Thursday, February 26, 2009

A letter from your friendly yearbook adviser

I am a yearbook adviser and tomorrow is the day we submit the entire yearbook. In the past two years at this school, there was so much gone horribly wrong in general that nobody really gave the yearbook any thought. This year, however, things have stabilized and we're preordering books like gangbusters. Before, it was the kids who made my life hell because they just didn't give a shit. This year, the kids are absolutely fantastic and it's the adults who cause the problems. So here is an open letter to all the adults who have given shit to yearbook advisers this year.

Hey you.

Yeah you, the one who keeps making demands and refusing to cooperate.

Fuck you.

I have over 3,000 kids on three tracks to place on 152 pages. I also have to include about two dozen sports, a dozen clubs, student life, baby photos, and leave room for ads and an index. I have to do this using 2 - yes, asshole, TWO - cameras, neither of which is fancy enough to take photos in that gym that is apparently lit with 8 yellow 30 watt bulbs. I have 20 kids and 4 computers. And I have over 200 faculty members who all think that whatever it is they like to think about is the most important issue on campus ever.

I'll tell you what. You let me teach your JROTC how to drill. You let me show your chorus how to warble. You let me teach some goddamn AP calculus while you come over here and handle this shit. Because if you want to do my job, here you go. Let's trade. I'm sure your job is easy, right?

Here in yearbook class we do not glue pictures to pages and photocopy them. This is not a scrap book and it is not a 'zine. It's a goddamn book. That's why they call it a yearBOOK. It takes time and coordination and organization and talent and dedication to complete. And money. Did I mention the money?

I have no money. If I undersell the books, there is no money to pay for them. If I miss deadlines, there is no money to pay the overtime. So when you decide you don't feel like waiting five minutes for my clubs editor to take a picture of your silly little honor society, no I will not push our deadline two more weeks so you can reassemble your little band of nerds. Take the picture yourself and email it to me if it's that fucking important. Otherwise I'm deleting your shit and replacing it with something interesting to look at. Our deadline is tomorrow. You probably should have scheduled your picture back in December when the subject was first brought to your attention.

So in conclusion, here is what is going to happen. We are going to put this awesome book together and you are going to help in any way you can. And if you bitch about it, I'm still going to do your page the way the kids want to do it because it is THEIR book, not yours. It's not mine either. It's theirs. And this is about them. Remember the kids? This is not about a picture you like or a kid you want to prominently feature, and it is not about showing me or your students who's boss. This is about teaching kids how to design pages, take photos, write captions, run a committee. This is not about your little group, it's about representing the whole school, and if you give a shit about your kids you will make sure they are represented in the book by doing what I tell you to do. Because when it comes to year-end memories, I am the fucking boss. So show some fucking respect, shut up and hand over your pictures or next year you'll be relegated to a tiny photo in the index between X and Y.


Your Yearbook Adviser.


  1. I did high school yearbook for two years (second year as copy editor) and college yearbook for all four. I was the yearbook photographer the last two of those years.

    I went to Christian schools, so people were mostly nice, but I still understand EVERYTHING YOU JUST SAID.

    Some people just don't get how they aren't the center of the universe.

  2. that's hilarious. you have so much sympathy from me. They offered me yearbook when I came to my new school; I called back the next day and said, I'll take the job, but can you find someone who gives a fuck for the yearbook? It's important, and it deserves to be treated so.

  3. Anonymous4:01 AM

    NO shit. Give 'em hell!


  4. Anonymous2:10 PM


  5. Yearbook Queen2:18 PM

    Hi Emily. I am a yearbook adviser and love how eloquently you have expressed everything I feel. I copied and pasted it a friend who is also an adviser in another school. We often call each other and vent about that "asshole" wrestling coach, etc. Speaking of asshole wrestling coach, I sent a team photo and asked him to identify two kids that we couldn't. He refused because they had quit the team and he didn't "identify quitters"... I found out who they were and listed them as team captians. Stupid son-of-a-bitch. Keep on keepin on.

  6. Anonymous8:56 PM

    I love this! I spent 4 years on yearbook as a high school student and have just finished advising my 5th yearbook. (I also read your post about the final deadline & that was me for two weeks---gone to the world.) Nobody gets it and nobody is nice about it! It's nice to know that there are others out there!!


Please leave a name, even if it's a fake name. And try not to be an asshole.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.