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High School Time Capsule (3rd Prize - 16-18 years)

March, 2013
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High School Time Capsule

“2012. Is it the year where everything crashes and burns, is this the year, kids, where everything changes? I want you to go over whatever you felt was important that happened in 2012, write it in a letter, and we’ll put it in our time capsule, which the school will open in 100 years.” said the teacher. The 11th grade English class students turned to their papers ferociously scribbling away. There was James, who had recently become obsessed with social networking. He wrote in his letter about every huge media event from ‘The London Olympics” to ‘Call Me Maybe’ to ‘Gangnam Style’ to the 2012 U.S.A Presidential Election. He ended his letter with: “All of you who are reading this probably have technology beyond my imagination, but I wish you could imagine the magic of all the new technology that came out this year, and all the news it helped us share but I’m sure you’ll have your own experiences just as good as mine.” There was Amanda who supposedly had “the most brilliant” year, she had transferred to this school in New York from London, England. Amanda had moved in with her Aunt and Uncle, she wrote: “The 2012 London Olympics were spectacular, London really outdid themselves, but I tend to be a little biased, America came in 1st, China 2nd, and Great Britain 3rd.” Then there was Janie who was so excited about her older brother coming home from fighting in Iraq. He had surprised her family and shown up on a Saturday afternoon. She wrote, “ The War on Terror is coming to an end. By the time you read this you’ll probably be reading about it in your history books, Wow! Now I feel old, anyway the point is my brother returned from duty, he served 2 tours, I honestly can’t tell you how great it felt to have him home, and safe. I couldn’t have asked for anything else”. Then there was Daniel, who was writing about the worry and fear they all felt, as Hurricane Sandy was about to hit. He wrote slowly, the memories flooding back with each word. His letter read: “ This year the east coast was hit by Hurricane Sandy, it was devastating for all of us, school was closed, people lost their homes, some even lost their loved ones. I hope whoever all of you are, that none of you ever have to face the uncertainty and fear we felt”. Diane wrote about how great of a year she had, school had been amazing, she made so many new friends, Life was good. William wrote about how difficult this year had been for him, he lost his grandfather in January, and everything had seemed to go downhill from there, his grades fell, he became distant, his friends rarely spoke to him. Life was painful. Each Student folded their letter with care, signing them off with the words “To the students of the future, Good Luck!” When asked to pick a quote for the time capsule, the students argued endlessly. Should it be happy? Meaningful? Iconic? Should it lean towards to more difficult years the students had, or the more joyful years the other students had. They bickered, and bickered until one student suggested a compromise. They settled and wrote on the time capsule the words:

“Life is beautifully difficult”.

Hoping the students of the future would understand the paradox of Life, The beautiful plot changes that provided new experiences, and changes, but the twists and turns that brought pain and sadness. They hoped that they could understand that with life comes challenge, but it is the beauty in those challenges that reminds us to never give up.

By Mahnoor Wazirzada

Shanghai American School - Pudong


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