18 June 2007


Image Credit Unknown

I was amazed when I moved here and discovered that the high school had an espresso cart. Kids bought and sold coffee, for crying out loud---something you would never have seen in the southwest US. Sure, we gave some of our more hyper kids a cup of coffee from the staff lounge in the morning (in lieu of Ritalin---and with parent blessing)...but lattes and mochas?

There is definitely a coffee culture here in the northwest. Don't let the cliches fool you. And if you need any more evidence, take a look at this article about how the district administration offices in the Edmonds School District have a new $15K espresso machine, even as jobs are being cut. The machine will eventually generate some revenue for the district, but in the meantime, this seems a bit of a PR slip. School districts all over the area are having significant budget issues. Somehow, enabling our caffeine habit via tax dollars seems like a sure way to mainline some trouble.


Dr Pezz said...

I know this is more of a sidebar to your points about the district office having a coffee station, but it's been on my mind of late.

I also wonder about the health effects for the students as well. A coffee culture is a caffeine culture, an addicted culture. The rise in caffeine intake through coffee, pop, and energy drinks should alarm parents everywhere.

A local physician and parent of one of my students commented that he expects to see a rise in heart problems, high blood pressure, and hypertension in the current generation over the previous ones. He attributes much of it to coffee and energy drink consumption.

I also wonder about the added burden to the efforts to fight childhood obesity when common coffee drinks contain anywhere from 400-1100 calories, predominantly from sugars.

I know my school has a coffee station, but I wonder if it's the right (moral/ethical?) choice for the school. Could funds be raised for students in other ways?

The Science Goddess said...

I think those are definitely legitimate issues.

I have also wondered if the increase in speed and meth use among students is because caffeine just isn't getting them "high" anymore. They need something more in order to feel up.

Dr Pezz said...

I try to use articles in my English classes from time to time, and my students were shocked that caffeine is added to pop. I got a kick out of that. :)

Hugh O'Donnell said...

Like all lawful pleasures (and some others), moderation is the key. It's not the substance that's so bad, it's being piggy.

Thanks for the cartoon, SG. My wife, the caffeine addict, is gonna spew coffee all over the keyboard when I show it to her.

The Science Goddess said...

You're welcome! It's actually a t-shirt design. I sent it to a friend telling her that she really needed to get this one. :)

Batya said...

They're tired. Who can concentrate when missing a few hours sleep every night?