Thursday, May 28, 2015


The last week of school was always a little bittersweet for me while I was growing up. If it were an option, I would have gone to school all year round. Though, making friendship bracelets and exchanging phone numbers at the conclusion of each grade was something I looked forward to each spring.

Along with the end of the year came yearbooks. I loved yearbooks before I even started kindergarten, as my mom was a yearbook advisor for oodles of years. I remember being a kid and poring over the many black and white pictures used in the layouts, the pica rulers used to line everything up, and the pages and pages of clipart of every category in the thick books of images.

At the first opportunity, upon entering middle school, I knew I wanted to be on the yearbook staff. By that time, the majority of layout design was done on the computer, rather than by hand. I continued to be on staff throughout the next few years, and my passion for yearbooks grew during my four years of high school.

I remember I still loved going through photos, color by then, and by graduation, I knew almost every person in the building by name, due to the amount of time spent looking at and laying out page after page of photos and names. To this day, when I see old friends on Facebook or other social media, I can still picture in my mind what their school photo looked like in 2001.

I have every yearbook, from kindergarten through my senior year of high school, on shelves at home. My son likes to pull them out each year and compare how he looks to the way I did when I was his age. Each time, I’m reminded of the memories I have from so long ago, and the friends I have since forgotten but remember when I glance at their photo.

Being the editor of a community newspaper is not much different than being the editor of a yearbook. Though my work is now published weekly, I still tell the stories of my neighbors and "classmates," and I still very much enjoy going through photos from events, though digital now. This newspaper is like the weekly yearbook to the community, and I still approach the job with as much passion and love as I had when I was just a preschooler sitting on the living room floor surrounded by photos.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

After Third Grade, You'll Know Everything

I loved school as a kid. I loved everything about it: my teachers, my friends, new dresses and school supplies. Granted, I was there for more of the social aspect than to learn, but I managed to do well enough. I was teacher’s pet and desired to make everyone proud.

Once, while I was in kindergarten, at home around the dinner table we were discussing our days. I’m unsure of what transpired, but I imagine the conversation was driven by my not having a great day at school. My brother, wiser and three grades above me, said, “Just wait, Mary. When you’re in third grade, you will know everything and your whole life will change.”

This quickly became a phrase that is said often in the Davis house, to this day. So much so, that my own third grader has heard it. With just over a week left of school to go, Michael almost has another year of education under his belt. He started the year off informing me that third grade is going to be a snap and when it comes time for statewide testing, “I already know it all, anyway.”

Turns out, he may have been onto something. Standardized testing has come and gone, and he said the tests were easy. His grades have been near-perfect all year, and on Friday of this week, he’ll be inducted into the National Elementary Honors Society. To say I’m a proud mom would be an understatement.

So it seems the third grade mentality of knowing everything there is to know is a common thread, at least with the boys in my family. I don’t remember anything significant about third grade, or my life changing for the better or worse that year. Michael’s had his share of changes in the last year, yet he continues to succeed and amaze me. He teaches me lessons every day, and I’m incredibly honored he calls me “Mom.”