Yearbooks delayed: students wonder why

There are some questions that possess an aura of inexplicable profoundness and have plagued humanity since its beginnings, questions like: “To be or not to be?” “What do I know?” and “When are the yearbooks coming out?” With the release of the 2009 Ames High yearbooks on Oct. 16, the Ames High Spirit staff has managed to answer one of these age-old inquiries, but why did it take so long? “It’s easy to get behind schedule when senior leaders don’t do their part, and last year, we had some trouble with that,” SPIRIT adviser James Webb said. “This past summer, I was working on the yearbook basically every day. I wasn’t on vacation to try to get things finished up. It was pretty brutal.” Staff member senior Anna Kaspar put it more simply—“It was [Ben Nadler’s] fault.” What most students don’t realize is that putting together the yearbook seems to be a little tougher than the glorified scrap-booking it is often made out to be. “Usually, people don’t tell us when school-related events are happening, and it can be hard to track down good photos after eve nts have already happened,” Kaspar said. Webb added to this, saying that “many coaches, club leaders, and music directors don’t give us rosters, so the staff ends up having to track down everyone’s name themselves.” “Thinking of a good theme can be tough too,” staff member senior Cathy Pastiak said. "It has to be broad enough to relate to a lot of topics, but it still has to maintain an interesting focus." Besides the troubles that arise in creating the finished product, the production costs can be overwhelming. “Jostens (the company that prints the yearbooks) charges us a lot of random fees,” Webb said. “They can basically do whatever they want because we are so in debt to them. They have their foot on our throats, and we can’t switch companies or negotiate a new deal because of the debt.” “A lot of kids complain about the cost of the yearbook, but we actually lose about five dollars on every book,” Kaspar said. Despite continuing budget issues, the 2009-2010 SPIRIT staff has many new aspirations for next year’s yearbook. “We’re doing a week by week approach this year,” Webb said. “Each week will get a double page spread. We’re hoping that this approach will help us stay on top of things and give more even coverage to various clubs and events.” A new theme has already been decided on as well. “Next year’s theme is called ‘World Book,’” Pastiak said. “It’s not a reference to the encyclopedia. We’re hoping to put an international and cultural focus on the yearbook. We’ve been interviewing students like Camilla Dantas from Brazil and Ellen Thiel , who lived in Australia last summer.” Ultimately, SPIRIT staff is glad the 2009 yearbook is out but hopes to make improvements for the next edition. As Kaspar put it, "We want to avoid making the same mistakes we did last year."