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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Whose Mindset Is It, Anyway? 
23rd-Aug-2013 11:36 am
Elayna 2013
Elayna is in college! Pics on Facebook. Emotional post to follow. But Adam linked to the Beloit College Mindset List, that thing that tries to SHOCK YOU with how old you are and how alien The Kids These Days are. It's always good for an eyeroll, but this year I have the perspective of a parent of an actual incoming freshman.

So. This list.

The Mindset List for the Class of 2017

For this generation of entering college students, born in 1995, Dean Martin, Mickey Mantle, and Jerry Garcia have always been dead.

1. Eminem and LL Cool J could show up at parents’ weekend.

...okay, her biological father was kind of a low-grade rock star, but no.

2. They are the sharing generation, having shown tendencies to share everything, including possessions, no matter how personal.

HAHAHA no. Have you seen my daughter's Facebook? Probably not.

3. GM means food that is Genetically Modified.
4. As they started to crawl, so did the news across the bottom of the television screen.
5. “Dude” has never had a negative tone.

I'll grant them these.

6. As their parents held them as infants, they may have wondered whether it was the baby or Windows 95 that had them more excited.

*side eye* Okay.
a) This is just stupid.
b) Did any of you actually get excited about Windows 95?
c) This is the first of many items on this list that have nothing to do with the students.

7. As kids they may well have seen Chicken Run but probably never got chicken pox.

Uh, no, she had chicken pox. And got it from kids at school. Soooo I'm pretty sure this is not a universal. Yes, the vaccine existed, but at the time we didn't know if it would provide lifelong immunity or if it would wear off in ~20 years. Chicken pox is inconvenient in kids, but hellish and not-uncommonly-fatal in adults. So Elayna isn't the only incoming freshman who's had chicken pox.

8. Having a chat has seldom involved talking.

>.> Unless you have a family with a vocabulary?

9. Gaga has never been baby talk.

Y'all, Lady Gaga just happened.

10. They could always get rid of their outdated toys on eBay.

...does your kid use eBay? Has your kid EVER used eBay? Has your kid ever typed "ebay.com" into their browser window?

11. They have known only two presidents.

Yeah okay.

12. Their TV screens keep getting smaller as their parents’ screens grow ever larger.

...I literally don't understand this one. Is this an iPhone thing? Are we getting into CLASS ISSUES, Beloit? If not, I genuinely don't understand. And do people watch TV on their iPhones anyway? Elayna watches TV with us. On our TV. I'm confused.

13. PayPal has replaced a pen pal as a best friend on line.

So all of that chatting that she's doing is not with her friends? Who do you think she's chatting with, Beloit? (Also she doesn't have a PayPal account so nyah.)

14. Rites of passage have more to do with having their own cell phone and Skype accounts than with getting a driver’s license and car.

Getting a Skype account was ten seconds of typing one day that she doesn't even remember. Her rite of passage? Voting.

15. The U.S. has always been trying to figure out which side to back in Middle East conflicts.


16. A tablet is no longer something you take in the morning.

The words you're looking for are "pill" and "iPad", but that doesn't work in your tortured framing, so.

17. Threatening to shut down the government during Federal budget negotiations has always been an anticipated tactic.


18. Growing up with the family dog, one of them has worn an electronic collar, while the other has toted an electronic lifeline.


19. Plasma has never been just a bodily fluid.

Uh, no, because SCIENCE. Fundamental state of matter, y'all.

20. The Pentagon and Congress have always been shocked, absolutely shocked, by reports of sexual harassment and assault in the military.

....you don't even want me to touch this one.

21. Spray paint has never been legally sold in Chicago.

Does anyone not in Chicago know this, even?

22. Captain Janeway has always taken the USS Voyager where no woman or man has ever gone before.

I'm sorry, I know some of y'all are Janeway fans, but I have a hard time believing any of these kids have ever seen Voyager. Which went off the air when they were six. Beloit, do you not know about Firefly?

23. While they've grown up with a World Trade Organization, they have never known an Interstate Commerce Commission.


24. Courts have always been ordering computer network wiretaps.


25. Planes have never landed at Stapleton Airport in Denver.

I have no idea what this is even referring to, and doubt that Elayna's classmates know more about it than I do.

26. Jurassic Park has always had rides and snack bars, not free-range triceratops and velociraptors.

Unless... kids.. watch... movies?

27. Thanks to Megan's Law and Amber Alerts, parents have always had community support in keeping children safe.

Again, just don't even get me started on this. When you have cases like the 11-year-old girl in Texas who was gang-raped then victim-blamed and slut-shamed by her community. Just don't you EVEN.

28. With GPS, they have never needed directions to get someplace, just an address.

More class issues, Beloit. You are assuming that everyone has a car.

29. Java has never been just a cup of coffee.
30. Americans and Russians have always cooperated better in orbit than on earth.
31. Olympic fever has always erupted every two years.


32. Their parents have always bemoaned the passing of precocious little Calvin and sarcastic stuffy Hobbes.

And what does this have to do with the kids?

33. In their first 18 years, they have watched the rise and fall of Tiger Woods and Alex Rodriquez.

Pretty sure Elayna has no clue who those two are.

34. Yahoo has always been looking over its shoulder for the rise of "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.”

....this is another one that I straight-up don't get.

35. Congress has always been burdened by the requirement that they comply with the anti-discrimination and safety laws they passed for everybody else to follow.

Burdened? Burdened? ...okay, Beloit. I see you.

36. The U.S. has always imposed economic sanctions against Iran.


37. The Celestine Prophecy has always been bringing forth a new age of spiritual insights.

....so you think that a book that came out two years before they were born, which faded in popularity when they were still in diapers, has somehow shaped them?

38. Smokers in California have always been searching for their special areas, which have been harder to find each year.
39. They aren’t surprised to learn that the position of Top Spook at the CIA is an equal opportunity post.


40. They have never attended a concert in a smoke-filled arena.


41. As they slept safely in their cribs, the Oklahoma City bomber and the Unabomber were doing their deadly work.

What the fuck is this even. I mean, if you want a formative terrorism event, why not September 11? They actually remember that!

42. There has never been a national maximum speed on U.S. highways.

Again, why would they know or care?

43. Don Shula has always been a fine steak house.

But mostly the much-lionized coach of their grandparents' favorite sportsball team.

44. Their favorite feature films have always been largely, if not totally, computer generated.

Wow, I guess Clue and The Princess Bride were really ahead of their time.

45. They have never really needed to go to their friend’s house so they could study together.

...but... they... do anyway? Because even in the digital age, kids still have friends?

46. They have never seen the Bruins at Boston Garden, the Trailblazers at Memorial Coliseum, the Supersonics in Key Arena, or the Canucks at the Pacific Coliseum.


47. Dayton, Ohio, has always been critical to international peace accords.


48. Kevin Bacon has always maintained six degrees of separation in the cinematic universe.

The word you're looking for is not "maintained."

49. They may have been introduced to video games with a new Sony PlayStation left in their cribs by their moms.

Where do I even begin with this?
b) What is up with the neglectful-parents thing in this list? More excited about Windows 95 than about their kids? Dropping a video game console in a crib?
c) How... how can a baby even play a video game, Beloit? HOW.

50. A Wiki has always been a cooperative web application rather than a shuttle bus in Hawaii.


51. The Canadian Football League Stallions have always sung Alouette in Montreal after bidding adieu to Baltimore.

Does anyone have any idea what this is referring to? Not just freshmen. ANYONE?

52. They have always been able to plug into USB ports

I feel like that took a bit to become ubiquitous, but okay.

53. Olestra has always had consumers worried about side effects.

Okay. I looked this up. Olestra products were a Thing only between 1998 and 2000. Only two products on the market after 2000 - when Today's Freshman were 5 - use olestra. If I asked my daughter what olestra was, she would likely have given me a blank stare, because like probably 99% of Today's Freshmen, she would never have encountered it.

54. Washington, D.C., tour buses have never been able to drive in front of the White House.
55. Being selected by Oprah’s Book Club has always read “success.”

Yeah sure.

56. There has never been a Barings Bank in England.

Another one I've never heard of.

57. Their parents’ car CD player is soooooo ancient and embarrassing.

Another one I don't get, and I think that again, we have Beloit just going off on THOSE KIDS AND THEIR GADGETS and having a fundamental lack of understanding of anything remotely relating to teenagers' lives. Because if we didn't have a CD player in the car, Elayna wouldn't get to listen to CDs that she bought at concerts. THE KIDS GO TO CONCERTS, BELOIT.

58. New York’s Times Square has always had a splash of the Magic Kingdom in it.

...where exactly is that splash of the Magic Kingdom? Did I miss something?

59. Bill Maher has always been politically incorrect.


60. They have always known that there are “five hundred, twenty five thousand, six hundred minutes" in a year.

Do they all know this? My daughter is a huge Rent fan, so she knows this. But is this Common Teenage Knowledge? I do not know.

In conclusion I guess I'm really glad Elayna is not going to Beloit, seeing as they have a fundamental misunderstanding of the 21st century in general and their students in particular.
23rd-Aug-2013 03:44 pm (UTC)
Okay, now I have confuzzled-brain-pain. This makes no sense and wouldn't be relevant to my girls who are not much younger than Elayna!
23rd-Aug-2013 03:45 pm (UTC)
GPS isn't just for cars. I think hikers used them before they were ever built into cars. And now many (most?) cellphones have GPS, making it useful to pedestrians too.

Yahoo is claimed to be an acronym (or more likely, backronym) for "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle".

Edited at 2013-08-23 03:48 pm (UTC)
23rd-Aug-2013 03:50 pm (UTC)
Re: GPS: But it's still a class issue, assuming everyone has a smartphone.

Re: Yahoo: Yahoo has never been the search engine of choice for this generation; they've always defaulted to Google.
23rd-Aug-2013 03:47 pm (UTC)
God damn. I usually have to go to Snopes and hang around the inboxer rebellion or the glurge gallery to get anywhere near that dose of pure smug.
23rd-Aug-2013 03:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, for the love of FSM. I think I may have sprained something with all that eye-rolling. *snort*
23rd-Aug-2013 04:03 pm (UTC)
44) Hey, the CGI in The Princess Bride is fantastic. I almost believe that the Rodent of Unusual Size is a real Muppet!

58) I think the writer might be referring to Times Square's storied past as the hub of New York's old red light district. 42nd St. in the late 80s was nothing like 42nd St. today.

The writer for Beloit does seem to be quite classist.
23rd-Aug-2013 08:19 pm (UTC)
There's also a rather ginormous disney store in times square (or at least, there was one a decade ago and this item makes more sense if it's still there), although why that should be important I don't know.
23rd-Aug-2013 04:05 pm (UTC)
The Dayton thing refers to the peace accords signed in 1995, but I'm skeptical that most 18-year-olds (or, really, anyone) would make that their first association or consider it "critical" to international peace.
23rd-Aug-2013 04:13 pm (UTC)
I'm *from* Dayton and I didn't make the connection until you mentioned the 1995 accords. (Which actually took place in Fairfield, not Dayton)
23rd-Aug-2013 04:07 pm (UTC)
When I was a kid growing up near NY, Times Square was considered pretty sketchy, with prostitution and drug dealers and such, and I watched it get Disneyified and gentrified, and people were pushed out and replaced with costumed characters... who now grope people and go on weird racist rants... that one makes sense to me as a NY kid who went into the city a lot, but it's pretty regional.
23rd-Aug-2013 04:08 pm (UTC)
"60 things an out-of-touch old person wrote mostly about young people they don't understand!"

kids these days amirite
23rd-Aug-2013 04:12 pm (UTC)
I got to about 25 before I gave up in puzzlement. I have no idea what half those things mean either.
23rd-Aug-2013 04:19 pm (UTC)
51 refers to the last Canadian Football League team leaving the US and returning to Canada. But that's such an obscure thing that I have no idea why it's on the list.
23rd-Aug-2013 04:21 pm (UTC)
There's a Disney store in Times Square; on the first floor of the actual Times Building (that sliver that mainly exists to support spectaculars (oversized illuminated ads) and the news crawl.

In addition to classism/car obsession, this list allocates altogether too much importance to team sports. Bleah. Glad nobody I know is an alum.

Hope Elayna's having a great time and that she'll also enjoy her classes when they start.

25th-Aug-2013 05:03 am (UTC)
And cars don't have the same meaning for the class of 2017 they had for their parents. So why all the car stuff?
23rd-Aug-2013 04:25 pm (UTC)
"26. Jurassic Park has always had rides and snack bars, not free-range triceratops and velociraptors. 
Unless... kids.. watch... movies? "
Or read books. Wait, it has rides and snack bars? Since when?

Also, I knew about the minutes in a year before ever knowing about Rent, but I don't know how cross generational that would be.
23rd-Aug-2013 04:29 pm (UTC)
There's a Jurassic Park section at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure.
(Deleted comment)
23rd-Aug-2013 04:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, yeah. It's not new to their generation!
23rd-Aug-2013 04:28 pm (UTC)
I was excited for Win95 in the same way that trying new operating systems has excited me since I was a little kid. I have some very generational earmarks and that is not one of them.
23rd-Aug-2013 04:36 pm (UTC)
I recall people being excited in that way about new Mac operating systems, to the point of lining up in front of Apple stores on release day. Not for Windows, ever.
23rd-Aug-2013 04:29 pm (UTC)
that splash of the Magic Kingdom = I assume they refer to the fact that there is now ALWAYS a show on Broadway backed by Disney, and many NYers have been known to say that Disney changed Times Square.

Otherwise, I read the list and my brain went O_o so I'm glad that it's not just me who is "out of touch".
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