I’m so old

My high school sent me a calendar in the mail the other day. Flipping through it, I came across a roster of the just-graduated Class of 2003. Looking through the names, I recognized only two, and those as younger siblings of friends of my younger brother.

The other day, Beloit College released their annual Mindset List, which they distribute to faculty and staff to help them understand the incoming Class of 2007. It’s interesting how different elements of popular culture move at different rates; many of the items in the list I identify with (“Paul Newman has always made salad dressing”), but others make me feel really old (“Pete Rose has always been a gambler”).

Actually, I suspect part of the issue is that I apparently paid more attention in history class than the average high school graduate. Even looking at the 2002 list, which is only a year younger than I am, I find many items that do not accurately describe me, not because I lived through the appropriate events, but because I’ve read or heard about them. Then again, maybe that extra year is meaningful—I have memories of the Challenger blowing up, the Cold War, vinyl albums and beige M&Ms, all things the Class of 2002 aren’t supposed to remember.