Wednesday, August 23, 2006

"What Your Freshmen Don't Know"

Inside Higher Ed has posted Beloit College's annual list of what first-year college students do and don't know about the world. As a public service to faculty members in Taiwan, I'm posting the ones that seem most relevant to our context. Please add more Taiwan-specific items in the comments.
  1. The Soviet Union has never existed and therefore is about as scary as the student union. [Do schools in Taiwan even have student unions?]
  2. They have known only two presidents. [But that could be said about almost any generation of college freshmen in Taiwan...]
  3. There has always been only one Germany.
  4. They are wireless, yet always connected.
  5. They grew up with and have outgrown faxing as a means of communication.
  6. "Google" has always been a verb. [This one is a stretch... but I liked it.]
  7. Text messaging is their e-mail. [IM is, too.]
  8. Young women's fashions have never been concerned with where the waist is. [Actually, I'm not sure about this one...]
  9. They have rarely mailed anything using a stamp.
  10. Being techno-savvy has always been inversely proportional to age.
  11. They have always been able to watch wars and revolutions live on television. [Except that TV news here seems mainly concerned with the scandals of entertainers and presidential families.]
  12. They have always had access to their own credit cards. [Possibly. And cell phones, too!]
  13. Acura, Lexus, and Infiniti have always been luxury cars of choice. [At least Lexus.]
  14. ...
I await your additions (either English or Chinese are fine) with gleeful anticipation.

2 comments:

heather s. said...

I can't come up with anything fabulous, so this is my pitiful offering:

Larry Hagman was never sexy (or, alternatively, Larry Hagman was always an old guy parading his liver transplant scars around on Extra! Extra! and Entertainment Tonight).

Jonathan Benda said...

I guess this was a harder assignment than I thought. I'm having trouble, too. Let me see if I can come up with a few to prime the pump (thanks to Heather for your offering!).

*They never used chopsticks to eat French fries at McDonald's. [I know, this is awful. It might not even be true. But I heard that when McDonald's first came here, people used chopsticks to eat the fries...]

*Every restaurant they've gone to is air-conditioned. [Mysterious reference here to those restaurants that still proudly announce "冷氣開放" on their doors...]

*They only vaguely remember Lee Teng-hui speaking Mandarin.

OK. Those are terrible. Someone else come up with something better!