Yearbook: the class of commitment
Yearbook takes more than just creative skills, and the Yearbook staff claims that it's much harder than it seems.
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Photoshopping, name-checking, crying, flicking chickens, and most importantly, having fun–these things all happen in the Yearbook.
Of the many clubs and sports offered at BHS, Yearbook arguably tops the list as one of the most challenging. From countless deadlines to learning how to work cameras to ultimately creating a book the whole student body will cherish forever, it’s safe to say the Yearbook staff has their hands full. Senior editor Abby Laverriere first joined Yearbook her sophomore year, and has loved it ever since.
“[I’ve been a part of Yearbook] since sophomore year,” said Laverriere. “It didn’t fit into my schedule this year because of my class at the COT, so just because I’ve done it before for two years, I was allowed to have an independent study for it.”
As an independent study, the fateful deadlines haunt Laverriere the most and keep her motivated.
“You always have a deadline hanging over your head, and that’s the most stressful thing,” said Laverriere. “And of course, PG[Mrs. Pendergrass] is always on you, and you don’t want her to get on you, so you have to keep that in mind.”
Fellow editor Michael Tenney thinks that no matter how much the staff has done, deadlines always cause everyone stress.
“Everyone gets assigned a certain page,” said Tenney. “Each deadline is for different things. Sometimes it’s spring sports, or it’s Homecoming and so on. When it gets closer to the deadline, it feels like there’s never anything done, so everyone’s always panicking.”
The dangers of not meeting a deadline include many things, but for Tenney, getting the book out in a timely fashion remains his top priority.
“If you don’t meet a deadline, that could potentially lead to the book coming out at a later time,” said Tenney. “It’s not just something where we can be like, “Oh, we’ll just send it out Friday.’ It needs to be submitted on the deadline.”
Tenney emphasizes that there’s no going back with the yearbook once it’s done.
“You want the book to be the best it can be, and once it’s submitted, you can’t redo it or fix something,” Tenney said.
The students also inspire Laverriere to do her best work, and she thinks the standard gets higher and higher every year.
“[What also motivates me is] the school,” said Laverriere. You need to have the yearbook done for the school, and you need to do it well for the school. We can’t have a crappy book because people look forward to seeing this book, and I want everyone to see our best work.”
As editor, Tenney must take on more responsibilities than other staff members.
“You have to oversee everything[as editor],” said Tenney. “For example, a lot of the people that are new don’t exactly know what a good picture to put on the page is, or don’t necessarily know what a good design or headline would be, so it’s my job to help them and guide them and make sure they’re on the right track.”
On top of overseeing the entire staff, Tenney, as well as the other editors, must make sure everything gets done on time, no matter what they have to do.
“We [the editors] make decisions like designing the cover, picking out a theme for the book, or picking out designs” said Tenney. “It’s my job to make sure things get done. If the time comes for a deadline and the pages for it still aren’t done, it’s my job to do those pages.”
Newbie and sophomore Grace Laverriere followed in her sister’s footsteps when she decided to join Yearbook this year.
“I joined Yearbook this year because my sister Abby has done it since her sophomore year, and I really wanted to have a chance to work on such a great book,” said Grace. “It’s just so exciting to see how it all comes together.”
The hardest part for Grace, like Tenney and her sister Abby, is the dreaded deadlines.
“The hardest part is definitely the stress we get right before deadlines,” said Grace. “From tracking people down to interviews and then the final touches is just a ton of stress, but the best part of Yearbook is seeing how the page you worked so hard on came out, and it just is like magic.”
Although the deadline itself causes stress for the Yearbook staff, Tenney thinks they can still have fun on what they call “Deadline Nights.”
“Deadline nights are fun, but they’re also a way to get work done,” said Tenney. “What happens is we schedule a deadline night, and we start from right after school to about eight o’clock at night. We stay in school, work on the yearbook, and get dinner. It’s basically just us sitting at our computers, playing music, talking while also working. That’s where we get a lot of what we need done.”
Grace loves the deadline nights as well, and her first one came with a surprising twist.
“We work on our pages while talking and laughing about the most random topics,” said Grace. “[On] my first deadline night, we played this game ‘Flick a Chicken,’ and we had a tournament. I ended up winning the whole game and got the crown. It was a good way to relieve the stress and have a good time. Deadline nights just make the Yearbook staff closer, which is awesome.”
Putting the stress aside, Tenney said his favorite part about Yearbook is being able to express himself creatively.
“The best part about Yearbook is the creative aspect of it,” said Tenney. “This yearbook in particular is very design-focused and very well-thought-out. It’s very interesting, and I love it. It’s just fun to think of ideas and have them brought to life.”
Like Tenney, Abby also loves Yearbook because it adds an artistic and fun aspect to her day.
“I like the creative aspect of it,” said Abby. “I’m not going into any sort of job where I’m going to be using any design or creativity like this, so I’ll miss having this part of my day to be creative and have fun.”
Tenney also loves the feeling when the book finally comes out and all of his hard work has payed off.
“It’s really heartwarming and nice to know that what you worked on for weeks and cried over and stressed over is appreciated by people,” Tenney said.
However, with the yearbook coming out also comes the stress of mistakes and mishaps throughout it.
“With a book that has over two-hundred pages, it’s kind of difficult to make sure that there is not a single mistake,” said Tenney. “Your goal is to just make sure you don’t make national television. As long as you don’t make national television, you’re going to be fine.”
With both Tenney and Abby leaving next year, Grace will continue to carry on their legacy until her senior year, and appreciates how much they inspire her to do her best work.
“All of the editors, Lauren McCallum, Katie Stewart, Michael Tenney and my sister Abby Laverriere all are a huge inspiration to me, and getting their stamp of approval means so much to me since all of their pages are always amazing,” said Grace. “Also, Mrs. Pendergrass inspires me so much to put my whole effort into pages and always helps if I’m having trouble with Photoshop or having writers block. If she likes what I came up with, that just means the world to me.”
Tenney looks forward to looking back on his yearbooks and having a unique perspective on them.
“I think my experience when the book comes out and the Yearbook staff’s experience is a lot different than somebody that isn’t on the yearbook staff,” said Tenney. “I’m really excited to look back at my yearbooks in ten years, and in addition to seeing things that I was involved in in the book, I can also look at the things that I worked on.”
The only thing Abby had to say about what she will miss next year was quite simply put.
“[I’m going to miss] Michael,” Abby said, laughing.
Tenney, known for his dramatic nature, had one last thing to say about his experience in Yearbook:
“I believe Rachel Berry from Glee once said, ’Being a part of something special makes you special, right?’”