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This year, I acquired an abundance of skills that are not only applicable to yearbook, but also to life. However, most of all, I quickly learned that the whole yearbook environment is chaos. To come out alive and succeed required me to adapt quickly as well as grasp the patience and strength to work in this culture. The development of my work ethic and time management throughout the school year allowed me to use this to improve in my other classes, and will enable me to be more successful in my future endeavors. At the beginning of the school year, I stepped into the wild, not knowing what exactly I was getting into, however, now, I’m stronger and smarter than ever.

The skills that I gained as a member of the Vanguard yearbook staff for the 2016-2017 include skills that can not only be used in my future journalism courses but also in all aspects of life. Learning about photography, various writing techniques and leads, and design elements can all further enhance my skills in the course specific field of journalism, but also will expand new horizons for me, whereas the lifelong skills, such as time management over long projects and period of time will stay with me forever.

Throughout this year, I have gotten more proficient in the physical skills, being photography skills, writing techniques, and design elements. This is because in each spread, you were required to apply the same process you would other steps, and the repetition is what helped me to be capable in these. For example, each picture that reached the spread must have had a resolution of 300 and should be the right brightness. Opening the picture in Photoshop are making these changes are minimal, however, because I have been introduced to this program, I am able to simply brighten or change the color shade of any picture, for any use. I can also explore this program further, as I have a basis and foundation on where to start.

The lasting skills that I will take with me is first and foremost, how to work in a stress environment and still create an exemplary final product spread. This took a strong work ethic however, and it was ultimately on you for everything. In the end, the whole Vanguard staff is counting on you to complete your given tasks, but they are holding you accountable to a high standard at which your product must reflect. Unfortunately, the deadlines creep in faster than you expect it, where you are responsible for high quality work, very similar to the workforce and how the corporate world operates. This course was extremely valuable to me, and the skills that I have attained, I can take in all aspects of life, primarily when I enter the outside world where I will be assigned long and short term projects.

My Student Associations spread is by far my most significant work. Of course, I am using the term significant and not best because it needs a lot of work, however it is the spread that I am proudest of. From the beginning, I did slack off, even towards the end, however, Gay Straight Alliance, Jazz Combo, Christian Student Association and Muslim Student Association meetings were always in my calendar. Before I knew it, the spread was due, and naturally, I wasn’t finished. I do wish that I could have finished in a timely manner, however, now I know the repercussions with leaving all the work to the last minute. This my most significant work because of the effort that I put into the spread. I took all the mugs for the module, gathered the quotes for the module, wrote the copy, wrote most of the captions, and took or found most of the pictures including the dominant for this spread. Even though my partner wasn’t too involved in the spread, I did like the fact that I was held responsible because it taught me to just get it done. I learned a lot from this spread, including with having deal with hardships later on when time was everything, where I had to replace a few pictures after someone had been used one too many times. Before stepping into yearbook, I told myself not to fall behind, however you don’t really know how behind you are until the due date is in a few weeks. This spread gave me the opportunity to reflect on many things, both constructive and destructive elements. I am glad to have this chance and even though I could have changed a few things, I learned many things from this spread. There was no other option than to continue working, not doing the spread wouldn’t have done anything for me or the yearbook. To improve this spread, next time, I would definitely try to complete this spread on time, as I was given plenty of time to complete it. Overall, I’m proud of the work I put into this spread, although, if I could redo it, I would make sure to have it ready before the deadline.

The spread that needs the most work would most probably be my Academic Clubs spread. Like my Student Association spread, I found all the pictures, except the dominant, wrote the copy, took or found all pictures on the spread, took the pictures and found quotes for the whole module, and wrote most of the captions. I feel extremely proud of my work, although, I wish this spread was a bit cleaner. To me, it feels busy and boring. Specifically, I wish that my copy held more than just a description for each club in the copy. The copy is extremely basic, and doesn’t have any leads to invoke any emotions from the readers. Also, I would have liked the pictures to be of a higher quality. If I could the chance to do this spread again, I would definitely have it finished before the due date. From the beginning, I knew that time management was important, though I wasn’t completely aware how important it was. There is a simple way to succeed in yearbook and that is to stay organized. Time is crucial and it is important to be efficient while also creating an attractive final product. Categorically, If I had the chance to do this again, I would edit the module pictures and make them uniform. I remember, in the beginning of the year, creating a calendar and several documents for planning, but it seemed to have fell through as a result of my irresponsibility and failure to acknowledge the approaching deadline. Again, I am proud of the amount of work I did on this spread, but I wish I could have managed my time better in the beginning, so that I could have created a better final product.

As a new member of the Vanguard Staff for the 2016-2017 school year, it truly put into context how we are a part of something bigger than ourselves. I thought of it like an orchestra or a play on Broadway. Each actor or musician is close to nothing by themselves, but put together, they can create incredible music or be the best play on Broadway. Our Vanguard staff is minuscule, but put together, we create an entire yearbook for the whole school. Getting to be a part of something bigger than myself was a great experience for me.

Throughout this school year, I did have a few problems. It was a little bit hard doing two spreads with partners who didn’t put in as much effort as they should have. This dumped a lot of the workload on me, and I responded to it by finishing way past the deadline. This was my fault as well because if I had planned better, and set aside a few minutes every week outside of yearbook to work on my spreads, they would have been done one time. Even though I will not be a member of the Vanguard staff for the 2016-2017 school year, I can use this time management skills and new mindset and apply it to other factors in life, when faced with a long-term project, or just any assignment in general.

A full showcase of completed projects among others domain within the spread.

This Student Life teacher superlative spread is by-far my favorite spread. It was lots of fun to do, and it was great to start out the year with this spread. It is also the spread where I was able to best showcase my design elements. In this spread, the square is the central shape, however, when he originally created a draft of the spread, it was prevalent that there was too much white space. Because we were using softer, lighter, and less harsh blues, white space looked good, but there was too much here. I thought of an idea of a montage with different squares consisting of grays and blues with different transparencies. This design element is simple, and is appealing to the viewer, but also serves the purpose of filling the empty space without enlarging any of the text or images.

This module was simple, but enabled us to better represent students' opinions, especially by showcasing it in the science spread. I can up with the title Myth Busters after thinking about the show and what the module was mainly about. It fits perfectly because these students are breaking the illusions that most people, including other students, have.

Student Association spread body copy

I edited this copy several times after writing it. The first time that I had wrote it, I had just given a summary of the clubs with no current information relevant to this year. Adding the MIST event, where MSA competed, allowed me to add at least one piece of relevant information from this year.

Fall dance pictures

These dance pictures perfectly encompass the art of action shots along with dim lighting, in the setting of a school dance. In all three pictures, the viewer is immediately directed to the action, and it serves as the focal point of the image. The action fills the frame, and depending on the location of the action, the rule of thirds is put into use, seen here in the bottom right picture.

In school pictures

These three pictures, all include the element of framing. Each picture focuses on emotion rather than action. This is especially seen through the picture of Mr. Rawlins and the group of students in the SRC. All of these pictures are taking from either a higher position or below the students. In the bottom picture, aperture priority allows the viewer to focus on the two subjects, but he or she can also notice what the students are looking at.

Student Associations

I like this caption because it is descriptive and includes some information about the major event that MSA prepared for. This way, students who may be interested have an opportunity to look further into it.

Academic Clubs

I didn't take the first picture of Nathan, but it was easy to write about this without actually being present for the picture. The reader can see that Nathan looks happy and enjoys doing others' taxes for those who can't afford it. The caption just briefly gives the viewer more information on VITA and what they do. The second picture of Dr. Katie Lang may intrigue students as to who it is and what they are doing. The caption states that she was a guest speaker for HOSA. This allows students to further investigate HOSA, if they are interested in participating.

Academic Clubs

This picture screams victory, however, the caption confirms this and gives the audience more information on what prize they won, the competition, and the name of the club who won it.

I think a fair grade for the class would be a 90 because I feel like even though I didn’t submit my spreads on time, I put a lot of effort that was mostly one-sided, where I had to make up for my partner and myself. Also, I utilized design elements where there was space, specifically showcasing these abilities on the Student Life Teacher Superlative spread with the square mosaic, previously mentioned in this portfolio. My photography is improved tremendously, though I still need some work. Overall, I have learned and acquired so many new skills, and a letter grade is only a physical representation of my work in journalism, however, it can’t account for the lifelong skills that will continue to mold my future.

When I entered yearbook, I entered a class of chaos, but there at the end of the year, the fruit of the labor was recognized. Even through my late submissions and mistakes throughout the school year, I was able to see the true beauty behind the madness.

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