Closed windows, air conditioning, lengthy and funny introductions, a short story in front of us; much better.
P.S. When I explain to people that Sydney and I attend graduate school in the same school, same building, in departments that are on the same floor, they usually laugh. Well, the joke gets better: Sydney just got assigned to an office right across the hall from mine! Although we each share offices with something like 6-10 other people, the offices apparently have air conditioning, so we’re veeeeery happy on this hot and muggy August day.