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  • Writer's picturePhillip Gerson

Middle School Yearbook: Reviews and Rebuttals, pt. 1 ...

Updated: Apr 16, 2023

Not all of my sixth grade yearbook signatures were hurtful.

Some were short and sweet.

To the point.

And did help me to believe that I was

in fact cool in sixth grade.

Those were some of my initial thoughts upon unearthing my collection of yearbooks from the basement wall unit of my parents’ house.

In addition, though I had not before, I noticed a certain amount of empathy and sincerity in the text. With forthcoming affection and adventurous handwriting.

One signature appeared frequently and was a mantra by which to live.

A source of inspiration

not only for the days of summer

that lie shortly ahead

But every summer.

When Hell shall be raised.

Fun pops at the pool when there is thunder

Lengthy landline conversations late at night.

Cold pizza and sitcoms before lunch.

Raising hell as recommended. Positive vibes

in the sunshine galore.

There were other signatures though.

Not nearly as encouraging.


unnecessary commentary.

Feedback that was not requested.

Presumed emotion

and too many exclamation points!!!

Also, some of the signatures lacked clarity

And were disjointed.

Making it difficult to navigate

Leaving me unsure of what is truth

And so

On the bus

Ride home

Reading it






trying to crack the code.

In the end, all I wanted from the yearbook exchange tradition was a clear, definitive, straight answer to the question once and for all. Was I thought of as cool?

But maybe we must accept that there is no universal truth.

And perhaps such an admission can in fact help us to overcome

the lingering uncertainty that hopes to stain

what could possibly have been a strong

year for my pubescent social skills.

And so, maybe cool is a state of being that knows no exit.

If you're cool. You simply stay cool.

** Middle School Yearbook: Reviews and Rebuttals, pt. 2

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