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Excerpts from the mindset of the Class of 2004, the current college
freshman class, appear below. For a complete version of the list
prepared by Beloit College, go to their website at www.beloit.edu
Proves that we should never assume the perspectives or experiences of
our co-workers and children are the same as ours. The slide rules and
interpolation tables many of us remember from our own college
experiences have been replaced by Palm Pilots, CD burners and cell phones.
This year’s freshman class was generally born in 1982.
Mindset of the Class of 2004
Somebody named George Bush has been on every national
ticket, except one, since they were born.
The Kennedy tragedy was a plane crash, not an assassination.
A “45” is a gun, not a record with a large hole in the
They have no clue what the Beach Boys were talking about
when they sang about a 409, and the Little Deuce Coupe.
They have probably never lost anything in shag carpeting.
MASH and The Muppet Show have always been in re-runs.
Wars begin and end quickly; peacekeeping missions go on
There have always been ATM machines.
Toyotas and Hondas have always been made in the United
There has always been a national holiday honoring Martin
Luther King, Jr.
Three Mile Island is ancient history, and nuclear accidents
happen in other countries.
The year they were born, The New York Times announced the
“boom in video games,” a fad, had come to an end.
They have always been able to afford Calvin Klein.
Coors Beer has always been sold east of the Mississippi,
eliminating the need for Burt Reynolds to outrun the authorities in
the Smokey and the Bandit films.
The year they were born, Dustin Hoffman wore a dress and
Julie Andrews wore a tuxedo.
Woodstock is a bird or a reunion, not a cultural touchstone.
They have never heard a phone “ring.”
They never dressed up for a plane flight.
Hurricanes have always had men and women’s names.
They only know Madonna singing American Pie.
They never thought of Jane Fonda as “Hanoi Jane,” nor
associated her with any revolution other than the “Fitness Revolution”
videotape they may have found in the attic.
They have never used a bottle of “White Out.”
If they vaguely remember the night the Berlin Wall fell,
they are probably not sure why it was up in the first place.
Spam and “cookies” are not necessarily foods.
We have always been able to reproduce DNA in the laboratory.