September 3, 2003

Incoming Freshmen

Gee... who's procrastinating now? I've gone for nearly a month with nary a post, but now I've got 3 in one day. I'm either obsessive compulsive or I'm really avoiding my work today. I took a gander at the Chronicle today after reading Matt's most recent post. What caught my attention was a list put out by Beloit College called the "Mind-Set list of 2007." It describes things that are beyond comprehension for this incoming class, born in 1985.

I won't quote the whole thing here, of course, but I thought it would be interesting to post the last piece, where Beloit officials attempt to determine what students feel separate them from their instructors. The list is as follows:

Beloit also issued a short list that describes, from the entering students' perspective, what sets them apart from most of their instructors:

  1. For many of them today, it's all about the "bling bling."
  2. They know who the "heroes in a half-shell" are.
  3. Peeps are not a candy; they are your friends.
  4. They have been "dissing" and "burning" things all their lives.
  5. They can expect to get a ticket for "ricing out their wheels."
  6. They knew how to pop a Popple and trade a Pog.
  7. They can still sing the rap chorus to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and the theme song from Duck Tales.

These kinds of things always come out at the beginning of the school year. I should be used to them... but somehow I'm always caught off guard by the rapid pace of pop culture.

Posted by c_jane at September 3, 2003 6:50 PM | TrackBack

For the record, I--more than a decade older than these kids--know the theme to Duck Tales, remember Pog jokes on the Simpsons from ages ago (Milhouse traded Bart's soul for ALF pogs), played a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles video game in high school, and know for a fact that calling teenagers friends their "peeps" is something adults do unsuccessfully when they're trying to act cool.

What makes this sad is that while this list is not a full decade out of date, it is merely a collection of the kind of pop culture references that have already made their way outsiede of youth culture. Those references that are really au courant won't make their ways to our ears until their well past cool.

On a more self-congratulatory note, I had my students put their favorite CD purchase/MP3 download of the past three months. At least 5 or 6 of them show up on my CD rack, and the most popular (Dashboard Confessional) has a song on the radio that I love (like the single off of their last album). I will not go gently . . .

{noting the fact that a literary reference immediately undermines all street cred}

Posted by: Ryan at September 3, 2003 7:11 PM |

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