So far this has been one of my favourite and they have all been rewarding experiences. Some of those experiences from MIV 2012 are as follows...
* Travel - Yes Melbourne is my home but there has still been travel because in the first week of two we had a rehearsal camp in the Gippsland township of Rawson. It was cold and wet but that was okay as we had warmed common areas and a lot of human warmth to share. Also since we have returned to Melbourne there have been venues for music and partying that have also been new to me.
* Musical Competence - I am far from the best chorister but I attended all rehearsals for our first of two concerts. This was in part because most of them were at camp and - well - I was a bit of a captive to the purpose of our residence there. However I was also more attentive than I have been in the past and got on top of the Requiem by Berlioz. I also enjoyed performing at the Melbourne Town Hall as part of the knee-melting contingent of first basses (which in turn was part of a marvellous contingent of choristers and instrumentalists that produced as much volume as I think I have experienced sans amplification).
* Recognition - It is odd to be part of a crowded gathering and be noticed by those new to you. This seemed to happen a bit for me and it is always a tad disconcerting. It was partly facilitated by some of the traditions of the Choral Intervarsity Movement. One of those practices is getting "banged for a joke" (a formalized way of invoking a joke-telling from someone during a shared mealtime). I have never done too well with jokes - I think of them as oddly formalized "units of humour" and I frankly prefer the ebb-and-flow of humour that comes with everyday human interactions. However I had an old joke prepared for just such a banging and a week later at our academic dinner it was voted the most popular. Astounding!
* Sociability - Many seem to think I am an extrovert who finds ways of getting on with everyone just like that. The truth is more complex. I am middling on the scale between extrovert and introvert. I need alone time (part of why I love walking and public transport). I am selective in how much contact I invest in others. The thing that may distort all this however is that I put a lot of effort into thinking on how best to interact with others. I call it diplomacy. I think I have done well so far in giving attention to those that matter to me in a way that fits our respective commitments and timeframes. I hope so anyway.
* Awesome Humans - There are many among us who are talented and inspiring and brilliant and generous and warm and caring. Whether they do something hilarious in a revue act or make an event happen behind-the-scenes or fix problems as they happen everyone makes a contribution to the success of the whole human venture.
And with all of this I think part of why I have enjoyed things so far is that I have paced myself. I have had sleep all nights - usually more than five hours (my latest night at camp was over the rather sedate and civilized activity of sitting in armchairs philosophising). Hopefully I will continue to balance my rest and recreation in the coming days. The fact that I am a non-singer for our last concert will make that much simpler. We have been having an exhausting rehearsal regime and I am impressed with the dedication and good spirits of my fellow choristers from across Australia.
Update: I have indexed my seven IVs as of 2013 in this post.