Becky Novac, an alum of the Bluecoats' color guard, will be contributing a column to every Thursday. This is her fifth installment.

Becky Novac
Monday, by far, was the greatest day at work. It wasn't because I had a holiday party (even though that is coming up). I didn't win a million dollars and I didn't get anything for free. Monday was great simply because I felt the biggest accomplishment to date at work. ^I've been working for a little over two months now and until Monday everyday felt the same. I got on the bus. I walked down 40th street, got a coffee and croissant from the cart on Park Ave., and continued until I found my building. Time would pass; I would complete some paperwork, but nothing that was really exciting. I have never expected everyday at work to be exciting or life-changing by any means, but I've always been searching for anything that gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment. My client started to approve the Spring 2005 media plan and add various other media to run in two weeks. Needless to say, the quick turnover time needed to secure advertising space put stress and pressure on the whole team. The longer you wait, the less space available for advertising to run. I didn't leave work till 8:15 p.m. and I really loved being there every minute. (If you don't already know me, I am a dork.) I think it's that same sense of pride and accomplishment that every individual in the drum corps activity searches for at rehearsal, performance and just life in general. Every year people wonder how someone could stay at a drum corps that has never made Division I finals. I think it's the same reason why many people stay with the same Division I finalist year after year no matter what happens that fateful night in August -- pride and accomplishment. We all have corps jackets. The Bluecoats have pennies. The Cavaliers have gears. Magic of Orlando has links. The list continues as to what each drum corps has to show pride in the organization and more importantly pride within themselves. It would be hypocritical for me to say we all should always wear our corps jacket and, in my case, pennies, because I hardly wear either thing. The only time I wore my pennies during my three years with the Bluecoats was my age-out finals retreat. My corps jacket, I think I wore it once or twice my rookie year. My pennies are the most valuable physical possession I own from my years of marching. The blue shoestring could break and my pennies would be lost, and I have the worst luck when it comes to losing things. I've lost my parents' wedding set that my mother gave me (at color guard practice), and just last week someone stole my cell phone (that was two weeks old) from my desk. I just don't have the greatest luck holding on to things of value, especially sentimental value. Each penny I have holds a multitude of accomplishments and I would never want to loose them. Some people can't believe I never wear my pennies and that my blue shoe string is the same one I got my rookie year (and it's still blue, not grey or white from the shower or sweat). I plan on putting my necklace in a shadow box and hanging it up somewhere in my room, it will be my minidisplay of pride. Now removed from ever getting another penny and adding to the jingle-jangle sound that the vets love to hate, to me it's not important to have my pride and accomplishments on display for the public to see. Over time, people I meet might never know that I marched drum corps and that the activity has taught me everything I know, but maybe they just haven't gotten close enough for me to tell them my greatest pride, my greatest passion. There are few things in life that we claim to be completely passionate about. For me it's drum corps and my career. Without one, I would have not that the desire or work ethic to accomplish the other. We choose our passions wisely, and likewise I choose to display my pride and accomplishments wisely. Pride and accomplishments change over time. One day I'll have pride in my husband and children and what they have accomplished. Passion, however, stays with you over time. I will always remember Monday as the day where I finally felt passionate about media and my work in media. If you're truly passionate about something, it will remain part of you for the rest of your life. For me and many of you reading this, each time, no matter how old we get, that we see a simple thing, like a football field, we will remember our pride our accomplishments that we had on a football field. Most importantly, we will remember our passion. Becky Novac currently lives in Hoboken, N.J., and works for Universal McCann in New York City as an assistant media planner. She is 22 years old and a recent graduate from Penn State University where she majored in journalism and psychology. Becky marched with the Bluecoats in 2000, 2002 and 2004 as a member of the color guard. Past columns by Becky Novac: Banquet weekend Missing out Unknown suitcase adventures The Even years