Beloit College Helps Profs (and the rest of us) Know What’s Up

Every year, Beloit College puts together “the mindset list,” which reflects the worldview of each incoming class. Initially a way of saying to colleagues “watch your references,” the list has turned into “a globally reported and utilized guide to the intelligent if unprepared adolescent consciousness.”

I noticed the 2016 list floating around the web today – and it really is entertaining. I don’t know the average age of the researchers compiling these lists, but I can see how ‘looking down’ on a generation – not used pejoratively, I merely mean from an outside perspective – impacts what we think they may or may not know.

I’ll admit that I too often agree wholeheartedly with this Jim Gaffigan tweet:

So yes, there are things I disagree with; but there are also several that make me feel old, and several I’m guilty of myself.

Here are my thoughts on the 2016 list:

1. They should keep their eyes open for Justin Bieber or Dakota Fanning at freshman orientation.
Dakota Fanning should not be in college.

3. The Biblical sources of terms such as “Forbidden Fruit,” “The writing on the wall,” “Good Samaritan,” and “The Promised Land” are unknown to most of them.
Do I only find this ridiculous because I attended Catholic school for 13 years?

12. For most of their lives, maintaining relations between the U.S. and the rest of the world has been a woman’s job in the State Department.
This is awesome – and more cause for befuddlement when things like Augusta letting their first women in and a moron having ridiculous notions of the female reproductive system are happening in 2012.

24. White House security has never felt it necessary to wear rubber gloves
when gay groups have visited.

After reading through the list for 2016, I went back and looked at the list for my class. And there are a more than a few things that have me a bit rankled:  

1. I know who the Jolly Green Giant is. Shrek is a different thing, not to mention, an ogre.

8. Since when were tattoos considered chic? Highly visible? Sure. Chic? No.

12. I refuse to let you call it the Willis Tower.

19. I know what R.S.V.P. means.

51. This is not even remotely true. On what classic rock radio stations are you listening to Britney Spears, Beloit College?

52. I have, in fact, been Saved By The Bell.


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