What’s Making Us Happy This Week


Annabelle Heun 

This week, I finally cleaned off my desk! I added a bulletin board above it and even found a way to organize the many textbooks I have in a little container underneath my deskI have SO much more space to work now, and I have actually been enjoying working in my new little workspace (which is honestly quite shocking). It has been making me so happy to have such an organized little corner to be productive in. Although cleaning off your desk is a small thing in the grand scheme of life, I think it’s the small things that can bring us the most joy. Also, I found a new YouTube channel that does TONS of audio stimulation and music for relaxation. Their videos are hours long, featuring 1920’s-1940’s era music playing softly underneath gentle rain sounds and crackling fireplaces. I am the kind of person who needs some sort of music in order to work productively, or else I get very distracted very quickly. I’ve found that this music is the perfect balance of providing enough stimulation to keep me focused while not being too distracting, and I have binged at least 5 hours of this channel’s videos by now. The wonderful feelings of nostalgia that I get while listening to this music is just an added bonus (even though I can’t actually feel nostalgic about anything from the 1920s). Seriously, if you are looking for some study music (or music that is generally just soothing and wonderfulgo check out Nemo’s Dreamscapes on YouTube!! 


Ms. Walsh 

I recently began a new mystery series by an author that’s new to me. always love starting a new series because that first book reveals if I’ve just discovered a new world I want to inhabit for several books to comeSometimes you strike out, and sometimes you get a home run. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley is definitely the latter. The series, set in 1950s England, follows a young girl (11yearsold in the first book) named Flavia de Luce. Flavia is a distinct charactershe’s extremely precocious, a Chemistry wiz with her own lab at home. She frequently thinks about the chemical compounds in poisons and how to best employ them! The first book is a murder mystery in which Flavia must uncover secrets from her father’s past. The plot is brisk and fun, involving rare stamps, boyhood betrayals, and sleight of hand magic. It’s easy to root for Flavia as she works out clues, but she’s not exactly lovable. For most of the novel she comes across as aloof and invulnerableHowever, in the rare moments when she can’t quite maintain her stiff upper lip, she steals your heart. 


Emmi Highness 

The other day I finished an amazing book. It was so good I wanted to just start to read it again the second I put it down. Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuinton, is absolutely stunning from cover to cover and I definitely recommendOn the subject of YA Romance novels, one of my best friends and I decided to write our own YA romance novel and it is the only thing that is giving me serotonin- but it is giving me a lot of serotonin. We are so in sync about what we want from this novel we spent 5 hours on Sunday just working on the character summaries and outline. We are planning to make quite a full novel so it’s going to take a couple months, but I can’t wait. I just wish I didn’t have so much homework and other things to do because I would drop out just to write these books. So far, we’ve started the first chapter, made some Pinterest mood boards, an inspiration playlist and some concept cover art. Every time I open my laptop to work on schoolwork, I just want to open a new doc and write a chapter. 


Chris Shields

As a “foodie,” I really enjoy food and have made a hobby out of baking, cooking, and, yes, eating food. Yesterday (February 25th) was my 18th birthday and to celebrate I planned my meals for the day around some of my all-time favorite foods. My top three favorite foods of all time, if you can believe it, are pasta, mashed potatoes, and cereal. Don’t ask me why, I couldn’t tell you. To kick off my day, I started my morning with my top three favorite cereals of all time (Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Peanut Butter Chex) all combined into one bowl to create a unique texture and flavor creation! It was very delicious; I highly recommend it. I got to have my favorite fruit, the humble banana, as a snack at one point in my morning when my body burned off all the marshmallows from breakfast. For dinner, things got a bit more complex. A few anecdotes that will help my rationale behind this meal clearer: my favorite cuisine is Italian, my favorite meat is chicken, my favorite vegetable is bell pepper, my favorite method of cooking is the casserole/bake, and my favorite type of pasta is Cavatappi. For dinner last night, I made myself and my family an authentic Italian-style chicken cavatappi pasta bake with a side of mashed potatoes. In the bake was cavatappi pasta, diced chicken, chopped bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes, and a blend of Italian seasonings baked for nearly an hour. And, to compliment, was the homemade mashed potatoes. I had all my favorite things to eat yesterday, and it took a lot of careful planning and a lot of hard work, but it paid off and that’s what’s making me extra happy this week! 


Jackie Collver 

This week, I found an awesome new podcast called “Sweet Boys.” If you remember when it was socially acceptable to watch Shane Dawson, then you probably remember his friend Garrett Watts with whom he did a bunch of “scary videos. You’ll also remember Andrew Siwicki, Dawson’s cameraman. Garrett and Andrew talk about a plethora of things on “Sweet Boys” – from their little bone spider decoration, to self-discovery, to, and I quote, “That Driver’s License Song.” They are so sweet and wholesome and make me laugh even when I don’t feel like it.  It’s also awesome because the podcast episodes are over an hour long sometimes, and it makes spectacular background noise while doing schoolwork. I wouldn’t be smiling over dumb math homework about interest rates if not for “Sweet Boys,” that’s for sure. So, even though it might not seem like much, “Sweet Boys” is what’s making me happy this week.  


Spencer Nelson 

I am happy to say that my musical project I’m working on is going well. I’m writing some pretty epic hooks to the beats I’ve been making lately. One song in particular is called “Memory Lane,” and it’s about being so young and innocent that life is kind of a blur. You know, when your life revolves around the simplest of things because a lot of the real world is just beyond your comprehension. The song goes on and starts introducing how as time goes on, society starts to chew you up and spits you out as a conforming, contributing member. “But as the pages start to turn / Society will help you learn / About the slave you are to those up higher / Corporations won’t retire.” It then goes on to talk about personal struggles that can come with the social side of life and how the balance of work and play can go south faster than you think. I know the song isn’t the happiest in terms of the message it conveys, but being able to release my feelings through music is a huge weighoff of my shoulders. When everything is sounding as I want it to, it gives me a feeling of accomplishment. Hearing compositions come together is such a good feeling, and there is nothing on this planet that feels better, so that’s what’s making me happy this week. 

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