It’s 5:40 a.m. A band of high-schoolers stand outside a row of mobile homes framed by statuesque mossy oaks along the corner of Brittany Boulevard, not far off Capital Circle in northwest Tallahassee. They await their hour-long bus ride to school. Sunrise is more than an hour away.
More likely than not, they’ve had less than seven hours of sleep the night before. Some depend on the caffeinated jolt of a morning or lunchtime cup of gas station coffee to stave off fatigue throughout the day. Not fully awake, for them, first period is a blur.