Despite the fact that “de-nial ain’t just a river in Egypt”, we are about to head into September which means the real new year for academics like myself is about to kick off. On the the day after Labour Day (American friends take note of the proper spelling with a “u”) a new crop of bright eyed students arrive at university campuses across the country. Every year at this time I always like to take advantage of the excellent work done by the folks at Beloit College who produce the Mindset List, in order to see what I’m getting myself into this year.

Firstly, a few highlights of the mindset of the students who are arriving on campus for the first time next week, the Class of 2017

  • Eminem and LL Cool J could show up at parents’ weekend.
  • GM means food that is Genetically Modified.
  • As their parents held them as infants, they may have wondered whether it was the baby or Windows 95 that had them more excited.
  • As kids they may well have seen Chicken Run but probably never got chicken pox.
  • Java has never been just a cup of coffee.
  • They have known only two presidents.

However; here at the Law School the fresh faced new law students whom arrive next week are the Class of 2013 on the Beloit List. Below are some highlights from the mindset of the incoming 1Ls:

  • The Green Giant has always been Shrek, not the big guy picking vegetables.
  • Salsa has always outsold ketchup.
  • Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream has always been a flavor choice.
  • The KGB has never officially existed.
  • Text has always been hyper.
  • The European Union has always existed.
  • Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Latvia, Georgia, Lithuania, and Estonia have always been independent nations.
  • There have always been flat screen televisions.
  • They have never been Saved by the Bell

And for our friends at firms and places where the law school class of 2013 have recently landed here is the mindset of your new colleagues, the Beloit Class of 2010

  • The Soviet Union has never existed and therefore is about as scary as the student union.
  • There has always been only one Germany.
  • DNA fingerprinting has always been admissible evidence in court.
  • “Google” has always been a verb.
  • Milli Vanilli has never had anything to say.
  • Text messaging is their email
  • Reality shows have always been on television
  • They have always known that “In the criminal justice system the people have been represented by two separate yet equally important groups.”
  • They are not aware that “flock of seagulls hair” has nothing to do with birds flying into it.
  • Green tea has always been marketed for health purposes.
  • They never saw Bernard Shaw on CNN.
  • Television stations have never concluded the broadcast day with the national anthem.

So wish me well and try to remember these lists as you relate to whichever of these groups you will interact with most often in the coming year.


  1. Forget televisions stations ending the broadcast day with the national anthem. I’m in my early 30s and I’m hard pressed to remember a time when the broadcast day ended at all.