Teacher: Jostens Yearbook is a giant scam that stole from our school for years

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/05/05/pour-encouragez-les-autres-aus.html


“Otto Josten: Voted Most Likely To Overcharge For Decades”


Christ on crutches, what a bunch of assholes!


I really don’t understand how yearbook contractors like Jostens exist today. In the 20th century, sure – typesetting and printing books was hard work that you couldn’t easily do yourself. But these days book layout can be done easily in house on computers (and would make being on the yearbook club more educational for the students), and there are plenty of on-demand printers that will make a bound book of whatever PDF you send them.


That would take a lot of time on the part of teachers who are already completely out of spare time.


Yep. And most likely a lot of unpaid time from teachers who are already unreasonably expected to donate their unpaid time to begin with.


Jostens sells everything a school might want, at ridiculously inflated prices. One stepkid bought a class ring from them for $400. The next kid got hers at Walmart for $38. You can’t tell the difference (and no one wears class rings after high school anyway). Then there’s the graduation gowns, invitations, trophies, “souvenirs” and all the rest that you don’t need and can get custom-designed for much less elsewhere.


Ah right, thanks, I did leave out that essential part, the lack of overtime compensation that infects all levels of education. It’s like we expect enormous sacrifice from teachers, like for some reason, they should give themselves and their lives up to the job, as much as like, nuns or monks do. Another symptom of a sick society, seems to me.


No shit. I had to get a yearbook every year, and had to pose for the damn stupid yearbook photos too. I barely looked at the yearbooks after I got them, because they were extremely poorly written, even by high school standards. I neither know nor care where they are today.

Also, never get a class ring. They’re ugly and look seriously out of place on anyone who isn’t in high school.

Class rings and yearbooks are advertised as like the cornerstone of the high school experience, but for me they were more tangential, if anything. Maybe the hometown heroes still read their yearbooks and wear class rings, but those of us who were gone like ghosts after senior year? Not so much.


I suppose I could add “late stage capitalism”, but that phrase always confuses me, capitalism is just capitalism, if they can make money off you they will, always. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature. And I’m not necessarily being anti-capitalist here either. The lion will always eat the water buffalo, unless the water buffalo fights back, and I’m all for the water buffalo fighting back. If the rules are gamed so the water buffalo isn’t allowed to fight back then it’s a problem (I guess that’s “late stage capitalism.”)


IIRC our yearbook was put together as part of a class. I think it was Journalism. At any rate, it would be a good official class for people looking to get in to design or the print field. Even if it isn’t horribly creative, it could be in parts, and students could learn the basics of design and layout software like InDesign.


I had a professor in grad school who was wearing his giant class ring whenever I saw him. He was retired and teaching part time, so I suspect it was more common in his generation.

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Was it a college or high school ring? For some reason male Texas A&M grads like to wear their college rings. Maybe so they can identify each other easily?

I still have my high school year book, but not my ring. I pawned that for the gold when I was really broke during college. I don’t look at the year book, or my middle school year book, much. Maybe once every 3 or 4 years if I happen across it while packing or unpacking books? I’m not sure I would have gotten one if the choice was just mine, but my parents paid for it. It was stupid expensive even back then.


Same here, although the Yearbook class was one notch above remedial English.

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Well, duh. Josten’s has always been a scam, and it’s not just yearbooks. My school’s class rings, championship sport trophies/rings, cap & gown, and basically anything else the school needed ordered was sold at a comical mark-up from Josten’s.


Just as @MissCellania said, Josten’s isn’t even close to just scamming yearbooks. Class rings made of fake gold with cheap stones that are essentially cast and polished from pre-set molds cost hundreds of dollars, my cap & gown were made of the same plastic crap disposable table cloths get made out of and cost my parents something like $150.


But Fox News told me that teachers are a bunch of overpaid moochers who only have to work 2 hours a day and get 3 months off in the summer. They have plenty of time…


Not just A&M, but really any big state school. There seems to be less of a trend nowadays.

When I was in college, college rings were a thing, but they weren’t advertised everywhere. There wasn’t a huge banner that hung behind the cafeteria where we ate lunch every day. We could get one if we wanted to, and many of us did, but it wasn’t expected that we do and forced upon us.

I have no reason why this is a thing. What could you possibly have done in middle school that you want to commemorate?

We had them too, but they were flimsy homemade-looking things, not professionally-done yearbooks.

Our elementary school equivalent was just a one-pager with pictures of everyone in the class, but no club/team pictures, etc.


A&M takes it to a new level. It’s a huge thing there unlike just about any other school.


I always assumed high school, but I never looked closely, so it could have been college.


For me this is more of a story about mismanagement. Any business, schools included, that allow their vendors to behave this way is not performing their due diligence. Educators are wasting what little funding they have out of simple incompetence.

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