Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What young people do and don't know

The Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2014 is up explaining what this generation of young people entering college this year know and don't know from their own experience of what they've lived through. Some selections
1. Few in the class know how to write in cursive.

2. Email is just too slow, and they seldom if ever use snail mail.

4. Al Gore has always been animated.

5. Los Angelenos have always been trying to get along.

7. “Caramel macchiato” and “venti half-caf vanilla latte” have always been street corner lingo.

11. John McEnroe has never played professional tennis.

12. Clint Eastwood is better known as a sensitive director than as Dirty Harry.
The different horizons were brought home to me yesterday during my AP Government class where most of the students are 10th graders and I realized that they were in Kindergarten during 9/11 and had no memory of the 2000 election. In fact, they barely remember Bush's presidency or that the War in Iraq had gone through difficult years. They seemed to not realize that Twitter was a relatively new phenomenon and couldn't believe me when I told them that, when I mentioned Twitter two years ago none of my students had even heard of it. For them, the red/blue map has always colored our state, North Carolina blue.

And of course, they have no idea that a Democratic president once said that the "era of big government is over."

Gosh, they make me feel old some days.