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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in ADVANCErs' LiveJournal:

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Friday, January 5th, 2007
1:57 pm
Who can tell me how to find ADVANCE's website for this summer?
Thursday, January 4th, 2007
9:33 pm
Wow, it's been quiet here.

Anyone going back to ADVANCE this summer?
Sunday, May 7th, 2006
3:58 pm
I Almost Forgot
Though I have inquired elsewhere regarding this matter, with no success, I come here now to ask again. As you already know, I attended ADVANCE in 2002 and 2003. In late 2002, I received a wonderful little "yearbook" of sorts for the session I had just attended. Included was information on how to obtain video cassettes or DVDs of the ADVANCE films, as well as a reminder to return to ADVANCE for the June 8 - June 28 session in 2003. Naturally, I did return, but not before I moved to a new home in April of 2003.

By the time I had returned home from ADVANCE that year, one big problem that worried my parents was the lack of a report card in the mail from my school. As it turns out, my parents never bothered to submit a change of address form to my school, and they accidentally mailed the report card to my old home, which was now the residence of rowdy and crude college students. It was a messy affair, trying to get a new copy of my report card for the records, but in the end, we fixed the problem.

However, ADVANCE was never contacted about the change. When fall rolled around, I never received my ADVANCE 2003 book. Of course, I had (somewhat) bitterly decided not to return to ADVANCE in 2004, and I disregarded the loss at the time. My good friend Ben Aucoin, however, did give me a vague description of his book. According to him, it was nothing special, and not in color (an odd fact to me; he claimed his 2002 yearbook was completely in color. Mine was all black and white, save the covers and the opening page).

So, my 2003 book was probably tossed into the garbage by some brilliant college student, and only now do I regret not having it. It has been almost three years since I last attended ADVANCE. I know I can never have a copy of that yearbook to call my own, but I come here wondering if any of you who attended ADVANCE in 2003 have posted pictures or scans of pages from that book. Any links to it would be greatly appreciated. If anybody actually has the chutzpah to go out of their way and scan the book, I humbly request that pages of interest to me include the photograph of Todd Sisson's RA group and the Computer Science class photograph. Also, any other pictures that I might have been in would be nice to see. Thank you in advance. If it is not possible, well, so be it.
Thursday, April 27th, 2006
4:24 am
Hey Guys, it's Paolo
So I won't be coming back as an RA this year, since a change in my major and restructuring at my university is forcing me to do summer college when ADVANCE would take place. Breaks my heart, not to see you kittens again. But I absolutely plan to apply again come 2007, stronger, faster, better than I was before.

Which of you crazy kids and ambidexterous adults are coming back? I hear Celia's either ResHead or the top RA... so kudos that!
Wednesday, April 26th, 2006
5:01 pm
A Turtle Survivor
Hello. My name is Alexander, and I am an alcoholic...

...and that was a reference to the opening of the 2003 ADVANCE talent show, MC'ed by one Paolo Naccari. From that statement, one can infer that I indeed attended ADVANCE 2003. And if you are really sharp, then you already know for a fact that I attended ADVANCE in 2002 as well, per the clever title I created for this post. It refers to the 2002 mascot and motto, "Be the Turtle" (it was a flaming turtle, to be precise), as well as the theme behind the 2003 motto, "ADVANCE: Outwit. Outplay. Outlast."

2003 is not written of much here anymore. From what I gather, it seems ADVANCE communities on the net, though in existence for many years prior, did not really spring into a modern-day vitality until 2004. Therefore, those who attended ADVANCE during the 1990s (adults or in college by now), with all their free time utilizing a computer, can get online to reminisce about what happened at ADVANCE "back in the day." Plus, more recent campers (2003 onward), catching on to big internet trends like Myspace or Xanga, have the resources and (I don't want to say "effort") the desire to talk a lot about their recent experiences.

But where are the 2000-2003 people? Those years are hardly spoken of. Not by choice, of course. However, I have a theory that ADVANCE was in a state of flux circa 2001 to 2003. I made this assumption based upon the number of returning ADVANCERs I recall being at ADVANCE in 2002, as well as the huge influx of new campers and the great amount of those who did not return that were new in 2002 in the next year, 2003 (Of my original 2002 RA group of 12 guys, only six returned in 2003. For other RA groups, the number of returnees was far lower). It did not help that a lot of new and returning ADVANCErs in 2002 were in the last two years of high school.

So, this really leaves me to provide a camper's point of view regarding 2002. Does this make me special? Of course not (some RAs and TAs have posted some excellent memories from 2002). But since nobody else is talking about it, I proudly step up to the plate. After all, out of the two times I attended ADVANCE, 2002 was the better year.

But more about me, eh? I was 13 when I first came to ADVANCE, but I had visited Natchitoches some time in my middle childhood. Louisiana had always held some allure for me, since I was born in New Orleans and then forcibly removed (by own parents too!) to east Texas. Ever since, I always feel different in Louisiana. It is a special place. Sure, there are trees, hot weather, and their own breed of redneck (though I know Cajuns/Arcadians are far more interesting and culturally rich people than the pathetic rednecks in Texas), but it is my motherland, and that makes it all the more special to me.

ADVANCE 2002 was also my first time living alone, away from my family for an extended period of time. I relished it. But more about that later. That year, I took Spanish. It was a small class of nine kids (all older than me) and the TA was Marie Loeffler. Our instructor, Susan Seeling, was a dour lady, but she knew all about the espanol and tried to make it understandable to us. She succeeded in part with me, since I have continued my Spanish language studies to this day with Spanish Literature. And I never would have thought back in June of 2002 that ADVANCE is what would start it all.

Note: It has come to my attention that since then, Spanish has not been offered as a course at ADVANCE (but I am not 100% sure).

I will end this post before I wear out my welcome. I am glad to read the writing of a few familiar RAs and TAs. I may post more about ADVANCE 2002 later.
Sunday, March 19th, 2006
7:37 pm
First of all, I highly recommend Kingdom of Loathing (www.kingdomofloathing.com) to any bored of you out there.

I would like to make the following quote from the site:
"That's right. The wolfman's got nards"

If anyone remembers this or why I think this is funny, plus five points to you.
Thursday, March 9th, 2006
12:21 am
While I'm waiting to hear back from employers, let's ask a question or two...
So, I was going back through the comments made by the anonymous poster because I'm job hunting and I wanted to check out the program he/she mentioned, and that got me thinking about other programs from a staff perspective. It occurrs to me that back when I was a staffer in 2003, there were only a couple of staff members who'd worked for other programs. So, ADVANCE staffers, the question is if you have worked for another program, why is that? Did you do it in addition to or instead of ADVANCE? And, if you haven't worked for another program, why is that?

Personally, I worked for TIP at the Davidson campus two years ago because ADVANCE didn't hire me back to my old TA position. One reason I didn't apply to ADVANCE this year was because my skill set no longer overlaps well with any of the courses offered and ADVANCE pretty much requires that you have as an academic major the class that you're planning on teaching. The other, more important, reason is that I found TIP to be a lot better to its employees, especially its teaching staff. That and they were really great about accommodating my dietary needs. I don't know much about CTY, but I heard good things from co-workers at TIP (funny that, as I found out about TIP from co-workers at ADVANCE) and from a college friend who was a student at CTY, so I applied there this summer as well.

The one thing ADVANCE had as an advantage over Duke TIP @ Davidson was the relationships I had with the students. Sure, I was overworked, but I can still remember most of my students' names from my class and my RA group and the handful of frisbee guys from 3rd and 2nd West. I remember all of their faces. I had a lot more interaction with the students at ADVANCE because I was overworked, and so I developed much closer relationships with the students as a result. But when it came time to make my decisions, I decided to go with what would be better for me as an employee. Sure, I could've applied as an RA if I'd really wanted to, but I don't think I'm cut out for Res Life. (Well, that's not quite right. I couldn't do Res Life for girls. I could do Res Life for guys, but there's no way that they would ever put a girl in charge of a group of teenage boys. Still, I'd have no ideas for evening activities. I'd probably do something like UNO Madness of Death or X-treme Movie Watching every night.) But I'd like to echo the sentiment I saw earlier that even if you go somewhere else you can still claim the label ADVANCEr. I fully support the idea that ADVANCE is a state of mind.
Monday, February 20th, 2006
9:22 pm
So is anyone going back to ADVANCE this year? If so, what class are you taking? Any future RAs/TAs here? Anyone?

Alas, I'm not going this year, but oh, the memories of when I was a wee ADVANCER. Mmm :)
Thursday, February 2nd, 2006
8:28 am
Bumpity bump.
Cool, thoughtful comments left by an anonymous poster on the below post.

Check it out.
Wednesday, November 16th, 2005
11:46 pm
Keeping in Touch
Hey everbody. Seth here.

With the hurricane and everything, it's been especially hard to keep in touch this year.

Mrs. Harriette is very optimistic about ADVANCE this year, but she's worried that we'll lose alot of students this year simply because we won't be able to get in touch with them.

If you know somebody who's been displaced due to unusual weather, but who still wants to return to ADVANCE, please point them in the direction of the website which has all the relevant contact information.

Mrs. Harriette would love to hear from you.
10:30 pm
Ok, this communities seems to be in a bit of a lull so, how about another icebreaker. What is your favorite ADVANCE "tradition?"

I always loved how the dances would always end with REM's "It's the End of the World as We Know it." Jumping up and down like a mad kangaroo with my friends, killing my leg muscles, feeling incredibly exhausted at the end, yet enjoying every minute of the song with my closest camp friends...there was something almost magical about it. Even if the rest of the dance was awful, it always ended well. For me, it brought about a sense of closure but also a strane sense of...bonding. At the LSMSA winter formal, they ended with that wonderful REM song. Even though we weren't at ADVANCE anymore, my old friends and I were like "ohmygod, it's REM! It's that song!" and we ran to the dance floor and started bouncing away. Easily the best moment of that night. It was amazing. All because of some crazy summer at ADVANCe...

So...time for you to spill the beans. What was your favorite thing/event/tradition/custom/etc. about ADVANCE and why.
Thursday, July 28th, 2005
9:15 pm

You may have known me as Flanagan if you were at ADVANCE any year from 1996 to 2000. I'm a founding member of the Cult of Bob, which I'm pleased to see people still remember.

Over the past 5 years I've gradually lost touch with the ADVANCE crowd, and that makes me sad. So if you knew me, please speak up and say hi! And if you didn't know me, introduce yourself anyway!
Tuesday, July 26th, 2005
1:28 pm

Everyone join the MySpace group known as http://groups.myspace.com/advanceissorad   If you don't have a MySpace, GET ONE so you can join the awesome group of total and complete awesomeness.

Tuesday, July 5th, 2005
9:07 pm
Something that would be neat to revive
I realize this isn't the ONLY ADVANCE themed yahoo group, but it's one that still has hits now and again.

7:41 pm
Walk down memory lane...
In this vein (and a bout of odd coincidence) I ran into no other than Leon Hsu up here at MIT this past Wednesday. (Leon was the fizzix teacher in '01 and '03, and I was his student the first year and his TA the second. He's still doing physics; I'm now a linguist. This = more impossible odds of running into each other. It was very bizarre.)
5:59 pm
I only went for 2004...but here are my memories:

(1) Does anyone else remember the fire drill at like 10:30 pm on the second/third night? That in itself wasn't exactly the awesome part, but my suitemate, Sarah, had just gotten into the shower when it happened. So all of us are supposed to evacuate and I just hear obsenities from the shower. Sarah ended up having to walk out into the humid Natchitoches night in nothing but a soaking wet robe. As we evacuated the dorms a mile-long trail of expletives that would've made a salior blush followed us. Okay...I guess it wasn't that great a moment for HER, but I seriously didn't stop laughing for a month...maybe even closer to a year.

(2) When my roommate and I arrived in Natchitoches, we discovered a commodity that is scarce in New Orleans: the bouncy ball machine. So wherever we went, we would acquire new bouncy balls. My mom found out about our bouncy ball love affair and for my birthday sent me about 35 of them. Then we all pooled our resources and made a "show" that involved closing the door to our room with the "audience" (it was at different points made up of RAs John, Breton, Maria and maybe others...I don't really remember) inside and throwing all of the bouncy balls at once. We tried to think of some sort of talent show act with it...but it didn't go anywhere.

12:12 pm
Hmm.. I seem to remember faces more than events but I've got mine.... Since I've only been on staff.. it's a two parter..

Bryan (Head RA at the time) had the brilliant idea of playing "Water Assassins" where they would stalk each activity for the day and ambush them with fearsome gallons of warm Natchitoches water. We must've waited 15 minutes for the group from Burger Bees to get done before we decided to send a scout (ME!) to see what the hell was going on (because I, of course, was the most innocent looking and could NEVER be up to any wrong-doings). I managed to get the Activity-RA (I forget who it was) to get them moving or they'd be late. Oh, what fun it was to see them drop their shakes and scurry to not get wet :-D And then we piled into a van to meet Jeff's "walkers" about 80,000 miles outside of town. Pretended to stop to pick them up, opened the doors and doused them all.. then quickly sped away, throwing dirt behind us (I think the walkers liked it too much).

Which leads to the follow-up for next year, when Billy(RA) attempted the same activity, but had a van the whole time. I, being all the wiser, decided to play "Ultimate Hydro-Frisbee" that day, where we had our own guns and a few dozen water balloons. When they showed up.. oh we were ready.. yes.. we were ready... and they met their match (I was quite proud of my group).

Billy and I always had fun... even back at LSMSA (Where is he anyways?).


Current Mood: devious
11:09 am
I will also post two favorite memories, one from being a student, and one from being a staffer.

Student: It's a tie, between Pulp Shakespeare (ahhhhhhh!) in '95 (the whole show in general) and in '96 when one of my classmates got stuck in a slide at McDonalds. Also in '96 there was the infamous cake fight, and the plague.

Staffer: In 2001 going redneack riding with the other RAs in Billy's truck (and seeing the delicate cusp of buttocks) and in 2005 either being a zombie with Seth, or the time he interrupted my activity to give me a messy shaving cream hug. And of course, rapping with my girls, and from all four years on staff, my favorite memories have always been tucking my girls in at night (bedtime stories!)

There are seeral other memories, and I could esily have done my favorite from each year (all seven of them) but, that would take up way too much space.... I'm interested to see what everyone else has to say...

Current Mood: restless
11:09 am
Hmmm...since I've been both an ADVANCEr and a staffer, I think I'll post one of each.

ADVANCEr favorite memory: Formation of the core unit of the Cult of Bob (Ashley Flanagan, Katie Barrilleaux, Emily Allen, and, well, me). This all happened in '98. It was my first year and I had come up with my friend Katie Barrilleaux. Katie, being a big ol' X-Phile at the time (and this being the summer that the movie was due out), had put up a copy of the "I Believe" poster by her bed. At some point, Flanagan and Emily (who were good friends) were walking down the hall, saw the poster and immediately engaged Katie in conversation. I happened upon the group of them, and introductions were made all around. So was a pact. A pact that stated that whoever made it down to the sign-up sheet for the X-Files movie first would sign the other three up. Then, it so happened that the lot of us (save Flanagan if I remember correctly, who I think was in LLLLLLL-atin!) were in Forensic Science and we plotted out these weird (w?)rap sheets that discussed various exploits all pertaining to this purple hippo beanie baby named Bob. And then we hung out forever after that and had crazy exploits and it sort of snowballed into this cult. (So, yes, that's how the Cult of Bob actually started, despite what you may have heard.)

Staffer favorite memory: Discovering that Seth was my brain twin while playing Cranium during staff training '03. We drew the exact same thing for the concept "Infinity"--a really really long squiggly line and then, after becoming quite frustrated, a whole bunch of dots--it was that awful blindfolded drawing task where you can't use numbers or symbols or anything. Later on, we discovered other odd parallels, like the Sesame Street placemats and multicolored hear towels we both had as kids, odd jokes that no one else found funny, etc. Oh yeah, and Harriette telling me that she had been really worried about hiring me as a staffer because of my reputation as an ADVANCEr, but after my performance that summer, she said I had done very well and that she was very happy to have had me on staff.
Monday, July 4th, 2005
10:49 pm
favorite ADVANCE memories
So another year of ADVANCE has come and gone; it was weird this go round as I was not a part of it this year. But on to the main topic:

What is your favorite ADVANCE memory?

I have 2 events. My first one was in 03. My friend Aisha and I were walking to the Sunday "brunch" and it started to pour down raining (thunder, lightning, the whole enchillada) but we were halfway there, so we decided not to turn back. I was freaking out b/c I was holding a metal umbrella, when Aisha randomly said "I love thunderstorms! I like to make fun of the squirrels b/c their homes get all soaked and messed up, while I get to enjoy the rain from inside."

Suddenly there was this huge crack of lightning/thunder, and both of us started freaking out, apologizing for not going to church, promising to be better people, praying for dear life, etc. etc. when suddenly, a squirrel darted past us. "HA!" exclaimed Aisha. "A squirrel! At least I have an umbrella." Out of nowhere, a huge hust of wind came and popped my umbrella, and then Aisha really started to panic. From this day on, we have considered that as a warning NEVER to make fun of squirrels.

The second memory happened last year in 04. We had just taken a sig fig quiz and everyone had failed it. After reviewing the quiz, Dr. Hynes moved on to his next lesson. About a half-hour into the lecture, however, lucifer_pyrifax suddenly got up from his chair and declared "I GOT GAYED BY SIG FIGS!!!!" and then sat down as if nothing had happened; the whole class, including Dr. Hynes burst into laughter, and that quote eventually became our class motto.

So there you go, two of my cherished memories of ADVANCE. Now it's your turn to spill the beans.
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