Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Beliot College 2011 Freshman list

The Mindset List was created at Beloit College in 1998 to reflect the world view of entering first year students. The list gets updated every year. This is the reality of first year students entering University in the fall of 2011.

  • "What Berlin wall?"
  • Humvees, minus the artillery, have always been available to the public.
  • They never “rolled down” a car window.
  • They have grown up with bottled water.
  • General Motors has always been working on an electric car.Nelson
  • Mandela has always been free and a force in South Africa.
  • Rap music has always been mainstream.
  • “Off the hook” has never had anything to do with a telephone.
  • Russia has always had a multi-party political system.
  • Women have always been police chiefs in major cities.
  • They were born before Bart Simpson existed.
  • No one has ever been able to sit down comfortably to a meal of “liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.”
  • Being “lame” has to do with being dumb or inarticulate, not disabled.
  • Multigrain chips have always provided healthful junk food.
  • They grew up in Wayne’s World.
  • U2 has always been more than a spy plane.
  • The first time they saw Jack Nicholson, he was “The Joker.”
  • They have no idea whey there are "No Smoking" signs on airplanes, because it has never been allowed on North American airplanes.
  • “Google” has always been a verb.
  • Bar codes have always been on everything, from library cards and snail mail to retail items.
  • Carbon copies are oddities found in their grandparents' attics.
  • Disneyland has always been in Europe and Asia.
  • Acura, Lexus, and Infiniti have always been luxury cars of choice.
  • Disposable contact lenses have always been available.
  • When their parents say, “Don’t touch that dial,” they have no idea what dial is being referred to.
  • Stadiums, rock tours and sporting events have always had corporate names.
  • American rock groups have always appeared in Moscow.
  • Commercial product placements have been the norm in films and on TV.
  • Their parents are the same age or older than Lenny Kravitz, Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford.
  • Fox has always been a major network.
  • The “Blue Man Group” has always been everywhere.
  • Women’s studies majors have always been offered on campus.
  • Being a latchkey kid has never been a big deal.
  • They learned about JFK from Oliver Stone and Malcolm X from Spike Lee.
  • High definition television has always been available.
  • Microbreweries have always been ubiquitous.
  • Smoking has never been allowed in public spaces in France.
  • Time has always worked with Warner.
  • Tiananmen Square is a 2008 Olympics venue, not the scene of a massacre.
  • The purchase of ivory has always been banned.MTV has never featured music videos.
  • They’ve never known a time without cell phones.
  • They never saw Johnny Carson live on television.
  • Avatars have nothing to do with Hindu deities.
  • The World Wide Web has been an online tool since they were born.
  • They have always known Burma as Myanmar.
  • Dilbert has always been ridiculing cubicle culture.
  • Food packaging has always included nutritional labeling.
  • “Yadda, yadda, yadda” has always come in handy to make long stories short.
  • Video games have always had ratings.
  • Women have always been Venusians; men, Martians.
  • Chicken soup has always been soul food.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show has always been available on TV.
  • Jimmy Carter has only ever been a smiling elderly man who shows up on TV to promote fair elections and disaster relief.
  • They would never have seen a Sears catalog delivered to the house.

Feel old now?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Goodbye Snowball

Last October, we found out that our cat's kidneys had failed. We were told by the vet that she wouldn't get better from this, but with medication, she would be more comfortable and live another 6 months to maybe two years. About three to four weeks ago, she stopped eating pretty much anything, which meant that she didn't get half of the medicine that we mixed into her food. We watched her lose about 30% of her body weight and get more and more listless. She was sleeping more, becoming dehydrated (no matter how much water she drank) and was losing hair. Last week, another trip to the vet confirmed what we thought - she had reached the end of her time and her body was shutting down.

This morning, I noticed that she couldn't even make it downstairs to the litter box (stumbling when she tried to decend the 3 steps to a landing). It was time. I took her into the vet this morning and she travelled quietly, even when we got into the exam room. She was ready to go. While she and I were waiting for the vet to come back into our exam room, I was petting her and she mustered enough energy to do some of her distinctive barely-perceptable purring. What a dear, sweet animal.

She was a remarkable cat, winning over the hearts of many non-cat people - Kate and her farmer father, included. She tolerated more child-love (read: rough handling and ungainly carrying) than most cats would put up with. She's been dressed, bathed, carried in boxes, tormented by laser pointer dots and dangling strings. We even found that she could be trained, learning to sit and rear up (like a meerkat) on command. Thanks for your time with us, Snowball, Critter, Cat. You'll be remembered fondly.