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Old 04-19-2004, 07:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Beeeeeautiful Bel Air, MD
Duke eliminates Eight AM classes


DURHAM, North Carolina (AP) -- Duke University is eliminating 8 a.m. classes and trying to come up with other ways help its sleep-deprived students, who too often are struggling to survive on a mix of caffeine, adrenaline and ambition.

The school is also considering new orientation programs this fall that would help freshmen understand the importance of sleep.

"Generally, the people I know, we don't see sleep as that important compared to what school and the curriculum have to offer," said Marcel Yang, a Duke freshman from Chapel Hill.

Lack of sleep among college students is an old problem, but one that appears to be getting worse, according to some national surveys.

College students sleep an average of six to seven hours a night, down from seven to seven and a half in the 1980s. Last month, the University of Michigan held a national conference on sleep, stress, depression and college students. Sleep deprivation can hurt academic performance and increase stress levels.

James Clack, Duke's director of counseling and psychological services, said the latest research shows that college-age people should be getting nine hours of sleep a night.

"They begin to get into a pattern of sleeping four to five hours," he said. "They really think it doesn't bother them, but that really isn't the case."

Duke wants students to consider adequate sleep a part of overall wellness. One idea is to do individual health assessments for each student and set goals for good nutrition, exercise and plenty of shuteye.

"They're coming in to see us, and they're ragged," said Ryan Lombardi, assistant dean of students. "We get e-mails and calls in the middle of the night at ungodly hours."

Those schedules have even affected Duke's class times. Students have shunned 8 a.m. classes to the point that many departments stopped offering them. When campus planners looked over the schedule, they realized that, over the years, most classes had been squeezed into the hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

"That suits many students just fine," said Judith Ruderman, vice provost. "But we couldn't exist like that."

Duke was running out of classroom space, and students were beginning to complain about the availability of courses. So administrators worked out a new schedule for the fall, spreading classes more evenly throughout the day and week.

The result: no more 8 a.m. classes, but plenty starting at 8:30 a.m. That will still be a shock to some students who have never had classes before 9.

"We're going to have a lot of grumbling next fall when the reality sets in," Ruderman said. "But you know what? They're resourceful and they'll manage."

Ruderman's advice to her sleepwalking students? Take an afternoon nap.
Almost makes this Duke-hater like them.


I can't decide if this is BS or good. I hate 8 AM classes, so I like it. However, I like getting out of class earlier and know that getting enough sleep is MY responsibility.
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Old 04-19-2004, 07:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
Location: MA
I too dislike 8am classes, but it really spreads out my schedule so I can take advantage of naps...lots and lots of naps.
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Old 04-19-2004, 09:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
Location: Melbourne, Australia
I personally find 8 am classes to be fine. It's better to get them out of the way and besides, one can always sleep in the afternoon. That's not to say that my work load is an intense at what it would be at Duke because obviously, it's not.
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Old 04-19-2004, 10:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
Sometimes you need to do a morning class. I did it last sememster and I start class this semester at 9AM. Frees up the afternoon.
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Old 04-19-2004, 11:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Good that they have the interest of their students at heart. I'm sure there are no jobs out there that require people to actually get up at *gasp* 7am.

Deal with it is what I say. You know your schedule, adapt to it. Go to sleep a little quicker the day before, and indeed, it frees up the afternoon.

I had to get up at 7 every day, since classes started at 8am 4 days out of 5.

It's not like you're gonna tell your boss later on: "oh, by the way, I'm only coming to work here from 9 to 5. After that, you're on your own."
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Old 04-20-2004, 12:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: South Carolina
i used to get up at 7:50 to take a shower, dress, groom, and drive 3 miles to class...and i'd still make it on time...at the beginning of the semester..

By late october...yeah..i'd make it...if i really liked the class or had no other way of taking it later in the day...

i think i only had 3 8 am classes in undergrad and i only dropped 1 due to...well, frankly, she sucked....But by spring break, i just stopped going...

The other two, luckily, i loved, but i was a master at the afternoon nap and getting ot bed by 2 am...

with that said, i'm in favor of dropping 8 am classes, but i also didnt' like classes that ended at 9 pm. my normal schedule was 10 am till 9 pm with a few breaks in there..

on the other hand, jobs are generally 8-5 if you're corporate...oh wait, make that 8am -10pm or so...depends on the slavedriver..

soo, i dunno if i agree wit hthis or not..I'm kinda jealous, though

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Old 04-20-2004, 03:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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8am classes are great, lets you actually have a job other then beeing a useless bum.
You bore me.... next.
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Old 04-20-2004, 06:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My freshman year, my first class started at 11 AM. During the first few weeks, I had no idea what the hell to do with all that extra time in the morning.

By the second month, 11 AM was too early for my first class. I had adjusted my schedule and was hitting bed between 3 and 4 most nights. I could barely wake up. It's not the college's problem, it's not society's problem, it's my problem.

In ten years, they'll be eliminating 9 AM classes because "they're too early." College students dealt with being at school between 7 and 8 AM as high school students, suddenly they hit college, have some freedom, and can't wake up in the morning. I don't mean to sound like an old man but I say fuckin' deal with it and adjust your schedule to make those classes, otherwise you fail.

I am now a normal functioning member of society, waking up between 6 and 7 AM, depending on the day. I laugh when I think back to my senior year of college, and how I struggled to get out of bed at 8 so I could make it to the gym by 9.
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Old 04-20-2004, 06:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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what's that quote from Fark?

oh yeah. Duke sucks.
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Old 04-20-2004, 06:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Shit, I wish ASU would follow suit. But
Originally posted by Cynthetiq
Duke sucks.
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Old 04-20-2004, 06:57 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I don't mind 8 AM classes too bad, I have one right now. I do hate it if I have them every day though. I like to have all my classes done by 1 PM or so.
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Old 04-20-2004, 07:19 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I think some of us are missing the point. It's not when people get up that is the problem, it is how many hours of sleep they are getting. Say you have a job and you need to get up at 7 and you go to sleep at 11. That's 8 hours of sleep. These college students are getting less than 7. In actuality, "the real world" allows them more sleep than college does.
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Old 04-20-2004, 07:22 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Location: Ontario, Canada
I avoided 830 classes when I went to university. Only had one ever schedualed, and it was a tutorial for a class I knew backwards and forwards, so I never attended.

I preferred having classes that started at 11 am or 1 pmish. It meant I could work all night until 5 am on a project, get a nap, and make it to class the next day.

Was I a lazy bum? Well, it took me 6 months to pay off all of my debt I accumulated from school after I graduated: I worked my way through university.

In my program, the homework took way more time than the class time did (about twice as much). Given I only had ~15 hours of class a week, schedualing it at times the students prefer sounds like a better idea than doing it when they don't want to go to class.
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Old 04-20-2004, 11:22 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I think it's a very good idea. I did a report on morning classes my sophomore year of high school, and I don't remember any specifics, but the general idea is that having class later in the day is better for sleep and learning patterns. Here's to wishing my school follows suit.
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Old 04-20-2004, 12:16 PM   #15 (permalink)
Location: San Diego
I wish my school didn't have 8 am classes, I did one this semester and it pains me to wake up in the morning. It is such a drain on me, just one more hour of sleep makes the difference for me. It's not like I don't get enough sleep, I am just not a morning person.
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Old 04-20-2004, 12:24 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I have no idea what this will accomplish - other than everyone staying out an hour later now.
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Old 04-20-2004, 12:35 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I hated my 8 am class this semester. But he was indescribably dull. I have to be at work M-F at 8 am this summer...I'm going to have to become a morning person.

My University is fucked up in the scheduling department and may be offering 7AM classes...*7*. That's early.
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Old 04-20-2004, 05:24 PM   #18 (permalink)

Originally posted by RoboBlaster
I think some of us are missing the point. It's not when people get up that is the problem, it is how many hours of sleep they are getting. Say you have a job and you need to get up at 7 and you go to sleep at 11. That's 8 hours of sleep. These college students are getting less than 7. In actuality, "the real world" allows them more sleep than college does.
I agree. Also, for people that commute that will save a lot of time. Eight o'clock classes may force some commuters to wake up before 6am because of traffic and other considerations. For those students who actually have a difficult course schedule, 8 o'clock classes are extremely difficult to handle. Let's not forget that when you are working a "9-5" job, you may have to wake up at 6 or 7am, but most of the time you don't have any homework or any tests to study for. Also, there's much more incentive when you are getting paid to wake up early. I know people will say that spending so much tuition money will be an incentive, but the concept of "immediate gratification" comes to mind. Not to say that that is a correct attitude, but instead, that's my observation.

Also, why does Duke "suck?" I don't understand why everyone dislikes Duke. Academically, Duke has always been a very good school. The basketball program there (which draws most of the hatred I think) is also excellent. Football... not doing so well. I don't get what there is to hate about Duke. How come no one hates on WashU or something.

Last edited by nash; 04-20-2004 at 05:28 PM..
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Old 04-20-2004, 06:11 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Location: South Carolina
why do people hate duke: Jealousy

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Old 04-20-2004, 06:35 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Location: Ontario
Problem is, you get used to having 8 AM classes. Eliminate them and students will just decide they can stay up an extra hour at night to study (i.e Drink) and just get used to having 9 AM classes. Doesn't really solve anything.
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Old 04-20-2004, 06:51 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Location: Wilson, NC
Originally posted by Kaos
Problem is, you get used to having 8 AM classes. Eliminate them and students will just decide they can stay up an extra hour at night to study (i.e Drink) and just get used to having 9 AM classes. Doesn't really solve anything.

Off the record, on the q.t., and very hush-hush.
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Old 04-20-2004, 06:58 PM   #22 (permalink)
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colllege students sleep an average of six to seven hours a night,
wow, would have loved to get that kind of sleep when I was going to ITT Tech for my AA degree. When you drive 140 miles on a nearly daily basis between work (0300-0800 or later) and school (1800-2200 with forty miles each way through a good portion of traffic jams). As I recall my usual time ariving home was around 2300 and my wakeup time M-F was c. 0200. Ugh
Makes those 7-8 hours off (usually left by 1600ish at the latest) interesting when that is the best time for sleep/homework/whatever else.
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Old 04-20-2004, 11:26 PM   #23 (permalink)
Location: West Lafayette, IN
I eliminated 7:30's at Purdue myself: just don't show up. Works great.
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Old 04-21-2004, 04:45 AM   #24 (permalink)
Location: VA
I thought college was supposed to prepare you for the real world. It's not really doing that if it's encouraging 4 years of sleeping in...
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Old 04-21-2004, 12:32 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Kindof makes me respect the college I graduated from a little more. We had a lights out rule at 11:00 most nights with upper classmen being able to sign up to stay up later a specified number of nights a semester. This resulted in most of my roommates being up, showered and dressed by 6:30 or 7:00 am and to breakfast which ended at 8:30. Still students would run themselvse ragged but those that went along with the rule were better rested and more able to excel. I actually found that I didn't need to stay up later even when I was a senior because I had been forced to learn how to make better use of my time and get my work done earlier in the evening. Also none of my roommates were keeping me up or visa versa when we wanted to sleep at night.
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Old 04-21-2004, 12:50 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Location: South Carolina
i was just thinknig...

even with rarely having 8 am classes, i still ran on 4-6 hrs a night of sleep and maybe an afternoon 30-45 min nap...

I dont' see how dropping 8 am classes will help the issue. I just adjusted the time iw ent to bed according to when i needed to be up for class...So, on tue/thurs, i would normally go to bed an hour or two later than on m/w/f.

As for the real world...most people i know and my own schedule allows for 6-8 hrs of sleep, maybe more. you dont' have homework, 50 page papers, etc. Sure, you have work you need to finish up, plan for, etc, but overall, you are not nearly as busy as when in school. Or at least, i'm not

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