This Year’s Freshman Mindset – I find I’m Old

Nearly two million students are entering college this year, many beginning this month.  In recognition of the unique experiences students bring with them, Beloit College (in Beloit, Wisconson) compiles a list about these new freshmen each year (this is their eleventh).  Kudos to Tom McBride (Professor of Humanities) and Ron Nief (Public Affairs Director) for their work each year.

Members of the class of 2012 was generally born in 1990; will be about 18 years old; and (to them) Sammy Davis, Jr., Jim Henson, Ryan White, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Freddie Krueger have always been dead.

Here are some exerpts about the class of 2012:

  • They have always been looking for Carmen Sandiego.
  • Coke and Pepsi have always used recycled plastic bottles.
  • Shampoo and conditioner have always been available in the same bottle.
  • Electronic filing of tax returns has always been an option.
  • Universal Studios has always offered an alternative to Mickey in Orlando, Florida.
  • WWW has never stood for World Wide Wrestling.
  • Films have never been X rated, only NC-17.
  • Clarence Thomas has always sat on the Supreme Court.
  • IBM has never made typewriters.
  • McDonald’s and Burger King have always used vegetable oil for cooking french fries.
  • The Tonight Show has always been hosted by Jay Leno and started at 11:35 EST.
  • Lenin’s name has never been on a major city in Russia.
  • Caller ID has always been available on phones.
  • Soft drink refills have always been free.
  • 98.6 F or otherwise has always been confirmed in the ear.
  • Radio stations have never been required to present both sides of public issues.

Here is my (unfortunate) reaction to each of these I have chosen (I actually met Sammy Davis, Jr. and well remember the others as living, breathing souls):

  • Carmen Sandiego and I become acquainted through the computer game while I was teaching seventh graders.
  • Coke out of a glass bottle – the real thing!
  • As Steven Wright says, “Boycott shampoo – demand the real thing!”
  • This one surprised me (electronic returns) – I didn’t think it had been available that long.
  • I remember when Disneyworld was built in Florida.  They were secretly buying up land as the Yensid company (or some such name).
  • I remember WWW, and GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling), and even Big Time Wrestling (Man Mountain Mike was my favorite).
  • “You have an NC-17 mind” just doesn’t have the same ring as “X rated.”
  • The whole Clarence Thomas debacle during his confirmation hearings almost made me stop drinking Coke (at least from a can).
  • I learned to type on a manual typewriter (Royal, if I remember right).
  • The fries at McDonald’s haven’t been the same without their famous grease.
  • I still miss Johnny Carson (you really have to watch this link – a minute and a half ovation for one of the all-time greats) – he was so good and so funny.  And, just to start an argument – David Letterman always was, is, and always will be funnier than Jay Leno.
  • I had maps in my classroom that still had the Soviet Union on them as we approached Y2K.
  • I grew up with a party line and a rotary phone – Caller ID was unheard of.
  • Refills may be free, but you pay as much today for a small drink as you would for a two liter bottle.
  • I remember the thermometer under my tongue.  My parents remember it being inserted into a different orifice.
  • This makes me think of Point-Counterpoint with Dan and Jane on SNL.

So… I’m old.  Way old.  Almost 50 (that’s like 100 in teen years).

I'd like to teach the world to sing...

I'd like to teach the world to sing...


4 responses to “This Year’s Freshman Mindset – I find I’m Old

  1. Hmm… I actually know someone who’ll be in that class. The list seems accurate to her point of view.

    I’m sure she would agree that I’m old.
    Thanks for dropping in.

  2. You got to meet Sammy Davis Jr.? Very cool. And Dave will always and always has been more funny than Jay. No argument here. Coke from the glass bottle…that’s still the best way to drink it!

    Oddly enough, yes. And Jimmy Stewart, Scatman Crothers and some other “old” Hollywood types. I wandered into some Hollywood parties one night (back in the late 70s) following the Hollywood Christmas Parade and apparently was welcome (or at least not thrown out).

  3. Cool story about the Hollywood parties!

    The best thing about not having caller ID was that we could make AWESOME prank calls. No longer, my friend…no longer…

    Regarding the parties, I must have some chameleon qualities. I seem to wander into places regularly, but never get run off. People seem to think I belong. It’s kind of fun.
    As far as prank calls go… I just use other people’s phones. It’s kind of fun too.

  4. Haha! Nice. I should try my future prank calls utilizing someone else’s phone.

    My friends and I used to purposely crash parties. If you go in saying you know Brian or John or Dave…someone always says…”Oh yeah! He’s out back…blah, blah.”

    Of course…that was waaay back in my 20’s. I have no idea if it still works.

    I wasn’t smart enough to pretend to know someone. I just walked in like I did. Of course, I was in my late teens (but must have looked older). It does still work for me, just at different kinds of events than those.

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