November 16, 2009 / 2009 Fall JEA/NSPA / Walsworth Live

Leave sleep for after JEA/NSPA

Written by Elizabeth Braden, CJE

The last session I attended at convention left me hopeful for the future of yearbook.

Four officials with national scholastic journalism organizations — Linda Putney of JEA, Logan Aimone of NSPA, Edmund Sullivan of CSPA and Vanessa Shelton of Quill and Scroll — agreed that because of its functions as a history book and a reference book, the yearbook should remain viable well into the future. Of course, the big job at hand is to figure out how to help schools increase sales. By the way, Walsworth has ideas for that all over our website!

I went to two other great sessions Saturday morning: “Nip/Tuck, Anyone?” by advisers Susan Massy and Crystal Kazmierski, and “How to Produce an Award-winning Yearbook” by Kelsey Martin. The Massy/Kazmierski team had great sub-heads for their presentation on tightening your writing, such as “Exfoliate flaws” and “Suction out the passive.” I must email Ms. Martin and tell her I appreciate her mentioning that colophons are important.

Donald Ford, superintendent of the Harrisonburg, Va., City Schools, told a small roomful of students on Friday how to build a healthy relationship with the administration. Communication, trust and expectations are all part of the mix. Look for an Idea File magazine article on this topic in the future.

Now, when I attend these conventions, my primary duties are with the Walsworth booth, to put it up, man it and take it down. I promised myself I would work out the month before, but that didn’t happen. I know the soreness will go away eventually. Hats off to all of my co-workers in KC, and the sales reps who joined us, as we have become a well-oiled machine in setting up and taking down the booth. My favorite part this time was shrink-wrapping the skids with Susan Wuchowitsch and Justin Jones, and trying to go as fast as we could to create those great video game sound effects. Almost better than bubble wrap.

I always try to make sure I get enough sleep during the convention, but I was in Washington, so I could leave sleep for after the convention. In a cold mist on Friday night, five of us took the Metro and walked to a tapas restaurant in Old Downtown and went to the National Mall. I had a great time with Susan Wuchowitsch, Angela Meissen, and North Carolina sales rep Jackie McLaughlin. Later that evening, adviser Lori Leonard took us on a driving tour. We saw the Iwo Jima Memorial, and the FDR Memorial, which I had never seen. And yes, Susan, George Washington was an important enough man to rate his own monument.

I started to doze in Lori’s car before we came dragging in about 12:30 a.m. Saturday. I was up for an 8 a.m. session, awake enough to pay attention and glad to know there was a plane ride home during which I could sleep.

Elizabeth Braden, CJE
Elizabeth Braden, CJE

Elizabeth Braden, CJE, is the former editor of Idea File magazine. Before retiring, she was a copywriter for Walsworth Yearbooks for more than 15 years, writing articles for various marketing materials, and proofreading copy for the Yearbook and Commercial divisions. Her career included reporting and editing for United Press International and editing for Knight-Ridder Financial News. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Media News from the University of Tulsa.