I’ve mined this territory previously but it is worthwhile to visit every September. Each year at this time, Beloit College produces it’s Mindset List, in their words “It provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college this fall.” In the academic environment it is always a good reminder to have a look at the current list in preparation for our new year. This year’s incoming class is the Class of 2014 some of the highlights of their mindset include:
- Few in the class know how to write in cursive
- Email is just too slow, and they seldom if ever use snail mail.
- Clint Eastwood is better known as a sensitive director than as Dirty Harry.
- They never twisted the coiled handset wire aimlessly around their wrists while chatting on the phone.
That class; however, are the incoming undergraduates. More appropriately for my environment is the Class of 2010, which is theoretically, advancing to Law School after graduating from undergrad last spring. Some of their highlights include:
- There has always been only one Germany.
- They have never heard anyone actually “ring it up” on a cash register.
- Text messaging is their email.
- They have always known that “In the criminal justice system the people have been represented by two separate yet equally important groups.”
- They have always been able to watch wars and revolutions live on television.
And coming to a Law Firm near you, those who graduated from Law School last year, who were the undergrad Class of 2007. Highlights:
- “Ctrl + Alt + Del” is as basic as “ABC.”
- An automatic is a weapon, not a transmission.
- There has always been some association between fried eggs and your brain.
- They would never leave their calling card on someone’s desk.
- Computers have always fit in their backpacks.
- Yuppies are almost as old as hippies
- Peeps are not a candy, they are your friends.
The list started in 1998 and as far back as 2002 is available online. It would be interesting if the list would work backwards through mindsets as well so as to serve as a point of comparison with the incoming classes, I suspect a comparison between the mindsets of the classes of 1974, 1984, 2004 and 2014, would be both highly amusing and highly instructive.