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Yearbook Content in the Time of Social Distancing
Wade Brown
Monday, January 25, 2021

We can all say Covid has affected our lives in some way, whether that be affecting one’s health, their plans, even our education isn’t off-limits to the wrath of Covid. Covid can make it especially difficult for classes that almost demand you to be in-person to actually be able to do what you’re assigned. A class like journalism is one example. Journalism requires you to be able to interview and interact with many people. It is hard to do so when you might be quarantined or when the interviewee is quarantined. You are able to email people from home, or even Zoom with them, but emails don’t catch the person’s emotion, and Zoom doesn’t always cooperate. 

Tucker Leibfried, a senior at Potosi High school, is currently taking Journalism. He has had his own struggles in taking journalism, whether it be covering events, or being able to interview people. “I’ve wanted to interview people, but I’d show up the next day and they’d be quarantined, and I’d rather talk in person than email, so I would have to wait the two weeks until the person is back”. Tucker mentioned that Journalism was already difficult enough without Covid extending those difficulties. “Journalism is a little harder than I expected. It’s my first year using a yearbook creation website [Jostens], it's difficult to learn, and I’m still learning because there are so many features and different stuff you can do with it.” However, with Covid still apparent, people are still making the best of it. “Yes it's a fun class, you can work on your own time, and we still can talk to each other, only downside is we can’t sit directly next to each other”. 

Mr. Fry, the Journalism instructor here at PHS, is very pleased with how the class is going under the circumstances. “I’m proud of this group of students who are trying to learn new skills, yearbook and journalism style writing, but I think that we’re getting an opportunity to tell stories that are going to be valuable because of the circumstances that they come out of and I think that it's really important to be able to do that”. However, he has concerns about being able to create the yearbook. “I think the biggest difficulty coming into the yearbook this year has been concern about lack of content… obviously last spring all sports were canceled and so we … had to figure out a plan to fill pages and come up with content to include to cover those things that were canceled and still represent them.” 

The challenges didn’t stop there for Mr. Fry.  “Other challenges that have presented themselves that I didn’t see coming are the fact that I essentially have two sections of Journalism this year…” Mr. Fry had so many students that wanted to do independent journalism 5th hour that it became a second Journalism class for him. Keeping material and content consistent within the yearbook is difficult. With Covid, Mr. Fry’s expectations also had to change for the students. “Essentially the way I run the class is pretty much unchanged…, we’ve had to adjust how we cover events and how much I can reasonably expect of students right now, especially outside of classroom time.” 

When challenges arise Mr. Fry does not shy away from the extra hassles that come them. “I think its a fun challenge; I have no doubt that we can still produce a really good yearbook with weird circumstances this year”.

The Journalism classes are doing the best they can to create a memorable and important yearbook, even though they’re fighting an uphill battle.