The world in 1989

The Beloit College Class of 2011 Mindset list has been released. It features aspects of the worldview of 18 year-olds in the fall of 2007, i.e. those born in 1989. Some things that make me feel old:

  • What Berlin wall?
  • They never “rolled down” a car window.
  • They have grown up with bottled water.
  • Russia has always had a multi-party political system.
  • Tiananmen Square is a 2008 Olympics venue, not the scene of a massacre.
  • MTV has never featured music videos.
  • The space program has never really caught their attention except in disasters.
  • The World Wide Web has been an online tool since they were born.

1989 was a big year. I graduated with a B.Sc in Zoology and entered graduate school. On my 21st birthday, I watched the crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protests. That November, we saw the Berlin Wall come down. My Dad and Grandmother died. Big year.


2 thoughts on “The world in 1989

  1. In 1989, I was in 5th grade at a Lutheran elementary school in Las Vegas. Where I was disciplined daily with swats from a plastic belt and banished to the school library from class for interupting religion class with questions and comments like ‘well where did god come from?’, ‘I think whoever told you that might be telling you stories’, ‘Jesus didn’t say that yesterday’, ‘is my grandmother going to hell? will I still be able to visit?’, ‘How did Jesus get into your heart? Can I see your scar?’. I was also learning about the evils and immorality of science, and teachers used the local example of the Pepcon factory explosion (which also blew up a marshmallow factory and part of a school as well) as an example. In 6th grade, I went to public school. By 10th grade most of my friends from that school either had babies or drug addictions.

  2. I remember watching news coverage of the Tiananmen Square protests on TV while on vacation with my parents in San Francisco. I was a sophomore in college at the time concentrating on prerequisite classes while trying to decide what to do with the rest of my life.
    A few days ago I was in a pizza joint near ASU which was playing ’80’s music and it was a little disconcerting to think that most of the people there weren’t even around when those tunes were initially hits.
    As a movie buff, I also find number 34 on the list disconcerting: They were introduced to Jack Nicholson as “The Joker.” My favorite Jack Nicholson scene of all time is from a movie that came out nineteen years before Batman.

Comments are closed.