An exercise in perspective

Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, January 3, 2001

Advance Staff Writer
A new year gives us a chance to pause and reflect on the passing of time.
How many times have you heard someone say recently, "Well, we made it one more year"?
A friend sent me this list recently, and I'll share it with you just in case you weren't feeling too old today. This will certainly change things.
Each year the staff at Beloit College in Wisconsin puts together a list to try to give the faculty a sense of the mindset of that year's incoming freshmen.
This list was compiled last year for the freshmen who were starting college last fall.
Here is the list concerning new students who started college last fall across the nation. They were born in 1982.
They have no meaningful recollection of the Reagan Era and probably did not know he had ever been shot.
They were prepubescent when the Persian Gulf War was waged.
Black Monday 1987 is as significant to them as the Great Depression.
There has been only one Pope.
They were 11 when the Soviet Union broke apart and do not remember the Cold War.
They have never feared a nuclear war.
They are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up.
Tianamen Square means nothing to them.
Their lifetime has always included AIDS.
Bottle caps have always been screw off and plastic.
Atari predates them, as do vinyl albums. The expression "you sound like a broken record" means nothing to them. They have never owned a record player.
They have likely never played Pac Man and have never heard of the Pong video game.
They may have never heard of an 8 track. The Compact Disc was introduced when they were 1 year old.
As far as they know, stamps have always cost about 33 cents.
They have always had an answering machine.
Most have never seen a TV set with only 13 channels, nor have they seen a black-and-white TV. They have always had cable.
There have always been VCRs, but they have no idea what BETA is.
They cannot fathom not having a remote control.
They were born the year the Walkman was introduced by Sony.
Roller-skating has always meant inline for them.
Jay Leno has always been on the Tonight Show.
They have no idea when or why Jordache jeans were cool.
Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave.
They have never seen Larry Bird play.
They never took a swim and thought about Jaws.
The Vietnam War is as ancient history to them as WWI, WWII and the Civil War.
They have no idea that Americans were ever held hostage in Iran.
They can't imagine what hard contact lenses are.
They don't know who Mork was or where he was from.
They never heard: "Where's the beef?" or "I'd walked a mile for a Camel" or "de plane, de plane."
The Titanic was found? They thought we always knew where it was.
Kansas, Chicago, Boston, America, and Alabama are places, not groups.
McDonalds never came in Styrofoam containers.
There has always been MTV.
They don't have a clue how to use a typewriter.
How old does this make you feel?
Me too.

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