Class Notes Tuesday March 23, 2021

The winner of the people’s post is Reem =)

Professor asked how do we like the Calm App or if we tried any other meditation apps?

We meditated for like 10 min. The Calm app suggested at the end: To pause to help productivity, “steeping back and pausing to come back and continue.”

There will be meditation at the beginning of the upcoming classes. Hence professor would like for everyone to be on time for class.

There was a breathing exercise. We counted our breathing (inhale & exhale) per minute.

How long does a person stay angry? Physiologically only 90 seconds.

Anger is fed by our thoughts.

There are situations that do justify feeling angry like the recent shootings in Georgia and Colorado.  So, how do we channel our emotions?

Among the benefits of meditating is that it helps you to control emotions.

We shared comments about the preface of the book, The Power of Now.


Rumination: Overthinking, focusing excessively in the past or constantly saying words like: “Only if I had done” “I should” I could have done.”

Perseverance: : continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition. 

Subjunctive: The subjunctive mood is the verb form used to explore a hypothetical situation (e.g., If I were you) or to express a wish, a demand, or a suggestion.

There was free writing exercise, the topic was: “Thinking has become a disease”  and “You are not your thoughts” Page 16 of the book The Power of Now.

Don’t forget to post on people’s choice of the week.




Class Notes 03/18/21

At the beginning of class we went over the pandemic blog and how writing affected each of us as all of our experiences were different. Professor will be posting tools for mental wellness and pandemic journaling that are available online. This is not mandatory, but provided as an aid to help you along your journey.  

We participated in our second group meditation subject was releasing anxiety. We were given keep points to keep in mind during our experience to keep in mind to enhance our responses. 

  • Describe in as much detail as possible.
  • What feelings are you experiencing both negative and positive.
  • Focus on body and mind in the moment.
  • How is your body reacting in accordance to your feelings.
  • Be present in the moment without thinking of what you will write in the responses
  • Ideally your posture should be sitting upright, facing forward, be mindful of hand placement, cross your legs if possible, and feet should be grounded.
  • Allow the background noise to sink in and fade away into it.
  • If you feel yourself  drifting off re-center yourself.  

As a key point to keep in mind for all blogging would be to turn the blog engagement into yourselves. 

Reminders for this week

Side note-

 I would like to apologize to the class and professor about the timing in which I posted the class notes and notes I may be missing as I had a medical emergency. 


Class Notes (3/16)


  • Pandemic Processing blog post due Thursday (3/18)
  • Read the entire book “The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle” (Be sure to have the physical copy of the book). Blog post + Annotations will be due Next Tuesday (3/23)


The practice of writing = Journaling

Embodied- To sit/ feel within your body

Transmission of affect (emotional contagion)- A belief that we can “catch” each other’s emotions

We worked on a free writing loop with two prompts, these prompts were…

  1. How are you feeling right now?
  2. Intentionally call to mind something that gives you a “negative” feeling. Visualize the situation, allow yourself to feel the emotions, then write about it.

We then discussed some responses to these prompts and some of the responses were…

  • Fear of presenting for a class assignment
  • To have a positive day try making it a choice to think positively instead of focusing on the negatives
  • The stress that comes with balancing a heavy workload for school, and working at the same time.

We ended class by practicing a daily meditation through the Calm app

* Share your reflection on the experience of meditating in the comments under this post.

Class Notes 3/11

Congratulations Maria on winning People’s Choice #4

In the next two weeks on the 23rd of March we will begin reading

“The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle 

All students should purchase the hardcover version of the book and begin reading it for our class on the 23rd.

You can find the book with this ISBN-13: 978-1577314806

Today marked 1 year after the pandemic was declared by the World’s Health Organization.

“Playing the believing game” by Peter Elbow 

The believing game is the disciplined practice of trying to be as welcoming or accepting as possible to every idea we encounter: not just listening to views different from our. own and holding back from arguing with them; not just trying to restate them without bias; but actually trying to believe them.


If anyone has any questions for Professor Belli  Tuesday March 16th there will be no office hours if you need to contact Professor Belli email her to set up a time to talk.

Homework :


  • Covid: One Year Later + various links on mental health, grief, and the pandemic [more coming soon + find your own!]


  • Blog #5: Pandemic Processing (stay tuned for a specific prompt for this response: coming soon!)





Class Notes (3/9)

  • 7 Habits
  • mindfulness- being aware
  • character ethic (principles) vs. personality ethic (adjusting your attitude rather than changing the core)
  • superficial-on the surface
  • perception- how one views the world
  • subjective- bias; partial
  • objective- factual


  • pg. 31- paradigm (Greek origin) means a model, theory, perception, assumption, or frame of reference
  • free writing prompt:

-pg. 36 “If ten seconds can have that kind of impact on the way we see things, what about the conditioning of a lifetime?”

  • pg. 42 “Principles are not practices”
  • pg. 43 “Principles are not values”
  • the goal of the book is to make our map closely align with the laws in order to live better lives
  • Covey has an inside-out approach
  • inside-out means to start first with self


  • a habit is something you do consistently, unconsciously
  • pg. 55 Covey defines habit as the intersection of knowledge, skill, and desire
  • write a a habit you have tried to implement
  • write a habit you have tried to break


  • dependence- depending on someone else
  • independence- being able to take care of yourself
  • Covey’s end goal is interdependence- “we”
  • first 3 habits are private victories


  • free writing prompt:

-pg. 96 “It is inspiring to realize that in choosing our response to circumstances, we powerfully affect our circumstance. when we change one part of the chemical formula, we change the nature of the results”

-respond to this quote

think of how Covey’s framework relates to Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret for Thursday’s class

  •  do People’s Choice by 9am, Thursday (3/11)
  • review Habit 1: Be Proactive (pgs. 73-101) for class discussion this Thursday

Class notes March 4th


Predatory- the method and practice of teaching
– the way we go about teaching the way we teach
– think of self-help as education
Curriculum- what is taught
– materials that are produced
Scaffolding- process of teaching
– teach students to the point where it is not overwhelming
-giving people different tools to complete their goal
Thoughts about the book
– combination of the secret and self help
– Courtney- trying to encourage his son to play baseball and then says he is on his own and she thinks it was a little controversy.

Questionnaire: a set printed or written questions with a choice of answers
Self- assessment: assessment or evaluation of oneself or ones actions and attitudes
“The examined life”
Self help is not just about books it’s about publishing, marketing and etc.
-“There are more natural laws”
Natural laws: a body of unchanging moral principles regarded as a basis for all human conduct.
“User interface”
– structures how we interact with someone and access materials
-Aristotle had a concept of happiness
Eudaemonia- conductive to happiness
Virtue: a behavior showing high moral standards
– personality ethic
– positive psychology
– no new reading
– continue to understand the context
– homework- do self care and take notes

Class Notes March 2nd

The seven habits of highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Courtney Chapter 5 Help and Opportunities:
-Encourage you to study & prepare yourself for your career.
-Only time will get you to your goals.
-Failures are sometimes part of your greatness.

Aryana Smith Chapter 7 Industry and Peerage:
-Success is left up to the individual and how hard they work.
-Connection between peerage and success.
-Peerage as a class, those holding a hereditary, or honorable title.
-Exalted which means placed at a higher power level.
” ”
-In order to achieve anything great you want in life, you need to apply yourself both physically and mentally.

Reem S.Chapter 9 Money and its Abuse (which I also did)
-Fatherly approach.
-How you use, save the money you have.
-Money is worth face value.

Crystal Pichardo Chapter 12 Examples and Model
-Actions speak louder than words.
-Surround yourself with like minded people.
-Working by action is always more forcible than words (301)
” ”
-There is no action of man in this life, which is not the beginning of a so long chain of sequence.

Robby Chapter 3 The Great Potters:
-Bernard Palissy used 16 years of his own life to teach himself.
-Johann Bottger pretended he could make Gold.
-Josians father died when he was 11 leaving him on his own.

——————–Accepting Blogs tomorrow at noon last call————————-

Class Notes: Thursday (02/25)

After taking attendance at the beginning of the class, professor announced the winners of the People’s Choice #2: Self-Help (Samuel Smiles). Congratulations to Crystal for her 2nd time in a row as the 1st place winner, who tied with Courtney. Then we went on to presenting our group discussion of the Self-Help Book by Samuel Smiles.

  • Group 1 consisted of Maria, Crystal and Reem, who presented the section called, “Preface, Information and Table of Contents.”
  • Group 2 consisted of Courtney, Niyomi and I, who presented the section called, “Chapter 1: National and Individual.”
  • Group 3 consisted of Robby, Anil, and Aryanna, who presented the section called, “Chapter IV: Application and Perseverance.”

After each group presented, we all made reflections on what each group did well and should improve on. We then came together as a class with professor and shared our notes that we jotted down, which consists of things some of us learned in a previous class we took called, “Public Speaking.” This includes:

  • Do not have lengthy wording on your PowerPoint because this has the audience focus on reading it than listening to the speaker.
  • Keep the slides simple and short with main points but have more information on flashcards or paper that emphasize your main points more.
  • Try to avoid using words like ‘umm’ and ‘like’ when you are speaking because it is not proper language, and it creates your speech run longer than expected.
  • Establish the right order when giving the information and presenting, for example, start with giving out the main points of what you are trying to get across, then give examples, and lastly finalize or summarize your presentation.

We went on to speaking about vocabulary words, phrases, authors, books, quotes, and narrative devices. We just discussed briefly, and will get into more details later on in the semester:

En media res or In medias res – A narrative work beginning in medias res opens in the midst of the plot. Often, exposition is bypassed and filled in gradually, through dialogue, flashbacks, or description of past events.

Individual over institution – The ideology of the Individual versus the Institution is defined by an individual unable to make their own choices due to a society or institutions in which they are making the individual conform.

Focus on success rather failure.

Upward mobility – moving to a higher social class; acquiring wealth and status.

Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.

Rugged individualism, derived from individualism, is a term that indicates the ideal whereby an individual is totally self-reliant and independent from outside, usually state or government, assistance.

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He wrote the essay called, “Self-Reliance” in 1841.

Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that developed in the late 1820s and 1830s in the eastern United States. Ralph Waldo Emerson was one of the most famous and influential transcendentalists.

The New Age movement is a religious or spiritual movement that developed in Western nations during the 1970s.

Positive thinking

Non-conformity is failure or refusal to conform to a prevailing rule or practice.

Chapter 1, “Self-Help’s Portable Wisdom” (from Beth Blum, The Self-Help Compulsion: Searching for Advice in Modern Literature).

  • “genre’s manic citation practice” (Blum 41)
  • “Contemporary readers may be incredulous that a book so popular could contain so many dry and lengthy catalogs. But Smiles’ readers found these inventories anything but dull; their sheer quantity intensified, and substantiated Self-Help’s thrilling promises of upward mobility. [. . .]. From Franklin’s list of virtues to Smiles’ inventories to Reddit’s listicles, the list has become a staple of self-help discourse” (Blum 45-46)
  • “Unlike most contemporary self-help handbooks, Smiles advocated prosaic labor above magical solutions and extolled hard work in the name of civic progress rather than material gain” (Blum 47).

For Next Week’s Class on Tuesday 03/02:

  1. Read – The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (Stephen R. Covey) [excerpts]
  2. Due – Annotations of Covey text & Reading Response #3: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  3. Class Notes will be done by Anil

Class Notes Tuesday February 23

Reminder to always have ready the annotations [scanned in PDF files], ready to send when professor ask.

There was a brief review-discussion of the Blatantly Obvious (“The Secret” Parody).

At the beginning of this parody there is a sticky note that reads: “be kind, rewind” which is referring to re-purposing. The secret is an idea that was recycled and repurposed. Even Rhonda Byrne mentioned that the original book was 100 years old.

On minute 3:50 there is a reference to “Good Feelings, Feels Good” and vice versa which apparently means that: “whispering something makes it sound more provocative.”

On minute 4:15 there is a reference to the “3 steps” Decide, Find, Buy it. LOL

On minute 5:15 someone says that: “everyone has potential, but it is limited by social class, education, race, etc.

Ironically, the comedians are engaging in the “essence” of the secret even when they are mocking it.   Parody can sometimes help us to think critically.

Among the keys of self-help are: re-purposing, resilience, and grit.

Samuel Smile paved the way for the self-help industry.


GRIT : courage, determination, perseverance.

RESILIENCE : flexibility, adaptability.

UTILITARIAN: practical.


Work in groups

Group 1 : The Preface, Introduction y Table of Contents.

Group 2: Chapter 1

Group 3: Chapter 4

There will be presentations on Thursday.





Class Notes 2/18

Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs


Self fulfillment needs-

  • Self Actualization (Fits into the realm of self-help. Become the best version of yourself)

Psychological needs-

  • Esteem needs
  • Belongingness & Love needs

 Basic Needs- 

  • Safety Needs
  • Psychological Needs


Website for Rhonda Byrne’s “The secret” information

  • Books for self-help
  • The Secret super app for mobiles devices
  • The greatest secret (New book by Rhonda Byrne)


In Class Videos


Video 1

SNL-Oprah the secret

Parody of an Oprah episode where Rhonda Byrnes explains what “The secret” is


Video 2

Dave Chappelle | The Secret | Stand-Up Comedy

Dave Chappelle mentions his thoughts on the secret in a stand-up segment


Video 3 (Didn’t get to watch, watch on your own before the next class)

The Blatantly Obvious (“The Secret” Parody)

Parody of “The Secret” by 24Calamity




Repurpose – To make something over with a change of purpose


Gaslighting – To change the point of view of someone else to the point of them questioning things


Elided – To suppress or alter


Upcoming in class


  • Life logging
  • Happiness Apps 
  • Going to try self-help tips and record experiences


Tuesday 2/23


Read chapter 1, 4, and a chapter of your choice of 

Self-Help; with Illustrations of Conduct and Perseverance (Samuel Smiles), 1859



Annotate the document of what you read and be sure to have the annotation ready in a PDF document in case it is collected. 


Reading Response #2 (Samuel Smiles) for what you have read and thoughts on the text


*Class Notes will be done by Maria