Sunday, August 28, 2011

Like I Didn't Feel Old Already...

Each August since 1998, Beloit College in Wisconsin has released the Beloit College Mindset List, which provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college each fall. The creation of Beloit’s former Public Affairs Director Ron Nief and Keefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride, it was originally created as a reminder to faculty to be aware of dated references, and quickly became a catalog of the rapidly changing worldview of each new generation.

The majority of the incoming class of 2015(!) was born in 1993. Bill Clinton was the president when they were born, so in their lifetime, only one Bush was president and they have no recollection of the Dan Quayle "potatoe" blunder. And for them, Arthur Ashe, Andre the Giant and River Phoenix have always been dead.

The whole list is available on Beloit's website, but here are some of the highlights. Hopefully this won't make you feel as old as it made me!
  1. There have nearly always been at least two women on the Supreme Court, and women have always commanded US Navy ships
  2. Amazon has never been just a river in South America
  3. OJ Simpson has always been looking for the killers of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman
  4. The Communist Party has never been the official political party in Russia
  5. Video games have always had ratings
  6. Music has always been available via free downloads
  7. Major League Baseball has never had fewer than three divisions and never lacked a wild card entry in the playoffs
  8. The expression "Don't touch that dial" means nothing...televisions have never had a dial as far as they know!
Scary, huh?

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