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Old 08-30-2004, 12:35 PM   #1
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Annual Mindset List

Something that will make some of us feel really old (the rest of you just won't get it).


Beloit, Wis.—This fall, a new generation of students is entering colleges and universities with its own particular view of the world. Most of them are about 17 and were born in 1986.

For the seventh year, Beloit College has distributed to its faculty and staff the Beloit College Mindset List, which identifies some facts of life that distinguish this generation from those that preceded it. One of its primary purposes has been, in the words of co-editor Tom McBride, Keefer Professor of the Humanities at the Wisconsin liberal arts college, an attempt to slow the onset of “hardening of the references” experienced by some faculty.

This year, the list was edited by Professor of Classics Art Robson who regularly teaches in the College’s First Year Initiatives (FYI) program for entering students, along with Public Affairs director Ron Nief. Robson notes that “these first-year students were born in the year that Chernobyl melted down and the Challenger exploded. Clint Eastwood was elected mayor of Carmel, Calif., and the Soviets had been bogged down for the seventh year of frustration in Afghanistan. Domestically we were preoccupied by the Iran Contra scandal, and internationally the Iran-Iraq war continued to reveal a disturbing list of atrocities.”

“The entering class offers to us as teachers both a Rosetta stone of information and unique approaches to the world, and a tabula rasa—a blank slate on which to inscribe the knowledge they will need to pursue careers or further study. The joy of welcoming the new generation makes our work in the classroom rewarding. Each generation is unique, keeping all of us, whether we are teaching classical history or cutting-edge physics, prepared to look at our disciplines with a fresh eye.”


1. Most students entering college this fall were born in 1986.
2. Desi Arnaz, Orson Welles, Roy Orbison, Ted Bundy, Ayatollah Khomeini, and Cary Grant have always been dead.
3. “Heeeere’s Johnny!” is a scary greeting from Jack Nicholson, not a warm welcome from Ed McMahon.
4. The Energizer bunny has always been going, and going, and going.
5. Large fine-print ads for prescription drugs have always appeared in magazines.
6. Photographs have always been processed in an hour or less.
7. They never got a chance to drink 7-Up Gold, Crystal Pepsi, or Apple Slice.
8. Baby Jessica could be a classmate.
9. Parents may have been reading The Bourne Supremacy or It as they rocked them in their cradles.
10. Alan Greenspan has always been setting the nation’s financial direction.
11. The U.S. has always been a Prozac nation.
12. They have always enjoyed the comfort of pleather.
13. Harry has always known Sally.
14. They never saw Roseanne Roseannadanna live on Saturday Night Live.
15. There has always been a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
16. They never ate a McSub at McD’s.
17. There has always been a Comedy Channel.
18. Bill and Ted have always been on an excellent adventure.
19. They were never tempted by smokeless cigarettes.
20. Robert Downey, Jr. has always been in trouble.
21. Martha Stewart has always been cooking up something with someone.
22. They have always been comfortable with gay characters on television.
23. Mike Tyson has always been a contender.
24. The government has always been proposing we go to Mars, and it has always been deemed too expensive.
25. There have never been any Playboy Clubs.
26. There have always been night games at Wrigley Field.
27. Rogaine has always been available for the follicularly challenged.
28. They never saw USA Today or the Christian Science Monitor as a TV news program.
29. Computers have always suffered from viruses.
30. We have always been mapping the human genome.
31. Politicians have always used rock music for theme songs.
32. Network television has always struggled to keep up with cable.
33. O’Hare has always been the most delay-plagued airport in the U.S.
34. Ivan Boesky has never sold stock.
35. Toll-free 800 phone numbers have always spelled out catchy phrases.
36. Bethlehem has never been a place of peace at Christmas.
37. Episcopal women bishops have always threatened the foundation of the Anglican Church.
38. Svelte Oprah has always dominated afternoon television; who was Phil Donahue anyway?
39. They never flew on People Express.
40. AZT has always been used to treat AIDS.
41. The international community has always been installing or removing the leader of Haiti.
42. Oliver North has always been a talk show host and news commentator.
43. They have suffered through airport security systems since they were in strollers.
44. They have done most of their search for the right college online.
45. Aspirin has always been used to reduce the risk of a heart attack.
46. They were spared the TV ads for Zamfir and his panpipes.
47. Castro has always been an aging politician in a suit.
48. There have always been non-stop flights around the world without refueling.
49. Cher hasn’t aged a day.
50. M.A.S.H. was a game: Mansion, Apartment, Shelter, House.

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Old 08-30-2004, 01:01 PM   #2
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Ha ha, I heard this on the radio. I had no idea it originated from Beloit. That's the School of Mongpoovian!

Mongpoovian, come in here and give it up for your alma mater!

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Old 08-31-2004, 11:58 AM   #3
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That makes me feel old and I'm only 22. Since I was born in '82, how can there be that much of a difference in four years? I admit I don't understand a lot of 16-17-18 year olds I know, but wow.
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Old 08-31-2004, 12:11 PM   #4
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They never saw Roseanne Roseannadanna live on Saturday Night Live
This generation is just not prepared to face life!
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Old 08-31-2004, 12:32 PM   #5
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LOL this does make me feel old
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Old 09-01-2004, 01:32 AM   #6
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46. They were spared the TV ads for Zamfir and his panpipes.

Some of us weren't so lucky

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