By Allison Owen For those who know me well it's no surprise that I'm already planning what I'm going to pack for this summer. I'm the kind of person who doesn't want to forget anything, so I start to prepare early. I remember last year, a few months after I found out about drum corps, it was time for move-in for the 2003 summer. I would check DCI.org every day -- just like I do now -- and wish that I could be in on all the excitement. One article I distinctly remember reading at this time was Emily Tannert's "The Tour Packing List." I remember this so well because I know I couldn't help but wonder if I could ever pull off packing like that for an entire summer. Fast forward one year and here I am -- exactly where I didn't know I could be. I would be lying if I said I wasn't at least a bit apprehensive. It's just one of the things that comes with being a rookie -- not knowing what to expect -- so all I can do is just keep preparing myself for this summer. Everyone who has asked me about my summer and found out that I'm basically only allowed one big suitcase for my clothes and such has thought I was crazy, but as I've said before: That's the way I've come to like my life. Now with this one big suitcase I don't want to pack too much or too little; how do I know what is just right? There are so many lists of necessary items available for people like me -- the rookie who has no idea what to pack and what not to pack. If there's one thing that's completely obvious, it's that each corps is different in its own way. There are also many corpsmates, vets whom I can ask for advice, which will tell me which things our corps recommends specifically. I have been told that there is a chance that I'm probably going to forget something. I've also been told that this will be OK and I'll either borrow what I need or get a chance to buy it. Now since I'm the type of person who hates to forget something that I need, this is not a pleasant thought, but I know that it's not as big of a deal as I think it will be. Another thing that I've been told by many people -- vets, fellow rookies, and staff alike -- is to get an air mattress. I knew I would need to get one before move-in, but it hadn't been at the top of my priority list -- until I looked at the calendar the other day. I just came to the realization that move-in weekend is a little over one and a half months away. It's time to get an aero bed! I had been casually mentioning my need for an air mattress since sometime around November, yet I hadn't ever actually followed through on it. So this past week I really started bringing it up more when talking to my parents. Sure enough, as some form of an "Easter gift," I woke up Sunday morning owning my very own aero bed. Well, that's one thing I can cross off the long list of "Things to do Before Move-in." As the end of May draws more and more near each day I try to not freak out. Although drum corps is my life, I try to do or think about other things to keep my mind off of the excitement that lies ahead. One exciting thing I found out this week (and it's keeping me from stressing out about all the things I have yet to do) is that I will be going to San Diego for WGI World Championships this weekend. I had been hoping to go for the past year, but I just found out this week that I could actually go. I'm looking forward to maybe becoming slightly more tan and making some new acquaintances who march corps, so stop by and visit me at the Pageantry Group booth. Just like every other week, Amy, our guard tech, stopped by school during guard class to help us out and give advice. However, this week she brought along her friend, Todd. During breaks Todd, Amy, and I would talk about different things guard- and corps-related. To the untrained ear it may have sounded like we were having a conversation in French with all of the ballet terms we were using. We discussed some of our likes and dislikes in across-the-floors --- I found out that I am not the only one who thinks double stags are a means of torture, and I even learned some new things. I sat there in awe as I watched Todd and Amy spin rifle, as well as toss sixes with ease. As I watched I realized just how much I have to learn; I'm really a rookie. There are so many things that I am currently unable to do -- some things that I've never even seen before. All I can do is keep an open mind and be willing to try new things. There are so many things that I don't know how to do and I know I'm going to learn tons of new tricks and such this summer. Before I can move in for the summer and learn all these new things I need to be ready for it, so I think I'll get back to planning and packing while I have some free time.