While they may later be able to recall the principles of a great candid or the rules for a powerful headline in years to come, they’ll always remember those yerdly staff traditions specific to their years on staff.
One of the longest-standing traditions of the Sunset staff at Corona del Sol HS in Tempe, AZ is the end-of-the-year lasagne party adviser Margie DiCesare throws at her house each spring. It’s not something she’s quiet about. Many of the staffers have attended in previous years, but those who haven’t learn about the soiree as school begins.
For DiCesare, it’s the last of many team-building and staff bonding activities. By the time the preview/lasagne party rolls around, the staffers will have played goofy games, celebrated a year’s worth of birthdays and holidays and sung/danced/snacked their way through deadline after deadline.
On the big day, the staffers gather at their adviser’s home. They devour salad and multiple pans of lasagne. After dinner, the editor enters the house and returns with a copy of the book. Before long, everyone has a copy. They spending the next couple of hours reading, laughing, crying and remembering their year together. They study their masterpiece (and are forbidden to make negative comments for the first week). Then, when the party ends, the books go back into the cartons until it’s time for the school-wide signing party; the staffers receive their books the same day as everyone else.
But the staff has already had the chance to celebrate the book they made — and they have done some damage to a mountain of pasta.
Charla Harris has advised publications at Pleasant Grove HS in Texarkana, TX for decades. The multi-media production staffs (yearbook, newspaper, online and TV) started a new subgroup earlier this year.
“It was a Monday and I was in a bad mood. Only one photographer had showed up to the Sadie Hawkins dance with a camera. Everyone was mad and we were stressing about what we were going to do about the Sadie spread. There are only five staffers in that class period, and one of the girls said, ‘Mrs. Harris, I think we need to do yoga.’
“So we got on the floor and stretched and breathed for awhile and then we ended up laying there and laughing (I think it was the Downward Dog position that did it). We figured out how to solve the Sadie problem and we all felt much better.”
“Later, we started talking about going to the yoga class at the gym and then getting one of our other staffers to teach yearbook yoga.”
“Yearbook requires a lot of mental energy. A few minutes of breathing, stretching and relaxing definitely helps re-energize my yerds.”
It just evolved from there. They began to gather once a week before school starts for Yearbook Yoga. The group varied from week to week and — after some discussion — they came to several conclusions: It’s less embarrassing if the group is not co-ed, yearbook yoga definitely deserves its own t-shirts and “namaste” is a great way to say “good morning.”
Adviser Charla Harris (left) and members of her publications/media staffs model their Yearbook Yoga t-shirts. While the group was originally all-female, several guys joined as time passed.
Yearbook Discoveries Volume 16 Issue 3