50th Reunion Book Instructions (draft)




Hey there, ’69!

Our 50th Reunion Book will have three parts: Then, Now, and Future. The first task is the Now chapter, the section of the Book where we spotlight our Classmates. You have the floor. Believe it or not, your Classmates want to hear what you have to say.

Your individual Spotlight will have three components, which we will explain in turn.

  • Answers to a questionnaire.
  • An essay you write about your Life.
  • Some photos so everyone can see how you’re holding up, who you are hanging out with, and what you like to do.

Step 1: The Questionnaire   >>>Fill it out here! <<<   (This will be a link to the questionnaire when it is ready, by early March.)

We need to know who you are, where you live and how to reach you; we need to know who you were at Dartmouth, which is how some people recognize you; and we would love to have your responses to a bunch of questions about your life. You may answer all, or some, or even none. The first set is about looking back at Dartmouth days; experience with other reunion books tells us that these questions will elicit a class-wide set of facts, memories, experiences, and recollections that may not arise in all of our individual written statements. Go long or go short, and deliver us some depth, some guffaws, some tears, and some big smiles from times spent well, or unwell. A few final questions ask about your life after you became safe at last in the wide, wide world. A sample copy of the 43 questions can be found here.  (<- This will be a link to a pdf of the questionnaire.)

Step 2: The Essay

Everyone agrees The Essay is the best aspect of a Reunion Book. Tell us, in whatever way you want, who you are, what’s been keeping you focused, occupied, and happy; your ups and downs, your good stuff and maybe your not-so-good; what makes you happy, what bugs you, where you‘ve been, where you’re going. Here's a good approach:

  • Since we’d like you to spend a bit more time and thought on it, we’ll ask you to write it on your own time so you can reflect, edit, and revise it as long as you need to. The open-endedness can be daunting. Be brave. You are 71 years old; you used to throw together entire term papers in no time. You know the subject of this particular essay better than anything. Besides, as one early class best said it: At our age, there is no such thing as an educated person with nothing to say
  • Open a blank Word document, or a text document, or even an email message.
  • Type your name, the date of submission, and your email address.
  • Then: Do not stare transfixed at the blinking cursor for more than a couple of minutes. It will hypnotize you and render your brain inactive. Start writing. Honest. You may know exactly what you want to say, and that’s excellent.  Even if you have no idea, just jump into it. Type anything. Keep going. Don’t stop. Once you have a few paragraphs or a page on the screen, you will likely have found your muse or at least a good idea of where you want to go. Keep going if you are on a roll. When you are far along, or even finished, you can go back and re-do your opening. It will be much easier to set it up since you now know exactly where it’s going. This has worked for many respondents over the years.
  • Save it and put it away. Mull it over. You may dream about it. Keep pen and paper by the bed!
  • After a couple of days, send it along here (this will be a mailto:email address link). Double-check that your name and the date are at the top of the document itself. It would help us a lot if you would name the file starting with your last name, like McLane, Andy Essay.


Step 3: Photos

Your Class is splurging for a full-color book, so we’d like to fill it with your color photos and get our money’s worth. (Though if you have a dandy B&W, we’d be happy to have that as well.)

First item is You, Yourself. We have scanned both the Green Book and Aegis pictures. If you were in both publications, we want to know which one you prefer. If you don’t like either, feel free to send a “better” photo (a head shot)  of you taken around those Dartmouth years. We’ll refer to this as your Profile Picture. 

Then, of course, we want more photos. How about one of you “today,” defined loosely, for a starter, though it could be a part of one of these others:. We’d also like to see your significant other, family, or friends (D69?) with whom you hang out. And pictures of you in some place you like to be, or doing something you really enjoy doing, are always great. Send us one, or two, or more. We can’t guarantee that we will use them all, but we can get pretty creative if the stuff looks good.

Two kinds of suggestions are in order.

Category One is mostly common sense. Faces in shadows aren’t helpful. Your family with ski helmets and visors at the top of the hill doesn’t show us much; how about one on the deck at the bottom with the helmets off? And it’s nice to see an uncluttered background with nothing that would distract the viewer. ++

Category Two, which we know from experience can be troublesome, are technical specs if you are sending a digital photo, which we prefer. For “real” photos, skip down past this section.

  • Size: If you know your digital camera well, you know about pixels. We’d like a photo that is at an absolute minimum of 1,000 pixels wide (and any height). That will fill up a column. We’d really like one that is wider than that, just in case we have to do some cropping or resizing to get it to fit well. If you don’t know pixels, you might be able to determine how large your file is. If it is larger than 250 or 300 kb, it probably is big enough. If it’s 500 kb or larger, it’s going to be very safe. If it’s a megabyte or larger, we thank you. (If it’s more than 3 MB, you are into Overkill.) Don’t crop it: You might  at least some of the boring scenery on the side, so we have some latitude to fit your photo into an unusual layout niche, but then do try to send a pic that exceeds the minimum sizes above.
  • Format: Your photos can be in a jpeg, tiff, Photoshop, or most other format. Send them as photo files; do not include your photos in a Word or any other kind of document. When in doubt, just send it. We’ll let you know what we think.
  • File names: It would make our job lots easier if you would rename your files like this: Schmoe, Joe with family; or Schmoe, Joe Paddling with Sarah Conn River; or Schmoe, Joe Just before lift-off. Those may be all the captions you need to provide, or —
  • Captions? Definitely: if your caption won’t condense to a filename, then send along a caption with the photo, with people ID’d in the simplest way possible. Who? Where? Why? This can be sent in your email or in a wee text file you can send along. Please don’t paste in (as via a photo editor) a caption on the photo itself; it places too many constraints on our being able to use it.  
  • Send your photos attached to emails <names as mailto links>. It would help us if your subject line was set up like this: 1969 Reunion Book Photos. Schmoe. Joe . Please send each photo as an attachment to a separate email, with caption in the email. (File names cannot contain these characters: \/?|<>:*"+,;=[])
  • If you want to send “real” photographs, just print your name lightly on the back of the photo and provide a caption. Pack them in cardboard and mail them to Henry Allen ‘69 at: 47166 Crucillo Court, Fremont, CA 94539-7219. (Confirm address with Henry.)

We look forward to seeing you at the Fifthieth Reunion.