Monday, 15 Iyyar, 5782
  |  May 16, 2022

A Yearbook Tagline From 60 Years Ago Still Hurts

Article by Fay Kranz Greene: “The editors of my high school graduation yearbook were probably the smartest girls in the class, but I will never forget what they wrote - even 60 years later.” Full Story

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Words matter!
May 5, 2022 11:52 pm

Thank you for sharing! It’s true even years later words will always be remembered, even if the hurt has been worked on.
My classmates would speak about me in front of me and the words they’ve said true or not have carried shame and embarrassment through out my life, Baruch hashem I’m working on it and doing much better!

I can relate
Reply to  Words matter!
May 10, 2022 3:33 am

I don’t even know how I stayed in Chabad communities etc after the bullying I went through as a child

This was a terrible custom in days gone by!
May 6, 2022 12:52 am

My poor mother, a”h, who lost her dear mother at only 16, and was shy even before that, was given the tagline “Lost in a fog” in her (public school in Brooklyn) yearbook in the late 1930s! She’d had quite a lot to deal with as a teen, but she got good grades and kept out of trouble — pretty darned good for what she’d been through. She was probably just trying to hold things together at the time! That tagline shocked and saddened me when I first saw her yearbook as a young teen. (My mother grew up to… Read more »

So true!!
May 6, 2022 1:07 am

Words can hurt so so badly!
I used to feel bad I don’t think quick on my feet and wish I came up with a great retort.
But a friend told me she has so many regrets from her quick thinking.
It’s worth thinking about the effect of our words especially this time of year.
Thanks for sharing the important lesson.

I can relate
May 6, 2022 1:25 am

I also have a comment in my yearbook that years later bothers me. Hopefully people can be more sensitive in the future.

May 6, 2022 2:10 am

Funny enough, I now have a career in consulting and essentially give informed opinions all day long. I am also the first phone call for most of my friends group whenever anyone needs an ear, a suggestion, a connection or just a good old opinion.
But it did hurt at the time.

I love everything about this article
May 6, 2022 3:54 am

I love everything about this article thank you for sharing.

Sury Ciment
May 6, 2022 7:28 am

Thanks for sharing your hurt, and for using it to bring about healing. In addition to the girls who wrote that line, the mentors behind the yearbook, might take time to think about their responsibilities in overseeing student exchanges. There is a reason adults oversee their students’ growth.

I can relate
May 6, 2022 7:29 am

My ‘friends’ chose to write my tagline as “bishvilli nivrah ha’olam.” It’s been almost twenty years and it still gives me that same ugly feeling to think about it.

Very true
May 6, 2022 7:58 am

I still recall years later how one of the yearbook editors who was At that time not getting along with me
Changing some complimentary words usually written near each student’s picture to mediocre ones.what really bothered me was that it upset my mother .

This brought me to tears
May 6, 2022 8:01 am

Thank you for sharing. I also have a yearbook with a line about me that I am ashamed to show my children.
It’s not only in yearbooks or in print, but words often have an impact on us forever.
Obviously, we all try to move on and forgive, but the hurt stings whenever we think about it.
I hope the women who wrote it years ago do read this article and reach out to apologize to you. That would give you a lot of closure and healing.

May 6, 2022 8:29 am

Unfortunately the hurtful words said by friends are not limited to the yearbook, and what’s even more hurtful is hearing some of those people that said those hurtful words laughing at the”cry babies” that refuse to grow up and still complain about the hurtful words 30 or 40 years later, obviously not aware of how devastating words can be.

Thanks for sharing
May 6, 2022 8:46 am

I believe it is the responsibility of teachers and principals to proofread and check these publications before they are printed.
Thank you for sharing your experience and for this meaningful article .
Sorry for your pain….
Mrs R Majesky
Beis Chana High School AZ

May 6, 2022 8:51 am

23 years ago, the girls chose to write a line for me about how I was full of myself… Let me tell you… I remember the shame and humiliation to this day! (And if their goal was to “take me down a notch”, it didn’t achieve anything beneficial for a girl who was deeply, agonizingly insecure inside and afraid of not being accepted or wanted!!!)

Adult problems too
May 6, 2022 8:56 am

It’s not just students. Most adults don’t think about the impact of their words and their actions as well.

Cruel words – what some wrongly refer to as “tough love” – is not love at all. It hurts and can stay with a person for a lifetime.

Giving someone advice or help or even mussar should always be done with kindness.

Think before you speak.

Teacher's job
May 6, 2022 9:02 am

Teenager’s do stupid things without thinking. But there’s always a supervising teacher on the year book committee, where was she?
Why didn’t she go through the tag lines to make sure they weren’t offensive or hurtful?

May 6, 2022 9:26 am

And it only happened to me a few years ago! I asked the editors to change my line and they said “it was too late” and now I have it forever.

pretty courageous article
May 6, 2022 9:26 am

It is 100 percent the teachers/principals responsibility to check over these yearbooks. I cant imagine why it wouldnt be checked over if immature and not nice ppl can write whatever they want about others. Im not sure why im commenting i feel like i just need to. I also hope this article makes ppl wake up

Yes, things do hurt - even 50 years layer
May 6, 2022 9:55 am

So special of you to write this article. Yes, words do hurt – deeply – and it so much easier to forgive than to forget. I remember in my elementary years – not in Bais Rivka – a girl would sit on my desk when the teacher was out of the room, just to bother me. I’d move a little to the side, and so would she. Over and over. Many times. Oh, did she put me down. The teacher never noticed and I never had the ‘guts’ to tell her. Neither did any of my classmates. I still remember… Read more »

Not only yearbooks
May 6, 2022 11:54 am

About 37 years ago, I was waiting on line in the pizza shop with my 3 year old son who was dressed clean and chassidish. In front of us was a girl, about 7 years old with her little brother. Looking at my son, she said to her brother “a shlechteh yingel”. I don’t forgive her or her parents.

The Choice is Ours
May 6, 2022 12:01 pm

It seems there are a couple parts to this experience. One is the editors and writers of the tagline. Your sharing your feelings of hurt even 60 years later, and requesting the writers take responsibility, is understandable. The second part of the experience is what I’d like to bring awareness to. It seems there is a question that may have gone unanswered, or even not asked for that matter. What is it about the tagline that seems to hurt you even now? Each of us has the ability to see things, to interpret things, as we so choose. The same… Read more »

My Tagline Haunts Me
May 6, 2022 1:31 pm

I have to express a similar sentiment to the comments above-

I, too, had a memorable yet not so complimentary tagline in my yearbook.
“There is a huge freedom that comes when you take nothing personally.”

I am still bothered about how my peers were thinking of me in high school. What, that all words should be taken seriously? That some jokes are not ok?

Brave, brave words

Life Coach
May 6, 2022 1:35 pm

I think it was a compliment about your strength of character. ‘Don’t try to discourage her’ because she’s so strong in her conviction that it won’t work! 😊
Kol hakovod for sharing this sensitive story with us, a hard thing to do!
May you and your entire family be pain free and enjoy the delights of the immediate geulah ‼️ ‼️ ‼️ ‼️

One of the most beautiful things
May 6, 2022 1:47 pm

I recall reading a Readers Digest article years ago about a teacher who asked each student in the class to write one line saying something nice about each of their classmates. Each did this and a copy of all the positive comments made about them were given to the student themselves. The article said how the author kept his copy folded into his wallet for many many years…I always thought this would be something wonderful for every teacher to implement…imagine how wonderful to think that someone thinks positively of you, how much a person would cherish such a thing. Thank… Read more »

So sorry
May 6, 2022 2:19 pm

Highschool is a very hard few years. It hurts to think back to those days. I hope teachers and principals can make positive changes on inclusivity and not rely on editors to run the whole yearbook.

Where was administration???
May 6, 2022 4:34 pm

In my high school years, when we did yearbook…everything went though administration before it went to print.
Also, “tagline” is suppose to be something special that this person exhibits. In our class we chose different sayings/attributes from pirkei Avos that applied to each girl.

Ok then
May 6, 2022 4:42 pm

Girls will be girls

Me too!
May 6, 2022 5:00 pm

Well, not 60 years – but over 20. And when I spoke to the advising teacher/principal (a very publicly respected lady) she said “well it’s probably true”… Thanks for sharing and bringing light to this hurtful practice!

Big deal
May 7, 2022 7:54 am

My tagline in my 8th grade (13 years old, 55 years ago) .yearbook was 2 words BIG DEAL I could have interpreted it in 2 ways A compliment Like I’m chilled in nature and say “big deal” and don’t take life that seriously. Which can be a compliment in a way Or Feel hurt and embarrassed that that’s all they can say about me big deal? I’m no big deal ? I remember feeling like I’m a no stressed. Because that who everyone says I am And from then on I carried the ‘big deal badge’ that I don’t stress… Read more »

Not just the written word
May 7, 2022 4:17 pm

I was meeting my mother to look at wedding gowns and I met a former classmate. When I said I was engaged and was looking at wedding dresses, the classmate looked me up & down and said in all sincerity: “He must be blind.” I don’t remember my response but I was so devastated I bought the first gown I tried on. I do remember thinking, “it fits, it’s tzanua, it’s white, it’ll do.” All the joy was sucked out of me, I couldn’t wait to get out to lick my wounds. We have been married for almost 47 years.… Read more »

Reply to  Not just the written word
May 15, 2022 10:22 pm

People say those things only because they’re jealous.

I used to scoff when my mother said that to me as a teen, but I have found that advice to be 100% true. Only insecure people gain anything by insulting others.

Why are mean girls given power?
May 15, 2022 6:09 pm

Why give powerful, prestigious jobs such as yearbook editor to girls with such appalling midos? Instead of rewarding the social climbers, its important for mechanchos to choose those who exemplify the values of “רוח הבריות נוחה הימנו”
“טוב לשמים וטוב לבריות”
As true today as it was then.