Monday, August 25, 2008

One Week

Out of the stew of conflicting thoughts that is my mind, the one that emerges is how hard it is to nail down any one thought. This is probably as close as I can come: I am mostly very excited for the changes that lie ahead with intermittent bouts of worry and panic. I also feel that I currently underestimate -- or at least misunderstand -- homesickness at the moment. Only time will tell.

It still hasn't "hit me" (whatever that means) that a week from tomorrow, I will most likely be seeing the Berlin Philharmonic perform at Royal Albert Hall, but it has certainly begun to sink in that this is my last week to enjoy with family and friends. This weekend was a fun one, but it was tainted with a distinctive "last" flavor.

Things have fallen into place. Things remain that still need to be cleared up (getting a bank account is a big one -- I had no idea that it would be such a needless headache). 

I have heard many times that the educational system in the UK is very different than in the US (a reason that I wanted to study there, frankly), but just today while looking over the induction materials, I worried that I might not fundamentally understand the system there the way I fundamentally understand it here. A) I hope that this doesn't set me back initially and 2) the best way to combat "A" is probably to recognize that I don't immediately and innately understand it.

Thus far, I have been nothing but extremely pleased with everything about the RCM. They have three orchestral competitions a year (most good schools have only one and USC, which is the leader in this category in the US, has one every year in which there are something like a half dozen winners) and thus far everyone with whom I've spoken or e-mailed has been prompt, friendly, and helpful. This is a trend that I desperately hope continues.

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