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Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I knew there was a reason I was always late to band...

Some chick with the backing of Brown University has done a study that suggests that teenagers are sleepy in the morning, which affects their mood/congnitive function/performance in school.
She says that schools should start an hour later, when the melatonin levels in teenagers' saliva have fallen to the point that they're no longer sleepy. You see, the lovable teens are built to go to bed later and get up later than children or adults, according to their melatonin producing whatevers (glands? Spiggots? Cells?). If students are forced out of sleep early by, say, an alarm of some kind, their learning will suffer. Here are some fun quotes:

"Children learn from kindergarten on about the food pyramid," Carskadon said. "But no one is teaching them the life pyramid that has sleep at the base.
"Add to that the disrespect that sleep gets when schools say you have to be there at such an early time. So why should they think sleep is important?"

First of all, I don't want any public school teaching kids about any sort of "life pyramid."
Teenagers have long complained that starting school about 7 a.m. -- the typical start time for many high schools -- is cruel and inhumane.
This article is in the Washington Post. "Cruel and inhumane"? It's getting them out of bed early, not forcing them to pound out license plates or listen to the latest Kevin Federline album. What is this, the National Enquirer? Pick better words. Recognize the inherent absurdity of the teenagers' complaint. In other words, come on.
"People tell me that changing school start times to later is just mollycoddling the kids," said Kyla Wahlstrom, interim director of the University of Minnesota's Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement. "I'd say they are people who don't want to accept the fact that there is a different biology for teens."
You know, the only reason school was moved earlier in the first place was so teens could get jobs or practice football another hour or take gymnastics after school. Kyla Wahlstrom may a total lame-o who doesn't get that we're actually trying to teach kids some discipline and work ethic by getting them up early, but she's on to something here despite herself. Nobody should be getting up at 6am (unless they're "morning people"), especially teenagers.
"If I was able to get more sleep, I think I'd be able to last through my afternoon classes a lot more often," said Andrew Nazdin, 17, a senior at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda.
Dude was quoted in the Washington Post saying he doesn't "last through" his afternoon classes. Ha! Pot, not a 7am start time, is responsible for this. Let's be reasonable here.

Though times vary for individuals, Carskadon said levels of melatonin start to rise in teenagers generally between 10 and 11 p.m. -- and don't stop until about 8 a.m. This changes when people are in their twenties, she said.
So although it's not impossible for adolescents to go to sleep before 11 p.m., or even to be alert in the morning, Carskadon said, their bodies make it hard, and in some cases nearly impossible, to do.

I say, start at 8:30 like we did back in my day, and take away all the excuses for failure that these little ingrates have. Take away their jobs, limit their extra-curricular activities, and try to get them to do a little math, science, and social studies. This isn't Russia, dang it -- nobody should be getting up before dawn.


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