Class of 2011

Yesterday, I read Beloit College's Mindset List of 2011. Then I read the Annoyed Librarian's rant on same - hilarious!

I couldn't help but give some of my own responses to the list. I'm 30 (and proud of it!), and would have been part of the mindset list of 1999 (even though I graduated from college in 2000) - of course, there was no mindset list of 1999. However, so many of the items on this list are just as applicable to me as to this year's incoming freshman:

"Most of the students entering College this fall, members of the Class of 2011, were born in 1989. For them, Alvin Ailey, Andrei Sakharov, Huey Newton, Emperor Hirohito, Ted Bundy, Abbie Hoffman, and Don the Beachcomber have always been dead." I don't even know who most of these people are, so it doesn't matter if they're dead or not.

6. They may confuse the Keating Five with a rock group. I could easily confuse this as well - never heard of the Keating Five.

11. Rap music has always been mainstream. It's been mainstream since I had awareness of music - mainstream or no.

20. Half of them may have been members of the Baby-sitters Club. I avidly read the Baby-sitters Club series. I would totally have been a member.

28. They never found a prize in a Coca-Cola “MagiCan.” What?! I have no idea what this is.

40. They drove their parents crazy with the Beavis and Butt-Head laugh. Okay, I'd say they were too young for Beavis and Butt-head. I mean, they came out when I was in high school. WE drove everyone crazy with the laugh. These kids were watching reruns!

55. MTV has never featured music videos. Oh, yes they have. Again, I was glued to MTV throughout high school, which was the early 90's. Granted, they might not have been aware of that, but since many of the items on the list have nothing to do with awareness (see 9, 17, 27, 36, etc), this is a pretty stupid item.

62. They have no idea who Rusty Jones was or why he said “goodbye to rusty cars.” Who the hell is Rusty Jones?

66. The World Wide Web has been an online tool since they were born. This is debatable. It might have existed, but it certainly wasn't a tool used by anyone but the technologically elite until the late '90s at least.

68. Burma has always been Myanmar. I just had an enlightening conversation with our Southeast Asian Studies Librarian, who informed me that, in fact, the United States does not recognized Burma as Myanmar, so it's doubtful that even if this year's freshman class had HEARD of Burma, they wouldn't recognize it as Myanmar at all.

I think that Beloit College should start doing the Mindset List every 5 years - it might be more meaningful than every year. After all, this year's freshman are not really much different from last year's.


  1. The Keating Five were five U.S. Senators, including John McCain and Dennis DeConcini, both from Arizona, that got into a bit of political trouble over their financial dealings with Charles Keating. How short the American public's memory for real scandal! This alone should end McCain's campaign, if anyone thought to bring it up!

    The Coca-Cola Magi-Can was a promotional gimmick to sell soda. If you got a opened a winning can, ostensibly indistinguishable from a normal one, a spring-loaded mechanism would pop out with a sticky and soggy but otherwise usable denomination of American paper currency. The soda therein, however, would taste funny from the inks and dyes from the bill. Yes, my step-father won a fiver that way.

  2. The Rusty Jones bit seems familiar to me, like I have heard it I think they were a company that was trying to prevent rust and hence the ad. They went bankrupt, according to google.

  3. I agree. I think that Beloit's mindset stuff is helpful, but it's less cool than it was five years ago, and some of the ones I don't get like they are referring to boomer stuff, not stuff from my life time.

    Though the Tianneman Square thing does sadden me. As does the Berlin Wall.

    And regarding the below, it is also true for me: They get much more information from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert than from the newspaper

    And I don't know who Don the Beachcomber is either.


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