This was my first event as an Arts and Sciences Judge. As I progress in apprenticeship, I expect that I shall be acting as a judge quite often. I shall have to develop something in the way of largess to share with A&S contestants (back to the pewter casting projects with me, I think). As I only judged one entry at this event, I think I managed to get by.
Being the generous sort of individual that I am (cough... cough), I valiantly offered to sacrifice myself by volunteering to judge any brewing and vinting entries offered at the event. As it happened, there was one entry in the brewing and vinting category at Midwinter A&S. This was a fairly simple but extremely nice Blackberry Wine. I'm afraid that I was unable to give it a very high score, as the documentation was not very complete and it wasn't a difficult wine-making project, but I gave it a top score on execution without a second thought. I spoke with the vintner after turning in my judging form, and I was pleased to find that she wasn't actually expecting to receive a particularly high score on that entry. Her wine entry was something of an afterthought, and she actually won the category with her other entry.
As some of my readers might expect, I entered the competition myself in the performing arts category with Contrapasso, a 16th-century Italian dance written by Fabritio Caroso. Marks from the judges on this dance were 19, 21, and 23 (out of 25). I was actually rather surprised at these scores: I wasn't expecting to do so well with a partner I'd just found the night before (shame on you Francesca for not making it to Midwinter!) and a dance that I don't consider very difficult. The judges' ratings for difficulty/complexity were 4, 4, and 5; I was personally expecting a 3, since I received ratings of 4 for Laccio d'Amore, which was much more difficult to master (I swear that Caroso deliberately tries to mess you up with that dance). I'm obviously going to have to come up with a 16th-century Italian Renaissance outfit for these dances that I'm researching, as every single judge commented that our garb was not appropriate to the time and nationality of the dance.
I also found time to consult Her Majesty regarding the Meridien Ball at Gulf Wars. We now have a finished dance list, and I hope to make it an exceptional evening for dancers.
I would like to say a special thanks to Viscount Rhame (my apologies if I've mis-spelled that) and Viscountess Gwynna, who made this event all the more special with their hospitality.
Our next planned event is the Convivium Collegialis on February 25th.