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It’s back to school time, and time for the Beloit College Mindset List!

Posted Sep 26 2008 5:16pm

Being one of the very few quarter system campuses left on the planet, Cal Poly starts classes next Monday. In honor of that occasion, we once again revisit our friends at Beloit College to prepare ourselves for the Class of 2012! For those of you who are young enough to not do math in your head, that means that the incoming freshmen were mostly born in 1990.

And Corvettes Looked Like This

And Corvettes Looked Like This

I find the Beloit list useful, as one needs to update one’s examples for class. Otherwise, you might say that the activity in the basal ganglia observed when a person has obsessive-compulsive disorder is “like a broken record” to people who probably have no clue what a record is, let alone what happens when you scratch one.

It may be my imagination, or faulty memory heaven forbid, but this year’s list just didn’t have the zip of some of Beloit’s previous efforts. It just isn’t funny. For example, #26 says that “Wayne Newton has never had a mustache.” Do incoming freshmen even know who Wayne Newton is? Do they care? Or how about #43…”personal privacy has always been threatened.” And that’s different from my freshman year in college (1970) how?

For comparison purposes, Beloit’s first list for the Class of 2002 was more striking. Number 2 reads “They have no meaningful recollection of the Reagan era, and did not know he had ever been shot.” I suppose we could assume that the incoming freshmen know little of Bill Clinton, other than what they learned from Hillary, and probably do not know who Monica Lewinsky is either. Sobering, isn’t it?

For those of you a bit older than 18, Wikipedia offers a list of major events of 1990. Here are a few of my favorites (not in any particular order):

1.  Joseph Hazelwood, skipper of the Exxon Valdez, goes on trial.

2.  Manuel Noriega surrenders to American forces in Panama.

3.  Nelson Mandela is freed from prison.

4.  Germany reunifies–something I never believed I would live to see.

5.  Mikhail Gorbachev is elected President of the Soviet Union.

6.  Microsoft releases Windows 3.0 (still one of my favorites, although 3.1 was even better).

7.  George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act.

8.  The first World Wide Web page was written.

9.  The Chunnel joins France and England.

10.  The stage was set for the first Gulf War.

Welcome to the Class of 2012, and I hope the rest of you aren’t feeling too elderly.

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