Beloit College Mindset list

August 22, 2007 at 1:52 pm (things I love)

One of my favorite things about this time of year is the Beloit College Mindset list.  This list proflies college freshman, according to what their worldview is, compared to what things have happened in their life time.  Beliot has been doing this list for about 10 years, but I first became aware of it in 2000, the year that I was about to become a college freshman.  I saw the list in the paper, cut it out, and I have carried it around with me for years.  Beloit does make the point to say that these are generalizations, and will not be true of every incoming freshman student.

So, here is my list, for those of us who entered college in 2000, and graduated in 2004.  the list is based on the assumption that most incoming freshman were born in 1982.  I was born in 1981, so not all of this applies, but i think how we expirence history often has to do with school expirences.  my comments are in italics.

  1. Most students entering college this fall in the class of 2004, were born in 1982. Again, I was born in ’81
  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.” I read it.  but i know there was controversy around it.
  7. A “45” is a gun, not a record with a large hole in the center.  But thanks to my mother, i did know what a 45 was, because we had a whole box of them!
  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. First off, it kind of creeps me out that you can lose something in shag carpeting.  second, my carpet now is a “modfied shag”  i guess it is coming back!
  10. MASH and The Muppet Show have always been in re-runs. I had no idea that i watched the Muppets in reruns.  that is disappointing!
  11. Punk Rock is an activist movement, not a musical form.
  12. They have always bought telephones, rather than rent them from AT&T. Renting Telephones?
  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. really, that is what those movies were about?
  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.  yeah, but i was a wanna be hippie, so i knew about Woodstock
  38. They have never heard a phone “ring.”
  39. They never dressed up for a plane flight.  why would you dress up?
  40. Hurricanes have always had men’s and women’s names.
  41. Lawn darts have always been illegal. yeah, but we had some when i was little!
  42. “Coming out” parties celebrate more than debutantes.
  43. They only know Madonna singing American Pie. no way…Don McClean or nothing!  and yes, i am sure i spelled his name wrong!
  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.” I have!
  48. If they vaguely remember the night the Berlin Wall fell, they are probably not sure why it was up in the first place. I do remember.  watching it on TV and talking about it to my dad, in terms an 8 year old could understand
  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.

So that is my list.  and a lot of those ring very true for me.  Now, here is the list for the incoming freshman this year.  Most of these people are 8 years younger than me.  Again, my comments are in italics.

Most of the students entering College this fall, members of the Class of 2011, were born in 1989. For them, Alvin Ailey, Andrei Sakharov, Huey Newton, Emperor Hirohito, Ted Bundy, Abbie Hoffman, and Don the Beachcomber have always been dead. 

  1. What Berlin wall?
  2. Humvees, minus the artillery, have always been available to the public.
  3. Rush Limbaugh and the “Dittoheads” have always been lambasting liberals.
  4. They never “rolled down” a car window.  I disagree.  my car is a 1990, and you have to roll it down.
  5. Michael Moore has always been angry and funny.
  6. They may confuse the Keating Five with a rock group. I feel like i should know who the Keating Five is, but i don’t.
  7. They have grown up with bottled water.
  8. General Motors has always been working on an electric car.
  9. Nelson Mandela has always been free and a force in South Africa.
  10. Pete Rose has never played baseball.
  11. Rap music has always been mainstream.
  12. Religious leaders have always been telling politicians what to do, or else!
  13. “Off the hook” has never had anything to do with a telephone.
  14. Music has always been “unplugged.”
  15. Russia has always had a multi-party political system.
  16. Women have always been police chiefs in major cities.
  17. They were born the year Harvard Law Review Editor Barack Obama announced he might run for office some day.
  18. The NBA season has always gone on and on and on and on.
  19. Classmates could include Michelle Wie, Jordin Sparks, and Bart Simpson.
  20. Half of them may have been members of the Baby-sitters Club. I think i read every baby sitters club book ever!
  21. Eastern Airlines has never “earned their wings” in their lifetime.
  22. No one has ever been able to sit down comfortably to a meal of “liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.”
  23. Wal-Mart has always been a larger retailer than Sears and has always employed more workers than GM.
  24. Being “lame” has to do with being dumb or inarticulate, not disabled.
  25. Wolf Blitzer has always been serving up the news on CNN.
  26. Katie Couric has always had screen cred.
  27. Al Gore has always been running for president or thinking about it.
  28. They never found a prize in a Coca-Cola “MagiCan.”
  29. They were too young to understand Judas Priest’s subliminal messages.
  30. When all else fails, the Prozac defense has always been a possibility.
  31. Multigrain chips have always provided healthful junk food.
  32. They grew up in Wayne’s World.
  33. U2 has always been more than a spy plane.
  34. They were introduced to Jack Nicholson as “The Joker.”
  35. Stadiums, rock tours and sporting events have always had corporate names.
  36. American rock groups have always appeared in Moscow.
  37. Commercial product placements have been the norm in films and on TV.
  38. On Parents’ Day on campus, their folks could be mixing it up with Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz with daughter Zöe, or Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford with son Cody.
  39. Fox has always been a major network.
  40. They drove their parents crazy with the Beavis and Butt-Head laugh.
  41. The “Blue Man Group” has always been everywhere.
  42. Women’s studies majors have always been offered on campus.
  43. Being a latchkey kid has never been a big deal.
  44. Thanks to MySpace and Facebook, autobiography can happen in real time.
  45. They learned about JFK from Oliver Stone and Malcolm X from Spike Lee.
  46. Most phone calls have never been private.
  47. High definition television has always been available.
  48. Microbreweries have always been ubiquitous.
  49. Virtual reality has always been available when the real thing failed.
  50. Smoking has never been allowed in public spaces in France. I didn’t know that!
  51. China has always been more interested in making money than in reeducation.
  52. Time has always worked with Warner.
  53. Tiananmen Square is a 2008 Olympics venue, not the scene of a massacre. 
  54. The purchase of ivory has always been banned.
  55. MTV has never featured music videos.
  56. The space program has never really caught their attention except in disasters. 
  57. Jerry Springer has always been lowering the level of discourse on TV.
  58. They get much more information from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert than from the newspaper.
  59. They’re always texting 1 n other.
  60. They will encounter roughly equal numbers of female and male professors in the classroom.
  61. They never saw Johnny Carson live on television.
  62. They have no idea who Rusty Jones was or why he said “goodbye to rusty cars.”
  63. Avatars have nothing to do with Hindu deities.
  64. Chavez has nothing to do with iceberg lettuce and everything to do with oil.
  65. Illinois has been trying to ban smoking since the year they were born.
  66. The World Wide Web has been an online tool since they were born.
  67. Chronic fatigue syndrome has always been debilitating and controversial.
  68. Burma has always been Myanmar.
  69. Dilbert has always been ridiculing cubicle culture.
  70. Food packaging has always included nutritional labeling.

So, interesting.  I would love to know if you have any comments about any of these!  You can find all the lists ever done here.


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