Blog Archives

The Mindset List for the High School Class of 1961 by Ron Nief

by Ron Nief

The Mindset List for the Graduating High School Class of 1961 Authors note: For more than two decades the Beloit College Mindset List chronicled the experiences and event horizons of 18-year-old students as they entered college. Created by Ron Nief, director of Public Affairs at Wisconsin’s Beloit College and his Beloit College colleague, Prof. of English Tom McBride, the list was distributed internationally each August as the authors traveled the country speaking and doing interviews. It was initially intended as a reminder to those faculty facing first- year students to beware of “hardening of the references.” Over the years it became one of the most quoted “back-to-school” references and was cited by Time Magazine as a part of the “American   Read on »


by Tom McBride

Dear Boomers and Millennials: We must shed the coronavirus of division and complacency among us. This is your Hopeful Leader speaking. You have been apart, for Millennials feel that capitalism has worked for Boomers but not for them, and that Boomers have gotten the lion’s share of capitalism’s benefits. Meanwhile, Boomers don’t know wy Millennials would rather look at their smart phones than look at them. But that was all before Covid. After Covid the two generations—you young and old alike—can come together. The Generation Gap will have passed, along with the virus itself. What can I say, and how shall I lead, in order to make this come about? First, Covid has taught us that Evil is no respecter   Read on »


by Tom McBride

Flus Have Always Been Spanish Tom McBride Suppose there had been a Marist Mindset List for the college class of 10440. The first item on the List might have been: “The flu has always been Spanish.” College grads in 1940 were born in 1918, the year of the last COVD-19 scale pandemic in the United States. This was not the coronavirus, which had not yet hatched itself.  It was the Spanish Flu.  President Trump has sometimes called COVD-19 the “Chinese virus” because, he says, it came from China. The Spanish flu, though, didn’t come from Spain. It was so-called because when the flu hit Spain, which was not at war (this was the end of World War I), reports of the   Read on »

The Marist College Mindset List, Class of 2023

by Tom McBride

Like Pearl Harbor for their grandparents, and the Kennedy assassination for their parents, 9/11 is an historical event.  Thumb, jump, and USB flash drives have always pushed floppy disks further into history. The primary use of a phone has always been to take pictures. The nation’s mantra has always been: “If you see something, say something.” The Tech Big Four–Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google — are to them what the Big Three automakers were to their grandparents. Their smart pens may write and record faster than they can think. Nearly half of their generation is composed of people of color. When they pulled themselves up off the floor for the first time, they may have been hanging onto the folks’   Read on »

How to LIST-ify Your Classroom: 7 Lists…7 Tips

by Tom McBride

How To LISTify Your Classroom 7 Lists…7 Tips The Marist Mindset List is a famed annual event because it supplies a witty and provocative list of items about what has “always” or “never” been true in the lives of entering college students. But the Marist List is much more than a yearly event. Here we offer some teaching tips based on creative uses of—you guessed it—LISTS. Welcome to How to LIST-ify Your Classroom. Lists: They aren’t just for supermarkets or even just for mindsets any more. –T.M. (Contact:  List Number 1: The First Day List  We’re so familiar with making a list that we don’t ee its creative potential. To start with, every list has two parts: what’s on it and what’s not   Read on »


by Tom McBride

During the Middle Ages the church would put skulls on bridges in order to remind people that death was near. Time was short, so it behooved those still alive to prepare for their own demise and to get their souls ready so that they would be acceptable in the after-life. One character in a medieval play, Everyman, dawdled. He thought time was long; that he had plenty of time. He learned otherwise and barely got ready for the judgment of Heaven.  In some ways the Marist List is also a memento mori. To be sure, it’s not a skull on a medieval bridge in London or Rome in 1300. But, as our many fans tell us, it does remind older   Read on »

The MARIST Mindset List, Class of 2023

by Tom McBride

Looking for the latest Mindset List? You can find it on or after August 21, 2019 at our new Marist College Website (address below). We hope you like the new List. (Yes, half of the Beatles have always been dead.) To talk with the authors send an email to or call 608 312 9508. Thanks. Here’s the new Marist address: