Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Welcome, Freshmen!

As has been pointed out a few times in the last few years, the Beloit Mindset List (aka the how old are you compared to college freshmen list) often has weird statements.  One year it included the tidbit that Beethoven has always been a dog, which, first - Beethoven the composer has been dead a really long time.  And my knowledge that there was a movie where a dog was called Beethoven has never impacted my ability to understand there is a composer with that name and suggesting that college freshman would have that issue, well, it doesn't say much for your admission standards. 
But, nonetheless, let me offer my entirely unsolicited thoughts.
The good:
-'"Don't touch that dial!"….what dial?' - I would make fun of this, but, I recently heard someone explain where the phrase "in the can" comes from as if it was novel information, so, clearly there are things in the zeitgeist that people have no idea of their origins.
-"More Americans have always traveled to Latin America than to Europe." Okay, I actually didn't even know this, but very interesting.
-"Public schools have always made space available for advertising." This is an interesting change, although I'm guessing the average college faculty or staff member had a front seat to this.
The duh:
"Grown-ups have always been arguing about health care policy." - In fact, I'm going to guess this has been true much of my life too.
-"They won't go near a retailer that lacks a website." - I worry a little about such things myself.
The huh:
-"American tax forms have always been available in Spanish." Um, I made it to college without ever looking at a tax form.  I'm sure there are plenty of kids far more involved in their family's finances, but I have no idea why this is interesting, or how this helps you relate to today's youth.
-"We have never asked, and they have never had to tell." This, I recognize is supposed to refer to the policy which has been in existence much of their lives.  But it annoys me, because it doesn't really reflect reality or the likelihood of any student's experience, even if that student was in the military. Now this one, is useful: "Women have always been kissing women on television."
-"Unlike their older siblings, they spent bedtime on their backs until they learned to roll over." - I personally have no recollection of my sleeping habits in my babyhood, so, thanks?
-"New kids have always been known as NKOTB." - which assumes that a decent number of college freshmen know who that is at all.
-"Women have always been Venusians; men, Martians." - Do people still talk about that book?  Really?
And the now I feel old:
"Ferris Bueller and Sloane Peterson could be their parents."