Posts Tagged ‘his’

I already got this:

Unicompartmental Left Knee replacement of medial compartment

Unicompartmental Left Knee replacement of medial compartment

In 14 days I will have this:

total-hip-replacement-big

This morning I was ready to get it done NOW.  I want to be on the other side of this and start getting better–the rehab uphill climb I know all too well.  But as of this moment I am going to just say it—I’M PETRIFIED. I know I’ll be fine. I’ve had too many surgeons and hip replacement recipients tell me that it’s so much easier than what I went through with my knee. But you know what? THAT DOESN’T MEAN A DAMN THING AT THIS POINT IN TIME! The thought of going under the knife yet again has got me wound up tighter than piano string on the verge of snapping. And frankly I’m not all that sure why.

I don’t mean to bitch and moan about it–I truly don’t.  I’m surrounded by wonderful friends who have everything figured out with regard to getting home, caring for me until I’m ready to be on my own again, and carting me around until I’m permitted to drive.  I couldn’t have a better surgeon nor could I have a better support network. But this evening…for whatever reason…”the shit got real.”

I’ve mentioned a few times to close friends that I honestly do not remember a time when I wasn’t in some sort of pain.  I think it was around 2000 but hard to tell–I had been lifting mom’s wheelchair in and out of the trunk of my car for over 10 years at that point so my back, hips and knees were already giving me fits.  But somewhere during 2007 was when I realized I was always in some sort of pain.  And I’m so damn tired of it.

So I guess I’m pulling a #4…something that goes against the very fiber of my soul. Sure, I’ve been living #2 (Accepting it) for the last however many years, and in 14 days I’ll jump up a notch to #1 (Changing it).  #3 is of course, not an option (Quit). So forgive me for dumping in a public forum…I just want December 3rd to get here already so I can wake up in the Recovery Room and say, “Ok, let’s start getting better–NOW!”

his-bucsA few times over the years of posting thoughts and ideas and commentary and the occasionally rare criticism I have made the following remark:  “My humble hat is stapled to my head.”  It’s true…ok, perhaps not stapled but most assuredly Gorilla Glued on.  I am always quick to deflect congratulatory statements from others, passing them off to the band members because, in my heart, I truly believe they are the ones who deserve the kudos.  I’m merely the caretaker, the custodian, the one who guides the ship but doesn’t make it run.

Perhaps there is some flaw in this approach but I have never really liked the whole “It’s not them, it’s not them, it’s me!” thing.  The reason for this is simple:  without THEM, there is no ME.  I have learned a little over the last few years to simply say “thank you” when moments of congratulations present themselves.  It is hard for me…and only those closest to me know and understand that.  The outside world sees the demanding, dictatorial, rules with an iron fist woman who stands before a crowd of 20,000+ and sucks up the applause.  If only you knew how much truth lies in the notion: “It’s not you, it’s the position.”

And yet, every once in a while a moment comes along in a person’s life when one has to remove the humble hat and take a bow.  …bare with me, this will be challenging.

On the afternoon of November 1, 2014 I received a phone call just as the band was marching under the West grandstands and heading to the pregame entrance gates.  I looked at the number, didn’t recognize it, yet, against my better judgement, decided to take the call for reasons unknown to me.  I had only a few minutes before the pregame show needed to start and there I was answering the phone.

On the other end was Lois and Lou Tierno with the news that I was to be inducted into the 2014 Reading Buccaneer Senior Drum and Bugle Corps Hall of Fame.  I was, perhaps for the first time in my life (or at least in a very long time) rendered speechless. I’ve been removed from the corps for years…24 to be exact. My time with the organization was a scant 8 years: 5 on soprano bugle and 3 as drum major. Not really a lifetime commitment as so many other inductees have made.  But I suppose my contribution to the corps continued long after I departed by sending students to learn from them just as I did, and then those members going on to become staff members, just as I did.  In retrospect I supposed I’ve always been connected to Blue in some manner.

I do not speak much of my time with Reading–it holds a very dear and special place in my heart that is difficult to explain to those who have never been part of such an organization.  I was 19 when I joined–one heck of a cocky trumpet player who didn’t know that she didn’t know.  I was fearless.  Some might say the person I am today was “born in Blue”–a raw young kid who was shaped by so many gifted (and patient) instructors, who left before she was finished “cooking” but had the support in place to continue along the path on her own terms.  I grew up in the Bucs, that is clear.  I was “broken” there and then mended, molded and reshaped into something much more than I realized at the time.

My mentors were many: Matt Krempasky, Darrell Weyman, Chuck Runkle, Glen and Andi Brumbach, Carol O’Brien, Amy (DeLong) Snook, Robbie Robinson, Ken Sherry, Ralph Pace, Jerry Kelsey, Ron Gehris, Grant Hill, and of course, George Parks (and so many others…and the moment you begin to name any you leave out ones you should have included so my sincerest apologies for that).

I learned about family from my parents, aunts, uncles and cousins. This idea of family became more pronounced during my time with the corps. In turn it was enhanced and reinforced during my time at UMASS with George. But all those lessons and values and ethics did not crystalize until this kid simmered a bit more over the years, and began to pass on the lessons to my own “kids” at the University of Delaware.  In the end, all I ever really needed to know I learned at Reading.

I’m honored, humbled, and most grateful to be part of the 2014 Reading Buccaneer Hall of Fame.  I could share stories for hours and hours about all the joys and tears of that time in my life.  But that is for when we sit around the nursing home and not for this moment. And while it is bittersweet not to be able to share this moment with absent friends, I know they are standing on the deck of the ship we will all board one day when we will once again rule the seas, together.

Aye me Buccaneers…for we are indeed, all good men.

UDMB @ BoA Newark, PA Regional

UDMB @ BoA Newark, PA Regional

There was a man who once said, “I love watching lots of people doing great things.”  This man was correct as there is perhaps nothing more rewarding than a group of individuals working together toward a common goal.  In this case we are talking about over 400 people (330 in the UDMB and another 70+ volunteers–parents, friends, colleagues) working 3-4 hour shifts, doing a wide variety of jobs from ticket sales, program selling, tshirt pressing, moving high school bands around the athletic complex, greeting band directors, and setup / cleanup….all for one purpose: creating an experience OTHERS will remember for a lifetime.

The world we live in is one of selfishness. We are products of a society whose mantra is “What’s in it for me?”  This is an extraordinary narrow life view.  The humanity has been beaten out of us to such a degree that people no longer have the ability to communicate with another member of the species unless it is via an electronic device.  Social interaction is the newest phobia.  And yet yesterday I watched my students go out of their way for each other as they went beyond and above the call of duty for thousands of strangers.

26 high school bands were in our “house.” They came to us from as far north as Connecticut to as far south as Georgia.  They brought parents, friends, siblings, extended family members.  Community members from Newark, Delaware were there as well. Family and friends of the UDMB too.  Thousands of people passed through the gates of UD stadium and spent the day relishing the talents of over 3000 musicians and performers–who gave their all in the spirit of competition, education, and growth.

Bands of America came to UD for their Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship.  UD and the UDMB were their hosts.  The day began at 5:45 am and ended at 11:45 pm. The UDMB performed twice in exhibition–once at the conclusion of prelims and again at the conclusion of finals.  …and yes, the band grabbed the audience by the throat and said, “You will love us.”  …and they did.

I could write for pages about all the incredible moments woven within the fabric of those 18 hours but it is not necessary.  I will simply state in print what I said to the members of the UDMB last night at the conclusion of their last performance:

I have never been more proud of this band as I am today.

…there were, of course, many shenanigans taking place throughout the day as well…I leave you with an image of my transportation for the day. Decorations were courtesy of my professional staff….

Sarv's Ride

Sarv’s Ride

For the first time in my career–perhaps life–I find myself enjoying a moment of peace and restfulness.  I’m sitting on my deck at home, sipping a new coffee from my favorite coffee roaster in New Jersey (Moon Doggie Coffee Roasters – try them!) called “Ground Zero – Fat Man French Roast.”  It’s 64 degrees outside, the deck is still in the shade and I’m sweating.  Ok, perhaps a little too much TMI there but do I like to provide you, The Reader, with the complete picture whenever possible.  It is T-minus 10 hours, 45 minutes before the start of my 20th band camp as director of the University of Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hen Marching Band…I have nothing to do but laundry while I get my scores and drill charts organized.  Everything seems ready to go…I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t just a little nervous about not having to run around like a crazy person doing last minute projects but all seems to be in place so I’ll take advantage of this momentary “quiet before the storm.”

20 years…when did that happen?? I do not know if I’m more astonished that 20 years have flown by or that I’m still here after 20 years.  Now do not let that last statement upset you, it is nothing more than an obvious observation: 20 years at one institution is a long time in this day and age.  I do not believe that in 1995 I thought UD would be my “last stop.” Frankly I do not believe I thought anything other than “how do I survive my first day as band director at a major university?!”  A dear friend once called me “loyal to a fault.”  It was, and quite frankly, still is the most accurate assessment of my nature.  When something in my life “works” I stick with it to the end, be it bitter or sweet.  People do ask though why I haven’t moved on to “bigger and better” things.  There are multiple reasons for this and I will not delve into them because each would require a magnitude of explanation for those out there who do not understand the “nature of the beast” (college marching band). I will just offer a blanket statement: I know my demons here and THAT is reason enough.

How does one measure 20 years at the same job? Three dogs (Walter (ATB), Buford (ATB) and Della) and four cats (Sheba (ATB), Guinness, Oscar and Shalli). No children (unless you count the 6000 that have shared each academic year with me over the course of the last two decades). One apartment, one rental house, one owned house. The loss of both parents, best friend, and countless other friends, relatives and colleagues.  Three cars (Celica, Infiniti and Infiniti). Two arthroscopies (one on each knee), one partial knee replacement, and gallbladder removal.  One ulcer. Trifocals.

Well that is certainly one way to measure 20 years….but how about we do it another way?

Trips to Boston, UMASS (countless times), MICCA, ACCs in Scranton and Hershey, various shows at Frawley Stadium, Allentown, Navy, Towson, JMU, Connecticut, Washington Township, GRAND NATS in Indianapolis, Chattanooga – twice!, Texas (sort of), the 9-11 halftime show during Band Day w/UMASS, new uniforms (2002), new uniforms (2013), George Parks getting stuck on the lift–in the air (priceless), FOILED!, FORKED!, CAR PAINTED!, POST-IT NOTED!

I’m sure I missed a bunch of other momentous occasions but these seem to stand out as the most significant milestones.  In my life I’ve loved them all…

I’ve been asked a few times already, and I’m sure I’ll be asked the same question many more times as the year unfolds: “What is your favorite moment from the last 20 years?”  For me it is not an event, not an occurrence, not any singular moment in time.  It is that in all my time here there has been one other constant: Jim Ancona. There are very few programs in the country that can claim a partnership such as ours.  Twenty years of growth and understanding all based upon the same philosophical point of view.  I can think of only one other such partnership (George Parks & Thom Hannum).  I think Jim and I are in some pretty good company.

What will the next 20 years bring?  ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? Let’s aim for 12 or 15 at the most and close the door with a nice quiet retirement at a beach house near Rehoboth, ok?  What is in store for the rest of the journey until retirement arrives is not for us to say, nor to guess.  Wherever the road takes me is where I will go…but if the last 20 were any indication of what the last third of the journey will be like I think we’re in for quite a wild ride!

T-minus 9 hours, 20 minutes until BAND CAMP #20.

—sarv

(Oh, hey alumni?  Homecoming: October 18.  FIGURE IT OUT!)

There are things that happen for a reason.  When each event occurs rarely is one aware of the specific reason for the situation to unfold the way it does.  However, during the last four years I have become a little more aware of such moments, but only in the belief that there is a reason behind them.  I do not know what they ultimately mean, but I am aware that at some point I will come to fully understand why they occurred.

I do not mean to pull you along a metaphysical journey, nor one of spiritual belief.  That’s far too personal for me to EVER blog about.  What I will do, if you, the Reader, will indulge me, is to take you back to the fall of 1986 on the campus of UMASS/Amherst, where a young freshman mellophone player would eventually be the reason why the University of Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hen Marching Band has been as successful as it has been these last 20 years.

Before we use the Wayback Machine permit me to explain a bit more…

Lately I have been blathering on about “knowing where you came from,” “understanding your past so you can live for the future,” respecting and honoring those who came before,” etc. I have gone on and on about such topics because for me they are what gives our lives substance, purpose and meaning.  Without the past we have no idea where the future will take us.  Without the past we have no foundation upon which to stand. Without the past we are merely living for the moment with no support upon which to lean should we ever need it.  Without the past our existence would be very empty.

Each summer I spend 8 – 9 weeks on the road teaching workshops for the George N. Parks Drum Major Academy®.  I have done this for the last 30 summers.  Each workshop brings with it a chance to delve deeper into the “WHY” and the “HOW.”  I have been teaching the “WHAT” for so long that it is merely the vehicle I use in which to understand MORE.  With each workshop the material passes through a new filter in my mind.  The filter is new because life experiences change how you view things.

My dear friend Timmy (that would be Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser to everyone else), who is also one of three men I’ve chosen during my life to be my brother, likes to say it this way: “Sometimes someone says the same thing they’ve said for years but there is a new wrinkle that is ever so slight and it make me go A-HA!”

This summer was a major A-HA moment for me and why I choose to write this particular blog entry.

DMA is still DMA…even without George. While it continues to evolve just as it did workshop to workshop when George was still with us, some big ticket items remain in place.  One of those is the ATTITUDE SESSION.  Sure some stories have changed but remember, the stories have always been just the vehicles used to teach each lesson.  This summer I was in the middle of ATTITUDE at EKU in Richmond, Kentucky when I suddenly expanded upon a particular lesson.  The lesson was “There are four things you can do in an unpleasant situation,” and it was number 1 that sparked a new story for me — “#1: Change it.”

(Enter the Wayback Machine with me as we journey back to 1986….Band Camp with the UMMB.)

  • 1986 – 

A cocky graduate student (me) who decided to break all the rules and still be in marching band, is one of two people left on the field after a full band march off.  My opponent: a freshman mellophone player named Jennifer Boltz. She is just as cocky as I am and I would be damned if I let her beat me!  …but she did…so I suppose I’m damned.  …two words: Oh Well.

I do not remember much about Jennifer during 1986 – 1988.  I was working on my master’s in trumpet performance and she was an undergraduate music education major.  I’m sure she has her own tales to tell but my memories of college and time in the UMMB have long since faded with only snapshot images of moments that hold special meaning for me.  What I do recall is the spring of 1988 and Jennifer’s audition for Drum Major of the UMMB.  I do not recall the actual audition but I recall her getting the position…my position.  My successor had been named.

  • 1988 – 

George and I were having a fight as usual (someone hold Trish Cornett please) and we were not speaking.  At some point mid-fall Jeanne Parks called me and asked when I planned to come up and see the band. I told her I had no intention of doing so. In short, she said she thought the two of us (George and I) were being idiots and that I needed to get past that and come up to see the band–it was amazing!  So I did…I drove up despite not speaking to my best friend and when the UMMB finished the opening fanfare of “Festive Overture” I had been reduced to tears!  They were amazing.  They were big and they were powerful, and I was shocked and simultaneously amazed at how impressive they were.  And there was that mellophone player on the podium: Jennifer Boltz.

  • 1989 –

Time for me to write for the UMMB again…and they were BIG!  Well over 300 members….what does one do with all those dots?!?!  Jennifer was back on the podium again.  This, of course, meant nothing to me. I was happy she was being successful and I hoped she was enjoying it as much as I did.  That was about it.  The band was incredible…I was a high school band director (first professional goal achieved)…George and I were speaking again (whoever is holding Trish may now let go). But a question lingered in my mind for the next few years: how did the band get so big so fast when it was stuck in the low 200s for so many, many years?

  • (Fast forward to 1993….”Building Power and Class”)

A documentary was made about the UMASS Minuteman Marching Band and there is a moment when filming is done in the McGuirk Stadium Pressbox of the Boltz sisters.  Jennifer is there and she talks about changing how the band welcomes the freshmen.  She talks about how when she was a freshman she did not feel very welcomed. She talks about the “suitcase thing” and how it was not any big deal but that because it WELCOMED the incoming band members in such a positive way, the band enrollment went from 200 to 300+ overnight.

“There are four things you can do in an unpleasant situation.  #1 – Change It.”  And Jennifer did just that the summer of 1988 for the UMMB.  The field staff was hanging out in the staff room of Old Chapel and just getting into trouble.  She thought if they would go unload the cars of the rookies during check in she could get them out of Old Chapel and they would be doing something positive for the band.  This simple, no nonsense, “fix the immediate problem” idea began a snowball effect that I am quite sure Jennifer had no idea would occur.  The freshmen were welcomed into the band…upperclassmen moved each one of them into their dorms for band camp and the freshmen felt wanted and needed. And BAM! The Minuteman Marching Band of UMASS became HUGE!

  • (Fast Forward to 1995…on the campus of the University of Delaware)

A new band director (me) gets appointed to the UDMB and the task before me is a little overwhelming.  Fortunately the majority of the senior class is hungry, perhaps they are ravenous for something new.  After teaching high school for a few years and being the Associate Director of Bands at Temple University for a few years, and spending my summers playing Tonto to George’s Lone Ranger, I knew enough to be completely and totally petrified at the prospect of being the head band director of a major university marching band.  Fortunately I also had learned that one makes small changes and takes their time molding a program into their vision (a vision that changes as much as the DMA “WHY” changes workshop to workshop!).

The first thing I instituted was “the suitcase thing.”  The Field Staff would move the rookies into their dorms; the Field Staff would do so with a smile on their faces; the Field Staff would love it…period.  In 1995 the UDMB numbered 147 members.  In 1998 the UDMB numbered 300 members.  Since 1998 the UDMB has had an annual average membership of 320.

All of this is due to a young mellophone player turned Drum Major of the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band named Jennifer Boltz.

Thank you Jen.  A momentary blip on the radar screen of reason allowed me to connect all the dots for the first time this summer.  If you had not done what you did I would not be where I am today.  You are now a DMA story…George would be proud!

And so we come full circle my friends: everything happens for a reason.  We may not know the reason at the time but if we are patient, one day the reason will be revealed.

(…I suppose I could have just said thank you at the start of this missive, but when have I ever not taken advantage of telling a story in order to teach a lesson?!  So get ready to move those rookies into their dorms UDMB FIELD STAFF–time to make the BAND!)

I know.  I hear you. I understand. But let’s face reality ladies and gentlemen–this broad does not know HOW to slow down!  I have two speeds—full out and off.  There really is no in between for me.  Sort of like a puppy–go, go, go, go, CRASH!  Frankly I wouldn’t have it any other way either.  I could have spent my holiday break sitting around, watching Netflix, puttering around the house, etc.  But why do that when you spend 10 days on the road with some of the most incredibly special people in this business called music education?!  So off I went.

First stop:  New Orleans and the Sugar Bowl

I am not a stranger to this particular event–I have been an assistant director on and off for it since the late 1990’s.  The “off” years were for silly things like two Tournament of Roses Parades, one “tiny” trip to Ireland, and my very first ever vacation to Trinidad/Tobago.  They all were pretty good reasons to skip out of “bowling.”  🙂

This year my return to the the land of Mardi Gras and Bourbon Street was slightly different.  It was my debut as at the helm as the halftime massed band director and guest conductor.  Time to put on my big girl panties and drive the boat!  Now what this all entails is simply to understand if one is familiar with Band Day at the University of Delaware.  13-16 high school bands + 100 or so dancers = 1500-2000 performers on the field in the Superdome.  The only things different are 1) two 3-hour rehearsals instead of one 90-minute rehearsal, and 2) UD isn’t staged in a grid to hold it all together.  Success depends up on the preparation of the high school bands, and this year THEY ROCKED IT!

I got to “hang” with some pretty special people those 4 days—

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  •   Jeremy Earnhart
  •   Peter Wolfe
  •   James Thomas
  •   (me)
  •   Lauren Heller

We ate lots, laughed more and had a fantastic time working with some truly wonderful bands. It was over before we blinked but a great time was had by all.

Second stop:  Miami and the BCS National Title Game

The morning after the conclusion of the Sugar Bowl (can you say HOLY LOUISVILLE?!) while everyone else headed home I took a side trip to Miami to catch up another group of wild and crazy folk to do something the same, but different.  I was again, heading up the massed halftime finale but this was the second part to a larger component of the week.  Bowl Games of America decided to create a new event within the structure of their already successful bowl game programs: the All-Star Invitational Marching Band.  This was a select group of high school students who were put together as an honor band.  Their role: a 4 minute PREGAME show!  Music AND drill.  This group was led by Dr. Ken Dye (Notre Dame—he had quite a bit to do this week!), Barry Bernhardt (FIU), Jim Hudson (ASU), Norm Ruebling (former U. Missouri), and Wes Cartwright (Broken Arrow HS / SCV).

The first 2 days were all about the All-Star group getting ready for their inaugural performance.  On day 3 I got to come out a play!  We put the All-Star band together with Lancaster High School (from Virginia) to create a band of approximately 350 with dancers.  While this is tiny compared to what we had at the Sugar Bowl it was not a concern…..because we added the Miami Sound Machine to the mix!

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Two rehearsals with the combined group (3 hours on day 1 and 2 hours on day 2) and we were set to go!

The weather has finally started to clear out….I hope the drizzle stays away from game time but it is Florida and one never knows what Mother Nature will do.  I’ll be heading over to the Sun Life Stadium with the crew below in a few hours and we’ll get to see one of the most hyped games of the year!

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(left to right:  Norm Ruebling, Jim Hudson, Wes Cartwright, me, Doug Green (our boss), Barry Bernhardt)

A special shout out to Doug Green and all the folks at WorldStrides Heritage Performance and Bowl Games of America!  I’ve worked with many organizations around this country and this is, by far, the most organized, most hospitable, most caring, and most professional group I’ve ever been honored to be part of.  I am looking forward to a long and wonderfully exciting future with them!

****The All-Star Invitational Marching Band is already booked for the 2014 Orange Bowl—-band directors, nominate your best students and get them out there with us!  It is a phenomenal experience and one that will change their lives as musicians AND people!!!*****

UDMB DM Megan NixonTomorrow is the final home game of the 2011 regular season.  A typical season on some levels; an atypical one many others (hurricanes, earthquakes, and more).  As is always the case I became a bit reflective as I drove the lift from the turf complex across the dark athletic fields.  This is a traditional solitary ride for me–I like it that way to be honest.  Me driving a big piece of construction equipment at twilight….ok, it’s a little weird I will give you that.  But for some reason I am able to use the time to be deep in my thoughts about the season that is about to pass into the history books in 24 hours, and about a very special group of seniors.

Anyone who spends countless hours on a football field in every conceivable type of weather doing one of the most physically demanding SPORTING activities known to man has a right to be happy, thrilled, ecstatic that it is all about to come to an end.  And yet every year there are tears in the eyes, if not falling down the faces, of each senior band member.  The realization that a huge part of WHO they are is coming to an end hits, and it hits hard.  Sure there were hard rehearsals, of course there was frustration at times, and yes, there were days you did not want to be out there anymore.  But now, facing “the final curtain,” one finds themselves wishing to be a rookie again; wishing they could do it all over again because it all happened far too fast.  More time, please can we have more time?!

“Regrets, I’ve had a few” is how another stanza of that song goes, and yes, I’m sure every member of the UDMB has had one or two over the years.  But regrets are not what the seniors are focusing on right now.  They are thinking about their first band camp; the first friends they made that they will probably keep for the rest of their adult lives; their first overnight trip sleeping on a gym floor; mixing with UMASS and watching two grown adults (George Parks and I) acting like little kids, each band being embarrassed by their respective director and both directors looking at each other and laughing harder; their lifetime memory of marching in the Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington, D.C. and NOT freezing to death; flying to Texas for a football championship game; and anticipating their final regular season performance in Annapolis, MD in 48 hours.

The memories are endless for this year’s UDMB senior class just as they are endless for every senior class that came before and will be for every senior class yet to come.  There is no other organization in college that goes out of its way to provide as many experiences as possible for it’s members–experiences that are not to be had anywhere else on campus.  THAT is my goal, THAT is what drives me, THAT is why I do this year after year.  To see their faces when they are living IN THE MOMENT–there is no greater joy for me.  (I learned that from a dear friend not that long ago.)

So to the seniors and EVERYONE in the UDMB, here is your to do list for the final weekend:

  • Make eye contact with those around you and “be in it WITH” them;
  • Meet a few new people in band you’ve not met yet;
  • Cheer for the team; the cheerleaders; dance team; mascots AND EACH OTHER;
  • Thank a Field Staff and Ad Staff member;
  • Thank a ROOKIE;
  • Hug your friends;
  • Thank you parents;
  • Enjoy each and every moment of the experience because it only happens once each year.
And lastly, if you’ve learned anything this year I hope it was–
  • To love what you do;
  • To love each other;
  • And to love yourself  – with complete and total abandonment…”in my life, I loved them all.”