Back in July of last year I was recruited by the principal at the little slice of heaven where I teach to become the yearbook adviser. The conversation went something like this:

Principal: "...and I was hoping you'd be willing to advise yearbook fourth period."
Me: [doubtful laughter] "I know nothing about yearbooks."
Principal: "That's okay! You'll be awesome! You can learn!"
Me: "I guess I can try..."
Principal: "All right, thank you so much! This is so exciting!"
Me: "How many people turned this down before me?"
Principal: [laughter]

I was so thrilled to not be laid off that I took on the assignment and soon found myself at yearbook camp for three nights in scorching Palm Springs learning how to navigate the computer program we use to create our book. I learned a lot and heard repeatedly about how stressful advising was. Score.

Fast-forward seven months into the year where my staff and I have submitted well-over half of our 200 pages and will be finishing up the remainder next month. I have refused to be one of those advisers that spends hours a day working on the book, but I still have definitely developed a love/hate relationship with the program.

I hate the fact that forty juniors and seniors were dumped in my classroom, only 4 having prior experience. They're loud, try to take advantage because they're "in yearbook," and like to rearrange my rows of desks. I hate the pressure placed on me (we won't saw by who, but it's not the principal; she could care less) to increase sales and generate extra income for a certain aspect of the school. I also hate that in about a month I will have this huge group of loud, easily distracted students in my room with nothing to do for the rest of the year since the book will be done. I also dread the last week of school when people will inspect the books and point out the inevitable mistakes we've made.

But, there is a lot to love. While there are a lot of students, they're basically a nice group of kids. I have a lot of bright, creative personalities that balance out my other classes nicely. I love the fact that we've worked hard to improve the book from last year and introduce new features. I also like the fact that the students are more than willing to go get me cookies from the freshman/sophomore lunch period going on during our class. The rep from the company is also a godsend, helping with everything from our lack of printer to formatting issues. And for the most part I also love editing the book- I think working for a publishing company would have been something I would have enjoyed.

Being so involved with this high school yearbook made me go back and look at my own. It seems like so long ago (non-existent 10 year reunion this year) I was a Panther, stressing out about IB classes, laughing at inside jokes with my friends, and getting excited for prom. I love reading what people wrote to me "back then," seeing what was popular, and seeing all the overalls (for those that don't know me, I am obsessed with overalls and desperately wish they'd back in
style). I'm one of those people that actually enjoyed high school and looking at my yearbooks makes me want to help my students create a decent one for people like myself who will want to reminisce later in life.

All right, back to looking over the winter sports section.

(Class of '01)

1 comment:

  1. I think it is awesome that you are in charge of the yearbook. Even if it does give you access to see how much of a spazz I really was in high school 4000 years ago. I did enjoy my time in high school and I was a serious overall lover.