DAY 19-29

Day 19:

There was a doggo on campus. I don’t remember anything except the doggo. I miss my 4 legged and finned friends.

There are a few key people here that truly challenge my growing character. I want to be able to inspire people every day the way they do for me. I think all of us are changing for the better because we are being surrounded by the power of positivity. The staff embraces it. Admin embraces it. It’s something really special and I hope every day that I'm able to hold on to it when I get home. 

Day 20:

The highlight of today was taking 150 uniforms to the laundromat. The laundromat is my happy place for the following reasons: Dr. Phil, cleanliness, the smell of clean laundry, lots of white, the perfect (but not too much AC), park benches as indoor seating, a Dunkin Donuts next door. I love it dearly. Also, I made $40 into quarters. That’s 160 quarters. What an amazing day.

SBJ: 36

Day 21:

Today, people from FloMarching (basically the ESPN of marching band...feel free to look up their Crossmen coverage to see the music my homies have been making) came to do a Crossmen takeover. It was really cool getting to talk to the three guys. One of them was from Cincy and was best friends with a guy from Morehead, so he used Morehead as a getaway the same way I did when I was at Louisville. It’s a crazy small world sometimes.

Tomorrow, the whole corps, staff, and volunteers have to go across campus for a mandatory nationwide training. In preparation, we made 300 ham and turkey sandwiches. Massive amounts of food are cool.

SBJ: 38

Day 22:

Today, all of DCI (every volunteer, staff, and member of every organization) took 2 hours for a Mutual Respect and Accountability Training. It was all about appropriate action/harassment/hazing/etc in the workplace and educational settings. They didn’t have all of the answers but they did have an open forum with attorneys to answer questions and I think it was a good start of big conversations for the activity.

While the members got to sleep in, the admins woke up extra early to pack breakfast tables and set up the 250 chairs in the gym at the Colorguard’s practice facility. Once the training was done, everyone ate their bagged lunches and we shuttled them back for regular afternoon rehearsal.

The fun didn’t stop there. After rehearsal, the corps had history night. Alumni from all over the country came to watch the end of rehearsal. After rehearsal, some mini festivities began.

We made a corps tradition: cookie salad (literally just a bunch of types of cookies in a bowl mixed together). The souvie booth was set up. A member from each decade came and spoke about the growth of the organization. We watched some old shows. The directors handed out a few scholarships, and the members were given their Guardian, which is basically a special alumni that they can communicate with throughout their entire experience with Crossmen and beyond.

It was a long day for team admin, but we survived. In fact, only a few of us fell asleep sitting up during the game plan meeting. No one died. Nothing caught fire. Life is good.

Day 23:

This morning, I worked on more spreadsheets and watched two entire episodes of Brooklyn 99. 10/10 would recommend.

I called Apple Support for a kid whose phone wasn’t working. Then I put it in a box to send it to his mom when I couldn’t figure it out.

I did another run to the laundromat. It was not like usual.

Here is a quote from Snapchat:

“The AC is broken. There are 5 children running around. A crying baby. Dr. Phil was replaced by some action movie. There’s also some kid's musical playing on a phone. My happy place is burning to the ground.”

Luckily, the washers lock, so I ran and hid in a Starbucks for 25 minutes while the stuff washed and the random children had a breakdown.

When I went back, I'd turned my baseball cap backwards to get the bill out of the way while I folded laundry. A little girl ran up, kicked my drink, and when we made eye contact, she ran back to her mom and asked her why I looked like a boy. Honestly, I couldn’t figure out what emotion to feel at that point.

There’s a stomach bug going around, so I basically bleached the entire stadium. I also sprayed every surface that might even kind of come in contact with a human. Then I stationed hand sanitizer throughout campus. I refuse to let this ship go down 6 days before we leave. We will be a healthy drum corps.

SBJ: 39

Day 24:

Secret Operation Project Positivity was completed today. I wrote and printed 20 motivation posters and hung them in the bathrooms, locker rooms, and above water fountains on campus. We’ve been here a while and it’s definitely wearing on people. I tried to make them relatable. I didn’t expect to get such a good response, but I think a lot of people really needed a little pep talk for themselves. I’m learning a lot about the power of positivity.

We locked down campus for an hour because there was a crazy car chase in San Antonio. All of my bleachers running came in handy when I was running with the other admin to make sure all 900 gates were locked. Luckily, nothing actually happened. Some of the kids figured out how to stream a police radio. We planned how to throw our giant cans of food off the top of the stadium bleachers.

Honestly, I think drum corps is an alternate universe that’s really just a sitcom for some other planet. Are any of these things actually real life or is it all one giant ridiculous dream? 

Last on my big accomplishments today (besides also some boring paperwork) was creating The YIKEter Scale. I’ll send the PDF at some point. It was thoroughly amazing. I put wayyy too much work into it. Rico made me leave the admin concession stand and go for a run because he was worried about my sanity. (He was right. The run felt amazing.)

"It is currently 90 degrees and dark and don’t understand how that’s possible. Like seriously. It feels cool bc it’s not 110 but this is ridiculous. I’m going to need a parka when we get to the 65 degree nights in Wisconsin."

Day 26:

Organized 500 T-shirt’s. Cleaned a lot. Like a lot. I almost missed lunch bc I was so busy in the morning and lost all track of time.

Tried the pickle slushee from Sonic...really wasn’t that bad. May or may not have eaten an entire one.

It rained for less than 3 minutes. I cried. Real tears.

It’s been 26 days since I’ve seen rain and water fell from the sky for 180 seconds. What. The. Actual. Heck.

I bought a $1 glow stick frisbee from dollar tree. It was the best investment of my summer so far. We played with it for a while tonight. It was HORRIBLY designed so we basically just started chucking it across the football field and running after it. Some of the members thought it was hilarious. 

In conclusion, today was a big very busy day. We’re all starting to feel the ever-approaching trip across the country. I’m excited but I’m also going to miss the little life we’ve made here. It’s going to be weird not seeing it again.

SBJ: 43

Day 27:

Ran errands in the morning. Team admin hasn’t had time to do laundry in a couple weeks, so today we raided the show shirts boxes from the early 2000s. I'm now wearing show shirts from years where I was in elementary school.

Something died in the air vent of the concession stand that serves as our office. Honest to god I’ve never smelled something so horrible in my life. I spent 4 hours today sorting and cleaning and bleaching, getting ready for when we leave in a few days. But oh my gosh the smell got so bad. I finally got some help and got the vent open, only to find out that it’s stuck in the aluminum air duct tube that we can’t get into without cutting open...which apparently would mess up a lot of the AC system. But the AC system is blowing the cold air right past this dead animal. Oh my gosh it’s so bad. The smell starting wafting onto the football field. The shower wasn’t enough.Ohio won’t be far enough away from this gosh dang thing. 

It’s kinda hilarious tbh.

I have a super late night working on logistics for our big Crossmen Experience Day (150+ kids on campus tomorrow) and the Marching Music Extravaganza we’re hosting in the evening. 

I’m really lucky to have the awesome friends here. My admin pals were awesome tonight and after rehearsal, when some of my drum friends saw me with all of my many spreadsheets strewn out on the track in the middle of the night, went to the gas station across the street and surprised me with my favorite Peace Tea.

We’re all in survival mode in our own ways. I always try to be there for them when their rehearsal days are rough or when it’s super hot or whatever, but I feel slightly like that’s part of my job. I don’t do it just bc it’s my job, but it was really heartwarming to see them go out of their way to be there for me when I was having one of my crazy days. Even some of the people at home were in this very “you’re not doing real drum corps” mindset, but that’s not what it’s all about. We’re all just here to do our part to get this show into the lives of the people we’ll see all summer. The fact that it’s a two way street; that they’d spend part of their night doing something for me, even though it’d be easy to say “yeah but you get to be in AC whenever you want” or “you don’t have to wear a drum all day”. That’s the feeling that I’ve never really experienced anywhere else. It’s just such a wholesome group of people. I’m so so so lucky to be learning the kind of human I want to be and to surround myself with. I know I’m making some very special life-buddies this summer.

Even on days like today, when I explain my whole day: the day that will never end, the day that tried to beat me down with angry doctor calls and messed up inventories and crazy spreadsheets and a freaking dead animal blowing on me all day; i can’t bring myself to say I’ve had a bad day. It’s just all a part of this adventure. I couldn’t be more grateful to get to be here...even if it’s almost to ridiculous to believe it’s reality sometimes.