Friday, May 27, 2011

surviving yearbook

I have lived and breathed yearbook for the past four days. From Monday morning at 9:30 through Thursday evening at 6:15, I put in 41 hours and 45 minutes. (Yes, I kept a log.) And now ... drum roll, please ... all 84 pages have been submitted! I've discovered that when I need to work so intensively on a project, I need some things to help me out. Here's what got me through this time:

Dance Dance Revolution for Wii--This functioned as a great stress reliever; trust me, when I was fighting with the ridiculousness that passes for text wrap in our design program, I needed a way to work off my frustration!

An excellent, dedicated student editor--I don't know if I would have survived without Michelle. I certainly wouldn't have been able to submit everything a whole 24-hours early. She even spent hours working on the index, which is an incredibly tedious project. Plus, we get along really well, which doesn't always happen with editors and advisers. I wish I could clone her and keep her as editor forever!

Odd working hours--I am so much more productive at night. I've known this for a long time, but when you have to be at work at 8 a.m. or earlier, it's pretty much impossible to stay up late to accomplish anything. Thus the beauty of this week: I set my own hours! Each night, I worked until midnight or later and then slept in the next morning. The first day was rough--I worked 12 hours, which I'm absolutely not used to--but after that, my body adjusted beautifully. I'm not looking forward to going back to a normal schedule next week.

Lots of snacks and drinks--Yeah, I ate all the goldfish pretzels and animal crackers. I didn't drink the whole 12-pack, though!

Music--Upbeat for the sleepy times (this included lots of boy band music--because I still love me some "Bye, Bye, Bye"--"happy" country, Mike Tompkins videos, and a new fav, Anthem Lights), and cinemix for the "I really need to focus" times.

Antacids--Thanks to all the snacks.

Neck wrap--It's amazing how much this helped when I was feeling the stress in my neck and shoulders. (As a bonus, you can see how ancient the computer in my classroom is. I took my laptop in all week because my desk computer was so maddening. Anybody want to make a donation???)

A way to block facebook and other distracting sites--I used LeechBlock, which allows you to set times of the day to block certain websites. I turned off facebook, Google Reader, and from 8-4. (Remember how I was working odd hours? Well, LeechBlock usually helped for the first 4-6 hours I worked, but after 4, I had to--gasp!--use some self control. I was moderately successful.)

Now that I'm finished for the school year, it doesn't seem so bad, and I'm pretty impressed with everything that Michelle and I accomplished this week. To those of you who are my facebook friends, thanks for putting up with all my frustrated status updates over the last several days. I promise not to talk about yearbook again ... at least until the fall!

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