>My first class is at 7:25 and many of the teachers get there at 6:30 to prepare.

Probably a little off topic but what the hell.

Why is there such an obsession with starting early in the USA? Is it something to do with daylight and coping with a country that runs across several time zones? Or is it just part of the work ethic that gives workers only a couple of weeks holiday a year (that would really hurt me)?

My school ran from roughly 9am - 4pm, with a 3:30 finish for the juniors. Even so, I had to leave the house at 7:30am to get there, which seemed far too early for me, when many of my friends were able to roll out of bed at 8am and hop on a short bus ride.

It fitted in pretty well with most office hours (9-5ish), although some there was some pre-school care for the few (in those days) families with very young children where both parents worked. Older children just made their own way to school anyway, I don't remember any school buses in our area, we just used public transport, few had the luxury of a second car for school runs.

As far as I am concerned nights are for staying up late (at least after 11, if not 12, after the late night film) and mornings are for a lie in, I think that getting up before 7am is slightly subhuman, I have to do it occasionally for an airline check in but would never dream of scheduling a work meeting before 9am (if not, 10am), although in my full time working days, I rarely left the office before 6:30 or 7pm.

Medicine in the USA seems appalling. I'm still recovering from the medical student who told me that he has to do his ward rounds at 4am to be ready to present cases at 5am. Are the patients allowed to sleep? The law doesn't seem much better, a friend worked in a New York office where people not in the office by 7am were regarded as slackers, especially those who take their "full" two weeks holiday, she didn't dare take hers. I'm not surprised that they are all so uptight, they all needed more sleep and a good holiday. [/rant - is that Ok for a rant?]