Thursday, January 10, 2008

Nightmares, Bad Things & Code K

This probably will make my yearbook rep shriek, but I have decided that most of the bad things that happen to me can somehow be connected to yearbook.

Ask any yearbook adviser and they will tell you that they have awaken in a cold sweat, in the middle of the night, gasping for air and none of it had anything to do with hot flashes, but rather some twisted nightmare regarding page 132, a correction or placeholder text.

Jeez, I get all queasy just thinking about it. I even went into labor while on a yearbook deadline (Oh stop it now, my daughter was a good thing, but the labor was a bad thing.) I could go on and on about this theory of mine, but let’s just fast forward to the most recent incident. It offers, perhaps, the best example.

I stayed after school (again) with one of the yearbook editors to correct page proofs and get them ready to send to the plant. I was just putting the finishing touches on page 211 while the section editor went to retrieve the corrected versions from our fancy, schmancy beloved $4,000 networked printer.

“Hey, Mrs. Richtsmeier,” he said, “There’s something bad in the printer.”

Now, by bad, I’m thinking things like…

•Oh, the printer finally ran out of cyan and is only printing in MYK.
•Or, some idiot (that would be me) forgot to change the percentage to 75 so the page ran off the paper.

But then I heard him say… “It’s something really bad…”

OK, so that got my attention. Anytime a child tosses an adverb in with an adjective, well, that’s worth checking out. So I got up to have a look-see.

Now, by really bad, I’m thinking things like…

•Oh, there’s a dead cockroach, or perhaps a mouse, in the printer.

•Or, the magenta ink cartridge blew up and there’s pink ink everywhere.

I took the stack of papers from his hand and flipped through them… yearbook page, yearbook page, yearbook page, yearbook page, email, porn, porn…

Yep, there in CMYK color was Porn 1 and Porn 2.

Now, I’d like to point out there’s never been an in-service that quite prepares you for that sort of thing. Most normal people (non-educators) would have shrieked out a few expletives, but I rather calmly said, “Oh my goodness, hurry up and get an adminstrator.”

While I waited for him to return with an administrator in tow, I wondered how long it would take the tech guys to trace the offending items back through the district network maze to its point of origin. In the meantime, though, I realized I really needed to devise some type of warning hierarchy because “really bad” really didn’t cut it. So I’ve developed a color-coded, user friendly warning plan–the CMYK early warning system. Now, remember boys and girls, hold regular drills, be at the ready and don’t forget to practice those emergency voices…

The CMYK Early Warning System
Code Cyan…Since it’s blue, this deals only with sad things like a yearbook page is torn, a typo was discovered, an ad wasn’t sold.

Code Magenta…A pinkish code should cover only embarrassing things such as bad hair day photos, photos that make someone look fat or a quote that makes someone sound, uh well, dumb.

Code Yellow…This one deals with queasy things such as when pages 40 and 41 won’t open because the file has been corrupted or no one photographed the last game of the season or pages 252 to 264 are missing.

Code K…A code with only an initial should be reserved for things so bad, so heinous, we’re talking meltdown mode. Only three things merit a Code K designation: (1) acts of murder (2) a biohazard where hazmat appears on the scene or (3) porn in the printer.

I guess we’ll start practicing tomorrow.


loonyhiker said...

I can only imagine the look on your face when you saw the porn pages! Just imagine if it had somehow gotten in the book! A yearbook advisor's job is never done!

askthehomediva said...

As you can image, it was quite the Kodak moment. I don't even want to think about what would happen if porn actually got onto yearbook pages. OMG.

But this porn was actually sent separately.

I am blessed that our district has such fab-u-lous tech people who within 24 hours tracked down the offender who had accessed our printer from outside my classroom and who wasn't a student of mine.

I just knew it had to have been done by someone on the outside because I told administrators that my kiddos would never, ever do that or they wouldn't be my kids.

While I think I'm scarred for life, the image of all of us running around like Chicken Little yelling, "Code K, Code K, Code K" just makes me laugh.

Unknown said...

This is definitely one of my favorite posts!...I think code CMYK could even be applied in my office setting....

Anonymous said...

Porn? ROTF!!! Well, that must've been a special surprise.

Yeah, if it ended up in the yearbook, that would be just OMG.

HappyChyck said...

That is EXACTLY something that would happen in a yearbook.

My yearbook rep is in awe at how calm I am about everything. Are you kidding? Haven't I see it all? Not porn. Or lordy...please not that.

Anonymous said...

Well, it wouldn't've been as bad getting into the yearbook if one of the students was depicted. Oh wait. That's the opposite of 'wouldn't've been as bad.' My mistake.

A Red Mind in a Blue State said...

Are you sure it was porn, and not just an art project?

When I was on a school board, we had to hire a new Superintendent. We agreed each member would draft a few questions, we would pool them, and then have a sort of template for the first round of interviews. I passed around two lists--one serious, and one, well...

Question 3 was: Should the course "The Art of the Striptease" be administered by the art department or the Phys Ed department?

every year some nitwit passes a coded message thru the yearbook--I don't know how you guys handle the nonsense a bunch of high school seniors can dish out!

(BTW-- what happened to the porn?)

askthehomediva said...

A red mind in a blue state,
Well the porn was duly handed over to my principal and the tech guys. (I have an updated post on Jan. 16. They caught the kid within 24 hours.) I'm assuming the offending printouts were stuffed into some disciplinary file somewhere and stashed in a four drawer filing cabinet.

And, yes, yearbooks are inherently dangerous. The only protection is to be the very last person to handle the pages and even then… this is why yearbook advisers all across the country wake up in the middle of the night from yearbook nightmares… sigh.

Thanks for dropping by and commenting.