Capsule of culture: Movies, music, apps among the items included in St. Scholastica time capsuleFifty years ago this week, some of the top songs on the rock ’n’ roll Billboard chart were “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Return to Sender” and “Limbo Rock.”
By: Mike Creger, Duluth News Tribune
Fifty years ago this week, some of the top songs on the rock ’n’ roll Billboard chart were “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Return to Sender” and “Limbo Rock.”
What that says about culture in 1962 is up to interpretation. And that will be the case 50 years from now when people open a time capsule loaded Tuesday night at the College of St. Scholastica.
If someone can figure out how to run the iPod where students have stored music of 2012, they’ll hear “Call Me Maybe,” “Rumor Has It” and “Gangnam Style.”
The capsule ceremony at Somers Lounge was the final event of the college’s centennial celebration this fall.
It holds a host of items, many of them on paper showing what the university stands for today and the groups of people found on campus. The Sisters of the St. Scholastica Monastery donated a Medal of St. Benedict. Items marking the centennial fill the box as well: pins, magnets, a cookbook, commemorative histories on the college and homecoming tickets and programs.
There’s also a piece of bluestone, which visitors this year were given as part of the celebration. Bluestone was used to build the iconic Tower Hall.
Carrie Emslander, the associate director for alumni relations, said the variety of items in the capsule is impressive.
She worked closely with students on the “society and pop culture” items that include the iPod with songs and movies. She called the Apple customer service line to get instructions on how best to preserve the iPod for five decades. She said the company couldn’t guarantee it would fire up but she loaded an adapter and batteries to help the cause.
She said staff and students at the school thought carefully on how they wanted to represent the year 2012 in 2062.
“There’s something about trying to boil things down to what you put in a box,” she said.
The only requirement for the media put into the capsule was that it had to be from this year. Movies loaded onto the iPod include “The Avengers” and “The Hunger Games.” Applications for electronic devices included “Angry Birds” and “Words With Friends.”
Rachel Hagel, a St. Scholastica senior majoring in health information management, was in charge of gathering pictures of campus groups and departments for a Shutterfly “mini-
yearbook.” She said there was a lot of editing to make sure all of the names were correct.
When it came to the iPod, a Facebook post was made asking students to name the top movies, TV shows and songs of the year. Titles with the most suggestions were added to the list.
President Larry Goodwin opened the ceremony Tuesday.
“We want to leave a big photograph of this school at this moment,” Goodwin said. “We’re sending a message of hope to the future.”
Emslander said her favorite part of the capsule is the book of personal messages from those on campus and alumni meant for those reading them on campus 50 years from now. The messages offer advice, comments on the state of the world today, and how St. Scholastica touched their own lives.
“It’s that personal touch,” Emslander said. “Some of the messages are very meaningful.”
Campus librarian and part-time archivist Heidi Johnson also cherished the written notes that were bound into a book.
“It’s all about quality,” she said of sorting through the ideas for the capsule.
She said that in an age when our largest footprint is being made on the “amorphous” Internet, the time capsule will serve as a “fixed form” device for reaching into the past.
“Future generations will curse us,” Johnson said with a laugh about the thought of historians trying to sort through whatever form the Internet takes in the future and looking for definitions of our time.
“There’s way too much to discern,” she said.
So the capsule will be a shortcut to knowing life on campus in 2012, she said.
Goodwin said the idea for the capsule came from a student.
“Whoever that was — cool,” he said.
* See a full list of the items put into the time capsule at duluthnews