Monday, January 14, 2008

How Long Ago?

Some college regularly sends out a list of what the incoming first-year college students will remember, have lived through, or will have no knowledge of. I haven’t seen this year’s mailing, so I’m out of the loop.

Let’s see . . . 17 at entrance, that would be born in 1990. Figure that we aren’t really aware of stuff until we’re about eight or so, which means our new students haven’t mentally reached out to the world until about 1998. I don’t remember what happened then and don’t feel like researching it right at this moment, but it was only two years later when our calendars made that momentous change to a century starting with “2.”

Some of the people who read this blog will remember black & white tv, the introduction of both FM radio and automatic transmission cars. We also had phonographs (self-contained record players); but for the incoming students, compact discs were already eight years old when they were born and the 42-year-old vinyl long-playing records didn’t know they were about to drop out of favor.

For them, the thought of living in the 2000’s is a yawn; for the older generation, it’s something we used to see in the future and never think would come about. We have now seen people who were born on, or before, December 31, 1899, who were alive after January 1, 2000; they have lived in all or part of three centuries. We will not see this again, although some eight-year-olds might be in the newspapers in 2100. (Is my math right?)


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