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And I'm getting old

The first-years arrived this week and, as expected, chaos ensued. The usual questions, each repeated 1000 times. Where's the bathroom? Where's the computer lab? How do I print? Can I check this out?

It's only tolerable because you know it's coming. You also know that, in about a week and a half, everyone will settle into their routine and it will end. That means they know where the bathroom is.

They seem so young. They are young.

Every year, Beloit College puts together a list of interesting trivia to give perspective on the world through the eyes of the incoming freshmen class. I don't deal with freshmen, so this list doesn't address the students I work with, but others around campus - the children who walk past my office window in flocks . In four years or so, these may come to me.

It's not a perfect list. You can quibble over the exact timing of some of these things (I think the list-writers assume having to be a few years' old before you have any awareness of popular culture or lingo).

Nonetheless, it's interesting. And it reminds me how long it's been since some of these things occurred, that these things that I recall so vividly are not even on the radar of people entering higher education, how quickly the world changes and disregards things and people.

This year's highlights:

For these students, Benny Hill, Sam Kinison, Sam Walton, Bert Parks, and Tony Perkins have always been dead.

Woody Allen, whose heart has wanted what it wanted, has always been with Soon-Yi Previn.

Reggie Jackson has always been enshrined in Cooperstown.

Czechoslovakia has never existed.

Pizza jockeys from Domino’s have never killed themselves to get your pizza there in under 30 minutes.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has always sat on the Supreme Court.

They have never worried about a Russian missile strike on the U.S. (This is not entirely true. They really mean a Soviet missile strike. The shadow of the Cold War lays on my generation and it's never really been a concern for the next one. It really is the mental dividing line, I think.)

They've always been able to blast off with the Sci-Fi (SYFY) Channel.

Then, this one made me very, very, very sad:

Nirvana is on the classic oldies station.

Sigh. I can't disagree. I've learned to accept that the stuff I listened to when I was their age (well, Nirvana was a couple of years after I graduated college, but you get the idea) is relegated to one radio station here and they think of it as an oldies station. The stuff my dad listens to is on the station that just actually calls itself oldies. It's oldies' oldies.

Here's the complete list.

I'm getting closer and closer to the "GET OFF THE LAWN!" stage of my crankiness.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 19th, 2010 11:36 pm (UTC)
I'm shaking my head! Where does time go?
Aug. 20th, 2010 12:46 pm (UTC)
32. Czechoslovakia has never existed.

I remember that year. I was at summer camp and one of the councilors who happened to be from Czechoslovakia had to leave quite suddenly because of the upheaval. I can't remember the exact reason if I ever knew it.
Aug. 20th, 2010 09:29 pm (UTC)
I made reference to "Wild Kingdom" the other day and no one around me but Brian knew what I was talking about. :-(
Aug. 20th, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC)
That's sad. :(
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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