First, I must start off by apologizing for my column's absence from the Web site last week. It was completely my fault. Between finishing my group project and my day-to-day account piling on work, it was nearly impossible for me to write a column that I would be somewhat proud to have authored. To catch up, my group project is over. We presented to several members of upper management on Monday morning and everyone seemed pleased. Hopefully I'll win. If not, I'm glad it's over and I can do better things with my time.
I made the mistake of calculating how many hours I've worked since the beginning of April. A grand total of 205 hours popped up on my screen. Scary. I didn't attempt to calculate how much per hour pay I was receiving. That figure probably would have been more depressing than the fact that I worked 205 hours. I don't want to think how many hours I put in during March, nor how many await me in May before the summer starts. Summers here are nice. We have every other Friday off and the workload is much more manageable than it is currently. About two weeks ago I moved to the 18th floor, where most of the planning division of my company sits. The 20th floor, where I originally sat, is a transition floor for most new assistants. We live up on 20 until room on 18 becomes available. Finally, it became my time to move downstairs. I realized the other day that since I've moved, I haven't been back. I haven't visited my friends -- they always come down here. I really have no need to go upstairs anymore. I'm not interested in seeing my old cube. Some new girl with blonde hair now lives there. My friend Chris has told me he won't come see me anymore unless I visit him upstairs first. I left home in September. Since then I went home for Christmas, that's it. I plan on going home in two weeks to see my family and the few friends I have left there. I have promised myself that I will make the trip home to see my niece born in June. Leaving was no big deal to me. Not visiting, again not a big deal. I left a lot at home in September. My mom and stepdad. My best friend, Mitch. My mom calls almost everyday to see how I am. Mitch and I are both extremely busy with our lives and we don't get to talk much at all. I left Bluecoats in August. Besides the few conversations with Jenn Johnson and a couple of other small talk conversations on the Internet, I haven't connected with my drum corps friends since I left. I realized all of the above the other day. I realized that this might be my big personality flaw: I leave and don't think much about it. I got worried. I've mentioned before that I don't want to forget my memories. I don't want to forget my friends on the 20th floor at work. I don't want to forget Mitch at home. I don't want to forget Bluecoats. And vice versa. Just as I realized that I miss people that I've suddenly left behind lately, I got a phone call while I was practicing my presentation on Sunday. It was Jamie Oakley, my caption head at Bluecoats. The Bluecoats had their second drill camp over the weekend. Also, the weekend was deemed "alumni weekend." Jamie was in the car with alumnus Mike Brandt, current member Kim Wilson, and Marlieta, one of my wonderful techs. I can't begin to explain how ecstatic I was to hear Jamie's voice. "Hello, do you know who this is?" I began doing a combination of the running-man mixed with jumping jacks all voiced over with a high pitch squeal. My poor group members had no idea what was going on. Jamie broke me down mentally last summer and eventually when I deserved it, he picked me up. Since I've been working so much, I've been alienating myself. I'm always tired. I don't feel like going out. I just want to lay down watch TV, since I probably didn't during the week, and eat a pint of Ben and Jerry's. When I needed my pick me up, when I deserved it after all this hard work, Jamie was there to remind me of my memories. Strange how that worked out. I went shopping for Mitch's birthday card and I found the perfect one. It says something like, "I remember all the goofy crazy things we did together, especially today, your birthday." Happy Birthday Mitch! I know it's impossible for me to forget Mitch, he is the person that made me do color guard and made me go to senior corps in 1999. These bond,s along with many others that we developed throughout our nine years of friendship, are sure to tie us together for life. To all the people whom I share countless memories with: Thanks for calling when I don't. Thanks for remembering my presentation date, when I barely remember your birthday. Thanks for still calling me out of the blue just to say hi, despite my personality flaw. I really appreciate it. 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.