You have to understand, I haven't been in anything like the right mindset lately. Indeed, I've been downright cranky. I *expect* myself to be in a good mood in September, and had somehow convinced myself that this is because I have the summer to relax and veg and get bored, so I'm raring to go. That simply hasn't been the case this year: if anything, I've been extra-stressed lately, and have been in no mood to dive into anything.
But today was the Harvard Activity Fair, and in a word, it Rocked. We got just about the right number of Carolingians helping (five of us); more importantly, we actually had several students front-and-center. (Besides Antonia, there were several other folks joining in and helping out in garb, and once they warmed up, they were doing quite a good job.)
Harvard currently has a really good formula for the fair -- instead of putting it in front of Registration, they built it around dinner. Literally around: they closed the dining halls, put dinner until a big tent in Radcliffe Quad, and had the activity tables surrounding that. So it's big, and busy, and has really excellent flow, with new faces constantly passing through. And since it's outside, it isn't quite as insanely loud as the Midway.
We got lucky, no question: we only got a little sliver of table, but it was at the end of a row, and this *is* Carolingia we're talking about. So I pulled out another table, Christian put out his fencing gear, and we quickly had ten feet of frontage dedicated to the SCA. A number of students commented that we had by far the most interesting setup at the fair, and we wound up with three full pages of names, including a bunch of apparent interest in a number of activities.
Along the way, the plan to turn next week's dance practice into a sort of info-session for the Society in general and the guilds in specific kind of crystallized, and we talked it up *heavily*; if we get lucky, we might have a half-dozen or more newbies from Harvard there.
And I was reminded of something I'd forgotten: activity fairs are, bar none, my *favorite* SCA-related activity. Yes, I adore dance and games and all that, but an activity fair is pure unadulterated adrenaline for me. One thing I've known about myself is that, when I really believe and care about something, I'm a damned good salesman, and that shows up most at an activity fair. It's the moment when I actually grok why some people go into sales, frankly -- it is *fun* to pass on my own enthusiasm.
And for a variety of reasons, a good activity fair makes me feel *young* as nothing else does. Partly it's being surrounded by so much youth and energy; partly it's the reminder that yes, despite the grey in my beard, I can still connect with the college students and convince them that the SCA can be a real hoot.
So for the first time in rather a while, I'm actually looking forward to the start of the season. My burnout will resurface in time (probably the first time that dance practice attendance really drops), but I am looking forward to possibly getting some new faces to teach...