It’s that time of year, where the annual Beloit College Mindset List is released. I originally became interested in the Mindset List because, working at a post-secondary institution, it is useful for me to try and understand the new students who arrive every year. Now, it has become so much more — it has become my own road map through life, highlighting for me how things my generation once considered amazing have already become obsolete.
To mark the twenty years since I first stepped onto campus, I decided to compile my own personal list — a list of things I can say I am happy I am old enough that I can say I have experienced. Maybe the new generation needs an insight into the mind of us old buggers?
- I can remember having to get up to turn the dial on the televsion because we didn’t have a remote control.
- Not every television in our house was colour. Actually, I can remember when we only had one TV in the house.
- I can remember the day we had cable TV installed and we didn’t need to have the antenna on the roof or, GASP, rabbit ears!
- I’m glad I had to experience the agony of knowing if you wanted to phone a girl it meant you were going to have to ask her parents if she was available to talk.
- I’m also glad I got to experience the relief that came when she answered the phone herself!
- I can remember being happy our phone had a cord long enough that I could take the handset into the closet to have my conversation in “private”.
- I am pleased to say I am a member of a generation that knew the absolute joy of riding in the open bed of a pickup truck.
- I actually used to know how to find a library book using a card catalogue.
- The first thing my parents did after buying a car was stuff the seatbelts under the seat so they wouldn’t be in the way.
- I can remember my dad taking the foil from inside a package of cigarettes, wrapping it around a blown fuse in the car.
- I can remember my mother shoving a piece of cardboard underneath the eight track so it wouldn’t drag as the belt wore out.
- Does anyone else remember having to figure out which side a video store was Beta and which was VHS when renting a movie?
- My generation could tell what someone ordered at McDonald’s by the color of the Styrofoam container his burger came in.
- Remember when you had to figure out how many times to let a phone ring before you decided no one was home and hung up?
- I remember going to the bank to cash a paycheque and deciding how much cash you were going to need to get you through to the next pay day.
- When I was a student we thought we were advanced because we could use a phone system to drop a class or change our schedule.
- Yes, I actually had to balance a penny on the stylus of a record player to keep the needle from skipping.
- Our parents would let us run free outside without supervision as long as we agreed to come home when the streetlights came on.
- I can remember when hearing you had a computer in your house meant you must be “really rich”.
- Yes, even for my generation, getting a physical letter from a friend was a special occasion.
Please feel free to add your own points. Let’s all revel in our middle-aged-ness.