Tuesday , October 17 2017
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A Simple Smile
The cover of the 1987 Graceland Acacia

A Simple Smile

One. Two. Three. A quick countdown, a smile, and the lightning fast click of a camera, that is all it takes to get your picture taken. In this day and age pictures are being taken everywhere for everything. I mean, we do live in the age of the selfie. Someone is constantly taking pictures to post on Instagram or share on Facebook, and don’t even get me started on the epidemic that is Snapchat. Pictures are a common part of our culture, so why is it that there is one picture that people are reluctant to take? Why has become increasingly difficult to get people in front to the lens when it comes to getting their portrait picture taken for the yearbook? I know, I can practically hear the collective huff as eyes roll. This is really about the yearbook? Yes, this is really about the yearbook.

The Acacia is the name given to the Graceland yearbook, and it has been a long standing tradition here on campus. Years pass, students come and go, the yearbook style changes with the times, but one thing has stayed the same. Portraits are a staple part of yearbooks, not just at Graceland, but for yearbooks in general. A major part of why people get a yearbook is so that they can look back in the years to come and see the faces of the people that they went to school with. The rest of the book may be filled with clubs, sports, and events, but there are a lot of memories that can be sparked just by seeing the face of an old friend.

This year the Graceland University Yearbook staff went about the yearly struggle to get the students to take their annual portrait picture. Taking pictures at inductions would be ideal, but not all halls have inductions. The team was forced to look for alternatives. Planning designated times to take pictures on particular halls, carrying around big blue backgrounds, even making getting your picture taken in the MSC during homecoming week for house points! Yes, even the reward of house points was not enough to get people to sit down and smile. It was a semester-long struggle.

It seemed that the main issue was that some people didn’t feel like they looked good enough to get their picture taken when a yearbook staff member was there to do just that. That excuse is a weak one. Passing on getting a portrait picture taken often resulted in no picture being recorded for that person at all. In thirty years most people will not really care if the faces on the page look perfect and prepped, they will just care that they are there.

The moral of the story is to just get your yearbook picture taken. It doesn’t take long, and it really doesn’t matter how you look the moment the flash goes off, it just matters that you were there. Next year I hope you all just bite the bullet and sit down and smile at the camera. Your local yearbook staff will thank you.

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About Randallynn Smith

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