1) It was literally 100 degrees here today.
2) My octet actually did some bonding, had fun together in our rehearsal and coaching today, and seems to be improving! Our coach played the final few phrases on my part with me along with the group, to demonstrate putting more energy in the rests, and I thought making music with her was just about the best thing ever.
3) When I first got here I thought I'd never learn how to navigate my way around the enormous campus of the University of Maryland, but now, I'm actually getting the hang of it.
4) In our coachings, our phenomenal chamber music coach Ms. Winkler squeezes improvement out of us and then declares, "That was better. Anything less than that is not acceptable."
5) I have a private lesson with Ms. Winkler tomorrow morning -- commence freaking out. (See above.)
6) Tonight was a faculty chamber music concert, so I spent the evening listening to a variety of works, including Luigi Gatti's Sextet in E-flat Major for english horn, bassoon, violin, viola, cello, and bass, and Mendelssohn's String Quintet No. 2 in B-flat Major for two violins, two violas, and cello.
7) Yesterday I bought a foam mattress pad to go on top of my mattress here in an attempt to remedy the mattress situation. It's a huge improvement. However, the mattress is still far from comfortable, and actually, I wouldn't have it any other way. It's a nightly reminder to think of my brother Christopher, who is currently at Officer Candidates School for the Marine Corps, and is no doubt sleeping on a horrible mattress as well. [I also do push-ups every day to further identify with his situation. That's sibling love right there.]