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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The "I've Never Been Perfect" Story

It was an ordinary day.  If the title of my story today has you wondering, I've got to tell you that I don't think anyone has ever been perfect in what they do, but today I'm talking about myself and the fact that I have never, ever, since 1968, produced a perfect high school, middle school or intermediate school yearbook.  I strive to be perfect while producing the school yearbook, but it just seems to never work out that way.  This evening Carol and I were attending a picnic at a friend's house who invited past, as well as present, teachers of Industrial Arts and Technical Education to gather for an evening of fun and friendship since the current school year has just ended.  There were about a dozen current and old timers who gathered for fun, food and fellowship at Jim's house near New Holland, Pennsylvania.  His beautiful home sat high on a hill above what is known to many as the "Garden Spot of America".  The view from his rear porch was breathtaking as we looked out over miles and miles of Lancaster County farmland.  I happened to be talking to one of the current teachers, Wendy, when I asked her if she had heard any comments about this years Middle School yearbook which was just distributed on this final day of school to all students and teachers.  
The cover of the 2017 Middle School Yearbook
She smiled and said she heard many nice comments, but a few saw that the same photograph had been used for both the field hockey and girl's soccer teams.  Names were correct under their respective headlines, but the photos were the same.  You can't imagine how awful I felt after viewing the pages when I returned home from the picnic.  What to do?  Absolutely nothing, I guess.  It seems I have altered the history of the school once again and shy of doing the book all over again there is very little I can do.  About thirty years ago my yearbook staff somehow misspelled the name of the star girl's basketball player under a great photo of her making a basket.  Her parent were outraged that something like that could happen in a publication that at the time was done by students, but under my watch.  
The cover of the 2017 Intermediate School Yearbook
I called my yearbook rep and he suggested we reprint just the picture with the caption on adhesive paper and give the family twenty or so copies of the photograph.  The girl could distribute the photo to all her friends and they could apply the photo over the incorrect one.  Al gave them to me for no cost and I gave them to the player and all was fine again.  Another time the date on the title page was wrong.  Now, that was my fault since it occurred last year and I no longer have students on my staff.  It's just me, you see!  I reasoned that after all these years, they all start to fade together and I just forgot what year it was.  Not a single person noticed it, or at least not a single person said anything to me.  That mistake wasn't going to get changed no matter how many people complained.  Too expensive to redo the book.  As for this year's mistake, which I finally figured what happened, but will not disclose if I am once again to blame, it too will more than likely be forgotten.  The book was distributed over a week ago and more than likely everyone has forgotten the mistake, unless they read this account of what happened.  A mistake in any publication is a mistake and shouldn't happen, but s#%t happens.  I have found mistakes in just about every eReader book I have purchased.  Also find mistakes in the daily newspaper just about every day.  Minor be they, but still mistakes.  Heavens, there was a mistake in this year's graduation program.  Now how can that happen?  Wait ... that's right, I print that also.  Oh well, as my story title says today ... I've Never Been Perfect."  Of course you knew that, didn't you!  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary gyu.