The great divide

Caution. As if there aren’t enough reminders out there on how fast we’re all aging, Beloit University just published their 2013 Mindset List. Each year they compile this list of 75 history-related facts to help professors better relate to their younger students.  

Here are just a few of this year’s facts to remember when understanding the mindset of 18-year-olds:


• They have never used a card catalog to find a book at the library.

• Tattoos have always been very chic and highly visible.

• Margaret Thatcher has always been a former prime minister.

• Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream has always been a flavor choice.

• They have never had to “shake down” an oral thermometer.

• McDonald's has always been serving Happy Meals in China.

• Christopher Columbus has always been getting a bad rap.

• There has always been Cartoon Network.

• They have always been able to read books on an electronic screen.

• Women have always outnumbered men in college.  


This Mindset list got me thinking, so I came up with a few of my own from what I've noticed with my own teens:


• They have no idea how to turn the TV channel without a remote.

• They don't know what a cassette tape is, or how we once spent hours using a pencil eraser to reel in the loose tape that would get caught in the machine.

• Many of the expressions my parents once used on me (i.e.: "A fool and his money are soon parted", or "Barking up the wrong tree") are completely foreign. It's all Greek to them.

• Just when you think you've caught up by starting a Facebook account, they've moved on to Snapchat, Vine,, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr. And when I ask how to use them I'm told I just wouldn't "get it". They're right.