Induction Week at Trinity is over. I'm all, er, inducted.
The course handbooks are on USB keys this year. This makes them easier to lose, but more useful in other ways as there's 900MB free on the things.
I'd grown rather accustomed to having the place mostly to myself over the summer. I'm not used to having to queue for a cup of tea, or actually seeing other students around. I'm sure it will settle down a bit in a few weeks as people fall into their regular routines.
I've been trying to talk to some of the new students a bit, but I keep coming over all shy.
Some of my interested-in-chamber-music people from earlier in the summer seem to have vanished into the woodwork. This is most annoying.
Just when I thought I was off the hook for orchestral extracts, the syllabus has changed again and I'll have to do some for a mid-year exam. I would mind this less if I actually had any intention of attempting to be an orchestral musician. As things currently stand, I don't. I don't intend to do orchestral auditions after I'm done at Trinity. If I go on to do post-graduate work somewhere, it will either be in arranging and composing or have a very strong chamber music and jazz focus... and it's extremely likely that I'll do that next academic year, because I need to spend some time not being poor for a while first, so even if I do change my mind I'll have time to do something about it. I'm not looking at getting an orchestral job to keep the bills paid, either: I'm well on the way to being able to support myself through teaching, which I love.
That said, I am doing a BMus degree. This is an undergraduate qualification that's meant to be well-rounded. For the average horn player, who maybe isn't quite sure what they want to do, that means orchestral extracts are going to be significant. I'm not your typical BMus student: teaching and performing music has been my main source of earned income since late 2003, and while that's been pretty near subsistence at times, I know I can do it. I have over a decade of teaching experience. I'm nearly 28. I didn't attend schools with strong orchestral programmes as a teenager, mostly because in North America we have wind bands instead.
So I'll learn the extracts, and play them to the best of my ability, and thank all that is good in the world that this is for a mid-year exam and will be out of my hair after that.
Speaking of 'not being poor for a while', the Student Loans Company (SLC) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are playing a game. It's called "Silly Buggers". I will be making some mildly irate telephone calls on Monday to sort it all out, but in the meantime I am skinter than I had planned on being just at the moment.
This time last year I was still having trouble playing the horn for significant lengths of time, and I didn't know if I could handle being back in classes and rehearsals. Since then I've moved house twice, established a horn trio and a practice habit, put on a concert and improved my playing and my outlook considerably. I've had a lot of help and support from some truly amazing people, and I've come a long way.
I think this coming academic year is going to be one of my best.