It is a new world when it comes to names


Do you remember your senior photo? Do you remember the horror of looking at yourself in all of your pimple/bad hair/huge features/goofy look glory?

I do. My senior photo was one for the ages … the Dark Ages. I decided it would be a good idea to get a haircut just before I got my picture taken. The result was a bad haircut captured forever. Thankfully, it is hard to get past my acne and giant nose. Even my Adam’s apple seems to be leaping out of the photo.

It was not my finest moment.

Back then we either got a photo taken at school, or we went to a photo studio for the glamorous senior photo. I went the photo studio route, and it is still just a head and shoulders shot that I would like to bury – even all these decades later.

These days, some kids are doing much more than a simple studio shot. I know because I am in the depths of working on our annual graduation section. I will be very honest here and say this is my least favorite thing to do when it comes to my job. It has nothing to do with the students, of course. It is just very labor intensive.

One thing I have to do it edit those elaborately posed photos. Most students still have a traditional shot, and I love that. It saves me a lot of time and worry. Why worry? Because I don’t want to mess up anyone’s photo.

It can be hard. When a kid decides he wants his senior picture to be him jumping a motorcycle through a ball of fire while holding his dog and a Bald Eagle flies behind him cradling an American flag, trying to just get a simple pictured out of that can be, well, difficult.

I am kidding, but you would be surprised how not that kidding I am. These can be some elaborate poses. Don’t get me wrong, some of them are great; beautifully shot. But I just need a face, not someone laying railroad tracks with fall colors bursting behind them.

I usually getting the best that I can out of most pictures. Thankfully this is on newsprint, so no one is expecting the greatest quality anyways. Sadly, that is just true.

I also marvel at names, and how they have changed over the years. You don’t see a lot of Brian’s, or Tim’s or even John’s these days. And remember when you couldn’t walk four feet a few years back without running into a Tyler? Well, that fad seems to have faded as well.

These days, parents are reaching deep for names, and there are some good ones. Brady is a pretty popular boy’s name. I saw a few Jayden’s as well. Cool name, for sure. Chase, Mason, Logan and even a name I am familiar with, Travis, are all being used.

For the girls, any variety of the name Madison is also still pretty popular. I can honestly say I never knew a single Madison back in my day. Taylor is also pretty popular, and there are also a few Kaitlyn’s and Hailey’s too.

I do enjoy seeing the evolution of names. And I am glad to see that parents in Ogle County don’t go out of their way to give their kids bad names. Hey, I have seen it before.

I keep waiting for the year that “Brad” becomes a cool name. I can’t say “again,” because it never really has been. Someday…