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How Our Students See the World

Message Number: 
9

(3/19/98) 

------------------------ 254 words ---------------------- 

Folks: 

Here is something to keep in mind as we look forward our undergraduate teaching in the coming year: 

  • The students who will be starting college this fall across nation were born in 1980. 
  • They have no meaningful recollection of the Reagan era. 
  • They were prepubescent when the Persian Gulf War was waged. 
  • Black Monday 1987 is as significant to them as the Great Depression. 
  • Their world has always included AIDS. 
  • Atari predates them, as do vinyl albums and cassette audiotapes; they may have heard of an 8-track, but probably never actually seen (or heard) one. 
  • The digital Disc was presented to Wall street when they were 1 year old. 
  • From their earliest years, a camera was something you used once and threw away. 
  • As far as they know, stamps have always cost about 32 cents. 
  • Few, if any, have lived without an answering machine. 
  • Few have used a TV set with only 13 channels. 
  • Some use the word "clickers" for "remote control", yet they do not know why they say it. 
  • They were born the year that Walkmen were introduced by Sony. 
  • The expression "you sound like a broken record" means nothing to them. 
  • They have no memory of American trips into space via anything but the Space Shuttle. 
  • Manned flights to the moon are ancient history to them. 


Would anyone care to add items to the list? Looking forward to hearing from you. 

Rick Reis 
reis@stanford.edu