Category Archives: blogs

Crazy in Love- What makes you Obsess?

By: Lacey Barke

Despite collaborating with Jay-Z on her hit song Crazy in Love, Beyoncé got at least one thing right- the title. Love does indeed make you crazy.

I would like to think of my cousin Mikayla as a relatively typical, rational college student- she eats breakfast, tries hard in classes, and supports her school by going to sporting events. Then the after-party comes. I find her dancing with a cute man (you know, back when we could do stuff like dance within six feet of each other). Let’s call him Sparky. She’s getting nervous, and she’s sweating. A lot. Later on in the week, she’s getting anxious when he isn’t texting back.

There was no practical or rational reason why Mikayla was drawn to Sparky, but there she was, losing sleep over a man who didn’t wear matching socks, have a job, or go to classes sober.

Why are powerful women like Beyoncé and my cousin singing about love driving them crazy and obsessing over men who can’t tell the difference between there, they’re, and their? Luckily, there’s a reason behind the madness- we can all blame it on some hormones.

Our Chemical Romance: The good

In a detailed article titled Love, Actually: the science behind lust, attraction, and companionship, Harvard writer Katherine Wu explained the three different phases of love, and demonstrates how the second phase, attraction, is a key culprit in 2am text message-sending.

 “Attraction involves the brain pathways that control ‘reward’ behavior, which explains why the first few weeks or months of a relationship can be so exhilarating and even all-consuming,” Wu said.

In other words, getting a text back or a little wave in passing from Sparky sets off the reward system, releasing dopamine and norepinephrine- a related chemical.  When this happens, we get all excited, think about bae at all times, which makes us distracted and euphoric.

In fact, if Sparky were to Snapchat my cousin, she would practically ooze with happiness. Seeing a picture of a person is enough to cause reward centers such as the caudate nucleus to, “fire like crazy.”

In this stage, objects of attraction will spend as much time as possible getting to know each other, giggling on the phone about memes and video games for hours.  

Our Chemical Romance: The bad

However, Dopamine is produced by the hypothalamus when we do things that feel good, no matter if they are actually good for us or not. These chemicals can also have negative effects, such as decreasing our appetite and making it so we can’t sleep, a perfect combination for that regrettable “You up?” text.

In an article for How Stuff Works titled The Chemistry of Love, love researcher Helen Fisher explains the chemicals in further detail, as well as the actions and emotions that they elicit.

“Together these two chemical produce elation intense energy, sleeplessness, craving, loss of appetite, and focused attention,” Fisher explained. You have intense focus on the person you are attracted to, and you idealize them- they can do no wrong.

In other words, when attraction happens, we lose the ability to think rationally. Wu stated that the chemicals released and how people act in love has been compared to the behavior and chemical process involved with drug addiction. No wonder.

Luckily. . .

Luckily, it doesn’t last forever. The attraction phase either sticks and turns into attachment, or it fizzles out, which is a whole separate album of Beyoncé songs. I’m happy to say that eventually my cousin snapped out of it, but let’s be honest- we’ve all had or will have a Sparky in our lives. good news is that we don’t have to be so hard on ourselves for it- it’s simply the trial and error of human romance.

Finding the Right Gift

Do you ever find yourself struggling to find someone a good Christmas gift?

I found that looking at local shops for those people that are always difficult to shop for is a great way to find something unique. For me, I struggle to find a Christmas gift that brother would enjoy and wouldn’t go to waste. This year I found this neat thing called a Pub Pass. It was a $25 booklet that gives them a free beer at bars and breweries in the Minneapolis area. It’s good for an entire year so they can use it whenever they want. I ended up getting 2 of them as gifts for my brother and my sister-in-law who love beer and could use it on date-night throughout the year.

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Also, I found it easier for me to go into local shops in my neighborhood to find gifts for other people on my list! I would highly recommend checking out your local stores to find unique gifts for everyone on your list!

Go Outside and Play!

What happened to children going outside to play. As a parent of two daughters that are nine and seven, my children never want to go outside. When I was their age I would go outside and play for hours. I could not wait to finish my homework, so I could go outside and play with my friends. This is not just a trend with my children, but children across American are going outside less. Kids are missing out on a great way to exercise and increase social skills. Kids staying in the house is one of the causes of declining social skills. Children are being raised with less human interaction. Playing outside with friends develops social skills as well as imagination. So why are they staying in the house? One of the reasons is technology. Most kids these days have access to the internet through a computer, phone, or tablet. Technological advancements have made interactions a lot easier, because you do not have to be face to face.

Cell phones and computers are now the vessel to communication. Most teenagers and even young children are communicating through text and social media. This is ruining our children’s ability to initiate conservation and read social clues. The ability to read social clues can tell you a lot about the mood an individual is in. Are they uncomfortable, stressed, or unhappy. These are clues we need to identify, because someone can need help. So if you have children, get them off the computer for a few hours and take them outside because social skills are only learned through human interaction.


Would I get a job with masters degree in hand?

Recently I have been planning and thinking to go to Grad school to get an advanced education. I have been doing a lot of search on what is the best degree to go for. I mean by best degrimgres-1ee is that the degree that gives me more knowledge and the opportunity to get strong financially. While going through some online articles and educating material I ran into this article by COURTNEY DOTTERER BRANHAM.

This article and couple other articles made me rethink my plans going to grad school. I have been making some inquiries at different grad schools from U of MN to St. Mary’s to many others. I have found that grad school is not cheap and it takes a lot to go to grad school financially and socially. A person has to leave a lot to be able to go grad school from job to family even. I was told by one of the advisors from University of Minnesota that it is good to not have a job at all while going to grad schools but if you have to work while going to school then part time job is recommended. As a family man with only one income, it is a very important decision for me to go to grad school. I have to think about a lot of things before I can make a decision on continuing my education. I have to think about my two kids and my wife who stays home to take care of the kids and my mother who lives with us and needs help all the time with different things.

I will suggest to all my fellow students to think many times before going to grad school and make sure they are going for the degree that does have some future and is going to payoff at the end of the day



Personal Vent

I have come to the conclusion that a few issues with organization in blogs and true/false quizzes.

It is very difficult for me to be spontaneous in blogging. I want to think everything through and plan out how it will look, what the purpose will be, etc. Having a long list of blogs on various topics just doesn’t coordinate with my mind. I know I like things sequential, and I can be spontaneous. Apparently, not in blogging, which sort of defies the whole purpose of many blogs. That being said, I have learned to enjoy some blogs. I’ve even started looking for blog information with different technology that I use…now that IS scary!!

My second vent is true/false quizzes. I really don’t like them. I always think too deep or question the motive of the statement. Yes, I admit to paranoia where true/false quizzes are concerned. I always want to have a place where I can qualify my response. Does that mean I’d make a good politician?