Friday, August 31, 2007

The Beloit Mindset List Is Out

Feeling old? Read this and you really will.

This list comes out every fall and makes many of us laugh and groan. It's also a good way to get to know the younger generation. (I can't BELIEVE I am now using that term!)

I'll post tidbits from it here when I return and recover from all my meetings. Meanwhile, here is a teaser. Off I go. The site also has lists from the previous years. Well worth a read.

Each August for the past decade, as faculty prepare for the academic year, Beloit College in Wisconsin has released the Beloit College Mindset List. Its 70 items provide a look at the cultural touchstones that have shaped the lives of today’s first-year students, most of them born in 1989. It is the creation of Beloit’s Keefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride and Public Affairs Director Ron Nief.

Latchkey kids for most of their lives, students entering college this fall think nothing of arriving home with parents still at work, then e-mailing or texting their friends, instantly updating their autobiographies on “Facebook” or “MySpace, and listening to their iPods while doing their research on Wikipedia. They’ve grown up with Rush Limbaugh urging his fellow Dittoheads to excoriate liberals, with having been taught by an equal number of women and men in the classroom, and with women having been hired as police chiefs of major cities.

Food has always been a health concern. Consumer awareness about ingredients and fats has always been energized. They’ve never “rolled down” a car window, and to them Jack Nicholson is mainly known as the guy who played “The Joker.”

As usual, they remind their elders how quickly time has passed. For them Pete Rose has never been in baseball. Abbie Hoffman’s always been dead. Johnny Carson has never been live on TV, and Nelson Mandela has always been free.

As for the Berlin Wall, what’s that?

7 comments:

Paul said...

Jane dear, you really don't need to remind me so forcefully that I am an old fogey, perhaps even a dinosaur.

A fascinating service for those who teach.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Jane, Paul, we is gettin' old, ain't we? Correction: I'm already there.

johnieb said...

I'm right behind ya, Mimi; this survey outran my sense of being generation-gapped decades back. Teaching kept me up, and a younger friend or two, but no more.

I am not going gently, nonetheless; if the light is fading, burn more luminously!

Jane R said...

Right on, JohnieB.

I am feeling old these days -- very strange since for years I was always the youngest one at school, on the job, etc. Those days are gone. I'm older than the parents of some of my students, too! (The younger students; I also have adult students who are from 23 to 50-something.)

And the first-years were born in 1989, the year Barbara Harris was ordained and consecrated as the first woman bishop in the Anglican Communion (I was there, though I wasn't an Episcopalian yet).

Sigh.

I am off to the office for a bit -- we have classes tomorrow, on Labor Day. Barbaric. As barbaric as the fact that classes began two weeks ago. Good thing I have the cat to help with my grumpiness levels -- but she doesn't have to to go school! My colleague and I have spoken of getting an office cat, too. But, as Bush the Elder said, "Wouldn't be prudent." Too bad.

pj said...

Them durned kids with their My-Pods and SpaceFace! (Stands there shaking her cane.)

My classes started last week. At least I don't have any on Labor Day, though.

johnieb said...

Whippersnappers!

Time for some BBQ. Not to worry; the chef is from Alabama.

Jane R said...

Dang -- you are lucky. Though actually, I don't eat bbq because I am a fishy-veggie. But we have to WORK today; Guilford doesn't take Labor Day off, or any other Monday holiday for that matter, except for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. My day today goes nonstop (as in I have to eat lunch at my desk) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with probably some desk work tonight for a few hours.

Maya Pavlova caught her first mouse this morning. Update on blog later, maybe -- or sometime this week. (This is where I get to see whether anyone reads the Comments section a few days after I post a post. ;-))

Enjoy the bbq, all y'all.