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Beloit College Mindset List 2014

What the Class of 2014 Doesn't Know

Each year Beloit College puts out a list of supposedly startling facts about the kids entering college. Things they don't know or have always taken for granted can provide insight for teachers hoping to put down references that can be picked up, but it probably just makes them feel old.

Yet I'd say the oldest people in the classroom may just be those who created this list. It looks like they just went through Wikipedia's 1992 page — the year most of this Fall's college freshmen were born — and made a list. I found only one surprising (the first one), and some things I didn't even know — and I'm about a decade older!

Here are some moderately illuminating ones. Look below the jump for ridiculousness.

  • Few in the class know how to write in cursive
  • Czechoslovakia has never existed.
  • A quarter of the class has at least one immigrant parent, and the immigration debate is not a big priority.
  • Nirvana is on the classic oldies station.
  • Email is just too slow, and they seldom if ever use snail mail.
  • There have always been women priests in the Anglican Church.
  • Having hundreds of cable channels but nothing to watch has always been routine.
  • Secondhand smoke has always been an official carcinogen.
  • Fergie is a pop singer, not a princess.

Read the ridiculous below.

  • Woody Allen . . . has always been with Soon-Yi Previn. (I wouldn't be surprised if people born in 1992 didn't know who Woody Allen is, so I certainly wouldn't expect them to know the details of his scandalous love life.)
  • They’ve never recognized that pointing to their wrists was a request for the time of day. (I think they could figure this out!)
  • American companies have always done business in Vietnam. (Makes sense, but I didn't know they didn't either.)
  • Someone has always gotten married in space. (They have?)
  • Korean cars have always been a staple on American highways.
  • Walmart has never sold handguns over the counter in the lower 48.
  • Rock bands have always played at presidential inaugural parties.
  • They never twisted the coiled handset wire aimlessly around their wrists while chatting on the phone.

Now show me a kid who's never used anything but a cell phone, and we can talk, Beloit!

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