At the Salvador Dali Museum in Tampa Florida (CLICK on this picture to visit!)

At the Salvador Dali Museum in Tampa Florida (CLICK on above picture to visit Museum)

Here is what I am reading today:

“We all know that getting a good night’s sleep is good for our general health and well-being. But new research is highlighting a more surprising benefit of good sleep: more feelings of gratitude for relationships.”

“New research links loneliness to a number of dysfunctional immune responses, suggesting that being lonely has the potential to harm overall health.”

“Dogs and wolves are genetically so similar, it’s been difficult for biologists to understand why wolves remain fiercely wild, while dogs can gladly become “man’s best friend.” Now, doctoral research by evolutionary biologist Kathryn Lord at the University of Massachusetts Amherst suggests the different behaviors are related to the animals’ earliest sensory experiences and the critical period of socialization. Details appear in the current issue of Ethology.”


“Fascinating takeaways from this interview with researcher Arthur Levine, who’s been exploring the psyche of college students for 40 years.

1. They’re optimistic, but perhaps unjustifiably so: “Two out of five students have a grade-point average of A- or better, almost six times as many as in 1969, and 60 percent of them nonetheless say their grades understate the true quality of their work. Only 5 percent have a G.P.A. of C or less, even though almost half have had to take remedial courses.””


Steph S · January 21, 2013 at 10:18 pm

In response to “What’s different with the new generation on of college students”:

I agree with the article on the point that college students are more pragmatic. I think in our society today people/students strive for the best job they think they can get, whether or not they like it. It is all about making money and achieving a high social status in our society. At Cal Poly I especially see this because students have to declare their major from the start. We don’t have time to decide what we really want to do with our lives or what are real interest are because we haven’t experienced all the areas of learning or possible options that come along with taking our GE’s classes. Many people end up taking a GE class they really like and find it more interesting than their major. Most people usually stay in their major though because its too hard to switch and it may cost more money because they would now have to take more courses and stay in college longer. By declaring our major earlier I think I a lot more people have this pragmatic midst especially if they tend to realize they made a wrong decision in their major. Our motivations as students have changed from wanting to learn in college to just get through college to get a job. After all, the college degree is the new version of the high school diploma in our competitive society.

Steph S · January 21, 2013 at 10:29 pm

I found this article very interesting because as a college student I tend to lack sleep. After taking a second to pause and think about the effects of not enough sleep, I found myself agreeing with the argument. I am usually in a grumpier mood and not appreciative when I don’t get enough sleep, because all I am focusing on is that I am tired and want sleep. Sleep is one of the basic needs of life and when we are deprived of it we tend to focus all our thoughts on it. When you don’t have water for days all you can think about is water, you become self absorbed because a basic need is not being met, therefore causing our eyes to be shut to other amazing things happening around you. Though I agree that sleep is good for our well0 being and gratitude, I must say that I do have more gratitude for sleep when I have a lack of it☺

SarahPeterson93 · January 22, 2013 at 11:55 am

In response to “Who Is The New Generation of College Students”:

I completely agree with these generalizations. Obviously, everyone is a little different, but I completely identify with a lot of these characteristics. I think that now, more than ever, college students have way more access (with smartphones, internet, and easy accessibility to televisions playing the news at the gym etc) to world issues and are looking more to get involved. In a world that is become more and more diverse by the moment, it is almost difficult to not be more accepting. Racism is becoming more obsulete as more partners are generally not born the same ethnicity and there are more cross-cultured children born into the world than ever before. It is hard to be racist or less-accepting of a human when they are a mix of races and/or cultures.

Sarah Peterson

shelbyromuk · January 24, 2013 at 10:28 pm

In response to: “Loneliness, Like Chronic Stress, Taxes the Immune System, Researchers Find”

I was very intrigued to see this article posted. I have always been interested in the concept of loneliness, especially being a part of a generation that has so many new technologies that (I believe) are seriously hindering our normal social abilities and interactions. I must admit, I have felt such results from being a Facebook user! I call it “FOMO” – the fear of missing out. While it is a cool way to stay up to date on peoples lives, it can be a popularity contest and I doubt I am alone in sometimes feeling down because I didn’t participate or wasn’t invited to something. As I’m sitting here in the library on what we college students sometimes call “Thirsty Thursday”, I’m dreading the pictures that will be posted tomorrow of friends out having a good time – not a textbook in sight! It is an interesting and I think unhealthy (in many mays) feeling that this new invention has created.

I think it is really, for lack of a better word, COOL, that they have found a biological link to lowered immune function in response to feeling lonely. I did a recent research prospect regarding early mortality rates amongst older men and women when a factor of what we called “social exclusion” was involved. We found it to be more prominent in men, and typically, due to such exclusions (loneliness being one factor), those who experienced an early mortality behaved in a manner that would result in such, i.e. drinking heavily, smoking, suicide, etc. But the exclusions were the underlying factor in these so we saw it from a social angle. I was hoping that evidence would come out that suggested an internal factor for loneliness, and It definitely adds up that feeling lonely would cause more stress. We know that too much stress is a detrimental thing for our bodies, but I am surprised that this is the first real study that has looked for biological reasons. I look forward to the future research that will come out on this subject.

sisandhu · January 25, 2013 at 4:43 pm

In response to “Who Is The New Generation of College Students”:

After reading the article and reflecting on it, I would have to concur with the statements made. Students in this era of technology have years upon years of history and data from all over the world at their fingertips. This new profound access to be able to read or watch whats happening in another country whenever you please, makes it difficult not to stay well informed. Technology has also allowed us to remain in constant communication with all family, friends, and acquaintances, which I truly believe helps us keep and create our close bonds. In terms of this new spike in academic performance, I personally believe it has to do with the new emphasis we have placed on succeeding in school. A prime example can be seen of students in elementary school, if a child is struggling in a specific subject or is just having difficulty, he/she is provided with additional help so they too can succeed in an academic setting. In comparison to the past, children who struggled in school were just left to struggle without any guidance, so I feel this newly brought priority on making sure everyone succeeds academically has dramatically changed how students perform and view college now.

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