Posts Tagged ‘college’

Do You Know the Class of 2014?

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Born when Ross Perot was warning about “a giant sucking sound,” and Bill Clinton was apologizing for pain in his marriage, members of the college class of 2014 have emerged as a post-email generation for whom the digital world is routine and technology is just too slow.

Each August since 1998, Beloit College, in Beloit, Wisconsin, has released the Beloit College Mindset List. It provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students. It was originally created as a reminder to faculty to be aware of dated references, and quickly became a catalog of the rapidly changing worldview of each new generation.

The class of 2014 has never found Korean-made cars unusual on the Interstate and 500 cable channels, of which they will watch a handful, have always been the norm. Dirty Harry (who’s that?) is to them a great Hollywood director. The America they have inherited is one of soaring American trade and budget deficits; Russia has presumably never aimed nukes at the United States and China has always posed an economic threat.

Nonetheless, they plan to enjoy college. The males among them are likely to be a minority. They will be armed with iPhones, on which making a phone call will be only one of many, many functions they will perform. They will now be awash with a computerized technology that will not distinguish information and knowledge. So it will be up to their professors to help them.

A generation accustomed to instant access will need to acquire the patience of scholarship. They will discover how to research information in books and journals and not just on-line. Their professors, who might be tempted to think that they are hip enough and therefore ready and relevant to teach the new generation, might remember that Kurt Cobain is now on the classic oldies station. The college class of 2014 reminds us, once again, that a generation comes and goes in the blink of our eyes, which are, like the rest of us, getting older and older.


So here it is: The Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2014

Most students who entered college for the first time in September — the Class of 2014 — were born in 1992.

For these students, Benny Hill, Sam Kinison, Sam Walton, Bert Parks and Tony Perkins have always been dead.

Email is just too slow, and they seldom if ever use snail mail. “Caramel macchiato” and “venti half-caf vanilla latte” have always been street corner lingo.

With increasing numbers of ramps, Braille signs, and handicapped parking spaces, the world has always been trying harder to accommodate people with disabilities.

Had it remained operational, the villainous computer HAL could be their college classmate this fall, but they have a better chance of running into Miley Cyrus’s folks on Parents’ Weekend.

John McEnroe has never played professional tennis.

Clint Eastwood is better known as a sensitive director than as Dirty Harry.

Doctor Kevorkian has never been licensed to practice medicine.

Colorful lapel ribbons have always been worn to indicate support for a cause.

Korean cars have always been a staple on American highways.

Trading Chocolate the Moose for Patti the Platypus helped build their Beanie Baby collection.

Fergie is a pop singer, not a princess.

They never twisted the coiled handset wire aimlessly around their wrists while chatting on the phone.

DNA fingerprinting and maps of the human genome have always existed.

Leasing has always allowed the folks to upgrade their tastes in cars.

Leno and Letterman have always been trading insults on opposing networks.

Unless they found one in their grandparents’ closet, they have never seen a carousel of Kodachrome slides

They’ve never recognized that pointing to their wrists was a request for the time of day.

Reggie Jackson has always been enshrined in Cooperstown.

“Viewer Discretion” has always been an available warning on TV shows.

The first computer they probably touched was an Apple II; it is now in a museum.

Second-hand smoke has always been an official carcinogen.

“Assisted Living” has always been replacing nursing homes, while Hospice has always been an alternative to hospitals.

Once they got through security, going to the airport has always resembled going to the mall.

Adhesive strips have always been available in varying skin tones.

Bud Selig has always been the Commissioner of Major League Baseball.

Pizza jockeys from Domino’s have never killed themselves to get your pizza there in under 30 minutes.

Russians and Americans have always been living together in space.

The dominance of television news by the three networks passed while they were still in their cribs.

They have always had a chance to do community service with local and federal programs to earn money for college.

Nirvana is on the classic oldies station.

Rock bands have always played at presidential inaugural parties.

A purple dinosaur has always supplanted Barney Google and Barney Fife.

Walmart has never sold handguns over the counter in the lower 48.

Presidential appointees have always been required to be more precise about paying their nannies’ withholding tax, or else.

Having hundreds of cable channels but nothing to watch has always been routine.

Their parents’ favorite TV sitcoms have always been showing up as movies

The Post Office has always been going broke.

One way or another, “It’s the economy, stupid,” and always has been.

What’s the Rush?

Monday, January 11th, 2010

As the mom of a 14 year old, there’s always pressure to enroll my kid in the latest “enrichment” activity… Summer reading, music lessons, sports lessons… Fortunately, after a few years, you realize there are only so many hours in a day — and so many dollars in a budget — and you find a happy balance.

But woe to the soon-to-be new parents out there, who are now being told they need to enrich their child before he even has a chance to take his first breath. Take the BabyPlus Prenatal Education System, a product that straps onto Mom’s bulging belly, emitting 16 varied sounds that resemble a mother’s heartbeat.

For $149, your unborn baby has class twice a day for an hour, and the sonic pattern introduces her to a sequential learning process, based on the natural rhythms of the womb. (So the natural rhythms of the womb aren’t enough?) The rhythms of the sounds increase incrementally as the pregnancy progresses. Until what? The baby pops out snapping his fingers, doing calculus and demanding an iPod?

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Guest Post: Letting Go

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

I'm so happy to share with you a wonderful essay by writer Liz Seegert. If your child is in preschool right now, don't be too fast to discount this piece and say "oh, that's years away for our family." Yesterday (I swear), my son was in kindergarten. Today he started 8th grade. As they say, "the days are long, but the years are short." Thanks, Liz, for sharing this piece. And I love the pic of you and your tall son!

From
the day they’re born you know it’s going to happen. The first “me do it.” The
first time they walk, a little unbalanced, without holding your hand, grinning
broadly. That first day of kindergarten. That was hard. Learning to ride that
two-wheeler and the freedom that comes with leaving the block. The first
sleepover at his best friend’s house.

Then middle school, and high school. The first date. The
driver’s license and taking the keys to go out alone that first time. The first
time he’s forced to make hard choices – about friends, studying, activities,
his social life.

With
each first, you hold your breath, and say a silent prayer that all of the
things you have tried to instill in him, the values, knowing right from wrong,
has penetrated and is somewhere in the back of his mind. Each time stumbles or
falls, you stifle the urge to jump in and fix it. He has to pick himself up and
live with the consequences of his actions. Maybe he “forgot” to do his
homework. Maybe he stayed out past curfew and didn’t call. Maybe he was at a
party where someone snuck in some beer.

At
some point, you can’t even ground him any more. When did he become a head
taller? And when is he going to stop eating everything in the fridge before
it’s barely unpacked from the store? He’s applying to colleges hundreds of
miles away – the further the better, he hints. But, but… the mom of the little
boy in you protests. I’m not ready. “Well I am,” he counters.

Deep down, I know he’s right. We go through the unending
paperwork that is the college application process together and I dutifully pay
the fees, secretly hoping the schools closest to home accept him.

The
letters begin arriving. Didn’t make one of his top choices, but did make the
other. Wait listed. Another acceptance, another rejection. Several more visits
to campuses for accepted students days. He makes his decision, and you’re OK
with it. Not too far, but far enough. He’s happy. You’re not sure how you feel.

Graduation
day. Everyone in caps and gowns. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings
– all taking and posing for pictures. The “last” summer. The “last” get
together with high school buddies. Another step to letting go. Shopping for the
dorm. More shopping. He’s a boy. Does he care if his sheets and comforter
match? You do. So you spend the extra money for the good set.

You
want this summer to last forever. No, it flew by way too fast. Moving day.
Loading the car is like solving a jigsaw puzzle. Turn the box this way. Try
putting that sideways. Finally ready to go. He gives his room a final once over
and we head north on I-95. We’re there. Carry the stuff up three flights.

Finally unpacking. “Mom, you don’t have to make my bed,” he
tells me. “Yes I do.” I do. I need to know he’s starting off with everything in
its place. Time to leave, and he walks us to the car. “I’ll call soon,” he
promises. A long, hard hug. And another. I struggle to hold back tears. The
first of many goodbyes.

He’s
on his own. He knows we’ll be there to lend a hand, dust him off, and set him
back on his feet if he falls but only if he wants us to. I still hold my breath
sometimes, but not as often. His first attempt at being an adult. I couldn’t
wait to get that first phone call. “I love it here,” he said. “I’m so happy I
chose this school.”

His
first major life decision.  I am
looking forward to many more good “firsts.”

           

10 Things Every Teen Should Know

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

Vanessa Van Patten is a friend every teen should have. And, strangely enough, she's also a friend every parent of a teen should have. How in the world this talented writer balances both roles is beyond me, but she does it brilliantly over at her blog, Teens Today With Vanessa Van Petten.

Today's post, 10 Things Every Teen Should Know, is one I'm going to save for my 12-year-old son. And it's something I want to share with my readers. What a great checklist of stuff teens should know before they leave home!

It's so easy to get caught up in things like grades and SAT scores that it's easy to forget that a kid should be able to make a pot of spaghetti, use a checkbook and do a load of laundry (without turning his underwear pink) before heading off to college.

Van Petten's blog is loaded with good stuff — and it's addictive. Plan to spend some time there!