Yearbook 2013-14: Mischief Managed




As of about 4 PM on April 1, the 2013-14 yearbook was complete and sent to the printers.


Custom cover art by Meredith Fern Messinger:



Spreads by a staff of fifteen, plus Ryan and myself:

yearbook thumbnails


At the very last minute, I discovered extra space in the 8th grade section, so I ran a report of 8th graders who had no candids in the book and went on a mission. I pulled as many of them as possible from class, convinced them to do funny poses, and took their pictures. Then Ryan used his Advanced Photoshop Ninja Skills to cut them out from their backgrounds, and I stayed up until after midnight making the page on the right below. Glad I did. They’re going to like it:


This was definitely a “building year” for yearbook, at least for me. I got off to a late start, didn’t do the best possible job acquiring staff, and really did a lot of last-minute learning on the job. Now that it is behind me, and I have some breathing room, I have SO many ideas for the future. And I just found out that we have some money to work with, so I’m excited about updating our equipment and getting some new “toys”. I want to add a signature to our book so we have some room to design instead of just cramming as much as possible into the space we have, and I think we want to buy or build some sort of green screen for cutouts. We need a telephoto zoom, too, for sporting events. I’ve started collecting ideas on a Pinterest board and am going to get all my foundations taken care of this spring, instead of next fall, so that we can hit the ground running and do an amazing job with the 2014-15 book. That said, I’m very pleased with the way this one turned out, all things considered!



Today we read a children’s book called Ish, by Peter Reynolds, about a young boy who is an artist…ish. “Ish” is one of the best suffixes out there, and the book – which was fabulous, by the way – got me to thinking. I free-wrote a response after reading, and then went back to it some time later and responded to myself. The original writing is in bold and my responses are in regular face.

ISH. A lot of the time I feel like I am writing poem-ish things, or memoir-ish things. A lot of times I think I am writing…ish.

Interesting, really. I mean, I seem to devote a lot of energy to trying to write fiction, but did I even mention fiction here? Not at all. Of course, I’m never entirely sure that my poems are really poems (man, the ghost of Trusky haunts me) or that I have anything to memoir-ize about, but when I write they seem to fall into those categories. Heck, even my fiction reads like someone else’s memoir.

I am fairly certain that I am a good-ish teacher and/or that I am pretty good at teaching-ish.

A pretty important distinction, actually. Maybe I teach at a fairly decent ability level… or maybe I am good at doing something that is almost, but not entirely, teaching. I have a lot of doubt about my competence and quality as an educator. I worry that I am faking it too often….

I do not believe that I can erase the “ish” of all that. There is a lot of not quite and a lot of faking it.

Hey, that’s what I just said.

I think I am healing…ish. I think I am hopeful…ish.

Yeah… sometimes it is hard to tell. There are good days and bad days, to be sure. I don’t really recognize this emotional landscape anymore. It is extremely ish.

I am not sure if I am academic-ish (or if I want to be) or artistic-ish (or if I can help that).

I’ve always been the academic one, and my sister has always been the artistic one, but as we grow older the lines blur… and when we talk about things like that whole dynamic thinking model stuff, I have to say to myself that I am artistic-ish rather than saying I am not artistic, especially given that that isn’t even true unless I try to compare myself to my sister.

I am thinking of being schoolish vs. rigorousish.

Say that five times quickly.

I am thinking about faith, and how mine is shatteredish, and how I really don’t know how to feel about that other than very ishy. If I could find the pause button, or skip ahead over this scratch in the CD, I might be able to come down on one side or the other of my ishiness….

Tell me about it, girlfriend.