Universal, specific, adaptable, recognizable, factual, predictable, legitimate and multilingual. What could be this expansive? A Number. Count on it. Years after your graduation, numbers will tell stories. For almost three quarters of the 20th century, gas prices averaged 30 cents a gallon. Your grandparents could buy 10 gallons of gas for $3.00. Plus, they probably didn’t have to pump the gas and they got their windows washed.
When your grandmother or grandfather went out, a movie ticket cost $.50. A coke (6 oz. bottle) cost $.10 and popcorn was $.20.
Start by including the complete address, phone number, student population and volume number on the title page. If the number of students dramatically increases or decreases, it will be easy to track when the changes occurred.
Important dates to include in the book are the first day of school, homecoming and prom. Unfortunately, those dates are usually the only ones in yearbooks. Include field trip dates. Record the dates of big competitions: athletic, cheerleader, band, academic, etc. The dates of choral and band concerts and plays will stir memories. Also, the dates of SATs, ACTs, AP testing, senior projects are written on college-bound students’ calendars or planners.
How about specific times? What time did school start, end? Those times will be oddly significant to you for years, maybe decades. Some schools have unusually early or late lunch times. Record student reactions to those times.
Polls and surveys add numbers to the book. Statistics and time lines are other great ways to be specific. Even consider odd facts and figures: the dynamic 5’5″ point guard in basketball; the student with a size 16 shoe; a family with a set of triplets and twins, etc.
Remember, you can count on numbers to help make your book a history book, a reference book and a memory book.