Bravura and the Army Song

No PT this morning, so I got up at 6 instead of 4. It sure is nice to be able to sleep in 2 days a week (not counting weekends). Of course, there are some people out there (hi Rick!) that even 6 is too early for them. We spent all morning practicing for our conducting evaluations that are tomorrow. The first 2 hours were spent in our classroom just practicing by ourselves, and then we went down to one of the rehearsal rooms and actually got to play through them. The instructor/evaluator talked to each of us after our turn to let us know what we still needed to work on. I really didn’t have much, except in Ruffles & Flourishes/General’s March and the National Anthem. And one of our SGL’s took me in the hall afterward to relate some of her experiences and stuff to me to help me, and she told me that I had the best military bearing out of everyone that had gone so far! And now for the subject line explanation. We have to do a pre-music march (our choice), arrival of the official party (National Emblem), Honors (2 Ruffles & Flourishes & The General’s March), the National Anthem, and the Army Song. The march of choice for pre-music for most of the 15 of us in the class is Bravura. And we also played the Army Song 15 times today and will do so again tomorrow. So now you understand my subject line.

After lunch, we had our practice hour, and then I stopped to pick up mail. Nothing. Not a thing. 22 soldiers in our 2 classes, and no mail. Bummer. The rest of the afternoon was practicing with our maces outside. They pretty much let us do whatever we needed to do – some people worked by themselves, some in a larger group, some (like me) in a small group. I worked through some of my trouble spots and am starting to get the flow of things better.

After classes were over for the day, I went out to the commissary to get a few things and then home for a nice long shower, call Ryan & Robbie, eat, practice my conducting a little, and then stitch/watch TV. It was a very good day.

Overnight low: 40
Today’s high: 52

From Frisbee Football to DNCO

PT was fun this morning. We played frisbee football for about 1/2 hour. It was BNCOC (my class) versus ANCOC (the advance course) and the cadre. They won, but it was still fun. And I even managed to score once for my team! That’s always exciting.

The rest of the morning was pretty much the usual – mace for 2 hours and then 2 hours of the history of country music, and then conducting. After lunch was our practice hour, mail call (lots for me again, and a few other things), MIDI, and rehearsal techniques. I had to leave before reh. tech. was over as I had to get to Scott Hall (the basic student barracks) for my briefing. I was the Duty NCO (DNCO) this evening – from 4-10:30. It wasn’t too bad and I sure got a lot of PT in – had to do a security check every hour (so 6 of them) and there are 3 buildings with 3 floors each and I had to check each floor of each building plus around the buildings each time. I had to have a male escort when I went on the male floors (7 of the 9 floors), but my phone watch or roving security came with me and announced “Female on the deck” on each floor. Deck because this is a Navy base and they call floors decks. I wear a pedometer just to see how much walking I do each day. Well, today I walked 9.9 miles! I think I’m going to stretch good before I go to bed.

During my DNCO shift, I had 3 students that I had to make new keys for (key cards), 2 that locked themselves out of their rooms, a broken mirror (the nail it was hanging on decided it didn’t want to be in the wall anymore), 2 Marines on extra duty for being late to formation, and my own lock-out. I had just made a key and was in the key box, thus my DNCO keys were in the key box. Then I left the office, and shut the door as I was supposed to do. However, my keys were still in the key box inside the LOCKED office. So I called the BEQ (Bachelor Enlisted Quarters) Manager and he called around and found someone that had another key to the office and I finally got back in. I did manage to get a little over 1 1/2 hours of stitching in during my 6 hour shift! LOL

I’m glad we don’t have PT tomorrow – I’m TIRED.

Overnight low: 53
Today’s high: 62

The weekend

Well, it’s hard to believe my weekend is over already. I really need to start getting up earlier. LOL Saturday I got to meet one of the ladies in my crochet group. That was fun, although we were kind of disappointed at the activity we had planned. There was a “Knit & Crochet Party” at the local A.C. Moore (craft store). We had figured that we’d be able to sit and chat and work on projects. But no – they just had a few tables set up with different demonstrations and some of the yarn was on sale. Woohoo. *rolling my eyes* So we browsed through the store a bit and then went to lunch at a Mexican place. It was really good and not expensive either. We had a good time talking and getting to know each other even though we didn’t get to crochet together. I got to meet one of her friends as well. Once I got back, I stitched for a while and chatted with Ryan and then went to McDonald’s for supper and then stitched a bit more before bed.

Today was a productive day – chatting with friends, grocery shopping at the commissary, lunch at the food court, and then mace practice and started working on my Finale final project. I also called my guys and got to see/hear Robbie playing the piano (Ryan moved the web cam so I could see him), stitched, and called my parents. I’d say it was a very good day.

Overnight low: 43
Today’s high: 62

My BLOG TAG answers

My friend Ash Blog Tagged me, so I went to her Blog and got the questions she had to answer when she was tagged and here are my answers to those questions:

1. 4 Jobs you’ve had in your life:
— Fast Food
— Casino cashier
— Substitute teacher
— Soldier

2. 4 Movies you could watch over & over ? ( in no particular order )
— Anything Disney
— Forrest Gump
— Schindler’s List
— Happy Gilmore

3. 4 Places you have lived ?
— Michigan
— South Carolina
— Korea
— Georgia

4. 4 TV programmes you love to watch! ?
— Wheel 0f Fortune
— Jeopardy
— any of the CSI shows (original, Miami, NY)

5. 4 Places you have been on Holiday ?
— Michigan
— Florida
— Wisconsin
— Pennsylvania

6. 4 Websites you visit daily ?
— Only One Ewe
— Lifes a Stitch
— Hotmail
— my own (

7. 4 of your Favourite Foods ?
— spaghetti
— mom’s meatloaf
— chocolate
— ice cream

8. 4 Places you would rather be right now ?
— Augusta, GA (home with my guys)
— Michigan (home with my family)
— in bed sleeping
— Hawaii

9. 4 Bloggers you are going to tag? ( Hope they don’t mind 🙂 )
— my Dad
— Eva
— ???
— ??? (I don’t read that many blogs)

That was fun! Now off to do my laundry for the week. . .


We started the end of the week with a run with our Sergeant Major. We went about 3 miles – not bad, and I managed to stay with the formation! The worst part was the temperature – 31 degrees with a windchill of about 25. But once we got going, it wasn’t that bad.
After a quick COLD (no hot water today for some reason) shower and breakfast and change uniforms, it was off to the school house to start the day. We had our formation at 7, and then into the classroom for MIDI and baton techniques. The last 2 periods before lunch were down in one of the rehearsal rooms with the Advanced Course students with our instruments. This was our first chance to practice our conducting. The Advanced students just did the National Anthem, but we got to start and stop a march, do Honors (2 Ruffles & Flourishes and the General’s March), and the Anthem. I did pretty well for my first time, but I do still have things to work on before our evaluations next week.

After lunch was our practice period as always. I finally found out when I will be having lessons, and who with. The three of us trombonists in the class won’t be working with the actual trombone instructor as his schedule is already over-full. We’ll be having lessons with SFC Adrian, and I have no idea what instrument he plays. My lessons are going to be on Thursdays during our practice period. Mainly I’m going to be working on my jazz sightreading.

I stopped and picked up our mail – a package for me from Ryan!!! and a card and also one other thing for someone else. The rest of the afternoon was spent outside on the field practicing our mace stuff. Everyone is making progress, some faster than others, but those of us that are catching on quicker are helping those that are struggling a little. It’s all a big teamwork thing.

Once the day was done and we had cleaned up the classroom, a group of us headed out to dinner just to relax and unwind from the week. We went to Ruby Tuesday’s and had a great time. Lots of good conversation, and the food was really good too – at least I didn’t have to cook it in my microwave. LOL After I got home, I called Ryan and then stitched for a while. I didn’t even turn my TV on – just stitched in the quiet.

Long Day

No PT this morning, but it still ended up being a long day. Formation was at 0700. We finally have a class motto – “Inspire. Entertain. Educate. HOOAH!!” I think it’s pretty neat – us NCO’s need to inspire our younger soldiers, entertain our audiences, and educate our soldiers and audiences (and ourselves) about music. It was COLD today, as you will see later, and our morning mace class was switched to the afternoon. So we did jazz reports this morning, but still didn’t finish. We also did section rehearsal techniques, MIDI, and baton techniques (conducting). After lunch was our practice period, mace, and then we finally finished the jazz reports a little after 5.

While practicing, I think I had a stranger in my practice room. My scales were faster than the past few days, and MUCH cleaner. After the first few, I was looking around to see who else was in my room. LOL Without even thinking about it, I had started playing them lighter which in turn made them faster and cleaner. Gee, imagine that!! I don’t know how long people have been telling me to lighten up my playing and I’ve never been able to do it, and now it just came out. I think we may have a breakthrough here! (Knock on wood . . .)

When we were done with our reports and cleaning the classroom and everything, several of us walked over to the Navy clothing sales to see if they had any neck gaiters so I could get one to keep me warm during our run tomorrow morning. They didn’t, but since we were there, we stopped at Subway to eat some supper. Lots of good conversation while we were eating and then on the walk back to our rooms. We all got changed out of our uniforms finally and then met back up and headed back to the school house to do our Finale homework. I finished mine about 7:45 and came home and got CSI turned on and called Ryan to talk for a while. I also got some stitching done (of course).

Overnight low: 33
Today’s high: 40 (it was 37 with a windchill of 31 when we were out doing mace training)

Jazz Reports

PT this morning was with the full Army School of Music – basic students, NCO Academy (where I am), faculty and staff. We did circuit training in the gym. It was a lot of fun and we got a pretty good workout, too. After we were done, they presented several awards and also recognized students who scored a 3.0 or higher on their last audition (there were 4 or 5 from my class) and students and faculty that scored 270 or above with 90 in each event on their last PT test. It was nice having all these soldiers recognized in front of everyone.

The rest of the morning was pretty laid back. We did score study, MIDI, baton techniques, and started our jazz presentations. I was the third one to go, and I did well. I was nervous, but I stayed within my 5-10 minute timeframe (one of few that actually did), and I even got some compliments from other students later in the day! After lunch was our practice hour, mail (one thing for me and that’s it), and then jazz reports the rest of the afternoon. Since everyone is going over on their time, we’re not even half done yet and only 2 hours on the schedule to finish them tomorrow. Once the day was done, I was done. I had no homework to do other than practicing conducting which I did in my room. I went out and found my local Michael’s store and got some thread to crochet a doily with for an exchange I joined, some cotton yarn to make a couple of dishcloths, and a few other things. Then I stopped at the commissary for milk on my way home. Once home, I called my guys and watched them on the webcam. Robbie was a lot more talkative tonight than he’s been, so hopefully he’s getting used to Mommy being gone. I got a good start on my doily while I was watching TV tonight – 3+ hours!

Overnight low: 37
Today’s high: 50

Another day, another couple of bucks. . .

I have nothing exciting to write about today. It was just another day. No PT this morning as we only do it Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so first formation was at 7. After formation and going upstairs to grab our maces, we were outside to practice with those and start discussing our test. We were outside for about 2 hours, and then back in for MIDI, score study, and baton techniques. It felt good to have a baton in my hand again. (Thanks Aunt Carol & Uncle Wayne for my baton!) After lunch was our practice time, mail call (only 1 piece out of 22 students), and then more jazz. We had another performance, this time it was Latin Jazz (salsa). It was pretty good. They talked about the role of each instrument in the ensemble. The last hour of the day was “Research Lab” on the schedule, but it was basically a study hall time so we could work on our jazz reports and presentations that are due tomorrow. I already had my paper done, so I did up my PowerPoint presentation and that was all I had to do. I had even done my MIDI homework during class. Oh, just so you know, here are how the class periods run for us: 0700 Formation, 0720-0810, 0815-0905, 0910-1000, 1005-1055, 1100-1150, Lunch from 1155-1245, Practice period from 1250-1340, 1345-1435, 1440-1530. I pick up the mail after practicing an on my way up to class for 1345. Our classes are all pretty much in the same classroom (except for mace which is outside), so essentially we just get a 5 minute break (but sometimes 10) every hour.

I spent the evening doing my usual stuff – chatting with friends, called Ryan and Robbie, watched TV & stitched.

Overnight low: 41
Today’s high: 53

Week 2 Begins

We started off the week with PT at 0500. The basic students are doing some new stuff for PT that is basically designed just for Basic Training and AIT students. We had instructional PT on a lot of this new stuff. Toward the end of our course, several of us will be conducting PT with the basic students, so we need to know how it works. We got a pretty good workout despite lots of breaks (our SGL talked through each thing and it was demonstrated before we actually did it).

After a quick shower, change, and breakfast, we had formation at 0700. The rest of the morning was more mace stuff (we’ve pretty much learned everything, now we just need to start applying it to ceremonies and stuff and practice, practice, practice), some Leader Responsibilities, and MIDI. I’m catching on to the Finale stuff pretty quickly, and that’s good. I thought it was going to be a lot harder than it is. After lunch was our practice period and I worked on my solo. Then I stopped for mail and there actually was some!! Thank you Grandma & Grandpa for the wonderful card! Several others in the class got some too, and they were all happy. Then we had jazz history for the rest of the afternoon, but it was fun. We went downstairs to 2nd floor (our classroom is on 3rd floor) to one of the rehearsal rooms to listen to a jazz group play some and also talk a little about what they were playing and stuff. The music was great, and the discussions we got into with the ensemble were good too. They were from various places in the School and one civilian – a couple of instructors from 1st floor (the instrument instructors), our Senior SGL, the school’s Command Sergeant Major, a guy from the Department of Training & Doctrine (they work with all the regs and stuff and make sure they’re up to date), and another staff member from the school.

The afternoon went by fairly quickly, and once we were back up in our classrom there were just a few announcements and then we were done for the day. I stayed in the classroom until about 6:15 working on my homework. I finished my MIDI homework for the day and then started on my jazz report (or planned to just start it). I’m doing my report on jazz trombonist J.J. Johnson. I actually finished it, printed out a draft copy, and gave it to one of my fellow classmates to proofread. I left and he said he’d just stop it by on his way back to his room later on. I got home anticipating calling home and talking to my guys, but when I went to my webcam site, there was Brinni (our babysitter) playing with Robbie. I had forgotten that Monday night is bowling night for Ryan and that’s where he was. I did get to talk to him once he got home, though. And I also got some stitching done and watched CSI: Miami. Off to bed now. . .

Overnight low: 40
Today’s high: 54


I slept in until 10:15 this morning! That sure was nice for a change, after getting up at 4 or 5:30 all week. Of course, it didn’t leave me enough time to get to the chapel service at 10:30, but that’s ok. I had a nice relaxing day today – chatted online and checked my e-mail and stuff. I did laundry (free!!) and when I went to put my clothes in the dryer, there was another guy from my class in there taking his clothes out of the dryer. After he got his out and I put mine in (there are 4 washers but only 2 dryers. why?), we walked over to McDonald’s together for lunch. We had a nice time chatting while we ate. Once we got back, I went and got my clothes out of the dryer, folded them, and brought them back to my room and put them away. I then walked over to the school house to get my mace to practice for a while and I also did some of my research for my jazz report. When I went back to our classroom to put my mace away, there were a few other guys from the class in there. They all wondered where I was heading off to so fast, and I told them to watch my football games. I think they were amazed that I watched football. Oh well. So I went home and turned my games on and also got to chat with Ryan for a while. I got a lot of cross stitching done while I was watching, and I had my first finish of the year. It’s by designer Lizzie*Kate and is called April Flip It. Free Image Hosting at There is one of these for each month, and I’m stitching them all on one piece of fabric to be framed eventually. After I finished this, I got another 3 hours in on one of my other projects. I called Mom & Dad and also got to talk to Rick as they are at his house for the weekend.

Overnight low: 40
Today’s high: 46