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August 23, 2011 8:26 AM   Subscribe

It's that time of year. Freshmen are confusedly wandering campuses around the nation in packs, searching for free food, and some good folks in Wisconsin want the kids off their lawn.

Every year since 1998, Beloit College in Wisconsin has put out a "mindset list", ostensibly to inform faculty of what sort of pop culture references the incoming classes won't get. They've told us that Michael Jackson has always been white, George Foreman have always been a barbecue grill salesman, Libraries have always been the best centers for computer technology and access to good software (wait, really?), They have never understood the meaning of R.S.V.P. (does that mean they just text when they're late or that they don't know French?), and have generally made us feel old.

[Previously on the blue: class of '13, class of '12, class of '11, class of '10, class of '07.]
posted by madcaptenor (140 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
The only significant labor disputes in their lifetimes have been in major league sports.

Wisconsin, you say?
posted by Navelgazer at 8:29 AM on August 23, 2011 [118 favorites]


They pressured their parents to take them to Taco Bell or Burger King to get free pogs.

What the hell? Did this fall out of the 1998 list?
posted by griphus at 8:31 AM on August 23, 2011 [24 favorites]


They “swipe” cards, not merchandise.

I assure you, they do both.

Also, this writer does not know what "the digital divide" means.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:32 AM on August 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


“PC” has come to mean Personal Computer, not Political Correctness.

I am shocked to learn that my 1984 IBM PC Jr was a politically correct computer! No wonder that is the only computer I have ever had that I didn't use for porn.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:34 AM on August 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm really, really sad that there is no list from the year I was a first year college student. Sad because I wanted to see such a list and mildly depressed because I'm that old that no list for my year exists.
posted by cooker girl at 8:35 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


There has always been an Internet ramp onto the information highway.

What?

...and the Commodore 64 have always been dead.

I don't think any of those 80s computers will ever truly die. I know there is still an active community for the TRS-80 CoCo, I imagine it's even stronger for the C64. (CoCo 4-eva!)
posted by bondcliff at 8:36 AM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


76. The "mindset list" has always been a mix of useful observations and baffling tone-deafness.
posted by grobstein at 8:36 AM on August 23, 2011 [43 favorites]


The United States has always been shedding fur.

?

There has always been an Internet ramp onto the information highway.

Also, if you say "information highway", they will look at you like you just fell off your penny-farthing and broke the crystal on your vest-pocket watch.
posted by penduluum at 8:36 AM on August 23, 2011 [50 favorites]


This list is silly. Everyone who knows anything about basketball knows who Michael Jordan is. The guy who sells underwear.
posted by IvoShandor at 8:36 AM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Just checked the Mindset list for the year I graduated.

They have never experienced a real recession.

Heh.

Heh.

Sob.
posted by entropone at 8:38 AM on August 23, 2011 [14 favorites]


You know what? I'm 36 and tonight I'm starting a bunch of programming classes at a Minneapolis community college. I'm an incoming Freshman, kind of. Who's thinking about my mindset?

I know for sure Ferris Bueller and Sloane Peterson could not be my parents.
posted by COBRA! at 8:38 AM on August 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


I know for sure Ferris Bueller and Sloane Peterson could not be my parents.

Or, maybe that's how that is in their family.
posted by entropone at 8:39 AM on August 23, 2011 [33 favorites]


McDonalds coffee has always been just a little too hot to handle.

Eh, McDonald's coffee got more handleable due to the lawsuit, not "too hot to handle".
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 8:40 AM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Arnold Palmer has always been a drink.

They aren't going to even know of Arnold Palmer as a drink. They will, however, know who John Daly is. John Daly is an Arnold Palmer + 3 shots of cheap vodka.
posted by mcstayinskool at 8:40 AM on August 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


X. The baby-boomer generation has always been "the man"
X.+1 They probably don't understand the meaning of the phrase "the man"
posted by 2bucksplus at 8:42 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


For my year, 1997, the list consisted solely of "They have never had to read a Beloit Mindset List".
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 8:42 AM on August 23, 2011 [12 favorites]


...and the Commodore 64 have always been dead.

Bullshit
posted by mcstayinskool at 8:42 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


This list gets dumber each year, and less interesting, and is no longer " OMG, look how old we are!" fodder.

It was clever the first time, but, now, they have to dig into facts of little interest to come up with something new each year.
posted by tomswift at 8:43 AM on August 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


RSVP was a track by Pop Will Eat Itself... They used it on the soundtrack for the video game Loaded, where I played a killer captain, and my buddy was a psychotic clown.

Any previous meaning it may have had was eclipsed by this awesome fact.
posted by quin at 8:43 AM on August 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ugh. Poorly written as always. "The United States has always been shedding fur." I can just imagine the backslapping that went on when that one got brainstormed.
posted by padraigin at 8:44 AM on August 23, 2011


Really, the only thing more tired than this list is the obligatory FPP about the list.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:46 AM on August 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


There has always been an Internet ramp onto the information highway.

This is the most irritating sentence they will ever read.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:47 AM on August 23, 2011 [12 favorites]


like you just fell off your penny-farthing and broke the crystal on your vest-pocket watch.

surely you mean your vest-pocket chronometer? Or "time-piece," at the very least? None of that fancy new-fangled vocabulary for you!
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:47 AM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I always find the phrasing on these lists amusing because of their need to fit everything into a weird mold of "X has always been Y" like:

"Women have always been kissing women on television."

Seriously? 24/7 for the last 18 years? Crazy. I must not get those channels.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:48 AM on August 23, 2011 [18 favorites]


I'm really, really sad that there is no list from the year I was a first year college student.

1. the dinosaurs, abe lincoln and horse powered public transporation are mere childhood memories ...

2. walks to school involved barbed wire only going one way

3. we remember where we were when ogg, the rock beating caveman died in a fire invented by kugg
posted by pyramid termite at 8:49 AM on August 23, 2011 [16 favorites]


Frasier, Sam, Woody and Rebecca have never Cheerfully frequented a bar in Boston during primetime.

No, but they and Kelsey Grammer's spinoff have sure as hell cluttered up all the late night and secondary cable channel time slots.

Really, the only thing more tired than this list is the obligatory FPP about the list.

..... and the tired comment griping about how tired the obligatory post is.
posted by blucevalo at 8:50 AM on August 23, 2011


I guess this list is somehow useful for somebody, but it mainly reads like someone who's extremely out of touch wrote it, ironically enough.

I also think the assumption that everyone of a certain age is ignorant of anything that happened before or after they were ages 15-25 is to assume that everyone wears some kind of cultural blinders, and that NO ONE ever studies history, which is a weird thing for a college to assume.

Thanks to the fact that I can READ, I could probably give you a decent summary of what happened in WWII and the Kennedy administration, despite not being alive then. I could even tell you about trends in popular music since I graduated high school, despite having been a grown up and at work and everything when Britney Spears came on the scene.

I have always been fuzzy about why Charles Nelson Reilly was famous enough to be considered a celebrity on game shows, but we all have our weak areas of scholarship.
posted by randomkeystrike at 8:50 AM on August 23, 2011 [11 favorites]


The only significant labor disputes in their lifetimes have been in major league sports.

Writers Guild strike? NY Transit Strike of 2005?

There have always been at least two women on the Supreme Court, and women have always commanded U.S. Navy ships.

Darlene Iskra took command of the USS OPPORTUNE in December 1990. So that part could have applied to the last few classes too...

Altar girls have never been a big deal.

True, the Vatican approved "altar girls" in 1994 (at the option of local bishops and priests). But bad timing on suggesting that it has "never been a big deal".
posted by Jahaza at 8:50 AM on August 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm 36 and ... an incoming Freshman, kind of. Who's thinking about my mindset?

No-one, because you are nearly dead.
posted by biffa at 8:51 AM on August 23, 2011 [16 favorites]


Tone deaf as usual, I see.

The first year's list (class of '02) would represent where I fell in the mindset picking order, and I'm always amazed this made the list:

They are too young to remember the Space Shuttle Challenger blowing up.

Seeing the explosion on the tv in my elementary school's library might be the strongest memory I have of first grade.
posted by ndfine at 8:53 AM on August 23, 2011 [10 favorites]


Since this post has to do with college, I hijack it a bit to let students know the following:

If you pay your tuition by cash or check, the govt has now made a no interest deal for your tuition payment. But if you are not wealthy and you pay by credit card, most colleges farm out their collections and you will be charged a fee, mounting up to serious money, to collect on your card payments--the collection place outsourced from the college and you pay them their fee!
Nice to have money, right?
posted by Postroad at 8:54 AM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


This pathetic list reads like it was created by old farts like me.
posted by Kokopuff at 8:55 AM on August 23, 2011


76. The "mindset list" has always been a mix of useful observations and baffling tone-deafness.

From "my" list, in 2006
28. Males do not carry a handkerchief in a back pocket.
Tone deaf, indeed.

My favorite part is the bit at the end
And in 1984, perhaps it was "Too Soon to Tell"...
* The National Children and Youth Fitness Study announced that children were overweight and underactive.
* Videotape technology was said to be killing the film industry and slowing cable network development.
And yet even with a much longer view of history than me, adults in 2006 were still wringing their hands about childhood obesity and digital piracy.
posted by muddgirl at 9:00 AM on August 23, 2011


I think this list was better if it was just a list of movies, tv shows, and songs that could have been on in the background while the parents of this incoming generation were fucking.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:02 AM on August 23, 2011 [16 favorites]


...on in the background while the parents of this incoming generation were fucking.

My friends and I play the "conceive to" game all the time, and it never fails to leave everyone depressed. For instance: a kid conceived to On Avery Island is now old enough to be getting into it. Did I just BLOW your MIND, man?
posted by griphus at 9:05 AM on August 23, 2011 [8 favorites]


At least it doesn't say anything about the kids these days not knowing what an LP is. My mom sent out an email forward that included that gem, and I had to laugh.

Speaking of which, is there a switch that gets flipped that makes moms start sending "Mom Forwards"? My mom has been on the internet for as long as I have, and never forwarded anything other than family news and links to political articles she thought I might like. Suddenly, just a few years ago, she's started spamming me with HTML emails sporting multiple Fw:'s in the subject line about "amazing" photos and motivational sayings in 20px italic type.

Who are you, and what have you done with my Mom?
posted by brundlefly at 9:08 AM on August 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


Suddenly, just a few years ago, she's started spamming me with HTML emails sporting multiple Fw:'s in the subject line about "amazing" photos and motivational sayings in 20px italic type.

Maybe enough people started sending them to her that she started to think This Is What People Do Now?
posted by madcaptenor at 9:10 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Speaking of which, is there a switch that gets flipped that makes moms start sending "Mom Forwards"?

It's called Facebook now.
posted by hijinx at 9:10 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


They’ve always gone to school with Mohammed and Jesus.

What? Is this something I'm too old to understand, or are they just referencing the relatively large percentage of Arab Americans and latinos among this generation, when contrasted with earlier generations?
posted by gurple at 9:11 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


gurple: that's what I thought, although I didn't even realize that "Jesus" meant "Jesús". I guess they don't have accent marks in Wisconsin.
posted by madcaptenor at 9:13 AM on August 23, 2011


We used to have accent marks, but the governor took them away.
posted by echo target at 9:17 AM on August 23, 2011 [15 favorites]


I guess they don't have accent marks in Wisconsin.

Scott Walker something something Budget Cuts something.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:17 AM on August 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ha!
posted by joe lisboa at 9:17 AM on August 23, 2011


Most of this is pretty well-duh, but one jumped out at me: the one about more people traveling to Latin American than to Europe.

That's an interesting cultural shift — and potentially real news to some people, since I don't think I've seen any hand-wringy kids-these-days articles about the decline of backpacking-around-Italy. The rest of these could have been written by a Martian with a subscription to USA today. It's all shit that's been rehashed a gabillion times.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:20 AM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


At what point will "Obvious and poorly phrased lists about the putative mindset of the incoming freshman class have always spewed forth annually from Beloit" make the list?
posted by Bromius at 9:28 AM on August 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


At what point will "Obvious and poorly phrased lists about the putative mindset of the incoming freshman class have always spewed forth annually from Beloit" make the list?

2016
posted by Navelgazer at 9:31 AM on August 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


I also think the assumption that everyone of a certain age is ignorant of anything that happened before or after they were ages 15-25 is to assume that everyone wears some kind of cultural blinders, and that NO ONE ever studies history, which is a weird thing for a college to assume.

*sigh*

As always, the point of the list is to remind college-level teachers that what they assume to be known by first years may not be known, not that they are all ignoramuses who cannot read. It's practically the exact inverse of what you said.

Basically, it's telling them to avoid making that witty reference to something they think everyone knows and having it fall flat and making them look out of touch -- something a bit like Michele Bachmann referring to our fears of the "rise of the Soviet Union".
Oh, God. I just added "Bachmann" to my spell-check. Kill me now.
posted by dhartung at 9:35 AM on August 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


There have always been at least two women on the Supreme Court, and women have always commanded U.S. Navy ships.

I'm pretty sure there was only one woman on the Supreme Court between O'Connor's retirement in 2006 and Sotomayor's appointment in 2009.
posted by Awkward Philip at 9:40 AM on August 23, 2011


Basically, it's telling them to avoid making that witty reference to something they think everyone knows and having it fall flat and making them look out of touch

Luckily (?) for my schtick, there is something of an 80s revival or at least a retro-gaming / retro-pop culture renaissance afoot, so when I mention something about a Flux capacitor at least half of the class seems to know what I am referring to.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:41 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


*sigh*

It's okay. Let's get a chai latte and talk it out.
posted by longsleeves at 9:42 AM on August 23, 2011


This year's list seems less ground-shaking and more concerned with scraps of minutiae.
Dont think the grads of 2011 give a shit at all about OJ for instance.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 9:44 AM on August 23, 2011


As a college professor I sometimes forget that while 5 years isn't long to me, it's a heck of a long time for someone 18. A reference to something a mere 5 (or 8) years past sometimes falls like a thud in class.

Though they all know the Beatles, I had a class where only one student had heard of Bob Dylan, and another where most didn't know who Marilyn Monroe was.

Being as I don't recognize most musical artists they like, and I've had to have Snookie and Kardashians explained to me (and I'm still not really sure) connections on pop culture can be an amusing challenge from both sides.
posted by cccorlew at 9:46 AM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have always been fuzzy about why Charles Nelson Reilly was famous enough to be considered a celebrity on game shows

Not to mention Kitty Carlisle; and I am old enough to have watched said game shows after school. I think that is one of the great unanswered questions.
posted by TedW at 9:53 AM on August 23, 2011


Today's Metafilter entering class:

1. Have always had the opportunity to AskMe, Talk, share Projects, post Jobs and "meet-up" IRL.

2. Don't know that there was a time when you couldn't just pay $5 for a membership.

3. Think Restless Nomad has always been a mod and that Joe Beese has always been Trurl.

4. Think "Six Colors" has always referred just to the different backgrounds of the MeFi subsites.

5. Have always had a mobile version of the site.

6. Never knew Quonsar as an active member, and they don't know what makes him so secretive.

7. Are all "special snowflakes" querying the "hivemind"!

8. Never used the image tag.

9. Have always been able to ask an anonymous question.

10. They never saw Metafilter back when it was really good, before all the grar, and everything was all scmoopy all the time.

11. Think Givewell is a pretty neat idea.

12. Don't have cameras, have never worn a fedora, and never received an anonymous banjo.

Actually, it's kind of fun to make up these stupid lists; I can see how Beloit got hooked.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 10:02 AM on August 23, 2011 [49 favorites]


Dont think the grads of 2011 give a shit at all about OJ

Meanwhile, a Florida farmer looks up from his monitor, glowers at his wife, then kicks the cat.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:02 AM on August 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


I have always been fuzzy about why Charles Nelson Reilly was famous enough to be considered a celebrity on game shows

It is because he is scrumtrulescent.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:04 AM on August 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


>I have always been fuzzy about why Charles Nelson Reilly was famous enough to be considered a celebrity on game shows<

I recommend the DVD of his one man show about his life, "The life of Reilly". Surprisingly good.
posted by bongo_x at 10:07 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


clearly those folks at beloit came up with maybe ten good bits, and for the rest, just resorted to parsing facts out of an "it happened in 1993" list.
posted by rude.boy at 10:12 AM on August 23, 2011


"Women have always been kissing women on television."

Seriously? 24/7 for the last 18 years? Crazy. I must not get those channels.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:48 AM on August 23 [5 favorites +] [!]


Showtime and HBO? I can't recall a single cable series I've seen in recent history that hasn't at some point had some gratuitous lesbian titillation. Seriously, they could have a miniseries about two men comparing their erect penises, and the part of each man would be played by two women making out. "Guest starring Melissa and Cara as 'Geoffrey, the Erection Master'."
posted by FatherDagon at 10:19 AM on August 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


``My" list is the class of 2002 list, and nearly every item on that list was wrong when I was a freshman.
posted by yeolcoatl at 10:22 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


From my list of 2007: They knew how to pop a Popple and trade a Pog.

Apparently pogs are immortal.
posted by DoubleLune at 10:27 AM on August 23, 2011


I remember one from a few years ago when they said the incoming class had never "rolled up" or "rolled down" a window in a car. Not only can you still get new cars with manual windows (e.g. Toyota Matrix with no Convenience Package), there are a ton of used cars with manual windows. And poor freshmen are the most likely group to buy this kind of car!

“PC” has come to mean Personal Computer, not Political Correctness.

It means both. To me, it meant Personal Computer first, and then it meant both.
"Class of 2001", although I did not graduate that year
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 10:32 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


My girlfriend had one of her student workers tell her that she wished she'd been around in the '90s, because that decade had the best music ever.
posted by klangklangston at 10:33 AM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


My girlfriend had one of her student workers tell her that she wished she'd been around in the '90s, because that decade had the best music ever.

Wailing & gnashing of teeth.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 10:35 AM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Question: were Pogs ever really a thing anywhere? I just remember them being this totally fabricated "fad" that never actually took off with the kids. And I was one of those kids. Was my experience anomalous?
posted by Navelgazer at 10:41 AM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


1. Doom Patrol has always been disappointing and incoherent.
2. Vertigo has always been the best comics imprint.
3. Superman has always been resurrected (and usually, there's more than one of him).
4. Harry Osborn has always been the Green Goblin.
5. The Tick has never been a current comic book.
6. Comic books have always had hologram covers.
7. Deadpool has always had his own title.
8. Cable has always been Scott Summers' and Madelyne Pryor's kid.
9. The New Mutants have always been X-Force.
10. Hellboy has always investigated the paranormal.
posted by klangklangston at 10:42 AM on August 23, 2011 [8 favorites]


The 2002 one is kind of right, although they're underestimating what kids would remember from childhood. I remember pull-top cans, Atari, Styrofoam containers from McDonalds, Beta tapes, the Challenger explosion, 13 channels, etc.

For the class of 2007, maybe all of this is true. (Except for the record player thing. Maybe they wouldn't remember a record player at mom's house, but records were collectible, and turntables still existed at night clubs, in 2003).
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 10:43 AM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think this list was better if it was just a list of movies, tv shows, and songs that could have been on in the background while the parents of this incoming generation were fucking.

You and your fucking lists!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:44 AM on August 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


turntables still existed at night clubs, in 2003

Except that they would have been 10 years old in 2003 and therefore not frequenting nightclubs...
posted by Sophie1 at 10:46 AM on August 23, 2011


I just remember them being this totally fabricated "fad" that never actually took off with the kids.

They were pretty popular in Brooklyn around 1996 or so. Mostly with the boys, as these things go, but girls got into it too. Merchandise -- pogs, slammers, cases, plastic display sheets for 3-ring binders -- was in every store around here. The government and doctors and dentists gave them out with safety and health tips. You could even find accessories in those school book club catalogs. They faded off the scene pretty fast but they made a good impression. Looking back on it, it did feel distinctly manufactured, but it did take off pretty well.
posted by griphus at 10:48 AM on August 23, 2011


Question: were Pogs ever really a thing anywhere? I just remember them being this totally fabricated "fad" that never actually took off with the kids. And I was one of those kids. Was my experience anomalous?


No you are absolutely correct.

But remember Alf? Well he's back. In pog form.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 10:48 AM on August 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


Except that they would have been 10 years old in 2003 and therefore not frequenting nightclubs...

What I meant to say was, most of the 2002 list would more properly apply to the class of 2007 (who were 18 in 2003). Except for record players, which these lists always seem to be wrong about.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 10:51 AM on August 23, 2011


The 2002 list is supposed to apply to me, but a good deal of them are wrong. I knew Regan was shot; I remember Challenger; I most definitely knew what a record player was, among other things.
posted by Medieval Maven at 10:54 AM on August 23, 2011


But remember Alf? Well he's back. In pog form.

I bet incoming freshmen don't get any aspect of that reference.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:56 AM on August 23, 2011 [10 favorites]


There has never been an official Communist Party in Russia.
Wait, what?
posted by hat_eater at 11:01 AM on August 23, 2011


I remember pogs being a pretty popular fad at my middle school. Must have been 94 or 95. If I remember correctly it slotted in just after pencil-break and before Magic the Gathering.
posted by kmz at 11:04 AM on August 23, 2011


No you are absolutely correct.
But remember Alf? Well he's back. In pog form.

You guys should check out some communities other than metafilter. Every once in a while there is a pog nostalgia kick and people post pics of all the awesome slammers they still own. OJ Slammer (for the record, that isn't mine, I was already in college)
posted by Ad hominem at 11:06 AM on August 23, 2011


How about: they've never had to program JavaScript without jQuery or Prototype.

assuming they didn't start till programming till after 13/14. doing a lot of web stuff lately...
posted by sbutler at 11:13 AM on August 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't understand how the class of 2002 remembers seeing the Challenger explosion. It happened in 1986. So if you were 18 in 2002, you would have been two years old in 1986. Certainly you wouldn't have been in first grade.
posted by desjardins at 11:13 AM on August 23, 2011


desjardins, it's college class, not high school class. They're closer to 21 or 22 than 18.
posted by Jahaza at 11:15 AM on August 23, 2011


2002 is the year of college graduation, so in 2002 you'd be around 22, which would have made you around 5-6 in 1986.

But if you think that's weird, think about this: that list says those kids wouldn't remember Challenger, but they'd absolutely remember Black Friday, one year later.
posted by Errant at 11:16 AM on August 23, 2011


> I also think the assumption that everyone of a certain age is ignorant of anything that
> happened before or after they were ages 15-25 is to assume that everyone wears some
> kind of cultural blinders

Starting with the very first high school senior/college freshman cohort I ever knew (my own) and continuing to this day, the sort of young person I seem to encounter knows all kinds of obscure, unexpected, and remarkable things.

I admit I have never met a Beloit freshmen, and I suppost the writers of these lists know them better than I do.
posted by jfuller at 11:18 AM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


desjardins, College class of 2002. High school class of 1998.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:18 AM on August 23, 2011


No, the list says it's specifically for incoming freshmen. Who would generally be about 18.
This year’s entering college class of 2015 [...] Members of this year’s freshman class, most of them born in 1993, are the first generation to ...
posted by desjardins at 11:21 AM on August 23, 2011


Incoming Beloit Freshmen think earthquakes happen in DC.

(seriously, WTF?)
posted by Navelgazer at 11:23 AM on August 23, 2011


right, desjardins. 2015-1993 = 22
posted by Navelgazer at 11:24 AM on August 23, 2011


The United States has always been shedding fur.

Uh, what?
posted by asnider at 11:28 AM on August 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also: pogs were a fade when I was a kid. I would have been the class of 2001, so that particular item appears to be about 10 years out of date.
posted by asnider at 11:35 AM on August 23, 2011


asnider: PETA.
Hey, it beats throwing paint on society ladies, which is how these protests used to work.
posted by dhartung at 11:48 AM on August 23, 2011


Well, "incoming freshmen = 22 years old" doesn't make any sense. But neither does this list, so whatever.
posted by desjardins at 11:50 AM on August 23, 2011


jesus nevermind. I'm going to go away now.
posted by desjardins at 11:51 AM on August 23, 2011


desjardins, the nomenclature threw me for a loop, but "the incoming class of 2002" is how they referred to us as college freshman. And I do remember Challenger. Of course, I also remember my grandmother dying when I was 3, so maybe I'm weird.
posted by Medieval Maven at 11:52 AM on August 23, 2011


Well, "incoming freshmen = 22 years old" doesn't make any sense. But neither does this list, so whatever.

They're incoming freshmen RIGHT NOW. They will be GRADUATING in 2015. The phrasing they use is weird and awkward, but it makes sense. Hopefully, my obnoxious capitalization helps to clear up the confusion.
posted by asnider at 11:56 AM on August 23, 2011


How is that strange phrasing? I graduated in 2005. Thus I will always be a member of the graduating class of 2005, even if the current year is not 2005.
posted by entropone at 12:03 PM on August 23, 2011


One of the things I miss most about being a college dropout is that no one will ever refer to me as "maxwelton, 1989" in an alumni magazine.
posted by maxwelton at 12:09 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


> 2. Don't know that there was a time when you couldn't just pay $5 for a membership.

Same as in town.
posted by mmrtnt at 12:17 PM on August 23, 2011


Seriously, does anybody understand the shedding fur thing? It's slowly dawning on me that I haven't stopped thinking about it for hours.
posted by penduluum at 12:20 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have always been fuzzy about why Charles Nelson Reilly was famous enough to be considered a celebrity on game shows

Are you kidding? Look at him! He was famous for being fabulous!
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:20 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Seriously, does anybody understand the shedding fur thing? It's slowly dawning on me that I haven't stopped thinking about it for hours.

Answered above in the PETA lnk.

No more fur coats...
posted by mmrtnt at 12:24 PM on August 23, 2011


That is so, so dumb.
posted by penduluum at 12:26 PM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


> I have always been fuzzy about why Charles Nelson Reilly was famous enough to be considered a celebrity on game shows

The Dead Milkmen thought he as famous enough to write a song about.
posted by mmrtnt at 12:27 PM on August 23, 2011


At last, I'm finally old enough to be very happy to be on the other side of a generation divide.
posted by warbaby at 12:28 PM on August 23, 2011


>
That is so, so dumb.


Probably why you and I didn't get it... we're much smarter than that

posted by mmrtnt at 12:28 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just realized what makes this list work!

1. Picture Rawls from The Wire saying all of them.
2. Rework each of them to have the phrase "these assholes" in it.

i.e.: "These assholes have always had free music!"
"These assholes pressured their parents to take them to Taco Bell or Burger King to get free pogs."
"These assholes grew up with George Stephanopoulos as the Dick Clark of political analysts."
posted by Navelgazer at 12:35 PM on August 23, 2011 [13 favorites]


When I took German, there was always a moment when the teacher would realize, "Wait, you people don't remember the fall of the Berlin Wall." That turned into, "Some of you weren't even born when the Berlin Wall fell." My best friend is teaching German 1 this coming semester and will be saying "Wait, you were born after reunification." (Actually, odds are she'll have some students older than her, but an awful lot will have been born after reunification.)

I always feel really old when I mention the loss of the Mars Climate Orbiter to impress upon my students that one should write down the units and none of them remember. Of course, at this point, they won't be old enough to have known in 1999 what metric was.
posted by hoyland at 12:40 PM on August 23, 2011


What all you poo pooing this list don't understand is, they live in Beloit, Wisconsin... Have you ever been there? Because i live in Wisconsin, and Beloit is even worse. ;)

Make lists, because there is fuck all else to do. ;)
posted by usagizero at 12:42 PM on August 23, 2011


How is that strange phrasing? I graduated in 2005. Thus I will always be a member of the graduating class of 2005, even if the current year is not 2005.

It's actually not that strange, in retrospect. But, it is confusing when you haven't gotten enough sleep.
posted by asnider at 1:23 PM on August 23, 2011


Because i live in Wisconsin, and Beloit is even worse. ;)

Are they still telling the joke there about Beloit being the noise a brick makes when you drop it in a toilet? That joke was seriously the best thing about the town.

("BLOIT!")
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:26 PM on August 23, 2011


"Some of you weren't even born when the Berlin Wall fell."

When I tell students "I have T-shirts older than you," the T-shirt I am talking about commemorates the fall of the Berlin Wall.
posted by BrashTech at 1:51 PM on August 23, 2011


When they don't allow Obi-Wan to talk (you'll see him sitting over there on the couch) The Russians have won.
posted by Sk4n at 2:00 PM on August 23, 2011


I am so old I WANT ALL OF YOU OFF MY YARD NOW.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 2:02 PM on August 23, 2011


When I tell students "I have T-shirts older than you," the T-shirt I am talking about commemorates the fall of the Berlin Wall.

A terrible accident it was, the wall falling like that. Communism produced such poor construction techniques.
posted by Hoopo at 2:06 PM on August 23, 2011


Yeah, I tried to explain the importance of a precise, technical definition of limit once via analogy to Supreme Court Justice Stewart's famous quote about not being able to define pornography but knowing it when he sees it. I don't think most of the students in the class at the time got the reference, but they were definitely shocked that their TA mentioned pornography. It was not a very useful analogy, overall.

But the thing about college freshman is that many of them haven't had that much access to a variety of cultural references, whether timely or not - learning about that stuff is part of the point of going to college in the first place. Which means I get the fun of introducing a whole class to xkcd and velociraptors (turns out this can go very well, or rather poorly, depending on the composition of the class - there was that one "eviemath gives really morbid examples!" teaching review a couple years back...); or casually mentioning slashdot to a nerdy, A+ student who I assumed would have heard of it already, to have him show up a couple days later at the final exam extremely sleep deprived but overjoyed at finding a whole community of people online who shared similar interests as him. Among numerous other examples. I like to think of it as an opportunity:)
posted by eviemath at 2:14 PM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


learning about that stuff is part of the point of going to college in the first place.

I remember when I was preparing My Very First College Lectures. I thought "shit, I don't have to say X, every educated person knows X." Then I realized that that is because someone educated them.

I wish I remembered what X was.

Also, I was disappointed when, for zero points extra credit on an exam, none of my students recognized that the story of this xkcd (which I wrote an actual test problem about) came from xkcd. Yes, zero points -- I wanted to see if any of them would know it, but it seemed unfair to give points for knowing it.
posted by madcaptenor at 2:21 PM on August 23, 2011


but they were definitely shocked that their TA mentioned pornography.

Once when I was TAing a calculus course I said, about some particularly hard integral, "you never run into integrals like this in the wild; you only see them when textbook authors are trying to fuck with you." It got their attention, I think.
posted by madcaptenor at 2:22 PM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I also think the assumption that everyone of a certain age is ignorant of anything that happened before or after they were ages 15-25 is to assume that everyone wears some kind of cultural blinders, and that NO ONE ever studies history, which is a weird thing for a college to assume.

Yeah, the correct response to these statements is: "So, do you know anything about what the world was like before you were born?"
posted by John Cohen at 2:31 PM on August 23, 2011


Question: were Pogs ever really a thing anywhere? I just remember them being this totally fabricated "fad" that never actually took off with the kids. And I was one of those kids. Was my experience anomalous?

I not only collected Pogs, I actually played the Pogs game, which means I had at least one or two friends who also collected Pogs to play with. Montgomery, AL, 1994 or 1995 (I think).
posted by naoko at 2:35 PM on August 23, 2011


The Chronicle of Higher Education has a companion list for faculty born before 1980.
posted by ChuraChura at 2:49 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


(it's kind of whiny)
posted by ChuraChura at 2:50 PM on August 23, 2011


Meanwhile, as a member of the class of 2006, do they just think we have epically shit memories?

A Southerner has always been President of the United States.
I remember George H.W. Bush's election, sort of - I had a scrapbook of magazine cutouts, one of which was a spread of First Lady portraits that included both Barbara Bush and Kitty Dukakis, just in case. After the election, my mom pasted in Babs's picture and threw Kitty out - this distressed me greatly, as I thought Kitty was prettier (I was very politically savvy at 4).

South Africa's official policy of apartheid has not existed during their lifetime.
This is just not even true, since it ended in 1994. I remember learning about Mandela's election from Weekly Reader (did other people's elementary schools get those?).

Cars have always had eye-level rear stop lights, CD players, and air bags.

The new Volvo station wagon my mom bought in 1989 had a tape deck, not a CD player.

And this:
Perrier has always come in flavors.
It is completely news to me that Perrier comes in flavors now.

Also, I don't get the "shedding fur" thing, can someone explain?
posted by naoko at 2:54 PM on August 23, 2011


My son was born in 1993 and is in that Class of 2015 group, though he is not in Benoit, Wisconsin, for which, one hopes, he is appropriately grateful.

Anyway, he knows what "vinyl" is because D.J.s scratch them in clubs and he's seen that on TV, but I doubt he knows that D.J. originally stood for "disc jockey" (and apparently, a lot of people who call themselves Deejay _____ don't know that, either).

He has never blown on a record needle to clean it, never changed a needle, and never worried about accidentally scratching his favorite record.

He doesn't know the term "LP" or, until I told him quite recently, that they played at 33.3 rpm and singles at 45 rpm and that's why we called the "singles" 45s.

He does know all about singles, because his mother had a little red Close and Play when she was a kid that only played singles, and her parents still give her a hard time about playing records over and over and over again on it.*

I doubt he has ever even seen that little thing you used to put over the spindle to let you play 45s instead of LPs.

He didn't believe me when I told him about cardboard records.

He never, ever, had to worry about an audio tape getting caught up in the player and coming off the tracks. He knows about 8 Tracks being something that didn't allow you to "shuffle" through them. I explained about flipping over tapes and fast-forwarding or rewinding to hear your favorite stuff until you wore the tape through and he just looked at me like I was a Neanderthal.

*Which is totally not my fault! I only had a few records to play. The Beatles: I Want to Hold Your Hand/I Saw Her Standing There and Do You Want to Know a Secret?/Thank You, Girl ; Vicki Lawrence: The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia/ Dime a Dance (I never listened to "Dime a Dance" because that's just a creepy concept); Gladys Knight and the Pips: Midnight Train to Georgia/total ripoff instrumental version of the same song.

I remember finding my Mom and Dad's cache of old records from when they were younger, but they had stupid songs like Big Girls Don't Cry and Judy's Turn to Cry. I guess girls cried a lot in pre-historic times.
posted by misha at 3:03 PM on August 23, 2011


naoko - the 1992 Ford Escort my mom drove did not have a CD player. Throughout my teen years, she thoroughly embarrased me with a portable CD player hooked up to a set of computer speakers, either sitting in the passenger seat or velcroed to the dashboard.
posted by muddgirl at 3:04 PM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I remember finding my Mom and Dad's cache of old records from when they were younger, but they had stupid songs like Big Girls Don't Cry and Judy's Turn to Cry. I guess girls cried a lot in pre-historic times.

They were just sad about all the stupid songs.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:14 PM on August 23, 2011


The Chronicle of Higher Education has a companion list for faculty born before 1980.

Geez, the author of that list sure has a chip on his shoulder (and a bizarre grudge toward online education).
posted by asnider at 3:22 PM on August 23, 2011


I not only collected Pogs, I actually played the Pogs game, which means I had at least one or two friends who also collected Pogs to play with.

Me too, but the fad lasted for only a month or two at the start of the school year. By the time summer rolled around, we were all back to playing marbles.
posted by asnider at 3:22 PM on August 23, 2011


My 1996 Volkswagen Polo (bought in the Netherlands) has a tape player...
posted by hat_eater at 3:26 PM on August 23, 2011


My 2006 Hyundai Tucson has a cassette player and a 6-disc CD changer. Yes, I do actually play cassettes in it. Because I was born in 1973.
posted by candyland at 3:42 PM on August 23, 2011


So same time next year?
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 3:59 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Women have never been too old to have children."

... someone needs a biology lesson.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 4:01 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


My 1996 Volkswagen Polo (bought in the Netherlands) has a tape player...

The new Fiat Panda we rented in Austria last month had a tape player.
posted by biffa at 4:20 PM on August 23, 2011


Yeah, the CD player thing is weird to me. For my year they mention that the CD was intorduced when I was a year old, (1981) which is true, but that format took forever to become standard. Remember when Wayne's World came out in 1992 and he impressed Cassandra with the portable CD player he put in his car after they got the money for the show? Yeah.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:28 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


The new Volvo station wagon my mom bought in 1989 had a tape deck, not a CD player.

The 2001 Honda Civic sitting in my very own garage has a tape deck.
posted by Daily Alice at 4:31 PM on August 23, 2011


... someone needs a biology lesson.

Science allows us to do...interesting things.
posted by asnider at 5:49 PM on August 23, 2011


When my husband's dad bought him a car in 2000 (when my husband was 16, and also not my husband), he had a choice between the package with power windows or the package with a CD player.

Does that BLOW YOUR MINDS, modern-day-16-year-olds?
posted by muddgirl at 5:51 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


randomkeystrike: "I have always been fuzzy about why Charles Nelson Reilly was famous enough to be considered a celebrity on game shows, but we all have our weak areas of scholarship."

Oh, that one is easy! Charles Nelson Reilly is to Pure Awesome as Chuck Norris is to Manly Pursuits.
posted by dejah420 at 7:44 PM on August 23, 2011


madcaptenor, that's funny because I have a distinct memory of my comp logic TA once saying something during class like "you could use this law to get to this step, but you don't want to shoot your wad all at once" and this one woman in the class gasped. Later I saw said TA at various shows late at night, stuff like Sleater-Kinney and Miranda July.
posted by ifjuly at 8:37 PM on August 23, 2011


I was annoyed when IBM stole the name "PC."
posted by bigbigdog at 8:44 PM on August 23, 2011


I have never been so happy to be 40 years old.

Also, my 2004 Saab has a cassette player and a CD player.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 9:13 PM on August 23, 2011


Class of 2010 here. I've never driven a car without a tape deck fwiw. Also, I know the difference between an LP and a single, and even know about the little plug you put in a single so that it fits on the spindle.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 7:24 AM on August 24, 2011


I am right now preparing a lecture on game theory. I thought it would be good to make a joke about game theory being "the mathematics of strategery". But thanks to the existence of this list (not to any individual item on it, but just the consciousness that Kids These Days are not me) I realized that most of my students probably don't know what strategery is.
posted by madcaptenor at 12:28 PM on August 24, 2011


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