Friday, June 17, 2005

What We Leave Behind

I read this article today:

In the fall of 1886, 17-year-old John Rothrock was late to school eight times; his older brother, William, 18, was tardy five times.

Their teacher, Mary Killgore, earned $65 a month; her male counterpart earned $111.

And between January and May 1887, there were several incidents of corporal punishment in Miss E.B. White’s secondary class in Longmont.

For years, the documents that hold that mundane record of school life sat in a box, often shuffled between the boiler room and storage closets at Longmont High School, which was moved from Main Street to its current location at Sunset Street and 11th Avenue in 1964.

“I wondered why we were keeping all of this,” head custodian Carlos Alvarez said of the box that held a handful of teachers’ old record books. “And I got tired of moving it around. I know I moved that box five or six times,” he added, chuckling.

I read this blog post last night:

Accidental time capsules of all kinds tonight, or what anthropologists of the future will be talking about — furtive text messages? Capri Sun pouches? patio furniture? — when they talk about us. Listen in, jump on the show’s comment thread, or call us at (877) 673 6767 and join the conversation. Just what are the messages we’re leaving for future anthropologists and what are we writing them with?

When I put the two together, I begin to wonder about the "accidental time capsules" that I'm creating in my classroom and on the Internet. What, do you think, will we leave behind that might be interesting to others? How long will my Flickr photos be online? A Blogger blog? The podcasts in the Internet Archive? It's weird to think that the content that I'm creating now might outlive me.
But it's pretty cool.

(Cross-posted at Bud the Teacher)

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