Archive for Tuesday, August 21, 2012

This year’s college freshmen don’t know about airplane tickets, Bill Clinton or Vito Corleone

August 21, 2012


— Every year, Beloit College in Beloit, Wis., releases its Mindset List to give a snapshot of how the incoming freshmen class views the world. The list for the Class of 2016:

Most students entering college for the first time this fall were born in 1994. For these students, Kurt Cobain, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Richard Nixon and John Wayne Gacy have always been dead.

  1. They should keep their eyes open for Justin Bieber or Dakota Fanning at freshman orientation.

  2. They have always lived in cyberspace, addicted to a new generation of "electronic narcotics."

  3. The Biblical sources of terms such as "forbidden fruit," ''the writing on the wall," ''good Samaritan," and "the promised land" are unknown to most of them.

  4. Michael Jackson's family, not the Kennedys, constitutes "American royalty."

  5. If they miss The Daily Show, they can always get their news on YouTube.

  6. Their lives have been measured in the fundamental particles of life: bits, bytes, and bauds.

  7. Robert De Niro is thought of as Greg Focker's long-suffering father-in-law, not as Vito Corleone or Jimmy Conway.

  8. Bill Clinton is a senior statesman of whose presidency they have little knowledge.

  9. They have never seen an airplane "ticket."

  10. On TV and in films, the ditzy dumb blonde female generally has been replaced by a couple of dumb and dumber males.

  11. The paradox "too big to fail" has been for their generation what "we had to destroy the village in order to save it" was for their grandparents.

  12. For most of their lives, maintaining relations between the U.S. and the rest of the world has been a woman's job in the State Department.

  13. They can't picture people actually carrying luggage through airports rather than rolling it.

  14. There has always been football in Jacksonville but never in Los Angeles.

  15. Having grown up with MP3s and iPods, they never listen to music on the car radio and really have no use for radio at all.

  16. Since they've been born, the United States has measured progress by a 2 percentage point jump in unemployment and a 16-cent rise in the price of a first-class postage stamp.

  17. Benjamin Braddock, having given up both a career in plastics and a relationship with Mrs. Robinson, could be their grandfather.

  18. Their folks have never gazed with pride on a new set of bound encyclopedias on the bookshelf.

  19. The Green Bay Packers have always celebrated with the Lambeau Leap.

  20. Exposed bra straps have always been a fashion statement, not a wardrobe malfunction to be corrected quietly by well-meaning friends.

  21. A significant percentage of them will enter college already displaying some hearing loss.

  22. The Real World has always "stopped being polite and started getting real" on MTV.

  23. Women have always piloted war planes and space shuttles.

  24. White House security has never felt it necessary to wear rubber gloves when gay groups have visited.

  25. They have lived in an era of instant stardom and self-proclaimed celebrities, famous for being famous.

  26. Having made the acquaintance of Furby at an early age, they have expected their toy friends to do ever more unpredictable things.

  27. Outdated icons with images of floppy discs for "save," a telephone for "phone," and a snail-mail envelope for "mail" have oddly decorated their tablets and smartphone screens.

  28. Star Wars has always been just a film, not a defense strategy.

  29. They have had to incessantly remind their parents not to refer to their CDs and DVDs as "tapes."

  30. There have always been blue M&Ms;, but no tan ones.

  31. Along with online viewbooks, parents have always been able to check the crime stats for the colleges their kids have selected.

  32. Newt Gingrich has always been a key figure in politics, trying to change the way America thinks about everything.

  33. They have come to political consciousness during a time of increasing doubts about America's future.

  34. Billy Graham is as familiar to them as Otto Graham was to their parents.

  35. Probably the most tribal generation in history, they despise being separated from contact with their similar-aged friends.

  36. Stephen Breyer has always been an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

  37. Martin Lawrence has always been banned from hosting Saturday Night Live.

  38. Slavery has always been unconstitutional in Mississippi, and Southern Baptists have always been apologizing for supporting it in the first place.

  39. The Metropolitan Opera House in New York has always translated operas on seatback screens.

  40. A bit of the late Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek, has always existed in space.

  41. Good music programmers are rock stars to the women of this generation, just as guitar players were for their mothers.

  42. Gene therapy has always been an available treatment.

  43. They were too young to enjoy the 1994 World Series, but then no one else got to enjoy it either.

  44. The folks have always been able to grab an Aleve when the kids started giving them a migraine.

  45. While the iconic TV series for their older siblings was the sci-fi show Lost, for them it's Breaking Bad, a gritty crime story motivated by desperate economic circumstances.

  46. Simba has always had trouble waiting to be king.

  47. Before they buy an assigned textbook, they will check to see whether it's available for rent or purchase as an e-book.

  48. They grew up, somehow, without the benefits of Romper Room.

  49. There has always been a World Trade Organization.

  50. L.L. Bean hunting shoes have always been known as just plain Bean Boots.

  51. They have always been able to see Starz on DirecTV.

  52. Ice-skating competitions have always been jumping matches.

  53. There has always been a Santa Clause.

  54. NBC has never shown "It's a Wonderful Life" more than twice during the holidays.

  55. Mr. Burns has replaced J.R. Ewing as the most-shot-at man on American television.

  56. They have always enjoyed school and summer camp memories with a digital yearbook.

  57. Herr Schindler has always had a List; Mr. Spielberg has always had an Oscar.

  58. Selena's fans have always been in mourning.

  59. They know many established film stars by their voices on computer-animated blockbusters.

  60. History has always had its own channel.

  61. Thousands have always been gathering for "million-man" demonstrations in Washington, D.C.

  62. Television and film dramas have always risked being pulled because the story line was too close to the headlines from which they were "ripped."

  63. The Twilight Zone involves vampires, not Rod Serling.

  64. Robert Osborne has always been introducing Hollywood history on TCM.

  65. Little Caesar has always been proclaiming "Pizza Pizza."

  66. They have no recollection of when Arianna Huffington was a conservative.

  67. Chronic fatigue syndrome has always been officially recognized with clinical guidelines.

  68. They watch television everywhere but on a television.

  69. Pulp Fiction's meal of a "royale with cheese" and an "Amos and Andy milkshake" has little or no resonance with them.

  70. Point-and-shoot cameras are soooooo last millennium.

  71. Despite being preferred urban gathering places, two-thirds of the independent bookstores in the United States have closed for good during their lifetimes.

  72. Astronauts have always spent well over a year in a single space flight.

  73. Lou Gehrig's record for most consecutive baseball games played has never stood in their lifetimes.

  74. Genomes of living things have always been sequenced.

  75. The Sistine Chapel ceiling has always been brighter and cleaner.


introversion 5 years, 9 months ago

They probably don't know Robert De Niro as Vito Corleone because he wasn't Vito Corleone.

Marlon Brando was Vito Corleone.

milby 5 years, 9 months ago

De Niro played Vito in the 2nd movie, part of the reflection of where the family came from and how Micheal came to rise to power.

Larrytown 5 years, 9 months ago

Robert De Niro played Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II.

Fatty_McButterpants 5 years, 9 months ago

Robert De Niro played Vito Corleone when he was a young man in New York, BEFORE he became the Godfather; Marlon Brando played him in his later years.

Try knowing what you are talking about before you criticize others for getting it wrong.

introversion 5 years, 9 months ago

What makes you think they'd watch Godfather II if they don't know who Vito Corleone is in the first place?

Terry Sexton 5 years, 9 months ago

Ok, you self-appointed Einsteins. Never mind De Niro played young Vito all throughout the sequel.

MarcoPogo 5 years, 9 months ago

"Semi-false"? Hahahaha. He only "kinda" played the role...and won his first Oscar for it. wiping eyes You're my fave of the day!

camper 5 years, 9 months ago

You are digging yourself further into a hole. It is ok to be wrong sometimes. Don't worry about it man.

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

"Robert De Niro is thought of as Greg Focker's long-suffering father-in-law, not as Vito Corleone or Jimmy Conway."

You mean Travis Bickle.

audvisartist 5 years, 9 months ago

While you all are arguing about Vito Corleone, I'm banging the new frosh women. I win, you lose.

introversion 5 years, 9 months ago

While I was wrong about the fact that De Niro did technically play the "young Vito" in the second movie, I invite all of you to google "Vito Corleone" and tell me who the definitive Vito is played by.

Terry Sexton 5 years, 9 months ago

CeeDub!!? How can you not care for The Godfather? Do not mention that on the renewal application for your man card.

Introversion & KansasLib are funny with their back-peddling retorts.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 8 months ago

Socrates whined about this as well, some time back as I recall.

"The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers."

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