Monday, August 25, 2008

It's a little sad

So, each year Beloit College posts the Mindset list for entering freshman as a clue to how they've been able to view the world. One of the first things on the list makes me very sad in addition to the fact that the lists become more and more relevant too.

I almost feel as I should comment on many things, but will refrain, knowing that each item will mean something different to all of us.

Here's this year list for the college class of 2012:

Students entering college for the first time this fall were generally born in 1990.

For these students, Sammy Davis Jr., Jim Henson, Ryan White, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Freddy Krueger have always been dead.

  1. Harry Potter could be a classmate, playing on their Quidditch team.
  2. Since they were in diapers, karaoke machines have been annoying people at parties.
  3. They have always been looking for Carmen Sandiego.
  4. GPS satellite navigation systems have always been available.
  5. Coke and Pepsi have always used recycled plastic bottles.
  6. Shampoo and conditioner have always been available in the same bottle.
  7. Gas stations have never fixed flats, but most serve cappuccino.
  8. Their parents may have dropped them in shock when they heard George Bush announce “tax revenue increases.”
  9. Electronic filing of tax returns has always been an option.
  10. Girls in head scarves have always been part of the school fashion scene.
  11. All have had a relative--or known about a friend's relative--who died comfortably at home with Hospice.
  12. As a precursor to “whatever,” they have recognized that some people “just don’t get it.”
  13. Universal Studios has always offered an alternative to Mickey in Orlando.
  14. Grandma has always had wheels on her walker.
  15. Martha Stewart Living has always been setting the style.
  16. Haagen-Dazs ice cream has always come in quarts.
  17. Club Med resorts have always been places to take the whole family.
  18. WWW has never stood for World Wide Wrestling.
  19. Films have never been X rated, only NC-17.
  20. The Warsaw Pact is as hazy for them as the League of Nations was for their parents.
  21. Students have always been "Rocking the Vote.”
  22. Clarence Thomas has always sat on the Supreme Court.
  23. Schools have always been concerned about multiculturalism.
  24. We have always known that “All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”
  25. There have always been gay rabbis.
  26. Wayne Newton has never had a mustache.
  27. College grads have always been able to Teach for America.
  28. IBM has never made typewriters.
  29. Roseanne Barr has never been invited to sing the National Anthem again.
  30. McDonald’s and Burger King have always used vegetable oil for cooking french fries.
  31. They have never been able to color a tree using a raw umber Crayola.
  32. There has always been Pearl Jam.
  33. The Tonight Show has always been hosted by Jay Leno and started at 11:35 EST.
  34. Pee-Wee has never been in his playhouse during the day.
  35. They never tasted Benefit Cereal with psyllium.
  36. They may have been given a Nintendo Game Boy to play with in the crib.
  37. Authorities have always been building a wall across the Mexican border.
  38. Lenin’s name has never been on a major city in Russia.
  39. Employers have always been able to do credit checks on employees.
  40. Balsamic vinegar has always been available in the U.S.
  41. Macaulay Culkin has always been Home Alone.
  42. Their parents may have watched The American Gladiators on TV the day they were born.
  43. Personal privacy has always been threatened.
  44. Caller ID has always been available on phones.
  45. Living wills have always been asked for at hospital check-ins.
  46. The Green Bay Packers (almost) always had the same starting quarterback.
  47. They never heard an attendant ask “Want me to check under the hood?”
  48. Iced tea has always come in cans and bottles.
  49. Soft drink refills have always been free.
  50. They have never known life without Seinfeld references from a show about “nothing.”
  51. Windows 3.0 operating system made IBM PCs user-friendly the year they were born.
  52. Muscovites have always been able to buy Big Macs.
  53. The Royal New Zealand Navy has never been permitted a daily ration of rum.
  54. The Hubble Space Telescope has always been eavesdropping on the heavens.
  55. 98.6 F or otherwise has always been confirmed in the ear.
  56. Michael Milken has always been a philanthropist promoting prostate cancer research.
  57. Off-shore oil drilling in the United States has always been prohibited.
  58. Radio stations have never been required to present both sides of public issues.
  59. There have always been charter schools.
  60. Students always had Goosebumps.
And just for sake of argument, here's the list from when I headed to start college:
  1. Most students entering college this fall in the class of 2004, were born in 1982.
  2. Grace Kelly, Elvis Presley, Karen Carpenter, and the E.R.A. have always been dead.
  3. Kurt Cobain's death was the "day the music died."
  4. Somebody named George Bush has been on every national ticket, except one, since they were born.
  5. The Kennedy tragedy was a plane crash, not an assassination.
  6. Huckleberry Finn has always been a "banned book."
  7. A "45" is a gun, not a record with a large hole in the center.
  8. They have no clue what the Beach Boys were talking about when they sang about a 409, and the Little Deuce Coupe.
  9. They have probably never lost anything in shag carpeting.
  10. MASH and The Muppet Show have always been in re-runs.
  11. Punk Rock is an activist movement, not a musical form.
  12. They have always bought telephones, rather than rent them from AT&T.
  13. The year they were born, AIDS was found to have killed 164 people; finding a cure for the new disease was designated a "top priority" for government-sponsored research.
  14. We have always been able to reproduce DNA in the laboratory.
  15. Wars begin and end quickly; peace-keeping missions go on forever.
  16. There have always been ATM machines.
  17. The President has always addressed the nation on the radio on Saturday.
  18. We have always been able to receive television signals by direct broadcast satellite.
  19. Cities have always been trying to ban the possession and sale of handguns.
  20. Watergate is as relevant to their lives as the Teapot Dome scandal.
  21. They have no idea that a "presidential scandal" once meant nothing more than Ronald Reagan taking President Carter's briefing book in "Debategate."
  22. They have never referred to Russia and China as "the Reds."
  23. Toyotas and Hondas have always been made in the United States.
  24. There has always been a national holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.
  25. Three Mile Island is ancient history, and nuclear accidents happen in other countries.
  26. Around-the-clock coverage of congress, public affairs, weather reports, and rock videos has always been available on cable.
  27. Senator Phil Gramm has always been a Republican.
  28. Women sailors have always been stationed on U.S. Navy ships.
  29. The year they were born, the New York Times announced that the "boom in video games," a fad, had come to an end.
  30. Congress has been questioning computer intrusion into individuals' personal lives since they were born.
  31. Bear Bryant has never coached at Alabama.
  32. They have always been able to afford Calvin Klein.
  33. Coors Beer has always been sold east of the Mississippi, eliminating the need for Burt Reynolds to outrun the authorities in the Smokey and the Bandit films.
  34. They were born the same year that Ebony and Ivory lived in perfect harmony.
  35. The year they were born, Dustin Hoffman wore a dress and Julie Andrews wore a tuxedo.
  36. Elton John has only been heard on easy listening stations.
  37. Woodstock is a bird or a reunion, not a cultural touchstone.
  38. They have never heard a phone "ring."
  39. They never dressed up for a plane flight.
  40. Hurricanes have always had men's and women's names.
  41. Lawn darts have always been illegal.
  42. "Coming out" parties celebrate more than debutantes.
  43. They only know Madonna singing American Pie.
  44. They neither know who Billy Joe was, nor wondered what he was doing on the Talahatchee Bridge.
  45. They never thought of Jane Fonda as "Hanoi Jane," nor associated her with any revolution other than the "Fitness Revolution" videotape they may have found in the attic.
  46. The Osmonds are talk show hosts.
  47. They have never used a bottle of "White Out."
  48. If they vaguely remember the night the Berlin Wall fell, they are probably not sure why it was up in the first place.
  49. "Spam" and "cookies" are not necessarily foods.
  50. They feel more danger from having sex and being in school, than from possible nuclear war.

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