by Chris Stanton and Franny Hocking
A continuation of the celebration of Chadwick’s 75th anniversary, a school wide assembly occurred on Monday, Dec. 6. The purpose of the asembly was to open a time capsule that students attending Chadwick in 1994 created as an all-school project to celebrate the opening of the Village School Science Lab. The former students labeled the time capsule to be set to open in the year 2010.
Village School teacher Ann Biedenweg was onstage at the opening ceremony because, as a student, she helped bury the capsule at the time of its inception in the 1994 school year.
As a suitable representative of the group of students that assembled the time capsule sixteen years ago, Biedenweg said, “Every kid in the village was a part of it, and they thought it was exciting to put stuff in, they wanted to see how old they were going to be in sixteen years.”
She remembers the initiation of the idea of the time capsule, as though it was just yesterday.
“At the dedication ceremony to the new science lab,” Biedenweg said. “We held an all-school egg drop contest. In addition, someone had the idea of burying a time capsule. We then had the students make and bring sayings, pictures, memories and toys of the time.”
Years, later, Biedenweg witnessed the opening of the time capsule, and uncovered what she and her former classmates made and assembled together.
Before it began, the ambiguity of the assmbly left students questioning and eager to discover the purpose of the school-wide assmbly. “I was really excited. I had no idea what the assembly was going to be about,” said sophomore Jack Kirkpatrick.
The feeling seemed to encompass the entire student body as the students hurried to sit down in anticipation of what was about to happen.
Finally, All Student Body President senior Molly Heller announced the purpose of the assembly: to open a time capsule from the 1990s that Biedenwig orignally contributed to.
Excitement began to build in the room as students eagerly awaited the opening of the time capsule, which sat on a table in the center of the gymnasium. The capsule itself was a very plain looking cement tube.
After Heller’s speech, Upper School Director Mark Wiedenmann approached the table and began to open the capsule, which appeared to be quite a difficult task.
Besides Heller, alongside to help pull items out of the time capsule, were several student body representatives from both the Middle and Village Schools.
When the time capsule was opened, the Student Council representatives began to pull items out of it one by one. Among the items were several photo collages of pictures of 90’s items as well as a hacky sack and an undisclosed action figure.
Biedenweg reflected on the sought-after items her peers contributed to the time capsule. “Hacky sacks were really popular in the 90’s,” said Biedenweg.
The Student Council representatives also found among the items in the time capsule a cassette tape, which housed a recording of students singing the song “Queen Colman,” which they recorded because Village School history teacher Diane Colmandressed up as a British queen on fifth grade Colonial Day every year.
The time capsule was also buried alongside some trash, including an orange peel and several jar lids. The students that had buried the capsule wanted to see how much the garbage would have decomposed after sixteen years.
When asked about what she thought students got out of the experience of burying a time capsule at Chadwick, Biedenweg said, “I wish alumni could have come to see the unearthing. I thought kids would have come back to see what they had buried when they were five or six. I know I would enjoy reading things I wrote when I was in elementary school!”
At the end of the assembly, Heller got up once again to announce that Chadwick would be putting together another time capsule this year, thus making the time capsule cycle complete.
“Each grade this year will be contributing to a new time capsule, one that will be opened in 2025, on Chadwick’s 100th anniversary,” announced Heller.
Students immediately began to murmur and discuss ideas for items to put into the capsule, and each was left with a memory they would never forget.