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Beloit College's 'Mind-Set List'

Beloit College's 'Mind-Set List' Shows What Separates Today's Freshmen From Their Professors

By Kellie Bartlett

In 1986, the Challenger space shuttle exploded, Chernobyl melted down, and most students entering college this year were born. To help faculty members better understand the pop-culture gap between themselves and their students, Beloit College has released its seventh annual "Mind-Set List."

Following is the list for the Class of 2008:

  • Most students entering college this fall were born in 1986.
  • Desi Arnaz, Orson Welles, Roy Orbison, Ted Bundy, Ayatollah Khomeini, and Cary Grant have always been dead.
  • "Heeeere's Johnny!" is a scary greeting from Jack Nicholson, not a warm welcome from Ed McMahon.
  • The Energizer bunny has always been going, and going, and going.
  • Large fine-print ads for prescription drugs have always appeared in magazines.
  • Photographs have always been processed in an hour or less.
  • They never got a chance to drink 7-Up Gold, Crystal Pepsi, or Apple Slice.
  • Baby Jessica could be a classmate.
  • Parents may have been reading The Bourne Supremacy or It as they rocked them in their cradles.
  • Alan Greenspan has always been setting the nation's financial direction.
  • The United States has always been a Prozac nation.
  • They have always enjoyed the comfort of pleather.
  • Harry has always known Sally.
  • They never saw Roseanne Roseannadanna live on Saturday Night Live.
  • There has always been a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  • They never ate a McSub at McD's.
  • There has always been a Comedy Channel.
  • Bill and Ted have always been on an excellent adventure.
  • They were never tempted by smokeless cigarettes.
  • Robert Downey Jr. has always been in trouble.
  • Martha Stewart has always been cooking up something with someone.
  • They have always been comfortable with gay characters on television.
  • Mike Tyson has always been a contender.
  • The government has always been proposing we go to Mars, and the project has always been deemed too expensive.
  • There have never been any Playboy Clubs.
  • There have always been night games at Wrigley Field.
  • Rogaine has always been available for the follicularly challenged.
  • They never saw USA Today or The Christian Science Monitor as a TV news program.
  • Computers have always suffered from viruses.
  • Politicians have always used rock music for theme songs.
  • Network television has always struggled to keep up with cable.
  • O'Hare has always been the most delay-plagued airport in the United States.
  • Ivan Boesky has never sold stock.
  • Toll-free 800 telephone numbers have always spelled out catchy phrases.
  • Bethlehem has never been a place of peace at Christmas.
  • Allowing women to become bishops has always been a divisive issue in the Episcopal Church.
  • Svelte Oprah has always dominated afternoon television; who was Phil Donahue anyway?
  • They never flew on People Express.
  • AZT has always been used to treat AIDS.
  • The international community has always been installing or removing the leader of Haiti.
  • Oliver North has always been a talk-show host and news commentator.
  • They have suffered through airport-security systems since they were in strollers.
  • They have done most of their search for the right college online.
  • Aspirin has always been used to reduce the risk of a heart attack.
  • They were spared the TV ads for Zamfir and his panpipes.
  • Castro has always been an aging politician in a suit.
  • There have always been nonstop flights around the world without refueling.
  • Cher hasn't aged a day.
  • M.A.S.H. was a game: Mansion, Apartment, Shelter, House.

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