Monday, May 21, 2012

Summer To-Do

Today's my first Monday off for summer break, and I'm enjoying it by doing some laundry and watching a lot of The Office on Netflix. Winning.

But, as both my mother and husband have pointed out, I should probably actually accomplish some things this summer (hardee har har you guys). So in the hopes of actually getting these things done, I'm posting them here for you to see (motivation, right?). So here we go:

  • New window treatments in the master bedroom. 
  • Window treatments in the small bedroom (Stephen's office).
  • Window treatments in the guest bedroom (do you see a pattern here?). 
  • Spray paint a whole lotta picture frames that are gathered in the basement. 
  • Re-paint the master bedroom. 
  • Upholster our boxspring for a makeshift bedframe. 
  • Do at least one get rid of 100-things weekend. 
  • Get rid of the fan in the guest room (okay, this is more something Stephen has to do). 
  • Grow some basil and lavender. (I didn't tend to my garden this year...)
  • Organize my classroom units into binders. 

I think that's about it for now, although I may definitely add to it. What about you guys? Any summer projects? I know Stephen's planning on finishing our master bathroom (woot!) among some other things.


Saturday, May 12, 2012


You'll have to excuse my recent absence from's been almost two months! But between preparing my English I and English II classes for EOC's, planning and executing prom (which involved doing the catering, building the decor, and photographing the event), and finishing up the yearbook, I've hardly had any time to do anything else except sleep and eat. So here's a blog post about my reason for not blogging: yearbook! 

We use an amazing company called Walsworth: 

As you can see, we've sold 120 yearbooks and can do everything from marketing
to keeping track of student and business lists on this site. 

Without this company, it's unlikely I would have been able to do yearbook. They provided me with everything from lesson plans to theme ideas and directions on how to use online design. Speaking of online design, here it is: 

This is where yearbook happens. You can see from our book progress that we have 52 spreads submitted (woo!). A spread is the two pages you see at the same time when you open a book. Submitted means it's 100% done and we can't make any changes without contacting the company and paying a bunch of money. We only have five spreads left before we're finished: one is the track spread - it's done, but we're waiting to see if one student goes to state today before we submit it; one is an ad page (we're waiting for one more ad to place, then it's finished); one is graduation (which doesn't even happen until tomorrow); and the others are the index pages. The end is in sight! 

From there, I can get to all spreads: 

This is the track spread. It's finished, but we'll add the info of the girl's times today if she qualifies for state track. Fartlecked is some weird track term they use - silly, right? If you look, you can see the blue lines that make columns. If I've said "Make sure you align everything to the columns" once, I've said eight thousand times this year. Apparently it's a hard concept to remember to line up your copy and photos and captions to the columns.

I spend a majority of my time super-zoomed in checking spelling, grammar, column alignments, photo quality, and just about everything you can imagine. Hence why my eyes are tired.

I usually catch things like sophomore being capitalized, a missing comma or period, and making sure the captions are justified correctly. This one is not, so I had to fix it.

You can see here how the captions are aligned to the columns and justified
so that the sides touch the column breaks. We do this on the captions to make
the columns more pronounced, which leads to a cleaner looking page. 

My editor-in-chief and I spend a lot of my time in the ladder section, checking the proofs, approving them or sending them back to be edited, and then submitting. It's laid out in a way that makes it easy for us to follow the progress of the spreads. Nothing is ever submitted until she and I have spent (probably hours) pouring over the pages and making changes and tweeks. We both okay it before I submit the final page.

Here's an example of a page that isn't complete: the colophon and first page of the index. As a rule, we don't do any collages in the yearbook, but they wanted to continue the tradition started by last year's editor-in-chief of adding a collage to the colophon. Our yearbook staff was pretty big this year (20 students), so the editors decided to add some of the silly pictures and quotes from throughout the year to this page. We're an odd group, I must admit, but we sure do have fun. 

The colophon tells all the information about the book (page numbers, paper type, fonts, etc.)
The white space will be the beginning of the index, but we can't flow the index until
all the pages are complete, so we're still waiting. 

I think our yearbook looks pretty darn awesome. The theme is "The Writing on the Wall", so for our divider pages we have different walls fro around the school that we photographed with pictures from that section. For example, the nerd page (academic spread) has pictures from classes. The theme copy is all about breaking out of stereotypes and writing your own story. My kiddos are pretty decent writers. 

In case you can't read the copy, it says:
"If a 'nerd' is defined as an intelligent person, then this school is filled with 'nerds'. Every student
here has a passion for something, whether it be math, foreign languages, conditioning, art, or chemistry.
At North Platte, there are a variety of classes providing everyone with the chance to be a 'nerd'. There are
classes that students excel in, and others they don't do so well in, but the most important thing is that
each student discovers the class that motivates him to be a 'nerd'. 

So yeah, that's the gist of our book. And because I just can't resist, I had to share a few of my favorite pages:

This is a special spread, meaning the topic changes each year. This year,
the students decided to focus on students who volunteer at the local
firefighting stations. 

For one of the academic spreads, they did a spread on Media.
Our photographer (pictured here, obviously) is graduating this year, so they
talked about that, and decided to share with the students how a yearbook page is set up.
It's pretty cool. 

The football spread is one of the best looking spreads, in my opinion. I love the background. 

So this is what has been consuming my life for the past nine months, but especially the past few weeks. We have 3.5 days of school  left and five spreads to complete. With graduation tomorrow, Monday's sure to be exceptionally busy - editing and placing photos, writing the story, writing captions, editing, and tagging the students that are quoted. 

I'll be sure to post pictures of the cover when the book is printed and shipped to us in August (I hate that I have to wait!) 

Were any of you in yearbook? Did you do the cut and paste onto the page instead of doing it all online? Yearbook's certainly changed a lot.