Do not open until 2034
By Richard Zowie
Times Guardian Staff Writer
Wedged into the ground in front of Rebecca Creek Elementary School by the old windmill is a gray limestone rock. From a distance it might appear to be a piece of rock representing a distant geological past.
But this rock, upon closer inspection, actually represents the future.
Thirty years into the future, to be exact.
The limestone rock, which was donated to the school, has an inscription on it that reads:
TO BE OPENED 2034
Underneath the rock, is a six-by-24-inch airtight stainless steel container. This box is a time capsule that was buried by the students at the school on May 19 at 1:30 p.m. to honor the founding of the original Rebecca Creek School that once occupied the same property a hundred years ago. The capsule will be unearthed and opened in 2034.
The project was actually managed nearly entirely by the students. Fifth and sixth grade students from the Significant Activities for Generating Excellence program did the research, acquired Comal Independent School District's approval to bury the capsule and selected the container to be ordered.
Fifth grader Ali Dicks headed the project while fellow fifth grader Tiffany Tschoepe assisted her with it.
"I think this time capsule will make the students of 2034 want to make one too once they open this one," Tiffany said.
Added Ali: "It was really fun."
Brad Henderson, Rebecca Creek's gifted program facilitator, said the idea for the time capsule came from Principal Janet Peden. The class then took the challenge and made it happen.
"The idea you can preserve moment in time and come back is fascinating," said Henderson. "When I closed and sealed the capsule, I realized that everything inside will next see the light of day 30 years from now. It was an awesome feeling.
"I think it'll give students a chance to be part of something significant, and I told them they are getting to participate in future history. Students from 2034 will find out what we like now and why and what makes those things important to us. They'll get to see if what they hold important then will be the same as what we hold important now."
Henderson added that the school's 30-year time capsule is registered with the International Time Capsule Society.
The size location and contents are registered with the international association of time capsules in London and Atlanta.
While the school's 30-year capsule might seem to be a long time, according to the International Time Capsule Society 100-year time capsule burials are popular; 50-year capsules are often used since there's a better chance of the creators to still be alive when the capsule is unearthed.
There was even one time capsule, reported by Southeastern Antiquing and Collecting Magazine in 2002, that was buried in Atlanta on May 28, 2020 by then-president of Oglethorpe University Dr. Thornwell Jacobs. That capsule is scheduled to be opened on May 28, 8113.
That's not a misprint; future residents will be unearthing it in only about 6,109 years.
When Rebecca Creek students unearth this time capsule in 2034, here's what they'll find:
* From the fifth and sixth-grade students: a letter to the future written by Ali: "Hello. You have just dug up history. The contents in this time capsule probably seem like 30 year-old junk to you, but 30 years ago this so-called junk was what we did, what we made and what happened. So mostly, it's your young life. So take these things out and look at them and whoever you are, cherish them. Sincerely, the 5th and 6th grade SAGE students."
* Fourth grade: "Our Favorite Movies": Drawings that, when taped together, make a giant newsreel with each frame of the "film" illustrating a student's favorite movie. Among the movies are Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Haunted Mansion, Shrek and Jaws.
* Second grade: "Our Favorite Clothing and Transportation": Collections of newspaper and magazine photos of hot cars and hot clothing styles such as Nike sneakers, beachwear, Ford Mustangs and Chevy Stingrays.
* First grade: "Our Favorite Sports": The students made a banner with their sports heroes on it: San Antonio Spurs star Tim Duncan, retired Spur David Robinson, retired Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan, golfer Tiger Woods, and a basketball player from the WNBA team San Antonio Silver Stars. They also included on the reverse side of the banner pictures of themselves playing in sports like baseball, soccer, basketball, bowling, tennis and golf.
* Kindergarten: "Our Favorite Foods": The students drew a school lunch tray with the foods they enjoyed. This included hamburgers, ice cream, pizza, hot dogs and macaroni and cheese.
* An original musical composition by Leland Ott, a first grader. He wrote the words and music of the song "Born in a Barn."
* A Rebecca Creek t-shirt, donated by the Parent Teachers Association.
* A copy of Rebecca Creek's current student handbook.
The school is the only one in the district that buried a time capsule this year, said Kari Hutchison, communications director for Comal Independent School District. Other schools in the district have buried time capsules in the past; no capsules have been unearthed this year.