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This.

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This.

 

What comes to mind when you read that word? Is it the Nial Horan song, “This Town?”

Is it the NBC TV show “This Is Us?”

For those on the Smoke Rings yearbook staff, they think of the project they’ve been working on since before school started: the 2017 yearbook.

“This” started in early August, when the staff met in the late days of the summer to brainstorm ideas for the yearbook theme. Themes considered were “In With the New,” “Empower” and other themes that had to do with time, as they were switching to a week-by-week, chronological coverage.

For yearbook managing editor junior Delia Gonzalez, her main concern when deciding on a theme for the book was how people would react to it.

“I definitely think about ‘are people gonna like this,’” she said. “That was my main thing, because I wanted everyone to like it, not just one person.”

“This” can be interpreted in a variety of ways, which allows it to be a dynamic theme for a yearbook. Elements include “This Week in Photos,” “This is My Jam,” and “This is What I’m Watching.”

 

New challenges

Building yearbooks takes skill, training to gain that skill and practice to master it. This posed as a challenge to this year’s Smoke Rings staff as it was made up of mostly new staffers. The three returning members had to train the new students on top of doing their own assignments, making the year a little “chaotic” at times.

“We just had to hurry and get them into it because spring is not waiting for us,” Gonzalez said.

A new aspect of “This” is that it is aimed to be a spring delivery book, meaning that the majority of the book is planned to be finished and sent in to be printed by late February so that it can be delivered before school is out in May. The rest of this year, including events like prom and graduation, will be covered and printed to become an insert in the book. The insert will arrive this summer and can be picked up in the fall of next year. This style of yearbook comes with certain advantages.

“More people will see it before the school year is out, so maybe we’ll get more sales in,” Gonzalez said. “You get to see what happened this year; since it’s usually been fall, you get it the next school year, so it’s kind of like done, so I like that.”

Another unique aspect of “This” is the way the book is organized. The book is laid out in weekly spreads, meaning that the majority of the yearbook reads through one week at a time.

“We did a weekly because we thought it would be different,” Gonzalez said. “We wanted to get more content in. Instead of turning one whole thing[spread] into something like a play, we get more coverage. You get more of what happened throughout the entire school year.”

Although this is a new and innovative concept, there are some disadvantages to turning one spread into one whole week.

“Sometimes there’s not enough things that happened that week so some people are left with a lot of room,” Gonzalez said.

To fill space that is left on spreads, the staff uses what they call “secondary content.” This comes in the form of polls, info graphics and other content that isn’t stories or pictures

 

The Staff

Yearbook sales are important because they help to fund the printing of the book and the running of the staff itself. Smoke Rings also partially relies on advertisements help fund the book. Not only can local businesses place advertisements in the book, but the families of seniors can purchase a “Senior Salute” to honor their senior who is graduating this year. Business Manager Hannah Eaglin is in charge of handling these advertisements, and describes this year as being a good year for Smoke Rings advertising.

“We sold way more Senior Salutes than normal, so actual ads we haven’t had to sell as many,” Ingram said.

She was one of the three returning staff members who helped face the challenge of an almost entirely new staff.

“I helped a lot when we started, I helped with InDesign a lot and I still help a lot of times,” Eaglin said. “I helped in teaching people how to sell ads and telling them what to say.”

McKinzie was one of the new staff members this year. She joined yearbook so that she could get to know more of the student body after moving to Duncan from a different school.

“I wanted to get to know the students more,” McKinzie said. “When I came here I didn’t really know people and I wanted to know people at the school.”

McKinzie has enjoyed being on staff this year and getting to know more students, but has also felt the stress that comes with being on a mostly new and occasionally dwindling staff.

“It’s been really interesting, it’s been kind of stressful losing people and being kind of confused because we have a lot of new staff, but other than that it’s been cool getting to know people and the staff and the freshmen especially,” she said.

Although a lot of work goes into being a Smoke Rings staff member, that doesn’t mean work can’t also be play. The staff comes to the school on weekends or other days school isn’t in session to work on their assignments, which is more enjoyable than it sounds.

“The workdays are a lot of fun,” McKinzie said. “We just sit around and eat pizza and try to finish stuff.”

If one is interested in being a member of the Smoke Rings staff for next year, they should talk to a counselor and Lisa Snider to decide if it’s the right organization for them. The yearbook sales deadline has already passed, however, if one is interested in buying a 2016-2017 yearbook who hasn’t already, a few extra books will be available for purchase after the pre-paid books have been distributed.

 

The Staff

Yearbook sales are important because they help to fund the printing of the book and the running of the staff itself. Smoke Rings also partially relies on advertisements help fund the book. Not only can local businesses place advertisements in the book, but the families of seniors can purchase a “Senior Salute” to honor their senior who is graduating this year. Business Manager Hannah Eaglin is in charge of handling these advertisements, and describes this year as being a good year for Smoke Rings advertising.

“We sold way more Senior Salutes than normal, so actual ads we haven’t had to sell as many,” Ingram said.

She was one of the three returning staff members who helped face the challenge of an almost entirely new staff.

“I helped a lot when we started, I helped with InDesign a lot and I still help a lot of times,” Eaglin said. “I helped in teaching people how to sell ads and telling them what to say.”

McKinzie was one of the new staff members this year. She joined yearbook so that she could get to know more of the student body after moving to Duncan from a different school.

“I wanted to get to know the students more,” McKinzie said. “When I came here I didn’t really know people and I wanted to know people at the school.”

McKinzie has enjoyed being on staff this year and getting to know more students, but has also felt the stress that comes with being on a mostly new and occasionally dwindling staff.

“It’s been really interesting, it’s been kind of stressful losing people and being kind of confused because we have a lot of new staff, but other than that it’s been cool getting to know people and the staff and the freshmen especially,” she said.

 

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The news source of Duncan High School, since 1919
This.