Thursday, August 19, 2010

Beloit College Mindset Insult

I still don't understand this annual Beloit College Mindset List. It's a list compiled by some college guys and distributed to faculty so they can understand the mindset of incoming college freshmen and avoid dating themselves by mentioning Theda Bara whenever some kids talk about the Twilight movies.

This year, it says stuff like:

22. Cross-burning has always been deemed protected speech.
Don't say that burning a cross in a black man's yard is wrong.. unless it violates some fire code, but it's not a hate crime because your students are too young and vacuous to know why it's a vile act.

Don't mention the African slave trade because that was so long ago and these kids only know about trading Pogs. And don't even mention the television series Roots. These students don't know Kunta Kinte unless they heard Kanye West compare himself to him.

And don't talk about the Holocaust or WWII because as far as these students know, those things never happened. To them, the Holocaust is just the subject of some movie where Ralph Fiennes was really mean that won the Academy Award.

32. Czechoslovakia has never existed.
Czechoslovakia was a founding member of the United Nations. That's not important at all.

I appreciate the assumption that incoming freshmen are completely stupid. But it's like this list is some in joke among faculty that kids don't know anything but their immediate world around them.

Every student should feel insulted by this list. As if nothing that happened before your lifetime even exists for you. Especially this,

65. They first met Michelangelo when he was just a computer virus.
Really? Not as a ninja turtle? All you kids should be pissed at that wrong assumption.

Me, I'm insulted by this next one,

57. A purple dinosaur has always supplanted Barney Google and Barney Fife.
Barney Google? Barney Google? I'm old, but I don't think Barney Google has ever been in any newspaper I've ever read in my lifetime. I'm sure it was published somewhere, but not where I was. How old are these guys who make this list?

So the Beloit message seems to be, Don't bring up anything your students didn't live through because, clearly, the world revolves around them.

I thought college was supposed to teach kids stuff they didn't already know, silly me.