What is the GSIS Publications Course?

Richard Kim, Writer

Publications is one of the many elective classes offered to upper secondary students at GSIS. Many students join Publications despite knowing nothing about the course because they believe the class is a source of free “GPA boost”. However, any student that takes Publications would quickly refute that statement. 

A common misconception about the Publications course is that the only objective of the course is to make the yearbook. Although the yearbook is a significant part of the Publications course, the Publications team is also responsible for Humans of GSIS and the GSIS newspaper, GSIS Knights Online. Additionally, towards the end of the year, the Publications class learns a new skill somewhat unrelated to everything previously taught. These mini “units” of skill-building have included learning cinematography, digital art, and other media skills. 

However, before any new student begins their unique role in Publications, they must learn the technical skill each position requires and choose what role they want to be a part of in Publications. Every new or returning student in the Publications course will learn the basic skills required for each job in Publications: photographers, designers, and writers. 

  • Photographers take photos for the yearbook, team photos of sports teams and other groups within the school, and create cutouts of photos for the yearbook. 
  • Designers dedicate themselves to creating the artistic elements of each page of the yearbook and planning where each element (captions, articles, photos, scores of sports games) of the page will be located. 
  • Writers are responsible for writing captions for every photo on each yearbook page and writing articles for the yearbook, newspaper, and Humans of GSIS.

These students will then be assigned their roles based on their preferences and where their expertise lies. Then teams of students from each position will be assigned to one another. Typically, a team will have one role from each group. However, in larger classes, some students will be given “hybrid” positions where they fulfill two roles at once. Returning Publications students may be chosen to serve as an editor for their role, quality checking media that newer students submit. 

Then the year begins, and students explore the rewarding and challenging nature of the Publications course. As Publications is nearly entirely student-run, every student must meet their deadlines for their role. Otherwise, the entire team will be late or fail to complete their yearbook page together. Another aspect that makes Publications difficult is how students must be able to motivate themselves to work every day. Some may slack off due to the seemingly large amount of time students are given to finish all their yearbook pages. However, with each page taking weeks to months to complete, students must continue to work hard every day to meet their deadlines. 

But the Publications course is equally rewarding. Students get to work in an almost “company-like” environment where they must communicate with their team members and editors to fulfill their goals. As the Publications Course is open to all grades in Upper Secondary, many students bond and work with students younger and older than them. And of course, arguably the most gratifying aspect of Publications is being able to see the completed yearbook, which is the culmination of the whole Publications course. 

No student should walk into the course expecting a free grade; instead, students should expect an enriching experience that encourages them to develop their technical skills and work ethic.