My year in yearbook


Yearbook was one of my favorite classes this year, even though Mr. Battaglini didn’t let me change my senior picture. (Even this picture was better.)

Senior year is probably the most exciting year in a teenager’s life. We’re on the verge of applying to college, stepping into adulthood, and graduating high school. When you think about it, you feel submerged in stress. Which is why, when I picked my classes, I wanted to go for something easy, like the yearbook/journalism class. However, that was definitely not the case. 

Before picking yearbook/journalism, I was going to pick physics. My AVID teacher said physics would look a lot better on my transcript. My friends were going to pick AP Physics, and it felt like physics would have been the right choice. But deep down, I knew that a heavily involved math subject wasn’t really my thing. Spontaneously, I decided to stop listening and picked yearbook.

My yearbook teacher, Mr. Battaglini was also my AP Lang teacher my junior year. During my time in AP Lang, I was shy, and I was once terrified of him, too. It’s an AP class. The kids there are super competitive. The goal was to stay quiet and just do my work. Towards the end of the school year, I was relieved to be done with the class. However, one of Battaglini’s former yearbook students, Diego Puga, came into our class to convince us to join yearbook. Puga has always had a persuasive side of him, and when I saw how enthusiastic he was about the class, I decided to take my shot, too. 

The first week or so of the class was easy. We were getting to know each other, doing fun icebreakers, etc. Things started to get serious during the third week where we finally had to start brainstorming a cover design. This was difficult because we had to pick a theme that we thought would be up with the trend. We were basically predicting the future. It was also difficult coming up with a compromise between the two classes. This school year we had two periods, so we had to get everyone on board. In the end, we decided with our infamous title Future Nostalgia, a peek into what now is our past self. 

Before starting my first spread, I worked on my first story, which was about our school’s safety precautions regarding school shootings. I thought it was going to be a piece of cake; search up a few facts, interview a few people, write a story, and boom easy A. I shake my head at myself now. 

I came to realize that I needed to do much more research than that. I also realized that getting interviews with people was hard. Not everyone’s schedule revolves around you, therefore I had to give them a sense of urgency to try to cooperate with me. I learned that when I get an email from Mr. Battaglini that he left a comment on my story draft, I had to brace myself for the million corrections I was about to make. This story took me about a month to complete, but the feeling of being done with an exhausting story and getting applauded by the class for a job well done.  felt like I just finished running a race and placed first.

The first spread I started was my world language spread. It was a smooth transition into spread making. This is also when I first started using the camera, too. I would take pictures of students doing projects for their class, then interview those people for quotes. I then picked out a layout and started writing a story. The world language spread was my favorite and very easy to do.

However, in my second spread, I got thrown into the world of wrestling. While I semi knew what wrestling was, when I went to the first event to take pictures, I was lost. There was just a bunch of screaming and yelling, too. Some of the players had rough personalities, so I felt intimidated. This was definitely not what I thought I signed up for. Because I was so lost, I decided to start talking to the players. I asked them about their moves, the names of the moves, and how the scoring worked. Eventually, I got the hang of it. My picture taking skills definitely improved for wrestling. They had to, since there was a lot of movement within the pictures. This spread was the hardest to find a layout for. I probably spent like a good week looking for a good layout for this spread. I needed something that would make all the pictures look good. Eventually, Mr. Battaglini and Natalie (our yearbook advisor) helped me come up with something that would work with all the pictures. I was proud of the outcome because it was my first sports spread. 

This might sound like a workload, and it is, BUT there are fun aspects of the class. We have Talk Tuesdays, which is discussing topics that we are interested in; Would you rather Wednesday is when Battaglini picks the weirdest scenario to choose from; Thoughtful Thursday is when we discuss a quote Battaglini picked for the week; Friday Funday is when we pick out cards from a deck of Table Topics, and we discuss with our group. 

These activities are an important aspect of the class because they not only help you connect with people in the class, but also help you get a taste of what it is like to connect with people outside of class, such as interviewing them for a story. Your group is also very helpful. They give you constructive criticism, while also reassuring you that you got this! My group was filled with people I never talked to, but despite that, we made a very strong connection. 

Overall, this one was one of my favorite classes out of my senior year schedule. I recommend this class if you love socializing, getting out of your zone, or simply love to write. While some of you may be thinking, ‘Battaglini is intimidating; I don’t want to take his class,’ you’ll discover that there is another side of Battaglini his regular and AP classes don’t see. You’ll often see him smile, crack jokes, or just say the most out of pocket things. Trust me, you’ll want to experience it, too.