Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 67.djvu/544

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538
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE DAILY TIME OF CORNELL STUDENTS.
By Dr. GUY MONTROSE WHIPPLE,

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF THE SCIENCE AND ART OF EDUCATION, CORNELL UNIVERSITY.

IN the course of an address before the freshmen of Cornell University in the fall of 1903, President Schurman emphasized the necessity of a systematic distribution of the daily time of college students and urged each student to prepare and to follow as closely as possible a daily time-schedule. He recommended the following general apportionment of hours: for work, eleven; for sleep, eight; for amusement, one; for meals and athletics, two hours each. It should be added in explanation that the period assigned to 'work' was intended to include not only time given directly to the work of the student in class-room, laboratory and study, but also to work in various fraternal, religious and collegiate societies, to work for self-support, or even to other work wholly independent of the university.

Without this explanation, which did not appear in the original newspaper reports, the assignment of eleven hours daily to work naturally seemed extreme, and it was not surprising that other educators, when interviewed upon the subject, reduced this amount. Thus, President Eliot, of Harvard, advocated nine hours for work, three for meals, two each for amusement and athletics and eight for sleep. Still others, as Professor Burton, dean of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, thought eight hours sufficient for work.

In view of these differences of opinion, the writer conceived the notion of trying to ascertain how the students at Cornell University actually did distribute their daily time.

On account of the wide range of courses offered, Cornell is an unusually good field for such an investigation, as the students in the various colleges: mechanical and civil engineering, law, medicine, veterinary medicine, agriculture, and arts and sciences, may be fitly compared with those of technical schools like the Institute of Technology, with those of various law, medical and agricultural schools, and with those of any of the colleges offering the A.B. degree for a 'liberal culture' course, while the several hundred women students, mainly in arts, may be compared with women at colleges like Vassar, Smith and Wellesley. It was, accordingly, the purpose of the investigation not only to ascertain the average time-schedule followed by Cornell students as a whole, but, also, for purposes of comparison, that followed by each of the various groups just mentioned.