Monday, July 29, 2013

Evolution of the Llamarada

Can you define “Llamarada?”

Write your short answer here:____________________________________

Answer key:

Answer 1: The Llamarada is a hybrid between a llama and an alpaca.
Wrong: Your ears have deceived you, that false cognate is incorrect.

Answer 2:  The Llamarada is the Mount Holyoke College yearbook.
Wrong: You are also incorrect. You lose points for the present tense.

Answer 3: The Llamarada was the Mount Holyoke yearbook.

*ding ding ding*

Correct: Although sentence tense may seem like a technicality (and you may earn half credit on an actual quiz) it marks a very real difference between the way classes have been remembered in the past and how we will be remembered today.

Llamarada 2009

From its inception in 1896 until its death in 2009, the Llamarada was a tradition that celebrated Mount Holyoke students’s activities and lives on campus. So what went wrong? Short answer: supply and demand. Long answer: the college invested around $40,000 per year into the yearbook and yet they couldn’t give it away. Literally, the yearbook was free and people wouldn’t take it. For more information, read the thoughtful letter written by Joshua Nelson, former Assistant Director of Student Programs, here.

However, ever since the Llamarada printed its final edition, protests for its revival have shot up. These mini movements ask us to consider whether we have lost something priceless as a college. The institutional memory of our generation, perhaps? 

This debate has created the Llama-drama-paradox. Although the Llamarada has proven to be unsustainable and impractical (a national trend for undergraduate yearbooks), we want to document and remember the Mount Holyoke we know today for ourselves and the students of tomorrow. 
Llamarada 1950

Llamarada 1978
There is a solution to the Llama-drama-paradox: The Archives. Our collection functions like a huge, interactive yearbook. The things students donate here add to our institutional memory and help capture and preserve student experiences on a massive scale. Alumnae looking to reminisce with peers, administrators looking into the events of years passed, and family members looking to find pictures of their mother, grandmother, or great great aunt can come here and find what they need. Our collection promises that everything lost can also be found (as long as the institution or individual alumnae provide us with relevant materials).

Think of it like this, when the Llamarada was liquidated, the SGA funding that had gone to it was distributed among other student organizations. In this way, the end of the Llamarada was the beginning of new student activities and traditions. Similarly we can use the energy and passion directed at the idea of “the yearbook” and funnel it into the Archives’s collection. So donate papers, photographs, and small objects that you want preserved for posterity to the Archives. 

Llamarada 1905

Ps. All the Llamarada’s of classes past are kept in the Archives and Special Collections, accessible to any visitor. 

Pps. We accept student-made yearbooks, scrapbooks, and photo albums.

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