Posted by Steven Hayward
Courtesy of Beloit College, the annual "What Freshman Dont Know" List.
It still has one Beatles reference, so There Is Hope.
I had a class-full of high school students last year who didnt know who Billy Crystal was. Finally, one mentioned whether he was the host of an awards show. Forget trying to joke around, "Bueller, Bueller, Bueller . . . something - doo economics."!!!
Sheesh! I know its supposed to be a farce, but why should it include a presumption that our college freshmen have no memories before puberty?
Just my $.02
More amusing than useful. Honestly, do you know nothing about the time before you were born? A recent high-school grad friend of mine regularly goes to Beatles conventions.
For you teachers out there, try this one. On the first day (or therabouts) ask your students the first significant historical event that they can remember. The responses I recieve range from 9/11 to that soiled "blue dress". After that ask the first top 40 hit they can remember and then you will feel old, or otherwise happy not to be a teenager/young 20 something.
My thanks go to an Ashbrook Seminar for planting that seed. It worked great!
Tucker, as a 20-something myself, Ill bite on the question of the first major historical event I can remember. Tiananmen Square, 1989. I was about 9 years old and the breaking news bulletin pre-empted my Saturday morning cartoons. (Say, thats another sign of the times. The networks dont do Saturday morning cartoons anymore, do they?)
To back up Mike D., as a twenty-something myself, the first historical event I remember was the Challenger explosion, for the same reason.
From the way my peers tell it, my class must have been one of the few in America not watching it live. I came home to find my mother and father watching television, she was weeping, as President Reagan addressed the disaster. All I remember was being upset that my cartoons werent on. NONE of the channels carried cartoons?! Now that was a tragedy I could comprehend.
I think today there may still be afternoon cartoons, but it seems like theyre nothing more than half-hour commercials for some toy. Not like G.I. Joe or Transformers.
Hmmm, maybe the more things change, the more they stay the same after all.
Mike D. and Moaner, great responses. You might be of the last generation to respond so vividly. Could it be possible that in our current "Fox Alert!" society that news flashes are desensitizing the public? I will go ahead and date myself with my earliest memory, which came not from television but from the radio and the public service announcements of Skylab crashing to earth. Although #2 would be the Reagan assassination attempt in 4th grade.
As for Saturday morning cartoons, I am afraid that era is now over. Which is very sad. I have very fond memories of a bowl of cereal and Bugs Bunny in the morning. Steven that might be a great topic for the weekend. We have sorted through rock, delved into modern television, perhaps we could turn to cartoons and their social ramifications?
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