Bottled waterBeloit College in WI has for some years released a “Mindset List” of the world as an incoming freshman sees it (here’s this year’s). As the average first-year Beloit student of the Class of 2011 will be 18 and born in 1989, it’s a perfect list for those of us who are a little older than 18 to say, “Omigod, when’d I get so old?”

But the list is also fun, and keeps us focused on the difference between the perspective and cultural background of an adult (particularly a baby boomer such as myself) and the kids we work with. I grew up learning about how awful and oppressive the Soviet Union was; I followed the Gemini and Apollo space shots religiously, and I only recently bought a car with electric windows. But for young people now, there is no Soviet Union (and how could anyone be afraid these days of the countries that made it up?), the space program has never been a big deal, and the vast majority of them have never “rolled up” a car window. And they think that people have always bought bottles of drinking water.

Check it out. If you look to the left you’ll see Mindset Lists from previous years.

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