Yearbook Ad

George and Helen are deciding what quote and photo to use for Annie’s graduation advertisement in the yearbook.

George: How about this one from The Kite Runner: “Children aren’t coloring books. You don’t get to fill them with your favorite colors.”

Helen: This is a congratulations ad for our daughter. We’re not using a quote about how difficult children are.

George: Well you said find something deep.

Helen: I didn’t mean deep that way! Keep thinking.

George: What about this quote from Confucius: “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”

Helen: I like that, but it’s overused. How about this: Always stay true to yourself. You’re bound for great things.

George: That’s nice, but it’s not memorable to me.

Helen: It doesn’t matter if it’s memorable to you, this is for Annie! I’m sure she’d love it.

George: Maybe she will. But it doesn’t stand out to me.

Helen: You make everything difficult George!

George: I’m sorry. I just want the ad to look and sound nice.

Helen: What about this: It’s the connections in life that matter. Continue to be a bridge person. We love you!

George: I like that a lot. It’s a maybe.

Helen: I give up! Nothing I say is good enough for you.

George: We just haven’t nailed it yet!

Helen: George, do you know what I did last night?

George: What did you do?

Helen: I drove around the neighborhood sobbing because I’m going to miss her so much. I ran through a stop sign.

George: Please let our daughter leaving for college distract you on the road. But I know it’s tough.

Helen: I just don’t know what I’m going to do when she’s gone.

George: We have the dogs to take care of.

Helen: But pets can’t replace a child.

George: And you have me.

Helen: Well you’re just annoying.

The couple laugh.

Helen: I thought of something George! The world is yours Annie. If you want it, go get it. We love you a ton. Mom and Dad.

George: That’s radiant.

Helen: Thanks honey. I’m glad you like it.

George: And we’ll use the photo of her swinging in mid-air.

Helen: Perfect! Good job to us!

The two proud parents eat dinner on the couch and watch television.





Becca is a bus counselor at a day camp. She’s talking to Ryan, a seven-year-old boy. They’re on the bus ride home and the song “Rocket Man” by Elton John is playing.

Ryan: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Becca: I don’t know. I don’t have a major yet.

Ryan: What’s a major?

Becca: It’s a subject that I choose to study in college.

Ryan: Oh. When you were a kid, what did you want to be?

Becca: An astronaut.

Ryan: Everyone wants to be an astronaut!

Becca: It’d be so cool to leave this planet and float in space among the stars. All I’d hear is my breathing.

Ryan: And you could wave to us.

Becca: Yeah. Though you wouldn’t be able to see me.

Ryan: Yes, I would. And I have super power vision.

Becca: Whatever you say Ryan.

Ryan: What’s your favorite planet?

Becca: I like Saturn.

Ryan: Why?

Becca: Because of its rings. They’re so pretty.

Ryan: I like Jupiter because it’s the largest planet. It rules over the Solar System just like I rule over the world.

Becca: You’re King Ryan?

Ryan: Yep. King Ryan The Great.

Becca: Oh, my god.

Ryan smiles.

Becca: It’s too late for me to become an astronaut.

Ryan: No. Your chance hasn’t passed yet.

Becca looks at Ryan.

Becca: What did you say?

Ryan: You can still go up in space and wave to us.

Becca: Thanks Ryan, but I’ve grown up a bit.

Ryan: I think you should still become an astronaut.

Becca: Maybe one day I’ll go up in space. It’s not a priority though.

Ryan: Your chance hasn’t passed yet for anything.

Becca’s impressed by Ryan’s insight.

Becca: That’s very nice of you.

Ryan: You’re welcome!

Becca: Ok King Ryan. We’re at your stop. See you tomorrow!

Ryan: Bye Becca!





Subvertisement project instructions:

Certainly we’ve talked a lot about how and by what our personal agency is constrained. Some of you have no doubt been brought to tears considering the various and powerful forces to which we’re inevitably subjected-whether by history, language, gender, race, class, all those laws and actores-all that cultural context.

But now we’re going to take a look at how our personal agency is enabled by the context in which we find ourselves. You will leave high school with something to think about. This is not a rallying cry or a call to revolution; nor is it an invitation to aggression or transgression of any kind. It is, a challenge to liberate some truth.

Keep in mind that agency “is always a response to already given contexts… The creativity of the response-the way it works and reworks pre-existing codes-is finally the measure of a subjective action. Even in places where things seem static, there’s actually a lot going on. And that’s why we need a [theory] toolbox, to work on the present, to affect it, to build a present to live in.”

You have options. You have agency. Above is a subvertisement. First, you’ll identify how you as an individual have been constituted as a subject in some form of your high school ideology. After much thought and discussion-you will respond to, challenge, resist, subvert, recontextualize, re-mix some of the tools of your high school’s ideology. You can think of it as a creative cultural resistance, but the emphasis is on creative. The goal is to make what might be invisible visible: identify an ideology taken for granted that we forget it’s there.