The creation of a high school yearbook is the year-long labor of love and dedication of a handful of students. It culminates with the distribution of the books, as eager students leaf through pages to see themselves and their friends and gather signatures on the end papers. I know. I was editor of The Torch at Voorheesville High School, Class of 1972.
The experience brought together many challenges of publishing that served me well as a backdrop for the newspaper business. Planning the content. Selecting a theme. Setting up photos. Selling advertising. Making deadlines. Designing the book. Laying out the pages. Proofreading. Making fixes. Proofreading again. Handing your baby over to the printer, fingers crossed. Finally, distribution day, hoping that fellow students will consider this a keepsake worth keeping. And that was, for me, on top of a full class load, applying to college, cashiering at the Grand Union, and other activities.
The yearbook was, for me, a big responsibility, taken seriously, and produced with care. That’s exactly the way it’s been this year for Britta Moberg at Saratoga Springs High School.
When I saw her listed as co-editor of the yearbook, I smiled. I know her! And I wondered, where did she find the time? During the fall semester Britta was an intern in The Saratogian’s composing room, where ads are created. She saw her involvement in the yearbook as an opportunity to get even more experience in graphic arts. Not to mention lessons in organization, management, accountability and a heck of a lot of hands-on work.
Adult assistance, she told me today, came from longtime yearbook adviser Ed Brandt. She described for me how Brandt painstakingly proofread the yearbook, insisting on quality work. This was the first year all the photos were placed digitally. Somehow, the altered smile of one senior was overlooked on the screen and on a black and white proof of the page.
I can see how that can happen. It’s not something you’d be looking for among the hundreds of pictures. Yet when you open printed book and look, out jumps what appears to be an amateurish attempt to put a yellowish blob on a couple of teeth. Living in the glass house of publishing, I am reluctant to throw a stone for missing this.
Speaking of throwing stones, shame on the online commenters who are blasting the yearbook students for the doctored picture. Yes, it appears to be an “inside job,” and the culprit should be held accountable. The incident was regrettable for the girl whose portrait was doctored, for the boy who was inadvertently “cut out” on the reverse side -- and also for the disappointed students who worked so tirelessly and selflessly to publish this yearbook.
Labels: Saratoga Springs High School, Voorheesville, yearbook