By KELLIE BARTLETT
September 5, 2003 -- Most students entering college this fall were born in 1985. To
help faculty members understand and overcome the
cultural-reference gap between those students and themselves,
Beloit College has released its sixth annual "Mind-Set List."
The list helps counteract "hardening of the references," says
Tom McBride, a humanities professor at the college and
co-editor of the list.
Following is this year's list:
Beloit also issued a short list that describes, from the
entering students' perspective, what sets them apart from most
of their instructors:
Ricky Nelson, Richard Burton, Samantha Smith, Laura Ashley,
Orson Welles, Karen Ann Quinlan, Benigno Aquino, and the U.S.
Football League have always been dead.
- They are not familiar with the source of that "giant sucking
- Iraq has always been a problem.
- "Ctrl + Alt + Del" is as basic as "ABC."
- Paul Newman has always made salad dressing.
- Pete Rose has always been a gambler.
- Bert and Ernie are old enough to be their parents.
- An automatic is a weapon, not a transmission.
- Russian leaders have always looked like leaders everyplace
- The snail darter has never been endangered.
- There has always been a screening test for AIDS.
- Gas has always been unleaded.
- They never heard Howard Cosell call a game on ABC.
- The United States has always had a poet laureate.
- Garrison Keillor has always been live on public radio, and
Lawrence Welk has always been dead on public television.
- Their families drove SUV's without "being fuelish."
- There has always been some association between fried eggs and
- They would never leave their calling card on someone's desk.
- They have never been able to find the "return" key.
- Computers have always fit in their backpacks.
- Datsuns have never been made.
- They have never gotten excited over a telegram, a
long-distance call, or a fax.
- The Osmonds are just talk-show hosts.
- Underclassmen who would be leaving college early have always
been a part of the NBA and NFL drafts.
- They have always "grazed" for food.
- Three-point shots from "downtown" have always been a part of
- Test-tube babies are now having their own babies.
- Stores have always had scanners at the checkout.
- The Army has always driven Humvees.
- Adam and PC Junior computers had vanished from the market
before this generation went online.
- The Statue of Liberty has always had a gleaming torch.
- They have always had a personal-identification number.
- Banana Republic has always been a store, not a puppet
government in Latin America.
- Car detailing has always been available.
- Directory assistance has never been free.
- The Jaycees have always welcomed women as members.
- There has always been Lean Cuisine.
- They have always been able to fly Virgin Atlantic.
- There have never been dress codes in restaurants.
- Doctors have always had to deal with "reasonable and customary
fees," and patients have always had controls placed on the
number of days they could stay in a hospital.
- They have always been able to make photocopies at home.
- Michael Eisner has always been in charge of Disney.
- They have always been able to make telephone calls from
- Yuppies are almost as old as hippies.
- Rupert Murdoch has always been an American citizen.
- Strawberry Fields has always been in New York.
- Rock 'n' roll has always been a force for social good.
- Killer bees have always been swarming in the United States.
- They have never seen a first lady in a fur coat.
- Don Imus has always been offending someone in his national
- For many of them today, it's all about the "bling bling."
- They know who the "heroes in a half-shell" are.
- Peeps are not a candy; they are your friends.
- They have been "dissing" and "burning" things all their lives.
- They can expect to get a ticket for "ricing out their wheels."
- They knew how to pop a Popple and trade a Pog.
- They can still sing the rap chorus to the Fresh Prince of
Bel-Air and the theme song from Duck Tales.