Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I Suddenly Feel Old

One of my colleagues stopped by with a handout she was given yesterday at a class for new teachers. It points out that most of the kids entering college this fall were born in 1988. It then goes on to list 75 things which illustrate the generational gap between them and us ("us" in this case primarily being people born in 1980 or before). While I won't list them all (with their numbers on the list), here are a few of my personal favorites:

1. The Soviet Union never existed and therefore is about as scary as the student union.

9. A stained blue dress is as famous to their generation as a third-rate burglary was to their parents'.

11. A coffee has always taken longer to make than a milkshake.

15. They have never had to distinguish between the St. Louis Cardinals baseball and football teams.

19. "Google" has always been a verb.

21. Milli Vanilli has never had anything to say.

24. Madden has always been a game, not a Superbowl-winning coach.

36. They have rarely mailed anything using a stamp.

55. They have always had access to their own credit cards.

62. Acura, Lexus, and Infiniti have always been luxury cars of choice.

66. Dolphin-free canned tuna has always been on sale.

67. Disposable contact lenses have always been available.

72. Richard M. Daley has always been the major of Chicago.

74. Ringo Starr has always been clean and sober.

75. Professional athletes have always competed in the Olympics.

This list is put out every year by Beloit College. See the complete list and lists from previous years here.


Journey said...

I prefer to think of it as "I have suddenly become a meaningful member of society." I spent three hours talking with Rob while waiting for the Disneyland fireworks last year. And one of the many and varied things which was discussed was his perception that his reflexes deductive reasoning skills have deteriorated.

It's funny, I've noticed the same symptoms, to some degree. I have also noticed that my *inductive* reasoning skills grow stronger with every passing year. If I trip over my tongue more, it's only because my thought processes have increased in complexity and speed such that sometimes, my brain gets ahead of my mouth. If I stop, mid-sentence, and change my mind, it's because I saw to the end of that logic chain, aborted, and regroup in twenty seconds.

And if I remember what the Soviet Union was . . . I also remember the relief when the Titan Missles were disassembled. I am living in a world a lot of people never expected to see.

I have almost made it to an age by which I figured I'd be radioactive ashes. I can hold and process half a dozen thoughts in my head at the same time. I have acquired enough skill in certain non-physical matters never to be threatened by a haunting or certain types of attack. I am socially ept enough that a lunch with co-workers this week ranged from build-out details for a new wing of the offices to whether women have really been giving blow jobs for at least two thousand years. I love a man as ecclectic as I am, and I can slowly open my heart and let him inside this hermit cleverly disguised as a social organism.

If my knees ache sometimes and I sometimes worry about having children into my 30's . . . I still wouldn't trade places with one of those 18-year-olds starting college. I wouldn't trade the wisdom to know that I am not yet wise for anything.

JanieBelle said...

Journey provoked our thoughts with

"...whether women have really been giving blow jobs for at least two thousand years."

...and the conclusion of this conversation?

Just so we know...

Journey said...

Well, there were three of us involved in the conversation. Two of us are aware of the sexual habits of the ancient Greeks and Romans, and are quite willing to assume that people have been putting body parts together in any physically feasible for about as long s there have been people.

The third seemed to think that this was a far more recent invention. But then, she also thought that a proper Elizabethan noblewoman would not do things Elizabethan noblewomen are sometimes recorded as doing, and is willing to admit that she may have mistaken "not admitting it" for "not doing it." I have loanded her my copy of _History_Laid_Bare_. We'll see if we can win her over to our way of thinking. ;)

JanieBelle said...

Crap. One more book to add to the list of things I HAVE GOT TO READ.

Richard Zacks, right? Hmm... Amazon seems only to have it in paperback. I like my books covered like I like my men - Hard and Smelly. ;) Off to the used book store.

This blogging thing is putting me way behind on my housecleaning. oh darn.


Feemus said...


I felt old the day a student asked me who Maria Kyooamow was.

After much puzzled back and forth, I realized she was asking about Mario Cuomo.