Historically rich traditions are well ingrained in collegiate institutions throughout our nation. Harvard in 1636, Yale in 1701, along with many other colleges around our nation celebrate their rich history through traditions, some as ridiculous as hazing and too many shots of tequila to gothic initiation ceremonies. Through these practices many collegiate societies have found their identity. Like other institutions MiraCosta College has a rich history dating back to 1934. In the beginning it was a small fledgling institution housed in a wing of Oceanside High School. It was named the “OC-JC” (Oceanside Carlsbad Jr. College) and was a vehicle in which local youth could access higher learning without shipping off to a far-away college.
Celebrating history is thematic in most colleges. This being the case, it is important to stop along the way and document the passing of Father Time. In an 11 year period some of our college’s forward thinkers decided to do just that. In 1982 our Theatre Department was the first to think of communicating with future generations. In Edgar Allen Poe fashion, they entombed a time traveler into the brick walls of the theatre itself. Only a small bronze bar is left exposed to mark where the capsule rests. They left program pamphlets of some of the year’s best triumphs, photos of the bright young actors who were ready to venture off into post-college theatre and film careers; even a bottle of champagne from an opening night celebration. Like Carl Sagan’s contribution to the 1977 Voyager mission, the 1982 theatre troop wanted to speak to life in the future. They wanted to connect with future theatre students. According to Kissinger there has been no exhume date assigned to the theatre capsule. The word around the Theatre Department is that it is there to be opened when the theatre building is inevitably demolished to make way for a new building.
In the early 1990s another group of faculty members decided that it was time to mark the changing times. The age of the “Information Superhighway” had dawned. Dr. Dave Megill, a professor in the Music Department was amongst those who saw what was about to happen globally. Our college music program at the time was on the vanguard of these new digital technologies, offering classes in Digital Audio Production (MIDI) and newly developed software like Pro Tools, “I was not on the committee that developed it but was asked to submit a software package I had developed called “Inside MiraCosta,” said Dr. Megill. The software package “Inside MiraCosta,” was an early form of an online profile that sounds very much like an primitive form of a Facebook profile for campus faculty. According to Dr. Megill the package had headshots of faculty members their positions on campus and whatever personal information they felt comfortable giving out.
I clearly remember turning in assignments’ in via email and being amazed at this new form of communications. “This is how everything is going to be done in just a few years, It’s the way of the future,” said Megill. As we all know he was right, and now that device is right in our hands. I also remember hearing him talk about interring a time capsule on campus to be opened decades in the future. Many years later my Student Media Advisor Jane DeRoache mentioned something about there being a time capsule on campus. That is when this all came back, and was the prompt to this dig into MCC past.
During my archeological dig about campus, it became evident that only a few long time faculty members such as Kissinger and Sgt. Perez were aware, and had accurate information on these artifacts. It seems many were not aware that we have these windows to the past at our fingertips. It also raises the question as to who has been left in charge of keeping on these timepieces. To whom does the responsibility fall to ensure they are not forgotten? Who is being left in charge of making sure the clock tower capsule is exhumed in 2034, and can we impose an opening date on the theatre capsule.
As we progress technologically have we lost our value for history, or is history just a word the disenfranchised use when justifying their gripe of the week? Let’s just Tinder the night away, and wade around in the shallow side of the pool. Have we lost the inquisitive nature that led us to fire and the wheel? Are we distracted for the moment? Or are we gone for good?