By Allison Owen As most students know, the last week of the term is rather hectic --- especially if it's the week before a break. So this past week whenever I got really stressed out I'd watch or listen to drum corps. Drum corps helps me "get away from it all" and just relax.

Allison Owen (right) and "big sis" Jody
Monday I went to the doctor to get the good ol' physical taken care of for this summer. After a series of tests -- like running in place, moving my arms and legs in random ways, and other various things -- my doctor signed the form, clearing me to march this summer. As I was leaving the office, though, I did get some strange looks from other patients who had seen me running around -- I think they were afraid they would have to do the same thing. I also found out why I had been sick so many times this year -- I have chronic allergies. I was prescribed some medications and now I'm already feeling a whole lot better. Whenever I'm going out somewhere I take my corps jacket now, just to see what interesting things come from it. Nothing too exciting has happened yet, but I don't think I've ever had so many people read my clothing before, whether I'm at school or the mall. Now I know what it feels like when I see someone -- like the guy who marched with the Phantom Regiment who goes to the local university -- with a corps jacket on and take a minute to talk to them.

At school on Tuesday it began to snow like I've never seen before. The day before I was in a T-shirt and flip-flops, and I didn't know it would snow Tuesday, so I wore flip-flops again. Maybe Eric Fox has rubbed off on me. We had another clinic for new color guard girls after school and I got to help teach some basic guard things. Now when I first started color guard I was the absolute shyest new person ever, so I know how most new people feel (I know everyone thinks they were the worst ones when they started, but I can actually say that and be perfectly honest). One thing I remember when I was learning the basics was that I was afraid to ask any of the vets questions, so I wasn't surprised when only a few of the girls were asking questions. There was only one person I wasn't afraid to ask questions, and that was my "big sis" Jody. The sister thing was when we were paired up vets and new people to work on stuff. Another thing I got to do on Tuesday was teach across-the-floors. This was the first time our guard had done across-the-floors, so being the excited drum corps member that I am, our director had me take change. Before I could do that I needed to get some water so I could talk loud enough for all the girls to hear me. I came back in to start teaching them and all of the sudden they weren't afraid to ask questions. It turns out that when I went out in the hall to get a drink of water our director told everyone how crazy and dedicated I am about color guard. She told them about how self-conscious I was and that no one should be afraid to ask me questions because I was just like them. It felt great to be able to help girls who were just like me. I get this great feeling inside when I can help someone become better, knowing that maybe someday I can make someone else as crazy about color guard as I am. I remember how nervous I felt when I first started guard. To be perfectly honest, my director had to talk me into auditioning. Looking back I can't believe I had to be talked into trying out for color guard -- now it's the axis on which my world spins. It's starting to get warm again -- granted that there are no more surprise snowstorms -- and it's time for me to start running. There are tons of things that have to be done in the short months ahead, but I can't wait to see what each week has in store for me.