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Monday, November 21, 2011

Week Twelve

What an Attitude of Gratitude Can Do for You

It's turkey time.  Loosen the belts. Grab the remote. And give thanks!

With each November comes the holiday that marks the American tradition of Thanksgiving.  It's a day devoted to festive feasts, road races, football rivalries, and family relatives.  It's also a day set aside, in principle, for giving thanks.

Perhaps you can make this Thanksgiving the start of a new year in which giving thanks is exercised daily.  No one needs to tell you that the American culture has come under attack in recent years for its inflated sense of entitlement as we've witnessed the pursuit of happiness morphing into the expectation of such.  It's to no one's surprise, then, that anger and angst often surface when this expectation goes unrealized.  All of this can lead to a terribly toxic environment.  Not good.  What may surprise you is that research is revealing a whole host of benefits that may be derived from regular expressions of appreciation and gratitude.  Want proof?  You may appreciate this article (The Neuroscience of Why Gratitude Makes Us Healthier) as evidence of the research, and this one as well (A Serving of Gratitude May Save the Day).  It doesn't take a whole lot of effort, either.  They can even be expressed in subtle ways.  Here's how.

Donate blood...Hold the door for someone...Give up your seat...Participate in a race/walk that benefits a charity...Send a note to someone who has shown you kindness...Stay calm during a stressful time...Let go of an old grudge...Mentor a classmate or colleague who is new to your school or organization...Throw a party for someone celebrating a milestone...Next time you're ready to blow the horn at a car - don't...Surprise someone...Say "thank you"...Write a letter to someone who's made a difference in your life...Tell your parents you love them...Tell your kids you love them...Give a compliment...Make a donation to your favorite charity, however small...Extend a warm welcome to a newcomer...Put yourself in another person's shoes...Reduce, reuse, recycle...Praise someone who's done well...Tell a joke...Kick bad habits that can harm others...Pass on good news...Give your full attention...Forgive yourself...Laugh...Call a friend you haven't heard from in awhile...Lead by example...Help a younger person discover a hidden talent...Invite someone who's not part of your inner circle to a friendly gathering...Teach about giving...When you see trash, pick it up...When you hear "trash", leave it be.

Practicing an attitude of gratitude - clearly a choice for most people - positively impacts human health, happiness, and social ties.  Because so much of life is about giving and receiving, gratitude serves as the organic link between the two.  Really - it's what makes us human.

So, make this Thanksgiving a truly Happy Meal, and launch the pursuit of happiness with a Happy New Year of Gratitude Expressed Daily.  After awhile, you may find you don't need the research evidence to prove it works.

If You're Enrolled in MCC Courses at EOSHS, Then...

In Week Nine Notes, information was presented about Manchester Community College (MCC) courses offered - for free - at EOSHS.  Well, it's time for students (11th and 12th graders) to complete applications if they wish to earn college credits for these courses.  Let's reiterate - the courses are free, and so is the application process.

Even if there is nothing more than a remote possibility that a student will use these credits, that's enough for the student to submit the form.  It takes about five minutes to do.  Applications are available in the Guidance Office.  They're due on December 8th.

A Reminder About December 1 Deadline for Early Action Applications to UConn

UConn admits most of its students from the Early Action pool.  It makes sense to submit an application even if there is a remote chance that you'll attend if accepted.  For many students in the recent past, the remoteness of the possibility turned to reality by the time they graduated from EOSHS.

A Reminder About Rolling Admissions at CT Public Universities

The CT public universities - CCSU, ECSU, SCSU, WCSU - offer admission on a rolling basis, meaning that these schools accept qualified students throughout the year.  It means NOW.  Students (and parents/guardians) should know that these schools have become more attractive in recent years for several reasons - not the least of which is the "price tag".   Two years ago, SCSU closed its "doors" to applicants in March of the application cycle.  This was much earlier than ever before.  So, it becomes increasingly more difficult to be admitted as one waits longer to submit applications to these schools.  Get it?

A Reminder About the Financial Aid Workshop for Parents/Guardians

It's Monday, December 5th at 7 pm in the EOS lecture hall.  Carolyn Karno, a financial aid expert who has presented annually at EOSHS for several years now, will review relevant information regarding the financial aid process, the FAFSA, and loans available through various channels.  This workshop is primarily for parents/guardians of seniors, but parents with younger children are welcome to attend as well.

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