Our Annual PARENTS’ ADVISORY (This Year: Class of 2037)

by Tom McBride

Our Parents’ Advisory for the Class of 2037 

The annual watch is on, starting at midnight. For some, the real New Year’s fireworks will come with the arrival of the first baby born in 2015. News reports will cover the blessed events around the world.

But amidst all the celebrating, parents and grandparents might want to think ahead, because this child, born in 2015, will turn 18 in 2033,  graduate from high school, and head off into the next chapter of his or her life. There will be a lot of questions that need answering about that time.

To help in preparing for the future, the authors of the Beloit College Mindset List, which looks at the worldview of students entering college at 18, provide some questions for us to start thinking about. Here are 20 for openers:

 1. How did Iraq ever exist as one country? 

2. When will this bandwidth rationing end? 

3. Since I don’t want my job to be declared obsolete before I am 30, what on earth should I major in? 

4. When did St. Petersburg change its name to Putinsburg? 

5. Why does Gramps keep talking about all those old “tea parties” he used to go to?

6. Was Netflix one of the “three networks” you keep referring to?

7. Mom’s birthday is tomorrow—don’t you think you’d better have the dinner and cake delivered by Amazon Drone?

8. Is it true that people once trusted big banks as more secure than small local banks?

9. Do you mind if I print some new sweat smells on my 3-D–just for fun? 

10. Now that New York City’s economy has surpassed France’s, do you think its application for observer status at the U.N. will be approved? 

11. Is it true that Community Wellness Practitioners at Walgreen’s and CVS used to be called nurses? 

12. Do you agree with President Lopez’s decision to establish an American embassy in North Korea?  

13. How could you have called your old phone “smart” when it couldn’t do half of what my computer pendant does? 

 14. When did Ford start putting pedestrian detectors on their cars?

15. With these new space-based solar satellites, shouldn’t our energy bill go down? 

16. Should I just skip college and pursue a 3-year masters degree internship program?

 17. When did you get your first nonfat Big Mac served by a robot?

 18.  If I had a full wall monitor in my room wouldn’t I be able to watch my homework better?

19. How long have you been able to pre-select your car seats based on your size?

20. When did you have your first cannabis candy roll? 

Ron Nief and Tom McBride, in addition to the annual Beloit College Mindset list, are the authors of The Mindset Lists of American History: From Typewriters to Text Messages, What Ten Generations of Americans Think is Normal (Wiley, 2011), and The Mindset List of the Obscure:74 Famously Forgotten Icons from A to Z (Sourcebooks, 2014)


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