Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Katherine Murdoch

It's been said that Americans live to work. And it's true that, compared to much of the world, we Americans do work a lot. But sometimes our long work hours can get in the way of other good things like family and community. Here's what a typical US workday looks like:
And here's how our workdays compare to other wealthy countries around the world:
Even when we're home we're often still working

Here's a minute by minute breakdown of a typical American workday.
Activity                                            Average time spent

Working*                                          9:12

Sleeping                                            7:39

Leisure                                              2:52

Eating                                               2:07

Cooking, cleaning, etc                      :52

Grooming                                          :48

Caring for children, elderly, etc        :34

Shopping                                           :33

Other                                                 :09

Volunteering                                      :07

Education                                          :06

Talking to people on the phone        :05

Obviously, for the average American, there's not a lot of time for family or community. Here's where you come in. Interview someone about how they spend their typical workday. Write down the number of minutes they spend on each of the activities listed above. Then try to reschedule their typical work day in order to increase connections with family and community. Share a comparison of your interviewee's before and after workdays.

*remember, school counts as working for students.

Interviewee - Hudson Waldrop


Activity                                            Average time spent

Working*                                           8:35

Sleeping                                            6:30

Leisure                                              4:00

Eating                                               :45

Cooking, cleaning, etc                      :15

Grooming                                          :30

Practicing        :45

Shopping                                           :35

Reading                                              :20

Volunteering                                      2:00

Talking to people on the phone        1:30


Activity                                            Average time spent

Working*                                          6:00

Sleeping                                            8:00

Leisure                                              6:00

Eating                                               2:30

Cooking, cleaning, etc                      :30

Grooming                                          :35

Practicing         :45

Shopping                                           1:30

Reading                                              1:00

Volunteering                                      2:00

Talking to people on the phone        2:30

Notes: My interviewee happened to be my boyfriend - who, from firsthand experience happens to be the busiest person I know. To increase time that he could spend with his community (and his girlfriend) we decreased his work day to six hours while increasing activities that build social capital, such as talking on the phone, volunteering, and other leisure activities.

Kristen Sumrell
When I read that there has been over a 1/3 decline in the frequency of families eating together since 1973, I was shocked.  There is something special about a group of people all congregating around a table to share food that really brings us together.  I think it is an important part of staying connected with people in our day to day lives.  So why are people disregarding it as non-important?  My theory is that people run on such a fast-paced, immediate gratification schedule these days, that no one wants to take the time and effort to plan a meal.  My goal is to prove that it is not that hard to get some people together and share a meal.  So I have planned to share a home cooked meal with my boyfriend’s family.  A meal where we will sit around a table and share each other’s company and eat some good food.  The meal turned out to be wonderful, and very social.  It felt like a true family dinner.

Sivan Ambrose

Private motorized day (at home):

At home I have a car to drive whenever I need to go places. I find that it does seclude me from other people because I don’t rely on anyone or anything before I need to go anywhere. I can just grab my keys and go alone. Yet, conversely, when you are the driver, all your friends are more than usually mooching for rides. So, although you are not necessarily taking an important position in your community, you are supplying friends and, oftentimes, family members with rides around the city. I think that I made more friends, and did a lot more around the city when I had the ability to drive myself. Interestingly, when I went home for Christmas break, my sister bought a little scooter. While it made it much easier to go around places, it was difficult because we could only fit two people on it. Something like that puts rather heavy limitations on helping out, or being a bigger part of the community.

Public Transportation (boarding school):

This is my first year living away from home, let alone in a boarding school. I find that it is extremely beneficial in my communication building skills. Due to the fact that none of my peers are even aloud to own a car, we must all rely on getting together as a group to split the fare of a ride, or using public transportation. It is fascinating to think about the fact that some communities have limitations on their building policies in order to enhance the possibility of building a good social capital. Boarding school has revealed to me that they are just like mini labs for teenagers to learn valuable lessons about being a beneficial element of the community.

No comments:

Post a Comment