Yearbook Advice: Division Page Story

If you are a new student working on a high school yearbook staff and need help writing a story for your graduating class, there is one example which will be listed down below. What is a division page, you ask? It’s a page where you tell stories about your graduating class and what you all have together accomplished as the years go by. In other words, if you are a sophomore, you can write a story about the class of 2022’s experience starting off as underdogs of the school and how you all came together to avoid the “terrifying upperclassmen” stereotypes.

Usually, the division page stories are one long paragraph which covers activities, pep rallies, pranks, etc.

Example 1: “Freshman year went by in the blink of an eye. Here we were, greeting each other in the cafeteria at orientation and now we have one year of high school experience completed under our belts. From the time we walked through those front doors and waving our parents goodbye, it was symbolic enough to say our future will be held in the hands of our present and future teachers. As we proudly chant with our class at the pep rallies and partake in extracurricular activities, we must take pride in our hard work and avoid the high school stereotypes at all cost. To the class of 2022, we must raise a toast to one another for surviving our freshman year and here’s to many more memories we will make as each school year flies by without blinking an eye.”

If you are still struggling and need another division story idea, please do not hesitate to comment down below.

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Yearbook Advice: Business Advertisements

Over the summer, the yearbook staff would be assigned to drive to certain places and ask each business if they are willing to place an ad in the yearbook. Of course, there would be some who would decline, say yes or remain undecided. After the students ask, the owner would ask how large could their ad be if placed in the yearbook. The four sizes and prices included were:

  1. Full page: $300
  2. Half page: $150
  3. Quarter page: $75
  4. Business Card page: $50

If the business owner accepts that they will place an ad for the yearbook, he or she will have to write out or send a check to the school and a layout of how he wants the business advertised. The yearbook members have to fill out paperwork and turn it into the yearbook adviser, along with the layout as soon as possible.

Yearbook & Photography Advice: Photoshop Experience

Even though I learned a little bit about Photoshop when I was 10 years old, I didn’t know how to use the majority of the tools until joining my high school yearbook staff and taking a photography class in college. Down below are a few tools I learned how to pick up on in high school and college:

On and Off The Yearbook Staff:

  • Edited multiple image lighting (Brightness/Contrast)
  • Coloring B & W Photos
  • Changing Image Resolution to 300

In & Outside of College Photography Class:

  • Using the spot healing tool to get rid of unnecessary junk on the sides and in the background
  • Using the color balance to balance out the color of an image
  • After coloring someone’s eye colors in a b & w image, I lowered opacity and fill to make sure the eye colors look natural
  • Learned how to create a photography book with page layouts (using photo page)

Yearbook Advice: Interviewing

If you are an introvert and new to the yearbook staff, here are pieces of advice I can give you regarding interviewing students at your school:

1.) Do not be afraid to knock on the door and ask the teacher if you can interview a certain student. Sometimes, a teacher will get angry at you for interrupting their class, but do not take it personally and maintain a confident, polite posture.

2.) When you interview the student, ask one to three questions about the topic you are covering for a certain page in the yearbook. Look directly at them in the eyes and jot down  your questions and their answers.

3.) Before you send them back to the classroom, ask if you can clarify their answers because it is essential as the interviewer to make sure you do not misinterpret what they have said.

If you have any questions regarding interviews and such, please feel free to post a comment on here and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Why Consider the Yearbook Staff?

There are many reasons to join an extracurricular activity, especially the yearbook staff. Here are some reasons why you might consider joining:

1.) Creating Unforgettable Memories-Creating a yearbook is not just about jumping in and writing up interviews and posting pictures in the layout, it’s about creating memories that will last a lifetime as well as building many friendships with the adviser and staff.

2.) Gaining a Journalism Perspective-It’s not just about one perspective of how the yearbook staff should run its course and how to lay out the theme. It’s about teamwork and digging under the microscope until you understand both sides of a story and work your hardest to beat the deadline, edit your work until you receive the green light, which represents that your work is ready for publishing.

3.) Advertising Experience-Each member on the staff will have to run to different places in town and ask businesses if they are willing to put an ad in the yearbook. Sometimes people will tell you “yes,” and there are those who tell you “no.” Don’t feel discouraged because you are receiving a taste of how the real world functions. Advertising experience will help you become a people person and learn how to prepare you for a job in retail.

 

Traffic Light Method for Journalism Students:

After writing my previous blog post relating to the differences and similarities between blogging and yearbook, there was a method I thought of pertaining to those who are deadline driven.

Of course, you know it can be difficult to finish your work and meet a deadline on time unless you work very hard to make sure you have no errors, misspellings and improper punctuation usage. Here is a method for students who are interested in journalism to think about:

Green Light:

  • When you have corrected your mistakes that were circled or underlined, print off a new copy of your corrected page and hand it in to the editor-in-chief. If no errors were found, you receive the “green light” and are ready to move onto your next assignment.

Yellow Light:

  • The yellow light means that there were some errors that have been spotted, but will be corrected by the staff to make sure that your page will be published on time.

Red Light:

  • Your deadline will have to be missed at least a few days because there were lots of mistakes noticed by the staff. For example, kicker titles. They may not match the theme to your yearbook. Or, the division page story has one too many grammatical errors and name misspellings.

Yearbook and Blogging: Differences and Similarities: Part 2

To continue from last week’s previous blog post pertaining to the differences and similarities between being on a yearbook staff vs blogging.

Differences:

  • Hobby-what you do in your own free time. No deadlines, being your own boss and enjoying your work without it being criticized for not being perfect. 
  • Extracurricular Activity-working on everyone else’s time. You are under pressure by multitasking. For example, editing your assigned yearbook page for sports and still expected to go out and interview someone else who will be in a different section of the yearbook. You will have to redo your work until everyone revises and receives the “green light” from the yearbook adviser and editor-in-chief. 

Similarities:

  • Blogging can also be deadline driven if you work for a journalism company and use a blog to publish your work. 
  • These assigned posts/pages can or usually are planned out ahead of time but still not be published until after the deadline where you edit and hand in your work three to four times. 

Yearbook And Blogging:Differences and Similarities: Part 1

Yearbook and blogging might be two different projects you are doing as an extracurricular activity and hobby, but there are some similarities and differences between the two:

Differences:

  •  Deadlines: The adviser and editor-in-chief create deadlines for the staff because it takes one whole year to make a yearbook from front to back. As for blogging, you can choose when to publish your own work without being rushed by staff members and not follow through with a theme. In other words, you can post random ideas and subjects on your website without being hounded by your adviser and editor-in-chief unless you are working for a certain company that chooses different themes on a weekly basis. 
  • After you fill out a yearbook position application, you have to wait a little while before hearing back from the adviser. Unlike being on a yearbook staff, you can simply create your own website and create mini-projects, instantly. 

Neutral:

  • Deadlines: You create deadlines to post certain topics pertaining to real world experience. And you also have deadlines to meet your goal by getting the work done, edited and published for certain companies.

Similarities: 

  • Selecting Subjects to Discuss: Whether if you are interviewing students for a certain page in the yearbook or asking a relative about something from their past, you are publishing topics for the world to read and comment. In other words, your work can be influenced negatively nor positively, depending on what you published, how you interviewed someone and the words you have carefully selected. 
  • Creativity-You are free to be as creative as long as you know what to do and remembering your purpose of doing that certain project. For example, photojournalism: interviewing and photographing your subject for a specific blog post that you think is the most important for others to read for a certain reason. In other words, how does this subject affect my daily life? Or, how is this person a positive role model for everyone? Dig down to the creativity ditch and start on the most significant idea you have that relates to your theme. Visualize your plan and follow through. 

High School Journalists: MagCloud

In a previous blog post, I briefly mentioned MagCloud and some of the projects you can publish on that website. But what’s going to be brought up within this post is that MagCloud is not always about publishing your photographic work. You can create a story book, magazine no one has ever heard of, newsletters, cards and yearbooks.

If you are interested in creating a newsletter, for example, sign onto your MagCloud account and hit at the top: Create. Afterwards, select, “Download Templates” and click on “Newsletters.” Choose which newsletter you would like to create and download the template. Remember, some projects may not always be appealing at first, but the more you continue to create and publish as many projects as you are desired to do, your recognition will happen in no time. For the time being, have fun and always learn from those who give you the greatest advice. Constructive criticism is important because it helps your work improve significantly.

Yearbook Staff Guidelines:

Being on the yearbook staff is fun, but the workload can be an overload. In other words, you have to plan ahead of time and meet deadlines, constantly. There are more than one assignments you will be given throughout the year and they only relate to the sections you work on. For example, if you volunteered to cover sports, your editor-in-chief will ask you to attend certain games on campus to take pictures or interview one of the players. A list of the players’ names will be given to you and it’s your job to make sure you have the story written out and ready to turn in as soon as you finish correcting punctuation and grammatical errors. These tips and guidelines are set in stone for various reasons. It’s not only to make sure the staff, overall, have completed their sections which are in preparation for publishing at a yearbook company, but it’s the adviser’s responsibility to guide and lead the staff in a right and successful direction that will be both rewarding, hardworking and memorable.