I didn’t go to away-camp as a kid. I had enough brothers around to terrorize me, take me to swim lessons and choir practice, and convince me to go hang out with the neighbor girl, all of which kept me adequately occupied. It was awesome. And most importantly: it wasn’t school.
Now that I’m big, I find myself seeking out away-camp and, yes, school. This morning, in between singing and hearing other people sing, I listened to early music soprano Ellen Hargis talk about rhetoric. Oh, and in Vancouver. It was delightful. We’re going to talk more about it and other lofty ideals later in the week. I can’t wait. I’m staying in a dorm and bought a plastic bowl and plate for $2 at the Safeway so I could eat my cheese sandwiches and yogurt in the shared kitchen. I guess years and perspective have made these once tedious rituals a delight. I will get homesick and long for my iron skillet and fresh herbs, but by then my 2 weeks at the Vancouver Early Music Vocal Programme will be nearly over and I’ll be off to my next adventure: moving to Chicago.
Away-camp lets our multi-tasking minds be singularly focused for awhile. I guess it’s like a sabbatical. It takes a couple of days to shed the other voices: “Where ARE you going to live when you move to Chicago? Should you start job searching immediately? Email folks about auditions? When are you going to arrange that promised 45-minute Ring for UAO?” Once those voices start slipping away, though, I figure they leave behind some space in our heads.
After a long and busy, busy semester, it’ll be nice to just think about one thing. I feel more room in my brain already.