Sunday, September 30, 2007

Average Work Week

The standard US 40-hour work week doesn't apply to all countries. After living in Europe I know that 30-hour work weeks are very common in many of the western countries. However, there are some countries where the standard worker puts in more hours than the average American per week. I know wikipedia is not usually considered a trusted source, however, I found this bar graph extremely interesting. Workers in South Korea work by far the most amount of hours per year out of any other country in the world--and 34% percent more than the average American. I can't imagine how South Koreans juggle what little free time they have.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Pill Popping

While researching sleep studies, I recently came across this article dealing with college students who regularly take Adderall. Adderall, which is a prescription drug given to people who suffer from ADHD, has stimulant effects on those who take it but do not have a hyperactive disorder.

The article interviews several students who attend Columbia University and discusses the Adderall culture that has developed there. It surprises me that at a school like Columbia, the use of Adderall has become something that is commonly recognized and accepted. Students attribute their high GPAs to their ability to study all night or write papers for hours because of their use of the drug. For about $5, students can score a pill from classmates who legitimately have prescriptions.

Reading the quotes in this article, it appears that no one seems to be concerned with discovering the if there are negative health impacts from taking the pills. The main point of the article seems to be more a question of morality, and if students who take Adderall are essentially "cheating" in order to keep their grades up.

See full article here:

4 Cups a Day

As I started my morning today with a thermos full of black French-roast, I couldn't help but wonder if my coffee intake could negatively be affecting my health. To my appease, however, I found an article on WebMd which says that drinking coffee can cut the risk of type 2 diabetes as well as Parkinson's disease, gallstones and colon cancer. Although the statistics gathered showed greater benefits for men than women it's still settling to know that living on 4 cups a day might actually have a positive impact.

The full article can be seen at:

Monday, September 17, 2007

Students with Jobs

Fortunately I do not belong to the group of college students who are forced to work during the semester in order to pay for their tuition or rent. In contrast, I choose to work mainly because I seem to have adopted my father's work-ethic and my mother's love for shopping.

According to an article I found on (which originally appeared in Marshall University's The Parthenon in 2003) 57-percent of college students have jobs. In 2000, one out of every ten students worked full-time and attended class full-time. I can only imagine that in the past seven years and with the yearly increase in tuition, that one out of ten is a dated statistic.

Click here for the full article:

Friday, September 14, 2007

Work to Live

The Spanish motto of work to live, don't live to work, definitely described the lifestyle I upheld while studying abroad in Seville last semester. I had classes only four days a week, little to no outside homework assignments and no side job. I took a siesta every day, and hit the beach on the weekends.

Just a few short months later, I dove head-first back into the typical role of an American college student. I have class five days a week, am an active member of two student groups on campus and work 40-hours a week as a waitress. During the small periods of time I have off, I attempt to reconnect with friends whom I haven't seen in the past eight months.

I can't help but feel nostalgic about my experience in Europe, and wonder why in the United States the commonly accepted work ethic more closely mimics the concept of live to work.