For some South students, opening the yearbook, Etruscan, is a time to reminisce on the “glory years” and get the opportunity to grasp a year’s worth of memorable moments, stories and pictures in one book. For the South Yearbook staff, however, it’s a chance to spend time piecing together the events that made the year special.
“Yearbook starts when we go downtown to a workshop [in July] and figure out what our theme is going to be for the book,” senior Cat Frey, Etruscan co-editor-in-chief, said. “I can’t tell you what this year’s theme is, but we had a lot of discussion and I think it took like a day and a half to figure out what kind of message we wanted to convey.”
Once the school year starts, first-year writers start training for the years ahead. Senior Mark Risinger, co-editor-in-chief, said that learning the “ins and outs” of journalistic writing in the first quarter of his first year on staff helped him prepare for the rest of the year and beyond.
“Your first year is interesting, because you have a whole quarter where you’re in training,” Risinger said. “You learn how to write journalistically, and you get introduced to the basic elements of design and photography and how people interact on Yearbook.”
According to Frey, Yearbook staffers spend long hours at Friday “work nights”. In order to pass the time, Frey explains that editors add “themes” to each work night to make things feel like less of a chore.
“One time we had a Disney theme where everyone dressed up like Disney characters, and one girl on staff photoshopped everyone’s face onto their character,” Frey said. “Our adviser was ‘kanga’, and she dressed up like a kangaroo from Winnie-the-Poo, and then we had a Disney sing-off in the middle of the work night. It’s a nice break, because they are so long, and we try to make people want to be there.”
According to Kiran Ajani, senior clubs editor, the months leading up to finishing the yearbook and sending designs and pages to the publisher are times of anxiety, stress and chaos.
“March and April are really stressful because that’s when you are just trying to tie up all those loose ends and make things as perfect as they can be before we send it in [to be] printed,” Ajani explained.
The staff receives their yearbooks the night before the rest of South at their Yearbook banquet, and, according to Frey, it’s a time where they appreciate all of the dedication and work that was put into making Etruscan.
“We all have wrapped up yearbooks in front of us, and we have a countdown until we all open them, and they are engraved with our names, and we get to see them before anyone else,” Frey said. “We make jokes all year that it’s like our baby, but it really is at that point, because we are so invested in it.”
Etruscan Adviser Brenda Field recalls that her favorite part of Yearbook is not the book itself but the entire experience. Field feels that it’s the memories along the way which make the perfect end result. She attributes her enjoyment with focusing on the journey ahead instead of the final destination.
“I love looking at the books, because it’s not just the product that you see in front of you; it’s the stories and the experiences that went into it,” Field said. “When you look at the book and you look at the layout, you can remember all of the things that happened that made it come together in the end.”