EAGLE-VAIL – Memory is fleeting. That’s why there are high school yearbooks.At Battle Mountain High School, a group of students has been laboring away since school started in August to capture as many memories as possible for the 2005-06 yearbook. Capturing those memories involves dozens of students, several cameras, and a lot of time learning to somehow organize those photos. The end result will be in students’ hands just before graduation this spring. While the green grass of mid-May seems a long way off, crunch time is looming for the kids in Nancy Lindbloom’s yearbook class. Between now and the end of the month, there are ads to be sold, orders to be taken, and a big deadline to meet. While months of school remain, Jostens, the company that publishes the yearbook, wants Battle Mountain’s finished yearbook at its offices in early February. That has the kids in this term’s yearbook class staring down a very grown-up deadline.”The deadlines are terrible,” senior Nicole Johnson said. But Johnson and other students seem to be having fun – the word most of them used when asked what got them to sign up for the class.”I was looking for something fun, creative. It’s been good taking photos, learning how to use the programs we use,” junior Brady Coffey said.
“You get to meet a lot of people,” junior Brenda Carmona said.After taking the pictures, though, comes the work of getting them into the yearbook, a process that involves some fairly sophisticated computer design work.”It’s a lot harder than I thought,” Johnson said.Hitting deadlinesMany of the kids in the yearbook class said meeting deadlines has been one of the hardest things to learn. But Carmona said she’s learned to like them.”It helps me feel organized,” she said. “There’s a lot of deadlines that you need to be checking up on.”Another student said she likes the work of page design.”It’s fun to be creative with it,” senior Erica Tafoya said. “It would be fun to do for a living.”
The teacher’s having a good time, too.Lindbloom is now in her third year of teaching the yearbook class. She said still enjoys it, despite some bumps in the road, like getting almost all-new students in every one of the school year’s three terms.The kids in the first term class set the tone for the year. They picked the yearbook’s theme – this year’s is “Altitude” in honor of living in the mountains – then looked through yearbooks from other schools and the past few years at Battle Mountain.After some training to use the photography and page layout software, it’s time to get to work. Getting almost all-new kids every term slows down the yearbook a little, Lindbloom said. “They’re quick learners, though,” she said. “They’re good kids.”Pictures, pictures, picturesSome of that work involves selling advertising, which all the students in this term’s class are doing now. The $45 price of the yearbook doesn’t come close to covering costs, Lindbloom said, so selling ads is essential.But most of the out-of-the-classroom work is taking pictures, disks and disks of pictures. Some of that work is fun. Some is easy. But some is a pain.
“Some people start hiding when I tell them I’m taking pictures,” Carmona said.Tafoya said she gets two main reactions when other students find out she’s on the yearbook staff.”They run if you’ve got a camera, and other people tell me it better be good,” she said.There’s a lot of camera shyness when kids try to take other kids’ pictures, Lindbloom said. But if the yearbook doesn’t have at least one picture of virtually every kid, parents will complain. Fortunately, a few parents volunteer to take pictures, too.”It seems like kids who won’t let students take their pictures will let adults take them,” Lindbloom said. But even with camera shy students, new students every term and the inevitable hiccups that come with producing just about anything that rolls off a printing press, the kids sign up.”We don’t have any trouble filling the class,” Lindbloom said. “I try to limit it to 20 a term.”Carmona was in the fall class, signed up again for winter, and wishes she could stay on.”My schedule just won’t let me,” she said. “But it would be fun to take it again.”
Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14624, or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail Daily, Vail Colorado