In normal years, the yearbook is filled with colorful spreads of Homecoming and Heritage Night, pep rallies and tailgates, field trips and Friday night lights. But, this is not a normal year. When all those things are suddenly not happening anymore because of the pandemic, it became quite the challenge to still produce a yearbook.
In addition to finding material, it has also been harder for the Antenna yearbook to track down students.
“It’s hard to get quotes and pictures from students who don’t respond to emails or text messages,” senior and Antenna editor Anjum Ashraf said. “The staff used to get content by simply heading down to the cafeteria or a specific classroom to interview students or take pictures. Now, we have to rely heavily on the students themselves to send us content and don’t have as much freedom in that sense.”
However, the Antenna staff has been taking these challenges in stride.
“It took a while and plenty of creative thinking, but the book is really taking shape,” adviser Julia Hanneman said. “It’s structured a bit differently and reflects more of a focus on student life rather than specific events.”
In some ways, the staff was already prepared for this situation.
“We already produced our book on an online platform, so we didn’t have to relearn how to use software on top of adjusting the content of our book,” Hanneman said.
They have been sure to make necessary adaptations too.
“We made a Google Classroom where students can send in random pictures if they want,” senior and Antenna editor Kalkedan Malefia said. “We’ve made a few spreads surrounding the pictures we have received, and it’s been really helpful.”
The yearbook unveiled their theme to be disruption this year.
“With COVID, BLM protests, the presidential election and virtual classes, our lives have been disrupted, which is why the theme is a really good fit,” Malefia said.
The staff has also been playing the theme to their advantage.
“If there’s a new spread idea specific to this year, we could play into the idea that it’s a disruption from the norm of previous years,” Ashraf said.
Currently, the staff is hard at work to meet the 40% deadline where they have to submit that percentage of the yearbook by April 17.
“The staff has been working very diligently to get underclassmen to turn in pictures for the student section and complete earlier spreads,” Ashraf said.
Still, the staff can’t help but mourn what they’re missing out on because of these unprecedented circumstances.
“Before Covid, the yearbook classroom would be busy, loud and very fun. Honestly, it still surprises me that we got any work done,” Malefia said. “Now that everything is virtual, it’s been very quiet and no one really talks unless it’s in a breakout room.”
Nevertheless, the class hopes to embrace the situation and overcome these obstacles to produce a yearbook that represents what a tumultuous school year it has been.
“It would be inappropriate for this year’s book to be exactly like every other year – we need to honor the moment we’re living in,” Hanneman said. “This year’s theme, Disruption, is perfect to reflect on how this year has impacted all of us.”
Anyone interested in buying a yearbook can go to yearbookforever.com. The yearbook will cost $85 with the option of various customizations for an additional cost.