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.


Greg said...

I teach ninth graders -- this fall, for the first time, I will have students younger than my dog.

tfhr said...

Are they house trained?

B. Durbin said...

"Few in the class know how to write in cursive."

Scratch that— few in the class know how to write legibly. I work with a photography studio that has high schools as its primary clients, and there are a lot of situations (dances, posed sports photos) where the students have to fill out cards so we know who is in the photograph. "Please print" say these cards, yet quite a few of them have bad scrawls that look as though they were penned by a second-grader. And a few are so bad they're indecipherable.

"Where are my photos?" is the inevitable result. Well, we printed them out, but because of your abominable writing they were filed under Wright instead of Hampton (I'm not kidding— that happened once as our best guess.)