Capturing History

The COVID Time Capsule Project
Capture it before it is gone. Students of history know the best way to deeply understand and learn about a time period or event in the past is to read the stories and testimonies of those who lived it. Today’s engaged eighth grader probably never thought they would become a member of the “those who lived it” group. Yet after months of quarantine and adapting to life with COVID-19, they are experts at Zoom and remote learning, have found the positives in more time alone and with their family, overcome challenges, grown more patient and perseverant. It is extraordinary, has impacted every aspect of their lives and is worth remembering.

With the guidance of history teacher, Jill Frazee and English teacher Diane Bonfils, students added their voices to history with a COVID Time Capsule project. Organized with future historians in mind, the project included six parts: artifacts, current photographs, recorded oral histories (someone older and a classmate), a personal reflection and a creative element. Collected items were then highlighted and explained in a short video.

What was common and what was not was significant. As expected, masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes made it into almost everyone’s capsule. Music, books, Facetime and beloved pets were saviors. Boredom and missing friends were mentioned often as well as new found appreciation for board games, baking and blue light glasses to cope with all the extra screen time. Reflection on how things changed, recognizing the opportunity in a new reality and individual growth revealed unique, very personal perspectives. Like the thoughts and observations shared by students below, most of the essays written revealed disruption overcome, and incredible resilience in some so young.

"From the good, to the bad. The happy, to the sad. Quarantine has brought many changes, wonders, and wishes. Wonders like: where would I be now? And how have I changed? … Don’t get me wrong, I still am very happy, but there’s always a lurking feeling of loneliness. Despite the negative thoughts, I think that I would be a lot less confident in myself than I am now, thanks to COVID. I have been given the chance to work on how well I trust myself, and my decisions.”   Jaz ’21

If you asked me six months ago where I thought I would be today, I would have told you something along the lines of, “... beginning my September school year, touring new high schools, and fussing over 8th grade Halloween costumes.” But that is so far from reality.… During the eight grade school year, I have been underwater with stress. I expect that I will make my way up to the surface as the year progresses and new routines are built.    Ella ’21

Although the virus has had negative impact on many students at Mayfield, it has also brought up many interesting opportunities and given me a mindset of thankfulness and resilience. One of the most important things that I have learned from this pandemic is to see everything as an opportunity.

Like a dark cloud that covers up the sun, we never know what the world has to offer us. But if we are resilient and have an attitude of gratitude, there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. All you have to do is wait for the cloud to move and feel the warmth of the sunshine.   Ethan ’21

During quarantine I learned two new languages, I taught myself how to play the piano, I have written a lot of short stories…my sister and I definitely got a lot closer and found that we had some of the same interests. Spending time with family is very important, even if it’s just your immediate family.   Chloe ’21

I know this might sound weird, but talking to my friends or teachers, even for a few minutes, can really change my mood. It makes me feel like I am not alone. Like there are other people who are feeling the same way.  Olivia ’21




Mayfield Junior School

Located in Pasadena, California, Mayfield Junior School of the Holy Child Jesus is a K-8 Catholic coeducational private school. Our kindergarten, elementary school, and middle school experience best prepares students for high school education and beyond.