Each August since 1998, Beloit College has released their "Mindset List", a list of some of the cultural touchstones for the new incoming class, so their faculty can better understand their students and know to avoid dated references.
Some choice items from this year's list (which is best appreciated if you can remember the world of 1992, when most of these students were born):
- Fergie is a pop singer, not a princess.
- They never twisted the coiled handset wire aimlessly around their wrists while chatting on the phone.
- Computers have never lacked a CD-ROM disk drive.
- They’ve never recognized that pointing to their wrists was a request for the time of day.
- Czechoslovakia has never existed.
The one about CD-ROMs is very interesting when you consider computers are now on a trend away from CD/DVD/Blu-ray drives, as more people switch from big laptops and desktops to small, cheap netbooks and slates. Maybe the class of 2016 or 2018 will start college believing CD-ROMs were something computers used to have, like 56K modems or CRT monitors.