As we college professors welcome incoming freshmen, the class of 2014, it is nice to have the Beloit College Mindset List to guide us.
Each August since 1998, Beloit College has compiled the Mindset List, which provides cultural information that shapes the lives of the year’s incoming college freshmen. According to Beloit, the Mindset List “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.”
Dated references? Does this assume that the typical college professor could ever be out of date? Evidently so, for there are 75 items listed by Beloit to keep us from making generational gaffs.
For example, Item # 1: few in the class know how to write in cursive. Do you mean to tell me that this group has keystroked every word it has ever written? I guess the handwritten thank you note is officially dead. Why write a note by hand that has to be put into the “always going broke post office” (Item # 69) with a stamp when you can email a quick ” thanks”?
And just when we are universally celebrating the tech-savviness of Millennial Generation students, the Mindset List says in Item # 2 that incoming freshmen view email as just too slow, and they seldom if ever use snail mail. Yep, the handwritten thank you note is in fact dead, perhaps replaced by the texted “thx”.
For Mass Communication professors like me, Item # 26 really hurts: Unless they found one in their grandparents’ closet, they have never seen a carousel of Kodachrome slides. Ouch! And, Item #44: the dominance of television news by the three networks passed while they were still in their cribs.
Being a Vietnam Era veteran, Item # 41 really hits home: American companies have always done business in Vietnam.
And of course, music figures prominently on the list. Item # 46: Nirvana is on the classic oldies station. Say it isn’t so!!!
One last item for the gearheads out there; Item # 75 says Honda has always been a major competitor on Memorial Day at Indianapolis.
Tempus sure does fugit.