Friday, July 29, 2016

Rebooting the Beloit list? Thinking from the perspective of the Class of 2019.

As start another year at Michigan, Beloit College presents its "college student mindset list." While this is presumably a listing of how students think, more often it is a recounting of things from the perspective of parents or grandparents. It is not research-based, but rather a list of reflections over conversation.
You can see the Inside Higher Education article at:
A list that might be more encompassing for our students is this:
Students have never known a world with Princess Diana, Mother Theresa, Chris Farley, Gianni Versace, John Denver, Deng Xiaoping, Biggie Smalls, or Brandon Tartikoff.
The University of Michigan has always had admissions lawsuits in our history. (These students were finishing Kindergarten when the Supreme Court ruled.)
An apple is always white.
Madonna has always been a mom. For that matter, Eminem and Madonna have invitations to parents’ weekend for their honor roll daughters.
These students have never memorized phone numbers.
DVD players are for cars, not living rooms.
This whole exercise has us ROFLOL
Al Gore has always been a media producer and documentarian.
The Browns have always been in Cleveland. The Ravens? That’s so Baltimore.
The Clinton in electoral politics has been Hillary. Chelsea has always been in college or graduate school.
Enron has always been a symbol of ethical problems.
The Brady Bill has always been controversial public policy.
Tom Brady has always been a Super Bowl MVP, not a risky 6th round draft choice.
Passports have always been needed for getting across land-based borders.
Peanut allergies have always been a major deal, requiring adjustments of snacks in kindergartens and airplanes. (For that matter, both kindergartens and airplanes have always been the place for tantrums.)
Vaccines have always been controversial and optional.
These students have never known a world pre-Columbine.
The Oklahoma City memorial has always existed.
Students' families have never accompanied them to the gate at the airport to say goodbye.
These students did not see images of 9/11 on their own. They were in kindergarten.
An Iraq War veteran is almost always someone who served after 9/11.
Students have never heard of Oprah’s Book Club.
The most important thing with lists like these is to take a moment and check ourselves. Are we seeing the world through our lens, or that of the students?
Hope your preparation for the beginning of classes is going well!
Students navigate Festifall as they start to navigate the rest of their college careers. 
What is on the minds of each of these students? How does it differ from how we imagine college?

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