[Paleopsych] Beloit College Releases the Mindset List for the Class of 2009

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Beloit College Releases the Mindset List for the Class of 2009

    For an archive of past years' Mindset Lists, click on the Middle
    College symbol.

    [2]Ron Nief
    (608) 363-2625

                            FOR THE CLASS OF 2009

    Beloit, Wis.--In the coming weeks, millions of students will be
    entering college for the first time. On average, these members of the
    Class of 2009 will be 18 years old, which means they were born in
    1987. Starbucks, souped-up car stereos, telephone voicemail systems,
    and Bill Gates have always been a part of their lives.

    Each August, as students start to arrive, Beloit College releases the
    Beloit College Mindset List, which offers a world view of today's
    entering college students. It is the creation of Beloits Keefer
    Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride and Director of Public Affairs
    Ron Nief.

    McBride, who directs Beloits First Year Initiatives (FYI) program for
    entering students, notes that "This years entering students have grown
    up in a country where the main business has become business, and where
    terrorism, from obscure beginnings, has built up slowly but surely to
    become the threat it is today. Cable channels have become as
    mainstream as the 'Big 3' used to be, formality in dress has become
    more quaint than ever, and Aretha Franklin, Kermit the Frog and Jimmy
    Carter have become old-timers."

    Each year, according to Nief, When Beloit releases the Mindset List,
    it is the birth year of the entering students that is the most
    disturbing fact for most readers. This year will come as no exception
    and, once again, the faculty will remain the same age as the students
    get younger.

    The list is distributed to faculty on campus during the New Students
    Days orientation. According to McBride, It is an important reminder,
    as faculty start to show signs of hardening of the references, that we
    think about the touchstones and benchmarks of a generation that has
    grown up with CNN, home computers, AIDS awareness, digital cameras and
    the Bush political dynasty. We should also keep in mind that these
    students missed out on the pleasures of being tossed in the back of a
    station wagon with a bunch of friends and told to keep the noise down,
    walking in the woods without fearing Lyme Disease, or setting out to
    try all of the 28 ice cream flavors at Howard Johnsons.

    According to Nief, This is not serious in-depth research. It is meant
    to be thought-provoking and fun, yet accurate. It is as relevant as
    possible, given the broad social and geographic diversity of our
    students, who are drawn from every state and 50 countries. It is
    always open to challenge, which has an additional benefit in that it
    reminds us of students varied backgrounds. It is still a good
    reflection of the attitudes and experiences of the young people that
    we must be aware of from the first day of their college experience.


    Most students entering college this fall were born in 1987.

    1.  Andy Warhol, Liberace, Jackie Gleason, and Lee Marvin have always
    been dead.

    2.  They don't remember when "cut and paste" involved scissors.

    3.  Heart-lung transplants have always been possible.

    4.  Wayne Gretzky never played for Edmonton.

    5.  Boston has been working on "The Big Dig" all their lives.

    6.  With little need to practice, most of them do not know how to tie
    a tie.

    7.  Pay-Per-View television has always been an option.

    8.  They never had the fun of being thrown into the back of a station
    wagon with six others.

    9.  Iran and Iraq have never been at war with each other.

    10.  They are more familiar with Greg Gumbel than with Bryant Gumbel.

    11.  Philip Morris has always owned Kraft Foods.

    12.  Al-Qaida has always existed with Osama bin Laden at its head.

    13.  They learned to count with Lotus 1-2-3.

    14.  Car stereos have always rivaled home component systems.

    15.  Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker have never preached on television.

    16.  Voice mail has always been available.

    17.  "Whatever" is not part of a question but an expression of sullen

    18.  The federal budget has always been more than a trillion dollars.

    19.  Condoms have always been advertised on television.

    20. They may have fallen asleep playing with their Gameboys in the

    21.  They have always had the right to burn the flag.

    22.  For daily caffeine emergencies, Starbucks has always been around
    the corner.

    23.  Ferdinand Marcos has never been in charge of the Philippines.

    24.  Money put in their savings account the year they were born earned
    almost 7% interest.

    25.  Bill Gates has always been worth at least a billion dollars.

    26.  Dirty dancing has always been acceptable.

    27.  Southern fried chicken, prepared with a blend of 11 herbs and
    spices, has always been available in China.

    28.  Michael Jackson has always been bad, and greed has always been

    29.  The Starship Enterprise has always looked dated.

    30.  Pixar has always existed.

    31. There has never been a "fairness doctrine" at the FCC.

    32.  Judicial appointments routinely have been "Borked."

    33.  Aretha Franklin has always been in the Rock and Roll Hall of

    34.  There have always been zebra mussels in the Great Lakes.

    35.  Police have always been able to search garbage without a search

    36.  It has always been possible to walk from England to mainland
    Europe on dry land.

    37.  They have grown up in a single superpower world.

    38.  They missed the oat bran diet craze.

    39.  American Motors has never existed.

    40.  Scientists have always been able to see supernovas.

    41.  Les Miserables has always been on stage.

    42.  Halogen lights have always been available at home, with a

    43.  "Baby M" may be a classmate, and contracts with surrogate mothers
    have always been legal.

    44.  RU486, the "morning after pill," has always been on the market.

    45.  There has always been a pyramid in front of the Louvre in Paris.

    46.  British Airways has always been privately owned.

    47.  Irradiated food has always been available but controversial.

    48.  Snowboarding has always been a popular winter pastime.

    49.  Libraries have always been the best centers for computer
    technology and access to good software.

    50.  Biosphere 2 has always been trying to create a revolution in the
    life sciences.

    51.  The Hubble Telescope has always been focused on new frontiers.

    52.  Researchers have always been looking for stem cells.

    53.  They do not remember "a kinder and gentler nation."

    54.  They never saw the shuttle Challenger fly.

    55.  The TV networks have always had cable partners.

    56.  Airports have always had upscale shops and restaurants.

    57.  Black Americans have always been known as African-Americans.

    58.  They never saw Pat Sajak or Arsenio Hall host a late night
    television show.

    59.  Matt Groening has always had a Life in Hell.

    60.  Salman Rushdie has always been watching over his shoulder.

    61.  Digital cameras have always existed.

    62.  Tom Landry never coached the Cowboys.

    63.  Time Life and Warner Communications have always been joined.

    64.  CNBC has always been on the air.

    65.  The Field of Dreams has always been drawing people to Iowa.

    66.  They never saw a Howard Johnson's with 28 ice cream flavors.

    67.  Reindeer at Christmas have always distinguished between secular
    and religious decorations.

    68.  Entertainment Weekly has always been on the newsstand.

    69.  Lyme Disease has always been a ticking concern in the woods.

    70.  Jimmy Carter has always been an elder statesman.

    71.  Miss Piggy and Kermit have always dwelt in Disneyland.

    72.  America's Funniest Home Videos has always been on television.

    73.  Their nervous new parents heard C. Everett Koop proclaim nicotine
    as addictive as heroin.

    74.  Lever has always been looking for 2000 parts to clean.

    75.  They have always been challenged to distinguish between news and
    entertainment on cable TV.

    August 24, 2005


    1. http://www.beloit.edu/~pubaff/mindset/index.html
    2. mailto:niefr at beloit.edu

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