Monday, August 5, 2013

Scrapbooks Document the Summer Experience

I didn't think I'd have any more summer-school related posts left in me. Life is full of surprises when I picked up my scrapbook for the umpteenth time to admire the photos, layout, and captions and realized my topic lay right in front of me.

I've written about my scrapbooking hobby, and how I insist that my own children make an annual summer scrapbook, on this blog before. Every year I have a school scrapbook that spans July to June of that school year. Scrapbooks aren't just good for students - they are helpful for teachers to create as well. I've already printed and compiled the pages from my July 2013 summer school time and had a wonderful time doing it. I highly recommend it for several reasons.

  • It forces you to sift through and highlight/consolidate the "main points" of the event recorded. (My students and I accomplished so much during summer school this July - which photos were most important to demonstrating this?)
  • For visually-oriented friends and colleagues, it's a clear indication of your activities. (I've been meaning to try my hand at creating an infograph of my school library annual report, but I'm struggling with it - organizing photos is easier and very attractive as well.)
  • If you have a poor memory, like I do, making a scrapbook cements the events in your brain and saves it in a concrete place in case I forget. (I can relive the enjoyable moments when I gaze at the pictures.)
  • Creating something you can hold in your hands is a thrill. (I love my blog and one day I want to get it printed so I have a hard copy of all this work - but there's nothing quite like the pride I feel when I look at my scrapbook album, that I've spent hours fiddling with to make it look just right. It's a media text in the truest sense and I spend a lot of time debating where to place pictures, the colour scheme, the perfect font for the captions, all with the communication and aesthetic goals in mind.)
My sister has been visiting from Calgary and although her home was not affected by the recent floods, she had several colleagues that were. She described volunteering to help rescue their photo albums, and I shuddered to think how distraught I would be if my scrapbooks and albums were damaged. It's seriously tempted me to scan and save all my pages digitally, just in case. After all, some material things can be replaced easily, but not the unique scrapbooks, which preserve memories and a life well-lived. 

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