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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