EDITORIAL: Put the ‘Break’ Back in Breaks

A four-day mid-semester pause from classes would seem to offer ample time for students to recharge and focus on well-being and sleep. Nor is this an accident, as The Faculty Handbook Project makes clear: “Short breaks from academic requirements are intentionally included in the academic calendar to provide rest, respite and a break from schoolwork.” Cornell Health further emphasizes the need for rest, especially sleep, with an entire page dedicated to sleep-related health. It recommends students take 7-9 hours every night to get sleep — which, in its words, “is a necessity, not a luxury.”

But is that consistent with the messages our instructors are sending us? Take, for example, the all-too-common practice of professors assigning work during breaktime. When students get work over break, the obvious implication is that the assigned work should trump any need for a proper break.

There's No Place Like Home

Last Saturday I squeezed ten mostly unrelated friends into my tiny studio apartment. They drank my drinks, they annoyingly touched my things, the usual. But as they sat on my bed, my desk, my counter and a rogue table which usually holds up several tons of not-quite-dirty clothes from the abyss of the floor, they complained about the lack of ergonomically correct devices they referred to as “chairs.”

There's More To School Than School

This goes out to Peter Davis ’09, a fellow Glen Altschuler protégé, who both champions all of my column victories and also mostly just thinks I’m an idiot.
This is a piece of writing that is subversive. I want to tell you all a little fable about the little genius that could, but wouldn’t anymore. Maybe, you, then, Cornell masses, will mutiny and realize that you’re actually in COLLEGE. The land of beer and honeys. Stop crying to your dad on your cell phone in Olin café, vaguely trying to obscure your face with a copy of this fine publication. You do actually still get a degree from Cornell if you get B’s. Even C’s. Pull yourself together.