Okay, class, get out your pencils. Today we have a pop quiz.

The times, they …
A. are a changin'
B. are a changin', but not enough
C. are a changin' is ungrammatical
D. What. Ever.
E. Oh, shut up!
F. Dude, where's my Zeppelin CD?
G. None of the above
H. All of the above.

All right. Pencils down.

Every year, Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin, publishessomething it calls "The Mindset List." It is a collection ofreferences that remind college professors they are older than theirstudents.

This year's list notes that most of the current crop of collegefreshmen were born in 1984. It goes on to list 50 references thatprofessors know, but their incoming students don't. Some of theexamples:

They have no meaningful recollection of the Reagan era andprobably did not know he had ever been shot.

Tiananmen Square means nothing to them.

The statement "You sound like a broken record" means nothing tothem. (They have never owned a record player.)

Most have never seen a TV set with only 13 channels, nor have theyseen a black-and-white TV.

They cannot fathom not having a remote control.

Michael Jackson has always been white.

Jay Leno has always been on The Tonight Show.

They never take a swim and think about Jaws.

The Vietnam War is as ancient history to them as World War I, WorldWar II, and the Civil War.

They've never heard: "Where's the beef?," "I'd walk a mile for aCamel," or "De plane, de plane!"

There has always been MTV.


The Mindset List cocreator, Beloit professor Tom McBride, wasquoted as saying that The Mindset List is "an alert for those of uswho may be suffering from hardening of the references." I thought,A cholesterol analogy - there's another reference they won'tget.