers in stores, parking lots, waiting in line, etc. And if you get me in a group of like-minded folk (like at Dragon*Con), I'm hard to shut up. It might not seem that way on the forums, because I'm not spammy, but get me involved in a topic I know something about, and you'll see a big difference.

Shara: Definitely not. You can be the life of the party with boys begging for your attention and still be Brown. The one quality I think most Browns have are the quiet, one-on-one times where we just want to sit and discuss and learn about each other and become closer sisters.

Zashara: If you're asking this question, you haven't met any Browns.

I'm interested in all sorts of things. I don't really study one subject or anything in particular.

Sela: Oh, that's awesome! It's also quite stereotypical of a Brown, actually. One solid attribute of Brown, in my opinion, is that we want to know so many things. Curiosity, or an intrigue of the unknown. A striving to learn more. Some of us have concentrations (I myself am partial to ancient history and languages), and others of us don't.

Kytera: Those 'all sorts of things' increase your knowledge, which is one of the goals here in the Brown Ajah. Whether you stick to one thing or a hundred topics doesn't matter.

Cassie: That's a real beauty of the Browns here, we all like so many subjects that it's hard to find anything that several people aren't knowledgable about. You don't have to know everything about any one subject, in fact, it's far more fun if you dabble in lots of things.

Dracaenaa: That to me is what makes a Brown, is to study many things. I have so many different interests from my love of plants to my study of healing. For me you can never have too many interests

Shala: I think being in love with knowledge means being interested in a bunch of different subjects. Sure, some of us have our own personal bailiwicks, but it's not a mandate. If a book title catches my eye, I read it, even if it doesn't fall into my main category of interest. I hate science, but I read a book on evolution once because someone on this site talked about it!

Cinnamin: I know ALOT about a few things, something about ALOT of things, and a little about most things. When I run into something I know nothing about, that's when I start hunting information online. I love knowing things, about anything.

Shara: That is excellent! The more things you are interested in the better, because you will be adding more knowledge and understanding and there is nothing more important than that.

Zashara: Your point?

I want to eventually bond a Warder when I get raised. Do Browns have Warders?

Ismene: As you probably know, all Ajahs except for Red can bond a Warder. We have a few Warders bonded to Brown at the moment, so if you care to join us and catch yourself a Warder right away, you can knock yourself out!

Shara: Of course we do. We have some pretty good Warders in our ranks and we are always happy to add some more.

Serenla: Yes, some Browns have Warders. I think that we tend to be very choosy though. I was.

Cinnamin: Finding someone that I want to be that close to, will probably take me awhile. I'm not all that trusting towards men in general, so whomever I bond will be someone special.

Kytera: Of course Browns have Warders! They help carry our books!

Miriya: Yes... but I'm not going to say what I will do when it comes to that

Serenla:*clears her throat* It wasn't too long after the comment above that Miriya and Kheldin bonded.

Sela: Of course. Many of us are just rather picky about choosing them, and have not found the right warder yet.

Serenla: And not too long ago that Sela and Darim bonded in their quest to rule the world. Um... in their fight against the Shadow that is...

Ciaran: Yep, we call them research assistants!

Zashara: I refuse to believe this is a real question.

What's a "brownout"? And do the brownouts make the Brown or are they just an added bonus?

Madelaine: A "BrownOut" occurs whenever someone who is Brown exhibits the stereotypical absent-mindedness the series Browns are often described as having. BrownOuts don't make the Brown. Everyone has forgetful moments... we of the Brown Ajah have just chosen to celebrate ours with a special name of honor.

Shara: Brownouts are when you suddenly find yourself in a place where you put the milk in the cupbored and the cereal in the fridge. It is when you were concentrating so hard on a thought that you forgot to pay attention to what you were doing and end up in a funny situation. Brownouts are definitely a perk, we now have an excuse for everything!

Taika: I think everybody has brownouts sometimes, it's not just a Brown thing. We've just decided to share ours!

Rinwyn: I think of them as a brain-fart that happens because some of us get so focused on other things we can't help but to just zone out sometimes.

Zashara: I'm sorry, what are we talking about?

I've heard the Browns are very laid-back. I can get quite fired-up sometimes, so does that mean I wouldn't make a good Brown?

Madelaine:Oh my... Browns are "laid back"? We don't get fired up about anything? Obviously whoever came up with this idea hasn't seen any of my recent posts in CE! Browns can be as passionate and fired up about things they believe in as any Blue or Green... we just differ in our approach. We tend to fight our battles with logic combined with tomes of appropriate research rather than with stabbity-wielding Warders.

Shara: We Browns can be very excited or very laid back. We just take things in stride and don't usually get overworked about silly things like drama and the Backstreet Boys.

Taika: The general feeling in the Brown halls is laid back and we don't have much drama. It's not about temperaments or personat traits though, but more about being able to accept diversity and different opinions or life styles etc. I think we're accepting and broad sighted.

Sela: About being 'laid back' - I do think it's a personality trait of many of our Brown members. However, that doesn't mean we don't ever get worked up. It's just that we get worked up about stuff that is very important to us. By 'laid back,' we mean that we're almost completely drama-free, we tend to shrug things off pragmatically rather than combat them, and we don't waste our time getting worked up about matters we don't find very important. When things matter, though, we're pretty solid, and we are definitely not afraid to speak up.

Miriya: Yeah, insult my friends, or just take away or ignore something I've worked very hard on, and you ARE going to hear it. But yeah, drama? I'd like to think we could solve that pretty calmly among ourselves, really.

Serenla: I think that this is a combination of both Taika and Sela's answers. I think they both have valid points. We do tend to be very open minded and accepting. We also tend to let a lot of items pass us by. It's not that we're wishy-washy or don't stand up for ourselves. We just tend not to get as stirred up by some things as others. Now, if it is something near and dear to our hearts, something that keys one of our "hot buttons", we'll certainly speak up. We are a rather outspoken group, we're pretty direct with each other and those that we know, we just typically don't feel the need to broadcast all the time.

Zashara: See above comment about not having met Browns.

A note from Sela on being Brown in general

You can't take one Brown at and call her a cookie-cutter stereotypical Brown. Everyone has some differences, and some similarities. We're not interested so much in seeing how you fit the Brown stereotype. We're interested in you, period. :) We're here to be with friends and have a great time. Many of us have a certain 'Brown' vibe that is recognizable and somewhat difficult to spell out in words - but Brown recognizes Brown, most usually, especially when at real life events. It might be the pausing and blinking for some, it might be the rambling about grammar for others...or it might be the fact that some Browns just tend to congregate together. There have been times when I have met some people, and known they were Brown, though I couldn't quite say why. (This is true of those already Brown, and also those just not *yet* Brown at the time.) I just knew they were of my ajah, and that we were going to stick together.

A note from Zasha on traits of a Brown Sister

Curiosity. Human, by nature, are curious. Browns tend to be a bit more curious than your average person. We like to know things. That doesn't mean that we are all scholars, although some Sisters do research in real life. Browns like to know things just to know things. We don't always want to *do* anything with what we know, we just want to know.

Attitude. Laid-back is a word that many of us use to describe Brown. While we can be passionate about our interests, we tend to take a 'relaxed' approach to life.

Sense of Humor. Browns are reputed to have a darker sense of humor. While not all of us crack jokes about baby eating, you need to be able to tolerate those jokes to be Brown.

Honesty. You will always get an honest answer from a Brown. It may not be an answer that you like, but it will be honest.

Independence. We often refer to Brown as the "Cat-herd'. This is due to our independent nature. We're all off doing our own thing.

Visit the Brown Ajah HQ