Column: A primer for understanding today's youth

Aug. 31, 2013 @ 01:25 AM

Tiny Beloit College in Beloit, Wis., started a project called the Mindset List 15 years ago. Initially prepared by two college professors as a witty way of telling their faculty colleagues to be aware of making dated references that incoming freshmen wouldn't understand, the list is now used around the world. This liberal arts college now has over a million online visitors each fall to read the new Mindset List for incoming freshmen, which this year is the Class of 2017.

A friend told me about the list, and I thought it was interesting and would share some of the highlights with you.

*For this generation of students, born in 1995, Dean Martin, Mickey Mantle and Jerry Garcia have always been dead.

*Eminem and LL Cool J could show up on a parents’ weekend.

*GM means food that is Genetically Modified.

*As kids they may well have seen "Chicken Run" but probably never got chicken pox.

*Having a chat has seldom involved talking.

*Gaga has never been baby talk.

*PayPal has replaced pen pal as a best friend online.

*A tablet is no longer something that you take in the morning.

*Threatening to shut down the government during the federal budget negotiations has always been an anticipated tactic.

*With GPS, they have never needed directions to get someplace, just an address.

*Java has never been just a cup of coffee.

*Spray paint has never been legally sold in Chicago.

*Bill Maher has always been politically incorrect.

*They have never seen the Bruins at Boston Gardens, the Trailblazers at Memorial Coliseum, the Supersonics in Key Arena, or the Canucks at the Pacific Coliseum.

*Washington, D.C., tour buses have never been able to drive in front of the White House.

*They have always been able to plug into USB ports.

*Don Shula has always been a fine steakhouse.

And the list goes on. You can read more on the website www.beloit.edu/mindset/edu. It’s entertaining but it definitely made me feel old.