World Smile Day: What Makes Us Happy

I stumbled out of the classroom. It had been a long Thursday, and I had just finished a grueling math test. My mind still reeling with numbers, I trudged back to my dorm. A crimson leaf fell at my feet, stopping me in my tracks. I glanced up to see the tree, still green a few days ago, now a brilliant mixture of gold, red, and brown under a cloudless sky. The weary frown on my face instantly faded to a content smile. That made my day.

The first Friday of October is World Smile Day, a reminder to appreciate the simple things that make us happy. “Happiness” means something different to each person, so I asked some members of the community that I ran into throughout the day about one thing that makes them smile. Instead of investigating the reasons behind why it makes them happy, I decided to focus on the thing itself, for enjoyment is an intricate feeling that cannot be adequately explained in a few words. Hence, please enjoy this compilation of what makes part of our Blair family happy!

Mr. Link’s Samoyed Lyra and Ms. Queally’s Tobe, two mascots of the adorable dogs on campus

Wholesome things made many happy. 

  • Cute campus dogs were key serotonin boosters for Charlene Jiao ’24 and Amira Bhore ’24
  • Mr. Beck’s had a clear description: “A cool, crisp day with lots of sun and a blue sky”.
  • Temi Ogunyomade ’24 said rainbow-colored sunsets made her smile.
  • Ms. Shokr’s key to happiness is simple: memes.
  • Fiona Han ’23 and Renee Tracey ’23 both care for their plants.

For some, it was seeing other people’s joy. 

  • Sage Christensen ’23 and Kaitlyn Zachareas ’23 said that seeing people around them smile and laugh made them happy. 
  • For Maddie Kraznowski ’23, it was seeing others doing their passion, like her advisor (Mr. Compton) playing squash.

Others thought of their close ones and personal hobbies.

  • Ishan Aiyer ’23 pointed at Seymour Thomas ’23, who pointed back.
  • Vio Bryant ’24 enjoys reading, and her personal favorite is the novel Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  • Family provides happiness for Seleena Desai ’23, Zeynep Ozel ’24, and Mr. Trish.
  • Without hesitation, Mr. Molteni said his kids made him smile.
  • Mr. Pagotto and Mrs. Pagotto said each other, as well as their kids and advisees.
  • Mr. Evans looks fondly upon the cast of the fall play, Shakespeare in Love.
Fiona’s mint plant.

Meanwhile, academic achievements made some smile.

  • Getting another 6.0 was a pleasure for Apple Wu ’24.
  • Daniel Zhang ’24 felt gratified each night when he finishes his homework.

Of course, random stuff as well:

  • “Some thoughts I had three years ago” – Qiya Zhang ’23
  • Kazel Li ’25 likes eating plums. 

Finally, some teachers hold close to them the little moments from teaching Blair Bucs.

  • Mr. Manni holds dear to his heart when a choir piece finally comes together with all four parts in harmony, and everyone knowing that it was great simultaneously.
  • Running into her former students makes Ms. Chamberlain happy.
  • Whenever Mr. Compton hears a good remark from a student in class, he gleefully exclaims, “Brilliant!” 
  • Ms. Castillo enjoys spending time with her Oracle team each weekday afternoon.
  • “When at least one student gets my joke” – Mr. Moore
  • I am honored to be featured by Mr. Mantegna, who complimented my friendly demeanor and smile.

If I were to list all the things that made Blair people merry, this article would go on forever. Happiness is omnipresent and should be celebrated every day. Take the time to find excitement in the mundane, express gratitude to the people around you, and revel in the small wonders of the world. 

Mr. Beck’s description of a good day, and Temi’s favorite rainbow-colored sunsets
Chloe Lau

High school senior Chloe Lau is an aspiring journalist attending Blair Academy. Chloe wrote for Young Post of South China Morning Post, the largest English newspaper in her hometown, Hong Kong as a Junior Reporter from 2017 to 2020, and worked as a full-time summer cadet in 2019. During her American education, she remains an active writer and editor at The Oracle, and took part in the Medill Cherubs Journalism Program with Northwestern University over the summer. Chloe enjoys reporting on a wide variety of topics, from sports profiles, personal essays, to occasional poetry when she falls into an existential crisis.

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