What is College For? (Final draft)

In the 1960s it was not necessary to go to college. A high school diploma was all it took for one to succeed in the work place and society. But in the 50 or so years since then, views on higher education have drastically changed. In his book, What is College For?: The Struggle to Define American Higher Education, historian and economist Zachary Karabell documents these changes: “Since 1960, enrollment at public two-year colleges has increased from less than five hundred thousand to nearly 6 million.” (xi). If one were to include four-year institutions and graduate level classes, the total amount of students would be almost 16 million in the year 1995. But what caused these millions of people to want to continue their education? How does a college education benefit them? A college education provides the means to acquire skills and tools needed to thrive in society.

College is often thought of as a place where people go to find themselves. A well-rounded education provides the foundation upon which to build personal character. Professor Ronnie D. Lipschutz of University of Southern California describes this first lesson of college in his article, What is College For?: “College ought to be for learning, for broadening one’s understanding of the world, for exploring those areas of human creativity that are not available by other means.” Learning and exercising creativity strengthens these ideas of developing as a person and enables one to express oneself. College offers courses in a large variety of disciplines that one may not be exposed to in high school or on ones’ own. Exposure to such wide variety helps expand the interests and personal goals of a given person. This can lead to a strengthened character and confidence in the work place, as well as in other personal matters.

Skills are needed to succeed in life; whether they be technical, life, or social. Higher education institutions are a place to learn and refine these skills. Technical skills are taught in discipline specific classes, like biology for pre-med students or a social justice class for pre-law student. These are needed to obtain degrees, and ultimately a job, in various technical vocations. Karabell gives another view of this idea. He says that, “As students come to realize that they had better come out of college with more than a piece of paper certifying them as educated, but with skills that truly make them more productive workers or more imaginative entrepreneurs, the question of what people are learning in college will be getting much more attention.” (Karabell viii). Even though students attend college to earn a degree to get them a job after graduation, they realize that other skills need to be learned as well.

This is where life and social skills come in. College is usually the first time that someone is living on his own away from parents. There is a great deal of freedom in this separation that can teach many valuable lessons, but with this newly found freedom comes also newly found responsibility. It is important for students to learn these lessons to ensure that they are capable of handling themselves outside of the learning environment after college. Karabell elaborates on how this point relates back to the workplace: “And here, it is  skills rather than credentials, even the skills to be able to learn what needs to be learned to shift careers midway through life, that seems more influential in determining who best weathers career crises.” (viii). The benefits of learning important life skills early on are vital to handling situations that could be similar in the workplace. College is the primary example of how freedom and responsibility need to mesh with work to equal success, and is the place to learn such skills.

This learning of skills is also vital to the next function of college: learn to become a part of the world. It is important to learn the fundamentals of the world in order to become a functional part of society. Richard Ashley Rice sums up this idea in his book, College and the Future, “To know so much about life through experience, and through science, art, and philosophy, which are experience typified, that one is convinced of the need for bearing a noble part in the world, is the purpose of going to college.” (xxi). Many courses offered in college, such as those Rice cited in his explanation of the purpose of college, teach these lessons of the world. The college environment is the perfect place to gain life experience, given that most students are living on their own for the first time. Art and Philosophy reflect the ideas and the quintessential theories of society. Learning these ideas enable students to know more about the way society functions and to adapt them into their own lives to be a knowledgeable member of the world.

Many universities also have their own ideas about what college should be for. Rice advocates on behalf of such institutions: “And the true purpose of the college itself as a part of the state is to increase that great society of men and women who are dedicated to the principle of idem sentire de republica- of thinking together about public affairs-” (xxi). The institution itself wants to propel society forward by influencing and shaping its students into purposeful members of society. Rice continues, “not in the sense of all thinking alike, but in the sense of all wishing to act with that broad and generous intelligence which has been inculcated by the same training and which is fostered by memories and ideals held in common.” (xxi). The intelligence which he speaks of is found in the college environment. College is a place where students learn to think for themselves. Gone are the days in which the teacher tells the students exactly what to write and how to write it. This ties together with the idea that responsibility and freedom are learned in college. Ideals and theories of society are taught to students which they incorporate into their own ideas about the world. This provides each student with a unique perspective that they are then able to use to move society forward; just as the previous leaders and founding fathers of our nation have done.

As is shown in the previous explanations in the purpose of college, all of the major functions are intertwined together to make one grand experience that can only be obtained through college life. College is a unique experience that provides each individual student with different skills and ideas that fit their perspective. Everyone attends college with a different purpose or goal in life, and everyone gets something different out of it. And it is these four main functions of college that make the experience great and the person an individual.

Works Cited

Karabell, Zachary. What is College For?: The Struggle to Define American Higher Education. New York: Basic Books, 1998. viii-xi. Print.

Lipschutz, Ronnie D. “What is College For?” Good Times 28 Feb. 2002 [Santa Cruz] . Web. 16 May 2010. <http://people.ucsc.edu/~rlipsch/college.html>.

Rice, Richard A. College and the Future. N.p.: BiblioLife, n.d. xxi. Google Books. Web. 16 May 2010.


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May 25, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Finished First Draft

What is College For?

In the 1960s it was not necessary to go to college. A high school diploma was all it took for one to succeed in the work place and society. But in the 50 or so years since then, views on higher education have drastically changed. In his book, What is College For?, Zachary Karabell documents these changes: “Since 1960, enrollment at public two-year colleges has increased from less than five hundred thousand to nearly 6 million.” If one were to include four-year institutions and graduate level classes, the total amount of students would be almost 16 million in the year 1995. But what caused these millions of people to want to continue their education? How does a college education benefit them? A college education provides the means to acquire skills and tools needed to thrive in society.

College is often thought of as a place where people go to find themselves. A well-rounded education provides the foundation upon which to build personal character. Ronnie D. Lipschutz describes this first lesson of college in his article, What is College For?: “College ought to be for learning, for broadening one’s understanding of the world, for exploring those areas of human creativity that are not available by other means.” Learning and exercising creativity strengthens these ideas of developing as a person and enables one to express oneself. College offers courses in a large variety of disciplines that one may not be exposed to in high school or on ones’ own. Exposure to such wide variety helps expand the interests and personal goals of a given purpose. This can lead to a strengthened character and confidence in the work place, as well as in other personal matters.

Skills are needed to succeed in life; whether they be technical, life, or social. Higher education institutions are a place to learn and refine these skills. Technical skills are taught in discipline specific classes, like biology for pre-med students or a social justice class for pre-law student. These are needed to obtain degrees, and ultimately a job, in various technical vocations. Zachary Karabell supports this idea in his book, What is College For?: The Struggle to Define American Higher Education. He says that, “As students come to realize that they had better come out of college with more than a piece of paper certifying them as educated, but with skills that truly make them more productive workers or more imaginative entrepreneurs, the question of what people are learning in college will be getting much more attention.” (viii). Even though students attend college to earn a degree to get them a job after graduation, they realize that other skills need to be learned as well. This is where life and social skills come in. College is usually the first time that someone is living on his own away from parents. There is a great deal of freedom in this separation that can teach many valuable lessons, but with this newly found freedom comes also newly found responsibility. It is important for students to learn these lessons to ensure that they are capable of handling themselves outside of the learning environment after college. Karabell elaborates on how this point relates back to the workplace: “And here, it is  skills rather than credentials, even the skills to be able to learn what needs to be learned to shift careers midway through life, that seems more influential in determining who best weathers career crises.” (viii). The benefits of learning important life skills early on are vital to handling situations that could be similar in the workplace. College is the primary example of how freedom and responsibility need to mesh with work to equal success, and is the place to learn such skills.

This learning of skills are also vital to the next function of college: learn to become a part of the world. It is important to learn the fundamentals of the world in order to become a functional part of society. Richard Ashley Rice sums up this idea in his book, College and the Future, “To know so much about life through experience, and through science, art, and philosophy, which are experience typified, that one is convinced of the need for bearing a noble part in the world, is the purpose of going to college.” (xxi). Many courses offered in college, such as those Rice cited in his explanation of the purpose of college, teach these lessons of the world. The college environment is the perfect place to gain life experience, given that most students are living on their own for the first time. Art and Philosophy reflect the ideas and the quintessential theories of society. Learning these ideas enable students to know more about the way society functions and to adapt them into their own lives to be a knowledgeable member of the world.

Many universities also have their own ideas about what college should be for. Rice advocates on behalf of such institutions: “And the true purpose of the college itself as a part of the state is to increase that great society of men and women who are dedicated to the principle of idem sentire de republica- of thinking together about public affairs-” (xxi). The institution itself wants to propel society forward by influencing and shaping its students into purposeful members of society. Rice continues, “not in the sense of all thinking alike, but in the sense of all wishing to act with that broad and generous intelligence which has been inculcated by the same training and which is fostered by memories and ideals held in common.” (xxi). The intelligence which he speaks of is found in the college environment. College is a place where students learn to think for themselves. Gone are the days in which the teacher tells the students exactly what to write and how to write it. This ties together with the idea that responsibility and freedom are learned in college. Ideals and theories of society are taught to students which they incorporate into their own ideas about the world. This provides each student with a unique perspective that they are then able to use to move society forward; just as the previous leaders and founding fathers of our nation have done.

As is shown in the previous explanations in the purpose of college, all of the major functions are intertwined together to make one grand experience that can only be obtained through college life. College is a unique experience that provides each individual student with different skills and ideas that fit their perspective. Everyone attends college with a different purpose or goal in life, and everyone gets something different out of it. And it is these four main functions of college that make the experience great and the person an individual.

May 18, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

What is College For?- Rough Draft

What is College For?

In the 1960s it was not necessary to go to college. A high school diploma was all it took for one to succeed in the work place and society. But in the 50 or so years since then, views on higher education have drastically changed. In his book, What is College For?, Zachary Karabell documents these changes: “Since 1960, enrollment at public two-year colleges has increased from less than five hundred thousand to nearly 6 million.” If one were to include four-year institutions and graduate level classes, the total amount of students would be almost 16 million in the year 1995. But what caused these millions of people to want to continue their education? How does a college education benefit them? A college education provides the means to acquire skills and tools needed to thrive in society.

College is often thought of as a place where people go to find themselves. A well-rounded education provides the foundation upon which to build personal character. Ronnie D. Lipschutz describes this first lesson of college in his article, What is College For?: “College ought to be for learning, for broadening one’s understanding of the world, for exploring those areas of human creativity that are not available by other means.” Learning and exercising creativity strengthens these ideas of developing as a person and enables one to express oneself. College offers courses in a large variety of disciplines that one may not be exposed to in high school or on ones’ own. Exposure to such wide variety helps expand the interests and personal goals of a given purpose. This can lead to a strengthened character and confidence in the work place, as well as in other personal matters.

Basic outline for paragraphs:

1. Learning about the world and creativity
2. Skills- whether technical or basics for life
3. Learn to become a part of the world- It is important to learn about the fundamentals of the world in order to become a functional part of society.
4. The institution itself wants to propel society forward by influencing and shaping their students

May 16, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Health Benefits of Chocolate

Chocolate has always been valued in society throughout the ages. The Mayans and Aztecs had been using chocolate for thousands of years before the Spaniards brought it back with them to Europe. The uses of the cacao beans range from being used in food and drinks, to having currency value, to religious uses, usually offered to the gods in various rituals, and was even evident in cases of human sacrifice. This further enforces the fact that chocolate was and still is of great value to people as a society. There have been many recent studies that further increase chocolate’s value to us: it can actually be beneficial to our health! The benefits greatly depend on the type of chocolate that is consumed  and how it is processed, but the consensus among scientists is that there are benefits due to the consumption of chocolate.

The possible health benefits of chocolate begin with the cacao bean. A single bean (about the size of an almond) contains over 400 chemicals, many of which can be beneficial to one’s health. Flavanol, a chemical compound that is found naturally in various plants, is the most prominent chemical found in cacao beans, and has the most benefits to the human body. Other chemicals found naturally in chocolate are amino acids, which are the building blocks for proteins in the body, and methylxanthine, which includes caffeine. These chemicals all work together to make antioxidants that contribute to helping the body function.

Cacao beans are processed in different ways to make the 3 main types of chocolate: dark, milk, and white. After the beans are harvested, they are dried for several days and then roasted. The shells are then opened and discarded, leaving the nibs to be ground into cocoa butter and cacao powder. The powder is used in baking and in making hot chocolate, and is low in fat, while cocoa butter is very bitter and is processed further to become the chocolate that we know and love. The downside to this processing is that some of the beneficial qualities are removed, and sugar is added which also adds calories. (See Table 1) Dark chocolate receives the least amount of processing, leaving it in the purest form, and making it the most beneficial to one’s health. Milk solids are added to chocolate to make the most popular type of chocolate, milk chocolate. This adds saturated fats that tend to give chocolate its bad name. White chocolate processing strips even more beneficial qualities from the chocolate, making it the least healthy of the three. The one thing to remember when reaching for a piece of chocolate is that dark chocolate is the most beneficial to the human body.

Many of the known positive effects on health from chocolate revolve around the cardiovascular system. Antioxidants get their name from their ability to protect “cholesterol from oxidation, which puts the ‘bad’ into ‘bad cholesterol’” (Harvard Men’s Health). Consuming these antioxidants increase the amount of them in the bloodstream and help to lower the levels of “bad cholesterol”, which in turn increases the “good cholesterol” in the body. Another aspect of health that chocolate can improve is the endothelium, the thin inner layer of arteries that produce chemicals that help widen blood vessels. Doctors in Greece performed a study that showed how chocolate improves the productivity of the endothelium: “They fed 100 grams (about 3 1/2 oz) of dark chocolate to 17 healthy volunteers and observed rapid improvement in endothelial functions.” (Harvard Men’s Health). The flavanols in the cocoa help to repair the thin lining in the arteries so that they are able to be more efficient in their production. The widened blood vessels “improve blood flow through arteries that supply the heart and the brain.” (Harvard Health Letter). This increase in endothelium function can also help reverse the damage that smoking can cause on the blood vessels. (Harvard Men’s Health).

Inflammation in the heart and blood vessels can cause a wide range of health concerns, from cardiovascular disease to strokes. The inflammation is caused by high levels of a protein called C-reactive protein that is found in the blood. Too much of the C-reactive protein causes inflammation that leads to stoke and heart disease. Recent studies have found that chocolate and the levels of C-reactive protein in the blood show a negative correlation; when the consumption of chocolate increases, the levels of C-reactive protein decrease. (Total Health). Similar correlations were found between chocolate and heart attack survival. A large study in a Swedish hospital surveyed patients who were hospitalized for their first heart attacks. The survey inquired about personal chocolate consumption over the past year. The patients were followed and further studied for the next 8 years after their first heart attack. The findings were similar to those of the C-reactive protein: as chocolate consumption went up, the risk of cardiac mortality (death from heart issues) went down. The scientists compared the occasional chocolate consumer with a more regular consumer to find that, “Even occasional chocolate consumers saw benefits compared to those eating none, with a 27% reduction in cardiac mortality for those indulging less than once a month and a 44% reduction associated with eating chocolate up to once a week.” (Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter).

While there are many researched and proven benefits of chocolate, chocolate is still not considered a health food. The processing procedures add sugar and calories that are not considered to be healthy for the human body. Too much of these negative qualities will most certainly add health risks, not the benefits that have been explained thus far. As with all the studies cited in this paper, I must too add a disclaimer: chocolate must be consumed in moderation to receive the full potential of these health benefits. But that is not to say that all of the research about chocolate has been in vain. There are health benefits to chocolate and I believe that everyone can benefit from them when used in moderation.

Sources

1. Castelvecchi D. CHOCOLATE. (Cover story). Scientific American [serial online]. September 2009;301(3):96. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed May 9, 2010.

2. Stradley L. Food Nutritional Chart. Available at http://whatscookingamerica.net/NutritionalChart.htm. Accessed May 7, 2010.

3. Putting the joie de vivre back into health. Harvard Health Letter [serial online]. April 2009;34(6):1-3. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed May 9, 2010.

4. Chocolate and your health: Guilty pleasure or terrific treat? (Cover story). Harvard Men’s Health Watch [serial online]. February 2009;13(7):1-4. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed May 9, 2010.

5. Italian Researchers Tout Heart Benefits of Chocolate. Total Health [serial online]. March 2009;30(4):16. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed May 9, 2010.

6. Chocolate Linked to Better Survival After Heart Attack. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter [serial online]. November 2009;27(9):6. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed May 9, 2010.


May 9, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Research Paper Second Draft

Health Benefits of Chocolate

Chocolate has always been valued in society throughout the ages. The Mayans and Aztecs had been using chocolate for thousands of years before the Spaniards brought it back with them to Europe. The uses of the cacao beans range from being used in food and drinks, to having currency value, to religious uses, usually offered to the gods in various rituals, and was even evident in cases of human sacrifice. This further enforces the fact that chocolate was and still is of great value to people as a society. There have been many recent studies that further increase chocolate’s value to us: it can actually be beneficial to our health! The benefits greatly depend on the type of chocolate that is consumed  and how it was processed, but the consensus among scientists is that there are benefits due to the consumption of chocolate.

The possible health benefits of chocolate begin with the cacao bean. A single bean (about the size of an almond) contains over 400 chemicals, many of which can be beneficial to one’s health. Flavanol, a chemical compound that is found naturally in various plants, is the most prominent chemical found in cacao beans, and has the most benefits to the human body. Other chemicals found naturally in chocolate are amino acids, which are the building blocks for proteins in the body, and methylxanthine, which includes caffeine. These chemicals all work together to make antioxidants that contribute to helping the body function.

Cacao beans are processed in different ways to make the 3 main types of chocolate: dark, milk, and white. After the beans are harvested, they are dried for several days and then roasted. The shells are then opened and discarded, leaving the nibs to be ground into cocoa butter and cacao powder. The powder is used in baking and in making hot chocolate, and is low in fat, while cocoa butter is very bitter and is processed further to become the chocolate that we know and love. The downside to this processing is that some of the beneficial qualities are removed, and sugar is added which also adds calories. (See Table) Dark chocolate receives the least amount of processing, leaving it in the purest form, and making it the most beneficial to one’s health. Milk solids are added to chocolate to make the most popular type of chocolate, milk chocolate. This adds saturated fats that tend to give chocolate its bad name. White chocolate processing strips even more beneficial qualities from the chocolate, making it the least healthy of the three. The one thing to remember when reaching for a piece of chocolate is that dark chocolate is the most beneficial to the human body.

(Source: http://whatscookingamerica.net/NutritionalChart.htm)

Many of the known positive effects on health from chocolate revolve around the cardiovascular system. Antioxidants get their name from their ability to protect “cholesterol from oxidation, which puts the ‘bad’ into ‘bad cholesterol’” (Harvard Men’s Health). Consuming these antioxidants increase the amount of them in the bloodstream and help to lower the levels of “bad cholesterol”, which in turn increases the “good cholesterol” in the body. Another aspect of health that chocolate can improve is the endothelium, the thin inner layer of arteries that produce chemicals that help widen blood vessels. Doctors in Greece performed a study that showed how chocolate improves the productivity of the endothelium: “They fed 100 grams (about 3 1/2 oz) of dark chocolate to 17 healthy volunteers and observed rapid improvement in endothelial functions.” (Harvard Men’s Health). The flavanols in the cocoa help to repair the thin lining in the arteries so that they are able to be more efficient in their production. The widened blood vessels “improve blood flow through arteries that supply the heart and the brain.” (Harvard Health Letter). This increase in endothelium function can also help reverse the damage that smoking can cause on the blood vessels. (Harvard Men’s Health).

Inflammation in the heart and blood vessels can cause a wide range of health concerns, from cardiovascular disease to strokes. The inflammation is caused by high levels of a protein called C-reactive protein that is found in the blood. Too much of the C-reactive protein causes inflammation that leads to stoke and heart disease. Recent studies have found that chocolate and the levels of C-reactive protein in the blood show a negative correlation; when the consumption of chocolate increases, the levels of C-reactive protein decrease. (Total Health). Similar correlations were found between chocolate and heart attack survival. A large study in a Swedish hospital surveyed patients who were hospitalized for their first heart attacks. The survey inquired about personal chocolate consumption over the past year. The patients were followed and further studied for the next 8 years after their first heart attack. The findings were similar to those of the C-reactive protein: as chocolate consumption went up, the risk of cardiac mortality (death from heart issues) went down. The scientists compared the occasional chocolate consumer with a more regular consumer to find that, “Even occasional chocolate consumers saw benefits compared to those eating none, with a 27% reduction in cardiac mortality for those indulging less than once a month and a 44% reduction associated with eating chocolate up to once a week.” (Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter).

While there are many researched and proven benefits of chocolate, chocolate is still not considered a health food. The processing procedures add sugar and calories that are not considered to be healthy for the human body. Too much of these negative qualities will most certainly add health risks, not the benefits that have been explained thus far. As with all the studies cited in this paper, I must too add a disclaimer: chocolate must be consumed in moderation to receive the full potential of these health benefits. But that is not to say that all of the research about chocolate has been in vain. There are health benefits to chocolate and I believe that everyone can benefit from them when used in moderation.


May 7, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Research Paper Rough Draft

Health Benefits of Chocolate

Chocolate has always been valued in society throughout the ages. The Mayans and Aztecs had been using chocolate for thousands of years before the Spaniards brought it back with them to Europe. The uses of the cacao beans range from being used in food and drinks, to having currency value, to religious uses, usually offered to the gods in various rituals, and was even evident in cases of human sacrifice. This further enforces the fact that chocolate is of great value to people as a society. There have been many recent studies that further increase chocolate’s value to us: it can actually be beneficial to our health! The benefits greatly depend on the type of chocolate that is consumed  and how it was processed, but the consensus among scientists is that there are definitely some benefits due to the consumption of chocolate.

The possible health benefits of chocolate begin with the cacao bean. A single bean (about the size of an almond) contains over 400 chemicals, many of which can be beneficial to one’s health. Flavanol, a chemical compound that is found naturally in various plants, is the most prominent chemical found in cacao beans, and has the most benefits to the human body. Other chemicals found naturally in chocolate are amino acids, which are the building blocks for proteins in the body, and methylxanthine, which includes caffeine. These chemicals all work together to make antioxidants that contribute to helping the body function.

Cacao beans are processed in different ways to make the 3 main types of chocolate: dark, milk, and white. After the beans are harvested, they are dried for several days and then roasted. The shells are then opened and discarded, leaving the nibs to be ground into cocoa butter and cacao powder. The powder is used in baking and in making hot chocolate, and is low in fat, while cocoa butter is very bitter and is processed further to become the chocolate that we know and love. The downside to this processing is that some of the beneficial qualities are removed, and sugar is added which also adds calories. Dark chocolate receives the least amount of processing, leaving it in the purest form, and making it the most beneficial to one’s health. Milk solids really are added to chocolate to make the most popular type of chocolate, milk chocolate. This adds saturated fats that tend to give chocolate its bad name. White chocolate processing strips even more beneficial qualities from the chocolate, making it the least healthy of the three. The one thing to remember when reaching for a piece of chocolate is that dark chocolate is the most beneficial to the human body.

Many of the known positive effects on health from chocolate revolve around the cardiovascular system. Antioxidants get their name from their ability to protect “cholesterol from oxidation, which puts the ‘bad’ into ‘bad cholesterol’” (Harvard Men’s Health). Consuming these antioxidants increase the amount of them in the bloodstream and help to lower the levels of “bad cholesterol”, which in turn increases the “good cholesterol” in the body. Another aspect of health that chocolate can improve is the endothelium, the thin inner layer of arteries that produce chemicals that help widen blood vessels. Doctors in Greece performed a study that showed how chocolate improves the productivity of the endothelium: “They fed 100 grams (about 3 1/2 oz) of dark chocolate to 17 healthy volunteers and observed rapid improvement in endothelial functions.” (Harvard Men’s Health). The flavanols in the cocoa help to repair the thin lining in the arteries so that they are able to be more efficient in their production. The widened blood vessels “improve blood flow through arteries that supply the heart and the brain.” (Harvard Health Letter). This increase in endothelium function can also help reverse the damage that smoking can cause on the blood vessels. (Harvard Men’s Health).

Inflammation in the heart and blood vessels can cause a wide range of health concerns, from cardiovascular disease to strokes. The inflammation is caused by high levels of a protein called C-reactive protein that is found in the blood. Too much of the C-reactive protein causes inflammation that leads to stoke and heart disease. Recent studies have found that chocolate and the levels of C-reactive protein in the blood show a negative correlation; when the consumption of chocolate increases, the levels of C-reactive protein decrease. (Total Health). Similar correlations were found between chocolate and heart attack survival. A large study in a Swedish hospital surveyed patients who were hospitalized for their first heart attacks. The survey inquired about personal chocolate consumption over the past year. The patients were followed and further studied for the next 8 years after their first heart attack. The findings were similar to those of the C-reactive protein: as chocolate consumption went up, the risk of cardiac mortality (death from heart issues) went down. The scientists compared the occasional chocolate consumer with a more regular consumer to find that, “Even occasional chocolate consumers saw benefits compared to those eating none, with a 27% reduction in cardiac mortality for those indulging less than once a month and a 44% reduction associated with eating chocolate up to once a week.” (Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter).

While there are many researched and proven benefits of chocolate, chocolate is still not considered a health food. The processing procedures add sugar and calories that are not considered to be healthy for the human body. Too much of these negative qualities will most certainly add health risks, not the benefits that have been explained thus far. As with all the studies cited in this paper, I must too add a disclaimer: chocolate must be consumed in moderation to receive the full potential of these health benefits. But that is not to say that all of the research about chocolate has been in vain. There are health benefits to chocolate and I believe that everyone can benefit from them when used in moderation.

May 7, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Research Proposal

Research question: What are the health benefits of chocolate?

I originally began looking into topics about AIDS. I have had personal experience with the havoc the disease can cause and I wanted to learn more about it besides the basic things that are considered “common knowledge”. This is where I ran into problems. How would I narrow this huge topic down to one specific researchable question? During our in-class activity of writing down our first ideas about the projects, I wrote down every aspect of the AIDS virus I could think of; from medical technicalities to foundations to prevention techniques. Writing everything out on paper seemed to make my situation worse. There are simply too many topics to choose from, and I being the worst indecisive person in the world, could not choose one specific topic. So the AIDS research will have to be put on hold until I am ready to write a book.
This left me in the dark about what to research so I recruited the help of the two people who mean the most to me: my boyfriend, John, and my parents.  John tried to help me narrow down the AIDS topics, but that still proved to be unsuccessful. He then suggested a few other ideas that I may be interested in. My main hobby is reading, reading, and more reading so he thought I could choose a book or author to write about. But the indecisiveness took over me again and I was unable to choose one out of my many beloved books. He also suggested I write on being vegan. I was vegan for 5 years and have written about it for many other papers and projects. But that ended up to be the problem: I had written about it so many times before that it seemed old and I wanted to explore something new. After John’s many failed attempts to help me, I turned to my parents. They always seem to have good ideas. And behold! My father came up with a gem of an idea, after many ridiculous failed attempts I might add. My mother had been eating chocolate and he suggested that I research the health benefits of it. I thought about it for a while and decided that this was a perfect option. And the way my dad phrased it seemed narrow enough to me. It will be fairly researchable and I am anticipating many disagreeing views on the topic, but I believe that, when consumed in moderation, there are health benefits to chocolate.

I feel like my topic is extremely relevant, especially for many people in this day and age. Diet crazes are still very popular in the United States and health food seems to be more and more desired. With this wide interest in being healthy, I think many average Americans would be interested to know if chocolate is indeed good for them. There are many speculations and assumptions that dark chocolate holds antioxidants, but how much exactly? Is it only in dark chocolate? What effect do the processing methods have? I intend to answer all of these questions and more. My target audience will be the average, chocolate loving American, myself included.

Articles in precis form.

Chocolate Linked to Better Survival After Heart Attack. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter [serial online]. November 2009;27(9):6. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed April 25, 2010.

The many scientists and studies included in this article state that there are health benefits for heart attack patients related to consuming chocolate. The author cites many scientists who have studied the health benefits of chocolate in Sweden and they all confirm that as chocolate intake went up, risk of death due to heart attack went down. This article was written in order to show the positive health benefits that chocolate, in moderation, can have. The intended audience is a scholarly people, given that it is published in a medical periodical, but it could also be read by average people who are prone to heart attacks who want to learn to reduce their risk.

Italian Researchers Tout Heart Benefits of Chocolate. Total Health [serial online]. March 2009;30(4):16. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed April 25, 2010.

This author expresses that having a moderated piece of dark chocolate a day protects the heart from inflammation and disease. This is supported by citing an Italian medical study that found a moderate amount of dark chocolate combats the amount of C-reactive protein that causes inflammation in the heart. Because dark chocolate is said to have many positive benefits, this article was included in Total Health magazine in order to confirm the assumption. The target audience is readers of this magazine who are consciences of their health and those who may be looking for ways to lower their risk of heart disease.

Chocolate and your health: Guilty pleasure or terrific treat? (Cover story). Harvard Men’s Health Watch [serial online]. February 2009;13(7):1-4. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed April 25, 2010.

The men of Harvard Men’s Health Watch state that the effects of chocolate on health depend on what kind and the amount of chocolate that is consumed. The author goes through and states the beneficial qualities that are found naturally in chocolate and what aspects of health they can effect. There are many different chemicals found in raw cacao beans which are described in this article in order to explain the health benefits of each and to ultimately describe the ways in which certain types of chocolate can be beneficial to one’s health. This article is targeted toward an academic audience but has an element that could be understood by anyone who wished to learn about health and chocolate.

April 25, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Preliminary Research Question

What are the health benefits of chocolate?

April 20, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Interrupted Reading Pt. II

Jean Baptiste-Camille Corot is a painter known for his depictions of landscapes. It was not until the end of his life that he began to focus on portraits, for he thought these types of paintings to be private. Many of Corot’s portraits were not even unveiled until after his death in 1875. He created a series of several figure paintings, which includes The Art Institute of Chicago’s, “Interrupted Reading”; a painting depicting a woman looking slightly distressed with a book in her hand. The plaque describing the portrait in the exhibit says that the woman is Corot’s idea of a perfect woman: one who is depressed. There is no doubt that this woman is expressing some sort of depressed emotion, but this is not the only viable interpretation.

The Art Encyclopedia says that “[i]n these paintings the note of nostalgia and suggestion of allegory (The Studio) are often integrated into convincing, technically bold pictorial conceptions.” I agree with this interpretation of Interrupted Reading. Before I read this article, I too thought she looked nostalgic for something past. As if her life had taken her down a path that she did not intend. Her nostalgic dreams are what cause her to be distracted from her book. An article by the Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies confirms this notion: “posed studio pictures that evoke his sitters’ contemplative, even melancholic moods.” Her distress is what makes the portrait captivating and relatable. A good piece of artwork is defined by its ability to stay relevant, and this portrait does just that. It appeals to a part of everyone, whether they be joyful or depressed, old or young, and each of these differences in people allow the portrait to be interpreted in many different ways.

Sources:
The Abbot Jouveau, Curate of Coubron, 1875
Author(s): Jean Baptiste Camille Corot
Source: Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies, Vol. 26, No. 1, Maineri to Miró: The Regenstein Collection since 1975 (2000), pp. 72-73+96
Published by: The Art Institute of Chicago
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4104438

Corots in the Art Institute
M. C.
Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago (1907-1951), Vol. 18, No. 8 (Nov., 1924), pp. 99-102
Published by: The Art Institute of Chicago
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4113940

http://www.answers.com/topic/jean-baptiste-camille-corot

April 6, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Interrupted Reading

One:
Corot, Jean-Baptiste Camille (1796-1875).” The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather guide. Abington: Helicon, 2009. Credo Reference. Web. 02 April 2010.

In this article, the author states that Corot’s paintings can be classified into three groups: nature, religion, and small landscapes. Examples are given of Corot’s most famous work to illustrate how they fit into each category. The author explains and divides Corot’s work in order to express how he was a guiding light for 19th century Impressionists. This article is directed towards new scholars who wish to know how given artists impact their genre.

Two:
Corot, Jean-Baptiste Camille.” The Columbia Encyclopedia. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008. Credo Reference. Web. 02 April 2010.

This article explains how Corot’s surroundings influenced his subjects and styles of painting. It explains how in Italy he painted serene groups of Roman buildings; in France the village, Ville d’Avray, influenced most of his paintings; and in Switzerland, Holland, and England he focused on landscapes. The author shows this transition of style influenced by surrounding in order to explain how environment effects work. The intended audience of this article are those who are intrigued about how styles change and develop over time.

Three:
Corot, Jean-Baptiste Camille.” Phillip’s Encyclopedia 2008. London: Phillip’s; 2008. Credo Reference. Web. 02 April 2010.

This article implies that the painter, Jean Baptiste-Camille Corot, was disjointed from the work and form of his contemporaries. This notion is achieved by explaining that Corot’s sympathies lie with classical and traditional paintings, rather than the Barbizon School that was popular at this time. The author does this in order to explain how Corot was ahead of his time and was an influence to other painters who felt out of place, just as he did. Many artists, no matter what time period they may be in, feel like they do not relate with fellow painters of their time, and this article is aimed to comfort and influence such people.

April 2, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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