I am on the Work Exchange Crew this year, which helps me pay for the tuition cost of the week by essentially plugging me in to a staff position for several hours a day, allowing some of the "real" staff to take care of more important things - like they helped me today, but more on that later. We helped check in the almost 300 staff, teachers, and students, getting to feel like we were on the inner circle, and introducing us to about twenty team members right from the get-go. For an introvert, that was a little slice of heaven; I automatically made friends because of the amount of training and work time we spent together before we even started making music!
In the evening after orientation, we heard several teachers and staff perform together, and these are seriously WORLD CLASS players, singers, and dancers. But so down to earth, sweet, and just clever! Small jam sessions immediately broke out under several tents after that, the beer tent lit up, and we all glommed together on main campus to either reconnect, introduce ourselves, or just sit back and listen. We did not go to bed until very, very late.
...is what was supposed to happen. Instead, I got to spend my entire morning in a disgusting, sick mess, erupting from all orifices as quietly as I could so I didn't wake my roommate, a lovely older fiddle player. I slept it off as best as I could and tried to get some water in me, but by 10am I just felt wrong: shaky, bleary, sore, and nauseated. This is where the Gathering magic happened; I texted my Work Exchange manager basically saying, "Help me I'm dying," and there followed a series of lovely people corresponding together in the blink of an eye and getting me shuttled to urgent care.
After taking the afternoon to get medicated, hydrated, and moderately rested, I had missed all of my classes for the day, but was still able to make it to a potluck session (History and Styles of Sean Nos Dancing), a slow jam session led by Martin Hayes and Kathleen Conneely, and the staff showcase concert...
IT WAS SO AMAZING!
Also, if you're wondering why I'm still writing after complaining so much about my lack of sleep, it's partly due to the fact that I left my phone charger in the car and am having to charge my phone via USB cable plugged into my laptop...and of course it won't charge unless the laptop is running... Fingers crossed that I won't be such a hot mess tomorrow!