For the next couple of days my students will be recording a video time capsule. They have each been assigned the task of finding something that will give future generations a glimpse of their lives during their sophomore year.
We will videotape them talking about whatever item they choose to include. I expect there to be a few cell phones and Ipods. Some will want to stand in front of a trailer classroom to show where they went to school this year. Others might include a newspaper with the Haiti earthquake headlines, a mohawk or hoodie, an energy drink, or a video game.
After we have filmed each student, a journalism student will tie it all together. They will add the student's name to identify each person. They will also record my introduction and include musical montages of the sophomores outside of class time.
I will hang onto this video until the last day of their senior year, when a copy will be given to the senior class president for class reunions in the future. They will be able to see "the way it was" in 2009-2010. Have you figured out what they are really putting in the time capsule?
Yes, the things they bring to talk about will be interesting, maybe even fun to see 25 years from now; however, the true treasure of this time capsule will be the students themselves. We will have captured each of them on the cusp of adulthood. They will see the energy, innocence, and beauty of age 16. By the time they see the video again at a reunion in the future--they will be heavier, graying, balding, worn down a bit, and wrinkled by time.
The video time capsule for this year's graduating class (filmed two years ago) is a keeper. It was the last one filmed in our high school before the tornado destroyed it. It made me misty to see my old room and my wall with 26 years of student pictures. Their time capsule had captured one last glimpse of the office, hallways, library, and auditorium. Their sophomore hall and sophomore bench are gone now. When I viewed that video while sitting in my trailer classroom last year, I realized just how valuable the time capsule assignment is.
That year we captured something that was and never will be again. Come to think of it, we do that every year. Some years it is just more obvious.