MINDSET LIST® FOR THE CLASS OF 2009
Shamelessly stolen from:
Most students entering college this fall were born in 1987.
1. Andy Warhol, Liberace, Jackie Gleason, and Lee Marvin have always been
2. They don't remember when "cut and paste" involved scissors.
3. Heart-lung transplants have always been possible.
4. Wayne Gretzky never played for Edmonton.
5. Boston has been working on "The Big Dig" all their lives.
6. With little need to practice, most of them do not know how to tie a tie.
7. Pay-Per-View television has always been an option.
8. They never had the fun of being thrown into the back of a station wagon
with six others.
9. Iran and Iraq have never been at war with each other.
10. They are more familiar with Greg Gumbel than with Bryant Gumbel.
11. Philip Morris has always owned Kraft Foods.
12. Al-Qaida has always existed with Osama bin Laden at its head.
13. They learned to count with Lotus 1-2-3.
14. Car stereos have always rivaled home component systems.
15. Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker have never preached on television.
16. Voice mail has always been available.
17. "Whatever" is not part of a question but an expression of sullen rebuke.
18. The federal budget has always been more than a trillion dollars.
19. Condoms have always been advertised on television.
20.They may have fallen asleep playing with their Gameboys in the crib.
21. They have always had the right to burn the flag.
22. For daily caffeine emergencies, Starbucks has always been around the
23. Ferdinand Marcos has never been in charge of the Philippines.
24. Money put in their savings account the year they were born earned almost
25. Bill Gates has always been worth at least a billion dollars.
26. Dirty dancing has always been acceptable.
27. Southern fried chicken, prepared with a blend of 11 herbs and spices,
has always been available in China.
28. Michael Jackson has always been bad, and greed has always been good.
29. The Starship Enterprise has always looked dated.
30. Pixar has always existed.
31.There has never been a "fairness doctrine" at the FCC.
32. Judicial appointments routinely have been "Borked."
33. Aretha Franklin has always been in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
34. There have always been zebra mussels in the Great Lakes.
35. Police have always been able to search garbage without a search warrant.
36. It has always been possible to walk from England to mainland Europe on
37. They have grown up in a single superpower world.
38. They missed the oat bran diet craze.
39. American Motors has never existed.
40. Scientists have always been able to see supernovas.
41. Les Miserables has always been on stage.
42. Halogen lights have always been available at home, with a warning.
43. "Baby M" may be a classmate, and contracts with surrogate mothers have
always been legal.
44. RU486, the "morning after pill," has always been on the market.
45. There has always been a pyramid in front of the Louvre in Paris.
46. British Airways has always been privately owned.
47. Irradiated food has always been available but controversial.
48. Snowboarding has always been a popular winter pastime.
49. Libraries have always been the best centers for computer technology and
access to good software.
50. Biosphere 2 has always been trying to create a revolution in the life
51. The Hubble Telescope has always been focused on new frontiers.
52. Researchers have always been looking for stem cells.
53. They do not remember "a kinder and gentler nation."
54. They never saw the shuttle Challenger fly.
55. The TV networks have always had cable partners.
56. Airports have always had upscale shops and restaurants.
57. Black Americans have always been known as African-Americans.
58. They never saw Pat Sajak or Arsenio Hall host a late night television
59. Matt Groening has always had a Life in Hell.
60. Salman Rushdie has always been watching over his shoulder.
61. Digital cameras have always existed.
62. Tom Landry never coached the Cowboys.
63. Time Life and Warner Communications have always been joined.
64. CNBC has always been on the air.
65. The Field of Dreams has always been drawing people to Iowa.
66. They never saw a Howard Johnson's with 28 ice cream flavors.
67. Reindeer at Christmas have always distinguished between secular and
68. Entertainment Weekly has always been on the newsstand.
69. Lyme Disease has always been a ticking concern in the woods.
70. Jimmy Carter has always been an elder statesman.
71. Miss Piggy and Kermit have always dwelt in Disneyland.
72. America's Funniest Home Videos has always been on television.
73. Their nervous new parents heard C. Everett Koop proclaim nicotine as
addictive as heroin.
74. Lever has always been looking for 2000 parts to clean.
75. They have always been challenged to distinguish between news and
entertainment on cable TV.
Joe Agro, Jr.
You're _ass_uming that everyone uses the same GUI to read news that you
do. I attempted to clue you in; you apparently haven't noticed the
convention of saying "person" said 'small quote' and then adding your
comments to it. It's called _providing context_ and would improve your
ability to communicate.
You seem, however, to be somewhat clue-resistant. Ah well; your choice.
I've been complaining about this list all day to anybody who would
listen, so hear goes:
I've seen this in previous years, and it always drives me nuts ... I
think the idea is, "What can you reasonably expect from people who have
experienced so little?" But I think you *can* reasonably expect them to
know something about history. I know WW II happened, though I wasn't
around for it. Not having lived through it (or anything--pick your
historical event or cultural phenomenon) is no excuse.
And what definition of "always" means nothing more than "since I was
born"? Glenn Miller hasn't "always" been dead, though he died before I
was born. To say "Heart transplants have always been possible" is just
That said, this is a pretty sobering list ... not because of what this
year's freshmen (excuse me, "first-year students") don't know, but
because it makes me feel old (as does having written this grumpy email,
come to think of it!).
beginning woodworker, advanced-beginning English professor
You *misunderstand* the list. It is _not_ about what they "know" (it is
_not_ produced by polling/surveying the incoming class). It is an 'elder
statesman's declaration' about what the incoming class have/have not EXPERIENCED.
Example: "knowing about" the Great Depression is an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT thing
from having _lived_through_ it. One who did not experience those conditions
(a la "The Grapes of Wrath"), simply cannot understand the mind-set of those
who have lived through the uncertainties of not knowing _IF_ there will be any
food on the table today.
Nit-picking -- you need to read the intro to the list, that Beloit U.
In terms of the "life-experience" of the incoming class, the "absolutes"
you are complaining about _are_ 'accurate'/'valid'.
Heart transplants are _not_ a 'miracle' to someone who was born into a world
where they *are* routinely performed. They are a 'normal' part of life
for that person. They have *no*comprehension* of -- they _cannot_ feel
the 'awe' (or whatever) that accompanied the announcement of the Dr. Brainards
Repeating: it's not about what they "know"/"don't know". it's about what
they have or have _not_ "experienced".
Do you *REMEMBER* the JFK assassination, and the subsequent funeral
proceedings? Do you _remember_ the "feel" of those several days?
(If you're younger than about 50, you *don't*. :)
"Academic knowledge" -- from reading histories, etc. -- cannot convey that
emotional impact. One _is_, simply, 'too far removed in time', from the
Or, as Tom Petty said quite succinctly:
"It's one of those things
You gotta feel to be true"
Unless you experienced it, it's hard to profoundly understand it. I
believe that's why giving someone advice so rarely works... until they
experience it for themselves, it's not "true".
It's about common culture. You can't use the English you use with people of
your generation with the current, because they have a different background.
Metaphors and similes are based on some form of shared understanding. Can't
use them with people who do not have the basis for understanding, which
makes teaching difficult. Normally, when there are blank looks out there in
class, you switch to a different analogy to try and make the connection.for
them. Easier in the sciences, where demonstrations or re-creation of
classical experiments can be used to demonstrate a truth than in English
Literature classes with kids who never learned their Bible. Can't explain
the thought without understanding the metaphor, can't teach the metaphor
without offending some nitwit. Can't teach US History without mentioning
all those dead white guys, because there just weren't a lot of decisions
made, battles fought, or treaties made by black (excuse me African American)
That's what the list is meant to convey, a warning that so much that is
second nature through real or vicarious experience (learning) to the
professors is meaningless to the student.
I was thinking about this list last night, and I realized that it's just
possible, in fact probably true, that some of these kids, born in 1987,
might have GRANDFATHERS that fought in Vietnam. That's weird, isn't it?
OK, stupid(?) question - - re: #36. "It has always been possible to walk
from England to mainland Europe on dry land."
Did I miss the building of the bridge across the channel? I know about the
"Chunnel", but I'm confused.
The greatest headaches are those we cause ourselves.
How about "travel from England to Europe without flying or by ship without
getting wet"?(Unless you're going to stay standing and walk around on the
train) There is no walking or driving through the Chunnel. AFIK, there are 3
ways to travel the Chunnel. 1 - Ride the train, 2 - Put your car on and then
ride the train, or 3 - Put your car on and then ride IN the car on the
train(but I'm not sure about #2)
The greatest headaches are those we cause ourselves.
Yeah, but there really quite similar to previous generations, with the
1) They dress better. Its a generalization, but they seem to wear much more
expensive clothes, have expensive haircuts, and are in general more coiffed
the when I was a kid in the 70's and 80's. When I was a kid guys never would
have put hair gel in there hair or wore an earing. It would have earned you
an ass kicking.
2) They drive better cars. When I got my license I drove a 74 plymouth
satellite my friends nicknamed *the beast*.
3) They have more expensive gadgets, especially cell phones. Even if they
had been available, theres no way most parents of my generation would have
footed an additional monthly bill for a kids cell phone.
Basically they seem to have more money to spend. I don't resent them
although I think its natural for the older generations to have some contempt
for the younger ones. Many(not all) young people need to get life's attitude
adjustment before they really can be considered adults.
3 Things everyone eventually needs to learn are:
1) The world doesn't need you.
2) The world doesn't want you.
3) So you better find a way to make yourself useful.
That does not make you a better person. as for dressing "better", that is
very subjective when I look at some kid with baggy pants half down his ass.
My first was a '53 Mercury Monterey. Very stylish at the time. I
customized it and paid for it myself. Today, the kids select from a list of
options that daddy pays for. How often do you see a car today that has been
"nose and decked" or had "Frenched" tail lights? How about them high
Excepting Messrs. Gleason and Marvin, this is greatly to their
Having suffered through working on a newspaper that was literally cut
out with an X-Acto knife and pasted down with wax, I would not wish
to encumber them with such.
It is we who lived with the possibility. They enjoy a world where it
is a day to day fact. God bless them in their ignorance.
The Great White Whine. Little to be mourned there.
This merely indicates that altruism and public works go hand in hand.
As we have little experience with the proper fixing of a nose ring.
Perhaps for some, although I do not count myself among them.
The only difference that I can perceive between station wagons and
SUV's is the latter's abundance of cup holders.
Surely even a less than keen study of history would prove otherwise.
Familiarity in either instance would certainly breed the same
Differing in their poisonous content only by degree.
But they lack all knowledge of Pol Pot, Papa Doc, George Wallace and
A most decidedly cellular error.
Only in the bassist way.
God bless them, every one. And they don't ken who Tammy Faye and Fawn
Do you not regret the extinction of the secretary?
"Whatever" was never part of a question.
The number of zeros have always been incomprehensible to the preceding
Yes, but that "Clap The Light On" thing has mercifully become past
I promised myself that I would stop before a score. I've barely made
Although the initiator of this swill is to be commended for his
memory, my personal thinking is that the current generation has a
current war to remind them of an earlier one, and it is always thus.
They have a leader who lacks as others have lacked before him, and it
shall always be thus.
They have the problem to solve of how to continue this great
experiment, with a constantly increasing number of variables, and it
is as it has always been - and so shall it be.
God bless them, every one.
Tom Watson - WoodDorker
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.