Last year, a few days before school ended, Tech received his yearbook. A person involved in several extracurricular activities, he was frustrated when he only appeared in only one photograph – the same individual photograph that we had purchased earlier in the year. This appeared alphabetically amidst a sea of faces.
I tried to soothe my son’s bruised ego by pointing out how tiny the thumbnails were and how difficult it was to see anyone.
“Anyway, the autographs are the best part!” I flipped through the pages of his book. “Did you get any?”
Tech turned to the back of his yearbook where I was surprised to see that kids did not write in sentences as my friends had when we were his age. Instead, they simply penned their names. To be fair, my son collected mainly boys’ signatures last year, so I wondered if maybe it was a gender thing: perhaps 6th grade boys were inclined to communicate their feelings in words less well than girls of the same age.
[For example, someone penned “FAGS,” instead of “HAGS” — an acronym for “Have A Good Summer” — causing one teacher to haul out smiley-face stickers to cover up his unfortunate and oft-repeated abbreviation.]
Later, a friend and I compared notes. She has daughters, and I was curious to see if 6th grade girls did things differently, but no, I found very much the same kind of thing. Kids just signed their names, sans niceties. I was looking for some kind of: “It was nice meeting you this year”; or “Have a nice summer”; even “Your (sic) a grate (sic) kid.”
Most surprising was that three of my son’s teachers had elected to pre-print their names on Avery stickers. I understand it is tedious to write out one’s name 125 times, but pre-printed stickers? Really? Only the music teacher wrote my son a personal note and took the time to scribble out his signature in his own hand.
So I was interested to see how things would play-out a year later.
This year, on the last day of 7th grade, approximately 3.3 minutes before he had to walk out the house, Tech pulled his backpack over his shoulder and announced, “Oh, we got our yearbooks.”
He was out the door before I had a chance to ask him if he landed in any photographs besides the tiny thumbnail. That night, we flipped through his yearbook together. He was in a few extra pictures but the autographs had changed!
For the most part, the 7th grade boys are still pretty hapless.
I did see several nice, handwritten notes from teachers recognizing Tech’s hard work this year.
Which was nice.
And I couldn’t help but notice a few more signatures by people with names that certainly sounded feminine.
And some of these notes were composed in actual sentences.
Someone with curly handwriting penned in purple ink:
“I can’t wait to see you when you come home from summer camp. Maybe we can hang out.”
So I know my son has discovered girls, but does he realize that a few girls may have discovered him?
What do you see in your kids’ yearbooks? What do you remember about yearbook day?
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A few weeks back Leanne Shirtliffe (Ironic Mom), Clay Morgan (EduClaytion) and Keenie Beanie came up with a brilliant
horrifying idea. To go digging back through old school yearbooks and encourage other bloggers to post pictures of ourselves on our pages, along with a little write-up. They would call it:
I wanted to participate in Leanne’s, Clay’s and Keanie Beanie’s brain
fart child, but I was saddened to realized I had actually scribbled all over my face in nearly every picture. Think I’m kidding? I’m not. This is my Senior picture.
I was really into the Grateful Dead at the time. Please note my fancy spelling of the Dead, my little rose at the top of my picture, and my penned in peace-sign earrings.
I did find one picture in that same yearbook that stood out to me.
It was the picture taken for Senior Superlatives, a tradition at my high school. Members of the Senior class voted for their choice of male and female representatives in 12 different categories like Best Looking, Best Dressed, Most Friendly, Most Artistic, Most Athletic, Most Musical… you get the idea. (I wonder if they still do that.)
Scroll down to see what I got.
Monsieur Flirt and I were on-again, off-again friends during high school. During this picture, I think we were off. Yeah, definitely off. The week prior he had intentionally backed into my tan Plymouth Volaré as we waited at a red light. Honestly, he just lightly tapped the front bumper of my car with his rear bumper. Problem was my mother was also in the front seat of the car, and she did not think the whole “bumper cars” thing was very funny. She was pretty pissed.
She also has no recall of this incident at all.
Anyway, the day for photos came and Monsieur Flirt and I weren’t really friendly. I think he might have punched me that week. Or maybe he was mean to one of my friends. I don’t know. All I know is that the student photographer kept saying, “Get into a more flirtatious pose!” And neither one of us could muster it. I mean, we just couldn’t. Could there be stronger body language that says: I do not want to be in a picture with this person? But our relentless, young photographer was on assignment and kept making suggestions like, “Why don’t you dip her?” and “Why don’t you pretend to kiss?” Horrifying.
Finally, Monsieur Flirt and I decided to go with the back-to-back thing. Actually, I don’t think it was really a decision. As you can see from Monsieur Flirt’s face, if Photo Dude wanted a picture, that was what he was going to get.
When the yearbook came out days before graduation, I stared at that photograph for a long time. I thought about the words: Class Flirt. I did not think of myself as a person who “made advances.” I did not consider myself a vamp or a vixen or a seductress. But it made me realize that a lot of other people saw me that way. I mean, they voted for me. The idea made me squirmy.
I didn’t like it very much.
The idea stayed with me as I headed off to college. So did I completely reinvent myself? No. I am still a little coquette. I still bat my eyelashes and wear high-heeled shoes. I still chat it up with the boys. But I’m not interested in giving anyone a “come hither” look nor am I interested in stringing anyone along. That is not a sport in which I like to dabble.
These days, I’ve got Hubby. And Monkey is my photographer. He calls the shots. He holds the camera and tells me to be myself. And so I am. In pictures and in life. I still enjoy a fabulous double entendre, which is probably why I have a thing for The Bard. But there is so much more to me. There always was.
If you want to participate in School Picture Day, it’s not too late! Read the instructions here. Then post a picture, write a little somethin’-somethin’ (or just leave a caption) and go check out the school photos of some other bloggers like Clay Morgan and IronicMom and KeenieBeanie. If you posted a photo on your blog, please include a link in the comment section. I promise to visit. Even if you don’t do it today. I figure you have the rest of the week. For the purposes of my blog, it is School Picture Week! 😉