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When my son was a college freshman, I remember dropping him off at school amid the chaos of freshmen move-in-day. After we'd helped him haul all his stuff in repeated trips up three flights of stairs in the dusty old dormitory, it was time to say goodbye. Yes, tears ensued ... and as we left I remember being so bothered that he didn't wear (or even own) a watch; how would he get to his classes on time? Instead, he kept time by the digital display on his cellphone - and couldn't imagine it any other way.
Those of you helping your son or daughter get packed and ready for the drop-off at school may want to take a short break from all the planning and fretting, and read this humorous, eye-opening, newly released list about members of the Class of 2015.
For starters, this group of young people has never known a world without the Internet.
That and several more "cultural touchstones" are part of the Mindset List for the Class of 2015 compiled by Beloit College in Wisconsin.
The list includes everything from politics and political figures - "[To the Class of 2015] Jimmy Carter has always been a smiling elderly man who shows up on TV to promote fair elections and disaster relief" - to changes in child-rearing - "Unlike their older siblings, [the Class of 2015] spent bedtime on their backs until they learned to roll over."
For some of us, present company included, items such as these are startling: “'Dial-up,'” Woolworths, and the Sears 'Big Book' are as antique to them as 'talking machines' might have been to their grandparents."
Read it and laugh. And if your son or daughter doesn't wear a watch, don't worry; their cell phones will serve as a timepiece just fine.