Remembering the time capsule


Alexandria seems to have fallen into a pattern of misplacing its time capsules. Plans are underway, however, for a brand new time capsule to be created for the dedication of the new T.C. Williams High School building; the time capsule will be opened in 2107.

How, exactly, does one go about making a time capsule? According to the International Time Capsule Society (ITCS), the first step is to determine when the capsule will be recovered.

So far, so good.

A suitable container must then be selected in which to preserve artifacts; ITCS suggests a safe because its interior remains cool, dry and dark for many years. The society also advises against burying time capsules since underground locations are more difficult to remember. Instead, the capsule should be kept in a secure indoor location with a plaque nearby explaining its purpose. A site has not yet been designated for the T.C. time capsule, but hopefully Alexandrians will learn from their past capsule mishaps and choose to keep it safely displayed inside the new building.

(See Alexandria Times, Aug. 9-16; Time capsules important to history if one could find them.)

The most important part of the capsule is obviously its contents, and current T.C. students have been giving their input on this matter. Rising senior Chris Schiedel thinks the capsule should include last years yearbook to preserve the legacy of the old T.C., and a school-issued laptop to show how T.C. is taking some steps towards improving our education through technology.

Both Atlee Webber, rising senior, and Meg Runyan, rising sophomore, thought the capsule should have mementos from T.C.s various sports teams. Atlee suggested a jersey from last years star basketball team, and Meg named the team trophy that T.C. girls crew has won at state championships for the past two years.

Other students thought it would be wise to include artifacts that represent our society as a whole, not just the T.C. community. A cell phone, a credit card, car keys, and coffee were all suggested by Eva Baker, a rising T.C. senior. 

Most people today cant imagine living without any one of these things, she said. Rising senior Jennifer Lee focused on items representative of pop culture, such as the newest Harry Potter book and a North Face jacket since that brand is very popular among teenagers.

Renewed interest
T.C. alumni have also taken an interest in the new time capsule, especially those in the schools first graduating class, 1967. Judy Beigbeder, a member of that class, thought it would be fun to include a compiled CD of current music, as well as a cheap CD player since who knows what the equipment will be like down the road. 

Another 67 graduate, Marion Donovan, recommended having current T.C. students make guesses as to how the school and student body will differ in 100 years.

Interestingly, both alumni addressed the issue of remembering the new capsules location. Donovan suggested putting a GPS receiver in the capsule, while Beigbeder thought a separate but obviously placed capsule with the location of the prime capsule would be helpful.

Dont rely on this years class officers to remember! she added sagely.

Rebecca Newsham is a senior at T.C. Williams High School and is an intern this year with The Alexandria Times.