Swift overcomes struggles of virtual learning as yearbook editor

Senior Macy Swift showcases one of the yearbook pages she is working on for this year's book. As Editor-in-Chief, Swift takes part in tasks like editing, taking photos and helping out younger staff members

Reprinted with permission from Macy Swift

Senior Macy Swift showcases one of the yearbook pages she is working on for this year’s book. As Editor-in-Chief, Swift takes part in tasks like editing, taking photos and helping out younger staff members

Adrian Kavazovic, Photo Editor

In the time of COVID-19, all school activities have been shifted to an online format. This includes the making of the yearbook. Senior Macy Swift has been working on the yearbook since July of 2020. Swift thinks creating the yearbook virtually has some pros and cons compared to doing it in-person.

“[It] depends on the day, but for the most part [working on the yearbook] is pretty similar [to working on it in-person.] I would say the hardest part is that you can’t collaborate with people in person… it’s definitely difficult teaching new staff members how to use an application like InDesign, which is our primary application that we use to make the yearbook, over a Zoom screen. You can’t point to the screen, or you can’t just help them really in-depth… so I think it’s been challenging in that aspect like teaching other new students, but for people who’ve already been in it, the application is pretty much the exact same as it would be on the school computers, so it’s pretty much the same overall,” Swift said.

One of Swift’s biggest struggles for creating the yearbook virtually is trying to reach people to interview. In previous years, she could just go up to a classroom and ask the teacher if a student could be interviewed. Now, in the era of online school, it is much harder for yearbook staffers to get in touch with people to interview.

“Definitely reaching people, reaching people has been really really really hard. A lot of people, especially underclassmen… they don’t check their emails as much, and I think upperclassmen like seniors especially do [check their emails] because we’re also checking for college information if that’s the route you want to take, and so a lot of people have not been responding to emails well,” Swift said. “In school, [with] making the yearbook, you could go to a classroom and knock on their door and ask to take someone out of the class, but this year you can’t really do that as much. You could ask the teacher, but then they would have to put you in a breakout room, or the person [being interviewed] would have to leave class and it would just be a little bit of a mess, and so it’s definitely been hard to get in contact with students… so that’s definitely been the hardest part this year,” Swift said.

One of the biggest adjustments that Swift has gone through is creating pages in the yearbook without getting content first. Since the pages are lacking photos and can fit a lot of information, she has to get creative when configuring the pages in the book in a way that looks nice.

“The biggest adjustment is really [that while we were in-person] you [didn’t] ever really set up a page before you [got] content for it, so the biggest adjustment is that we had to find creative ways to fill spaces on the pages because the pages are so big. You can fit tons of information on a single yearbook page or spread which [is] two pages, but because we lack photos this year, it’s been difficult to try to find ways to fill that space,” Swift said.

Through all of these difficulties, Swift thinks turning things in by certain deadlines is better virtually than in person. When Swift was in person, she had to go to school from 5-6 a.m. to work on the yearbook. Now, she can work on the yearbook in the comfort of her own home without needing to wake up early.

“Honestly, I always feel stressed around deadlines in school and [while] virtual [so] I think it [has been] pretty similar. I think definitely around deadlines in person, it was different because we would go into the school at 6 a.m. [and] 5 a.m. to work, and that was really sucky, so I think in a way being at home has been better because I’m not going in as early. At least I can wake up and just edit from my bed or from my room, so I think meeting deadlines has been a similar level of stress. It’s kind of been better, just because being at home is more comfortable than waking up early or staying late after school to meet the deadlines,” Swift said.

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