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Zombie University students need more sleep

August 31, 2012

AP Education Writer Justin Pope writes: Colleges Open Their Eyes: ZZZs Are Key to GPA [in ABCnews] claiming:

campus life turns out to resemble a giant laboratory experiment designed for maximum sleep deprivation: irregular schedules, newfound freedom, endless social interaction, loud and crowded housing, late-night exercise and food washed down by booze, coffee and energy drinks. Campuses pulsing with energy at midnight by mid-afternoon resemble Zombie U., with students dozing off in library chairs, on yoga mats and even in coffee shops.

Incidentally, recall previous zombielaw posts about zombie libraries, zombie yoga and zombies getting coffee.

Pope includes this disturbing quote:

“The average student is functioning with a clinical sleep disorder,” said LeeAnn Hamilton, assistant director of health promotion and preventive services at the University of Arizona, describing research conducted on students there.

It disturbs me not so much because students aren’t sleeping, but rather because of the way everything (here the traditional habits of sleepless college life) has become a disorder. Where every symptom of the body has become a disorder is it any wonder that we all feel zombied?

Pope’s “Zombie U.” is perhaps a veiled attack on liberal arts education more generally. As if the lab experiment is inherently doomed to lack responsibility because of scheduling irregularities, social anarchy and chemical partying. He ignores that larger purpose of college to develop oneself and the very real value in bonding with peers over coffee and booze til the wee hours. Without those experiences we’d really be zombies.

zombie justin pope

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