One of the big events in the Bouchard family history is the day my husband and I drove our daughter to Massachusetts to start college.

We were all very excited and had mixed emotions. For my daughter it was the beginning of a new adventure, but it was also stepping out of her comfort zone of parental security and becoming a responsible adult.

For her father and I it was a very proud moment after all the years of supporting Renee’s endeavors and encouraging her to excel, but it also felt like we were pushing our baby out of the nest.

I remember everything about that day as if it were just yesterday. Whenever I have thought about that day it always gave me a warm feeling. Then last week I read the annual Beloit College Mindset list and found that the kids entering college this year were born the same year my daughter took that giant step forward.

Now when I think of her first day of college I don’t get the warm fuzzies, I just feel old. Where in God’s name did the time go?

Beloit College compiles the Mindset list every August and has been doing so since 1998. And every year when I read the list it makes me feel so much older than I did the year before and oh so out of date.

Being the outdated relic that I am I find some of the items on the list to be on the sad side. For example, many of the kids entering college this year do not know how to do cursive writing. They have been attached to keyboards and computers since they were toddlers and that is the form of writing they know.

How on earth are these young people going to sign future paychecks, car loans or mortgages? My third grade teacher must be rolling in her grave. When she taught cursive, let me tell you, you learned cursive!

The Mindset list also stated that most of the kids from the college class of 2014 do not wear wristwatches. It’s not because they can’t tell time (though that’s possible), but because they all carry cell phones, which have the time on them.

When digital watches came out, adults were concerned that kids would never be able to read an analog clock. I’m willing to bet that a lot of kids, and their parents too for that matter, who grew up with digital watches and clocks can’t in fact read an analog clock.

These same kids have never known a time when there was not more than 100 cable television channels to choose from. In spite of the fact that many 18-year-olds can’t write in cursive and probably can’t tell time if it’s not in a digital format, I bet they fully understand that no matter how many televisions channels they can access there is rarely anything worth watching on them.

With cordless phones having been in existence most of their lives and cell phones constantly glued to their ears, most of the kids entering college have never used a telephone with a cord. One girl who was interviewed proudly said she was familiar with a corded phone because her grandmother had one. Just for the record, the telephone on my kitchen wall has a cord.

My oldest grandsons are four years away from entering college and I can only imagine what the Beloit Mindset list will have on it then.

I was mentioning this thought to my daughter and said I bet when the list of 2014 comes out it will say the kids will not know a time without remote controls. She said, “Mom, I don’t know a time without remote controls!”

Boy, I really am starting to feel old, but that’s OK because the way I see it even if the kids of today know a lot more than I ever did, I can at least write about what I do know . . .  in cursive.


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