Listen to the ‘Prof’

We’d heard it before. He used the same jokes three years ago, and he received the same resounding cheers and applause for suggesting that classes begin at 9 a.m. The sleep doctor was back. Three years ago and on this past Thursday, the student body received the exact same message from Cornell Professor James Maas: sleep deprivation leads to poor performance in all aspects of life (academic, athletic, social) and shorter life spans. In that time, nothing has changed at Phillips Academy. And so, as our annual week of being well comes to an end, we wonder what the school has done – materially, that affects our daily lives – to change our pace of life and sleeping habits. Former Dean of Studies Margarita Curtis, now Deerfield’s Head of School, implemented Dr. James Maas’s plan to start classes at a later time at our peer school. In that term, students received higher GPAs, improved athletic performances – and better morale. Any Andover student could tell you the same would be true for us. Speeches and lip-service are all very well, and we’re glad to see the Prof again, since he keeps us awake (which shouldn’t and needn’t be a rare statement). But the administration should take his words to heart and give us a trial term with a schedule starting at 9 a.m. Curtis did, and it worked. Let’s wake up to Prof. Maas’s plan.