Time Capsule Reveals Signs of a Simpler Time

By Brett To, HIs/her/They/It-storian

Kennedy administration made the long-awaited decision to open the historic time capsule located in Office Manager Maria Valim’s office. The 2006 treasure chest’s contents pleasantly surprised the students who were fortunate enough to witness the unboxing.

Officer Manager Maria Valim smiles before she shakes the contents of the box to try to guess its contents.   (Claritin staff photo)

The black box included artifacts such as a Helio Hero mobile phone offering one-button access to MySpace, a Nintendo DS Lite, a pair of Heelys, a pen urging voters to reelect Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a twinkie.

The Helio Hero phone had no password, which was common for phones at the time. The lack of a password allowed for quick uploads to MySpace. Bullies at the time were still deciding whether their preferred method of warfare was to post peers’ embarrassing photos or beat the living hell out of them.

Kennedy archeologists faced a roadblock, however, when they discovered the phone was dead.

“I didn’t know they had rechargeable phone batteries back then, in 2006,” exclaimed Lead Student Archeologist Anne Nejiac, who is leading the insightful investigation as her senior project. “Well even though this is a pretty interesting surprise, we have no charger, so we can’t do much with the phone.”

Nejiac’s and other students’ dismay represented a feeling of disappointment and frustration that transcends generations.

The Helio Hero could access MySpace with one button press.

Fortunately, a man living in the Greenhaven Eskaton Care Center possessed a charger for the Helio Hero.

“I remember when you had to do eight button presses just to respond, ‘yeah’ to a text,” began Eskaton resident Don Kidds. “That was a simpler time. Kids these days can text too quickly, so they start texting each other about politics and dawging on each other and it gets really wack.”

After being graciously granted the phone charger from Kidds, archeologists booted up the phone. In the photo album of the phone was a shirtless teenage male with dyed black hair, a picture of Zac Efron as Troy Bolton from High School Musical, and a selfie of a female teenage student posing with a peace sign.

To learn about the Nintendo DS Lite, Nejiac and her team went to a local pawn shop on Meadowview Road, GameStop.

“Back in those days,” recalled GameStop employee Ada Pockett, “people couldn’t decide whether they wanted to play virtual fetch with animals, make them beat the crap out of each other, or seduce them by giving them gifts and inviting them to their virtual house. Nowadays, people mostly have the animals virtually fight and they also design virtual towns for them.” Pockett noted that today, players of the animal fighting game must do weird dances to make their animals stronger.

GameStop graciously sold the virtual fetch game, Nintendogs, to Nejiac at the pre-owned price of $28.99, a discount from the 2006 launch price of the game, $29.99.

“I’m so grateful I was able to get this wonderful piece of history at such a steal!” beamed Nejiac.

On a roll from her findings at GameStop, Nejiac and her team began to investigate the pair of Heelys. The team took their archeological work to Pocket’s elementary schools to learn more about the shoes’ past.

Custodian Thresh Woon, who has worked at Matsuyama Elementary School for a long 13 years, well remembers the long cleanup process caused by the Heelys.

“Kids were too young to drive, so they’d wear Heelys to show off their wheels,” Woon recalled. “Then the Heelys would get caught on playground wood chips, and the kids would fall over and get blood everywhere, and I’d have to clean it up every single time.”

At Eskaton, a majority of the residents expressed similar resentment of the wheeled shoes. In a survey, 57% reported that they primarily disliked them for the loud stomping noises they made when wearers attempted to walk around campus.

Didion P.E. teacher Chee Tang remembered how children used to cheat at running laps using Heelys.

“I hadn’t heard about Heelys before, and all of a sudden, I saw kids who previously just walked miles cut their times in half!” Tang commented. Tang recounted how he talked to the principal to ban the rolling shoes from campus. “That’s not how we roll in my P.E. class,” Tang finished.

While Nejiac investigated the Heelys, the student archeological team’s political specialist Gio Poddy looked to experts on the Kennedy campus for information on the Arnold Schwarzenegger pen. He interviewed government student teacher Alec Shaun to learn about the historical political trends.

“I miss the times we could trust electing celebrities to public office,” Shaun pined. Unfortunately, since teachers are not allowed to share their political views, the aspiring government teacher was not allowed to say more.

A student confirmed that the Twinkie was indeed still edible.

Nejiac, Poddy, and the other students involved in the investigation will publish their findings April 1, 2019. The team did not believe that they were procrastinating.

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