While Q&A portions, basic information plus favorites and really personal information, of an autograph/slum/slam book tell you about others, the dedication portion tells you of what and how others think of you.
An alternate version of the autograph book, one wherein the Q&A pages have been dropped, sprouted prior to my graduation from high school. My classmates had been passing around notebooks, most of which were large ones with just a few, really smooth and thick pages and nice covers and asking for messages. Pretty much gathering testimonials, way before Friendster.
“God bless,” “take care,” “don’t change,” were message staples as were acrostics involving countries (F-riends R-emain A-nd N-ever C-an E-nd or E-volve if you’ve been friendzoned.). There were funny drabbles, emotional admissions, thank-yous (Of which the “thank you for letting me sign is the most common.) and a pre-mobile phone version of a send to all text message. Sometimes, the really artistically inclined people would draw something on the pages. I would know ‘coz I’d peeked at what the others have written. I myself enjoyed fashioning strings of words to look like hearts and flowers.
I did not succumb into this particular type of autograph book fever though. I already had my classmates’ messages at the back of my copy of our class picture. We get our yearbooks long after graduation so we don’t have that tradition of letting classmates sign our yearbooks. Nobody gets labeled in terms of “most likely to get jailed”, “most likely to invent a time machine”, etc, either. I was also fairly content with the mail I’ve been getting from friends. This was when homes didn’t have internet yet. I still have every letter and card I’ve received, arranged chronologically in brown envelopes marked with the sender’s name.
A bit of a background: in our country, in my time, high school seniors were often sixteen years of age. In the school I went to, there’s usually 500 students per year or grade level but, except for a year, I belonged to a section that hardly had new faces. I even had a classmate in Komunikasyon 1 in the state university who had been my classmate since grade school. So essentially, my circle’s quite small.
So fortunately, for my classmates, as I have mentioned, I didn’t have this type of autograph book. I will just have to leave pics of a notebook I would have used in an AU.
There’s a metal slot at the top for labels.
Again, thick cover to protect the leaves inside.
Unlined illustration-free pages, so people can draw on or attach stickers if they want.
One of the nice things about distributing and having friends sign sheets loosened from spiral bound autograph/slum/slam books aside from the assurance of secrecy is that the time getting it filled is considerably shortened. No one has to wait for others to finish, no one takes a turn. However, I don’t think doing the same with this autograph is a good idea as it would be too much like asking one’s friend for a letter.
I’m not sure if seniors nowadays still go for this type autograph book as they might feel like the whole thing’s redundant especially since we now have facebook, android phones and tablets. Maybe some will, for sentimentality and “for remembrance.” Maybe they should. Who knows, maybe someone in their circle, the “most likely to be committed to an asylum” might end up as the country’s president.