Saturday, May 29, 2010

Life Lessons from the Yearbook

How many mistakes have you made in your life? I’ll wait while you count…

Just kidding of course. If you’re like me, you probably don’t have that long. Do you think about them a lot? Do they get you down? Let me give you a remedy. Go pull out your old high school yearbook. Go ahead…I dare you…

As you look at it, do you see mistakes you made? People you dated? People you hung out with who convinced you to do something against your beliefs? Teachers who annoyed you?

OK enough!! Let’s move on to something happier…Remember how exciting it was at the end of each year to get your yearbook? How you spent time looking for pictures of yourself and your friends? How you laughed at the memories from that year? How you laughed at the mistakes made by the yearbook staff when they misspelled a word or mis-identified someone?

I remember those days too. But I don’t laugh anymore, because I am just finishing up my first year as a Yearbook Adviser.

It’s been a long year, I’m not gonna lie. I had a staff of 11 for most of the year (one girl moved out before our final deadline, leaving us with ten). They somehow finished putting together a 328 page yearbook. They took most of the pictures and made most of their deadlines. There were some tears, some really late nights, some arguments, a lot of gossip, and (probably) a lot of talking behind my back. But they did it. I don’t know how it all came together, but it’s done…and has begun to be distributed to the student body.

And now…the nervousness sets in…

How many mistakes did we make? (I’ve already found some) Did we leave someone out? Did we put a senior quote with the wrong person’s picture? Did someone make some obscene gesture in a picture that the editors and I missed? Is there something else that may be considered inappropriate in the yearbook? I could drive myself crazy with all these questions. And yet…

Is it worth it? Is there anything I can do about those mistakes now? Not really. So, I just need to let go and let whatever happens, happen. Hopefully, it will all turn out well, but it may not. And, if it doesn’t, I’ll have to do what I told my yearbook staff to do when they were looking through the book for the first time: Shrug and say “Oh well.” We’ll mark those things down as a lesson learned and make a plan to improve on the process for next year.

Hey, wait a minute…all those mistakes I’ve made…

Who knew you could learn life lessons from being the Yearbook Adviser?


  1. Hey, wait a minute. Does that mean you're going to do it again?

  2. Geoff,
    I loved all of the questions you asked as you wrote your thoughts about being yearbook adviser. Some you answered and others, you leave us all to ponder! Myself and another teacher are yearbook advisers at my school, but at the elementary school level, there is a lot less pressure, but I know exactly what you mean about waiting to see what mistakes you didn't catch. We've done the yearbook for four years now, and every year we ask ourselves, why did we say we'd do this again!! Thankfully, we do learn from our mistakes.