Krista Miller is a junior communications major at Virginia Tech living in Blacksburg, Va. This past summer was her rookie season with the Glassmen. She plans on pursuing a career in mass media. She'll be contributing frequent reports to DCI.org. By Krista Miller 1 -- The heat. So what can I say? I enjoy crisping like a piece of bacon out in the sun. The heat is inescapable in the summer and walking into a gym that's so cold it feels like the artic tundra comes to be a common occurrence. It's amazing how your perceptions of hot and cold drastically change on tour, and a "cool, 70-degree evening" in the lot has you breaking out your corps jacket. 2 -- The expense. I spent a lot of money this summer. I decided that my investment was worthwhile. After all, I have memories, friends and feelings that last a lifetime. Money is temporary. If you're going to spend it, you might as well do something big and something worthwhile. 3 -- The pain. I can't imagine anyone who, while in his right mind, enjoys subjecting himself to pain, but I admit that I enjoyed every moment of it. Besides, after a long hard day, the sense of accomplishment coming off the field is really what it's all about anyway. 4 -- The food. It wasn't too long into tour when all I wanted was a big juicy steak and a Pepsi. However, when I got home, I realized that I ate better on tour than I do here. Sure I may have access to any type or variation of food I want and when I want it, but do you honestly think I take time to plan out healthy meals, let alone three of them a day? I think not. 5 -- Individuality. So yeah, I LOVE the fact that no one cares what anyone else looks like while on tour. It's always been my dream to find a place where I didn't have to get up in the morning and do my hair, and where people would still greet me with a smile. Likewise, I miss waking up beside 134 other people and not needing an alarm clock. 6 -- The wardrobe. Or, the lack thereof. If you can consider being half-naked a wardrobe, then drum corps is for you. Drum corps also makes for easy packing. What else do you need besides white shirts and a few pairs of shorts? There's no getting up in the morning and saying "What will I wear today?" because it just doesn't matter. It's hassle-free, and eliminates standing at the closet only half awake trying to make your decision! 7 -- Rehearsal. It's long, and it's all you ever do. There's obviously no way to avoid it, but it's where I had some of my best times. There's nothing like sitting around reminiscing with my family and saying things like, "Remember that one field with the grass that was so tall you couldn't see the horns when we went for a water break?" Or the sopranos tracking that night with little light outside in the rain? That's how we bonded, that's where we grew up. 8 -- Sleep. Basically, I sleep more on tour than I do at home. Strange, no? The sad thing is, sleep is different on tour. Tired becomes a way of life on the road, but there's something pretty vindicating about knowing that no matter how tired you were, you managed to do what you had to do. I can remember doing run-throughs at night and afterwards thinking, "Where did today go?" Amazing how I'd give up half the sleep I did get on tour to have a few more days to perform our show again. 9 -- Showers. OK, admittedly, now that tour is over I miss having company and someone to talk to in the shower. What I don't miss is a different shower every day and dragging my shower bucket around the country. The little things in life make time not on tour a little nicer, like hot water and a clean towel. 10 -- The bus. The bus is the only place any corps member can conceivably call "home." Somehow, your stuff always manages to get away from you; you don't have the time or energy to stay completely organized; and inevitably, you'll hate the guy across the aisle. Despite all this, you grow to love the bus. It's the only thing that remains consistent your entire summer, and it's the place that you'll find some of the greatest comforts of drum corps!
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