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Published: Thursday, 5/20/2004

Toledo: Dear future - Here's what Bowsher of '04 was like

BY ELIZABETH A. SHACK
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Cindy Harrison, right, directs her Emglish class at Bowsher High  School in the making of a time capsule. Cindy Harrison, right, directs her Emglish class at Bowsher High School in the making of a time capsule.
LISA DUTTON / BLADE Enlarge

When Bowsher High School is demolished, its history will lay wrapped in a short PVC pipe buried tonight near the football field.

The pipe is a time capsule created by Cindy Harrison's 10th grade English class to show whoever digs it up what the students' lives were like in the high school's last days.

The students will bury dictionaries, a yearbook, photo collages of themselves, and essays about their personal lives and the culture of the early 21st century.

The time capsule exists "so people in the future would realize we had good lives," said student Sarah Pitney.

Her classmate Jonathan Smith suggested adding a copy of the play Our Town to the time

capsule, because that's where the idea came from.

In the play, which Ms. Harrison's class read, the characters hope their time capsule will last a thousand years.

Items going into the time capsule show teen life in the early 21st century. Items going into the time capsule show teen life in the early 21st century.
LISA DUTTON / BLADE Enlarge

No one knows how long the Bowsher time capsule will last. Ms. Harrison has no plans to leave a note to school officials to dig up the pipe in 50 or 100 years.

The essays, typed, dated, and laminated, reflect the lives of the two dozen students in class, not the world or even the rest of Ohio.

"It's not designed for people to get a handle on teens in general," Ms. Harrison said.

Many students surveyed their classmates or the rest of the school for their essays on art, fashion, sports, religion, and other topics.

Cheri Kinkead and Chad Ware, who wrote about music, checked with other students to see what's popular.

The sports group wrote about football, basketball, and broomball, giving the rules and explaining why they liked the sports and who their best-liked teams are.

"We just told about our favorite sports," group member Stephen Kranz said.

The students also wrote about their own personal experiences, which will give future readers a broad perspective, from Ivonne Mendoza's heritage and visits to Nicaragua, to Alyssa Hacker's day-to-day life, and music tastes.

Cohann Barrett told those in the future who may chance upon the pipe about opera and his favorite aria, Der Holle Rache from Mozart's The Magic Flute.

The pipe will be buried this evening, after a potluck dinner where parents will have a chance to read what their children wrote.

Some students suspected that their teacher might have had an ulterior motive in creating a time capsule filled with their writings.

"Personally, I think this whole thing is just an excuse to get us to write essays," Justin Gaudiello said.

Contact Elizabeth A. Shack at:

eshack@theblade.com

or 419-724-6050.



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