Friday, August 28, 2009

What's the matter with kids today?

Rebekah Nathan begins her story by explaining how, as a professor, students had "become increasingly confusing" to her. I am sure she must know about The Beloit Mindset list which comes out each August from Beloit College in Wisconsin to help professors understand each new class as it enters. Teachers and professors find that the generation gap gets bigger every year for us because students are always the same age, but we continue to grow older. The Mindset List helps us to have some idea where our students are coming from. I find that I am so out of touch that I learned from this year's mindset list that condoms were advertised on television (#25) . I haven't seen commercial television in so long I was not even a little bit aware of this "given" for the class of 2013.

Nathan is actually a psuedonym for Cathy Small, and Anthropology Professor at Northern Arizona University who was "outed" just before the book was released. She had hoped to remain anonymous, but that actually seemed like a pretty tall order for someone who was studying the students at the University in which she herself taught. She did go to some trouble to keep her identity a secret. She never names the school, or where it is located; and takes classes only with professors she's never heard of. There's no picture or biography of her on the inside flap of the book jacket. Something I have noticed is almost always present on any of the other (hardcover) books I read

The copy of My Freshman Year I received from Interlibrary Loan came from the Wellfleet Public Library in good ol' Cape Cod.

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