Living the monastic life at Penn

In a world where the college experience usually involves football and parties, students of Justin McDaniel's religious studies class at the University of Pennsylvania should expect something differrent: a firsthand experience of what it's like to be a monk.

As part of the curriculum, students are expected to "forego technology, coffee, physical human contact and certain foods, and wake up at 5 a.m. - without an alarm clock." The course concentrates on monasticim of the Catholic and Buddhist religions and is designed to help students become more disciplined and aware. "It's not about individual restrictions," said McDaniel. "It's about building hyperawareness of yourself and others."