Today at 12:30 pm I shook the hand of the Editor-in-Chief* of the school magazine and said, "Congratulations. You finished a magazine."
*Why are they called Editor-in-Chief anyway?
It was a lie.
Ok, only a little bit of a lie. Everything she needed to do was finished. But I still had things to do.
Yesterday was supposed to be the drop-dead deadline for the magazine. I knew that meant that there would still be a lot of work to accomplish today.
I wandered over to the school at 7 am and was surprised to find my Editor and several other Year 13 students standing outside the computer lab waiting to get in. I had a brief, oh so brief, delusion that they were all there to help get the magazine finished ASAP since we were supposed to take it to the printer that morning. Obviously, that was silly. Most of them were there to play computer games.
I will give my Editor all the credit she is due, she was there to work.
We got down to business. She typed the Head Girl's report (as she also happens to be Head Girl), which the Head Boy (my photo editor) quickly co-opted, claiming it was a joint Head Girl, Head Boy report. Whatever, it was done.
I enlisted random computer game players in the room and handed them pages from the magazine. "Go find me the name of the cricket players in this picture. Go find me the Class Captain of Year 10.1." Things like that.
Things that were due yesterday kept trickling in. At first we thought we would have no information on the athletics (read: track and field). My Sports Editor had told me the day before he had typed it up and saved it to the shared docs, but no information could be found on the shared docs or any of the computers other students claimed he had used the day before. Then, at 11 am the Sports Editor arrived and showed me the athletics report on the one computer nobody had looked at.
Pages were shuffled and space was filled as a possible ad went from possible to, well, not gonna happen.
The last crisis was the Editor's Letter from the Editor. Apparently, she had given it to her English teacher to edit. Her English teacher was at home preparing for the opening of the new volunteer housing for Methodist schools. I sent my Editor to ask after the letter twice with no success. On the last time she told me that the teacher would give it to me this evening.
"This evening isn't going to cut it. We are going to the printer after the cricket practise. You either tell her we need it now, write a new one or we cut it from the magazine." I left her to decided what to do while I printed out a copy of everything else for the pule to look at. I know it was a little hard-ass of me, but there are deadlines in life and you have to meet them. Well, at least there are and you do in life in America. I don't think that holds true here very often.
When I returned she told me she had decided to cut it. This was not the answer I was looking for, so I talked her into writing a new one.
The final act in "finishing" the magazine was I had her sign a piece of paper and we scanned it in and put it at the end of her letter.
Uma. Congratulations, you have finished a magazine.
Now on to that work I still have to do.
I went looking for the minister who had arranged the deal with the Methodist Printing Press that appears will allow us to print a decent number of copies of the magazine. Sure, I had been asking them for a deal or discount or something for months...but whatever.
I told him we needed to stop at a company in Vaitele who were buying an ad. They said I could uplift the check and ad today. Then we needed to go to the bank to get the money. Then we could go on to the press. It was 1 pm.
He looked at me like I was a crazy person and suggested we needed a rest. We could go to the printer on Monday.
I decided to go to the company anyway as having the ad and money ahead of time would not hurt anything. The student who had spoken with the company about the ad told me they were located in Vaitele across from the Vailima plant. I made sure to specify that it was on the main road and not up the mountain, like my last go find an ad experience. I hopped a bus and got off at Vailima. I looked everywhere. I asked the receptionist at Vailima, she had no idea. I asked at the shop attached to the ANZ building, they had no idea. I stupidly had forgotten to bring the phone with me, so I could not call them. I hopped a bus home and called them. Ah, they are conveniently located behind the ANZ building, not visible from the road and with no road-side signs. I hopped another bus back. I trudged down the gravel drive and found their plant.
When I entered the office, there was a woman having her head massaged with wet leaves. She finished quickly and knew who I was and what I was looking for when I arrived. Things were looking up. She went in search of the manager who would supposedly provide me with the ad and money. She returned. She was so sorry, they were about the quit for the day (it was 3 pm) because they began work at 4 am this morning. The manager was too busy to make an ad now (shouldn't it have already been done and waiting for me if I was told to pick it up? don't hurt yourself asking those questions). She suggested instead that I contact their parent company and ask them for an ad. They are in charge of those things anyway. I got the impression that this company didn't actually have the authority to buy an ad in my school magazine and never intended to give me an ad or money. I took a bus home.
So now I have a half-page hole in the magazine that needs to be filled. Thankfully, there is a boys' cricket game tomorrow. I sent them with the school camera and we don't have any game pictures of boys' cricket in the magazine now. So come Monday I can plug a hole and go to the printers. Hopefully. I won't actually hold my breath on that one.