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A Fresh View of Today's Freshmen

Cursive writing? Kodachrome slides? Clint Eastwood a tough, magnum-wielding detective? Mention these to many college freshmen and you're liable to get puzzled looks.

So says this year's Beloit College Mindset List, a catalog of cultural factoids and references about today's incoming freshmen, born in 1992.

Ron Nief, emeritus director of public affairs at Wisconsin's Beloit College, and English professor Tom McBride created the first Mindset List 13 years ago. "We wanted to remind the professors that although their worldview might be framed by Vietnam and Watergate, it was not part of the entering student's worldview," Nief says.

According to the list, few in the class know how to write in cursive or have ever seen a carousel of Kodachrome slides; and Eastwood is better known as a sensitive director than as Dirty Harry.

Among other items on the list that are unfamiliar to the Class of 2014: coiled handset wire on a phone, and computers without a CD-ROM disk drive.

Cathie Gandel is a freelance writer based in Bridgehampton, N.Y.

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