Deciding what to write about every week isn't very easy especially when I'm trying to make it interesting for you, the reader. This week I actually thought of things I could write about, especially since I was on the West Coast this last weekend. During the summer drum corps is very much a group activity, since we have to live with the other 134 members 24 hours a day. Over the last couple of days, though, I have had a chance to reflect on camp and the activity itself. I have realized that the difference between the preseason and actual season is night and day -- not only because of the time commitment, but also because during the preseason, the activity is based more on the individual. A lot is expected of a member of a drum corps during the summer, but during the winter, it seems as almost as much is expected out of a member. They must memorize the show music, prepare physically by running or holding a horn, or doing crunches and pushups. Because so much is expected out of members during the 3 ½ weeks between each camp, there needs to be a lot of personal motivation. This is sometimes hard to find, at least for me. During the summer you're pushing, along with 134 other people, doing the exact same thing. But during the winter you have to do it by yourself. As I'm finding myself a rookie again, I know that there is a lot expected out of me as I learn the ways of a new corps, but I'm also finding the motivation a bit easier to find as it was in 2003. I'm finding that when you're truly motivated, things seem that much easier to get accomplished. I'm also finding this to be very true with school. For as long as I can remember I have been a really bad procrastinator. This was especially true for me once I found drum corps and I immersed myself almost completely into the drum corps activity. I wanted to do nothing more than be involved in the activity every waking moment. It was always very hard for me to find the motivation to do my schoolwork, especially when I could be practicing show music instead, or watching one of my favorite drum corps shows (which is either the 1987 or 1989 Santa Clara Vanguard). It also didn't help that I wanted nothing to do with most of what they forcefed us in school. This also kind of rang true for my first semester in college. I was very bored with the material because it was what I was used to having in high school. Last week I started my second semester of classes at the local community college. I finally realized when I was scheduling classes that I can really start to pursue my dreams. For some this might sound odd, but my major life goal is to be a corps director. So this semester I have found a good amount of motivation as I approach my classes and the homework that is involved with them. I'm very excited to finally be able to pursue what I love to do and pursue what I want to ultimately do with my life. So far, nearing the end of my second week of school, I have managed to stay on top of the game and hand all of my assignments in on time, and for me that is something amazing. Hopefully all will work out with my classes this semester, and with what I ultimately want to do in life. Best of luck to all of you who have just started your spring semester of classes. Past columns by Joe Smith: The Lure of strawberry smoothies In Praise of sponsors Loving the Phantom of the Opera A Picture is worth 1,000 words Dealing with tour withdrawal The Busy musical season A Hectic drum corps week Right where you left off The Other side Preparing for tour Getting away from it all: Report from a Colts' camp Strong winds, early sunset: Report from a Colts' camp Meet the visual tech New challenges in Dubuque My favorite place: Alfred, N.Y. Freezing rain, full ensemble: A report from Dubuque Discussing drum corps over the holidays