Paula Hyman will be contributing columns to DCI.org each Wednesday. Here's her third installment. Is this heaven? Nope, just a rest stop. One of my favorite things is when we're on the bus and we get to a rest stop in the middle of the night. By the way, when we stop somewhere, no one yells, "OK kids wake up, we're at a rest stop!" You just have to be lucky enough to get up at the right time. I'm pretty sure my body is trained to wake up when the bus stops moving -- most of the time anyway. We had a system going on in the back of the bus. And just incase you didn't know, the back of the bus is far more superior then the front. Maybe we'll talk about that some other time. Anyway, back to this "system."
If someone wakes up at the rest stop, they then must attempt to wake up the others around them who specifically asked to be woken up before they went to sleep -- make sense? It wasn't anything organized or amazing, just a way to help each other out and make sure we got of the bus if we wanted to. There are three things that you're probably going to want to do when you get off at a rest stop. Use the bathroom. You've been on a bus for who knows how long, and you probably had two bottles of Gatorade before you passed out in your seat. Stretch your legs. You've been contorted in a seat or laying in a cluttered aisle for quite some time. You might not be able to feel such things as your knees or ankles, but don't worry, you'll get the feeling back soon, just walk it off. Get some food. Food is great and we all love it. In my opinion, one of the most amazing things about tour is how you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want, and still come home looking like you weren't fed for three months. OK, so it's time to get off the bus. You scramble around looking for money and grab your hoodie and one sandal. You then spend the next five minutes looking for your other sandal, which somehow made its way to the front of the bus during the ride. Now you're ready to go -- after you play a little Spider-Man. There are kids all over the bus in every which way. You have to climb on the seats, armrests, and maybe even use the floor to get to the front. But be careful, people don't like it when they get stepped on. You walk in the door of the convenience store and it's like heaven. If you have to use the restroom really badly, you'll probably go fight the crowd and do that first. Ahh, that is much better. Now you feel it is time to start buying things. The store is lined with all kinds of food that is bad for you. You start to get excited and probably buy more than you need, but that's OK -- just tell everyone you're "stocking up." Here's some of my favorite stuff to buy. I could easily go on forever but I'll limit it to four items. Pringles. They are convenient because they can easily live on that space along the window or in your seat organizer. Combos. They are just good and easy to share. Pizzeria Pretzel is my flavor of choice. Gatorade. It's just awesome, OK? Flavored milk. Whether it's chocolate, vanilla or strawberry, I'll usually always get a bottle of flavored milk. So good. Here in the real world, I am always reminded of tour. When I go inside to pay for my gas or am in the supermarket, seeing certain foods reminds me of how excited we all get when we are simply at a store. How much happiness a bottle of Gatorade can bring. The little things make us all so happy. I love tour. Well, I've got to get going. It's time for me to turn some high school kids into intense marching machines. Make sure you come back next week for part two when I will talk about a very rare event -- a FREE DAY!! Thanks again for reading and have a great week. Past columns by Paula Hyman: The Move to Allentown Welcome back to the real world Paula Hyman is a fourth-year member of the Cadets where she is the mellophone section leader. She is 20 years old and currently single. Originally from South Florida, Paula recently made the move to Allentown, Pa., to work for YEA!, the umbrella organization of the Cadets, Crossmen and the U.S. Scholastic Band Association. She ages out in 2006.
Paula Hyman (center) with Dean Westman (right) and Jon Bilby, in Bristol, R.I., on Paula's birthday (also a Cadets' free day). Dean was the Cadets' brass caption head and Jon the visual caption head.