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John Griffin

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A course for middle school and high school students on Happiness.

Not only do schools crush the creative spirit, they prevent young people from pursuing their "bliss", encouraging them instead to build impressive "resumes" to gain admittance to selective colleges. So, along the way they jettison their passions in favor of what will look the best on a transcript. The problem is this - what if this resume-building behavior has absolutely nothing to do with authentic happiness. It seems to me that the place to begin is by having students explore the idea of happiness. I want students to make informed decisions, decisions that will lead not necessarily to material success but to real happiness, peace, and fulfillment. A course on happiness offered at Harvard has been enormously popular - but why wait until college to start talking about it?

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    Mar 16 2012: As a current high school senior, this topic is very much a part of my day-to-day thought process. However, I am concerned that alot of my classmates aren't thinking along this line of thought. I know that most of my classmates are going off to college next year but I don't think they know why they're going; they're just going because that is what is expected of them. I know I am not in the situation to make this conclusion but I'm going to say it any way: Alot of the best students in my class have missed out on the "high school experience" because they've been so focused on their GPA and what they are going to do after high school. The High school experience I am referring to is the turbulent time that most people (i think) go through during high school where they develop what they want to do with their life and they develop what they don't want to do. After this development, or during this process, they start to create a plan that they can follow to reach their goals. There should be some outside force that helps facilitate this discovery but since it occurs for different people in different ways at different times, it becomes harder to facilitate as a group.

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