By Allison Owen The weather can be a funny thing. At the last Memphis Sound camp we were outside running around and tracking in the cool winter air -- which is a bit odd for January -- and the weather was the same way when I came home: Not too cold outside with odd temperatures for the winter months.

Allison Owen
The very next day the temperatures dropped over 20 degrees. I don't understand what is going on with the weather here, but this has made it slightly uncomfortable for me (and others like me) to practice outdoors.^ Now don't get me wrong: I'm not complaining. It's just a little weird when it's in the 60s for a while in January and then when I want to go outside to practice things I learned at camp, it drops down to freezing temperatures. Isn't that a funny coincidence? One good thing about this crazy weather is the snow. Very early Friday morning it began to snow here and it continued into Saturday. Thankfully this brought us a snow day at school. I woke up at 7:45 (which is when school starts for me) and I thought "Oh no, I'm going to be late." Then I looked out the window only to see a blanket of white covering the ground, including the roads, which assured almost every student around our region a day of no school.

Had it not been snowing so much I would have been outside practicing, but I wasn't really excited about spinning a flag or rifle in the snow that day. So I decided to spend some time with the Division II & III finals DVD, which, might I add, is something you should check out. I thought it would be fun to check out some of the drum corps that I could be competing against this summer, so I sat down and watched. It was different than I had expected and I really enjoyed watching this DVD more than I had thought I would. Like I already said -- if you haven't seen the Division II & III finals DVD, then you need to do so.

The past week I've been thinking about how great it is to be able to say that I'm a member of a drum and bugle corps. It's weird to finally be able to say that I'm actually marching this summer. It seems like so long ago when I first had the desire to march and now this dream is being fulfilled.

Everyday I'm working on something to improve myself and prepare for the next camp and ultimately the summer. Whether it is stretching, spinning, dancing, running, or some other form of exercise, I know that I'm going to have to do something everyday to get better. For example: if I can't go outside to spin, then I work on dance inside. There is always something I can work on to get better.

So if you find yourself in the middle of some crazy weather situations this winter (like I already have), remember that there are many things you can do indoors to keep in shape for drum corps. Even if you're in the same boat as I am -- you're in color guard and don't have access to a gym and you don't have high ceilings in your house -- there are other things you can do to get better.

Best of luck to anyone out there who is still in the process of finding their home for the summer -- I know how that feels and I can now tell you that it's a great feeling to finally find your drum corps home.
Allison Owen is a sophomore at Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Tenn., who plans to audition for a corps in November. "I'm in the SHHS guard and I like writing, dancing, performing, traveling, photography and having fun. As for after high school/college, I don't know what I want to do ... I just know I would like to do something dealing with color guard, computers or writing," Owen said.