The U.S. Military and Well-being

The U.S. Military has been making making their new recruits take a class about happiness and well-being. How is it that people who are being trained to kill others or enemies of the country be taking classes about well-being and the happiness of others? How are they going to use what they’ve learned in the those classes in a battle field? Or is it that the class is for themselves for when they’re are out of service for good? I mean it is a complex argument that cannot be just left alone meaning how are corrupted soldiers going to utilize happiness in war? Maybe, for those who have gone to battle and have see the worst of horrors, this class is to teach them about how  to come out of that situation sane or to be able to live their lives without the burden of what has happened. Maybe it is also to teach them about just being or becoming happy. However, why are they being forced to take a class about happiness before they go into service? Is it to feel happy about killing? These are serious questions that I have because I can’t seem to understand the reason behind this military class.

Annotated Bibliography:

This website talks about what is the Army National Guard. It talks about its changes to meet the challenge of its missions. Also, it talks about how we must keep in mind the personal, physical, material, mental, and spiritual state of our Soldiers, civilians, and their families. Their “Well-Being” contributes to their readiness to perform the Army National Guard mission.

Brief Class Notes 11/11/2014

Announcements for Essay 2:

– For individual feedback from Professor Belli, make an appointment for Wednesday or Thursday.

-Every essay needs a tittle. (Specifically a two part tittle with a colon ( : ))

-Work cited page: make sure to have one for the final draft. (All the sources used HAVE to be cited including the apps)

-The essay is 3-4 FULL pages. It has to be a fully developed essay.

-Cover letters should be fully revised with a reflection of the whole process took to write the final draft. (Mention changes, meeting with the Professor and writing what you worked on, etc.) Also a short cover letter won’t give you full points.

-Remember to edit and proofread. (Professor Belli is looking for a well polished essay and if not done, points will be taken off)

-Even though you might be talking about a different number of apps, make sure that your not just summarizing the apps but you need transitions and you need to show how & why all these apps fit together in your argument.

-Also review the Essay 1 assignment because it is relevant to Essay 2.

Announcement for the Research Essay:

-You have your choice of topic and it has to have something to do with well-being/happiness but you have full liberty on your topic.

-The first draft of the research proposal is due Wednesday night at 12am because it is a blog. It is the hardest part of the essay but it is a really important process to go through. (Professor Belli wants a 100% participation on the blogging this week because if its not done, you’re going to fall really far behind in class)

-In addition to the proposal, you also have to write an annotated source. This is an annotated bibliography in which you have to annotate the sources you used. It is important because it makes the reader know what were the sources about and it also forces you to think about the sources you are using. When doing it, you have to have the summaries of the sources and you have to have a critical evaluation. Remember to do both.

-Mandatory individual conference next week with the Professor about the research paper. It is to make sure that you’re on the right track on your essay. (Look at the time available and pick choices on the sign-up sheet that will be given on Thursday)

-Read the assignment carefully.

-Remember that the essay is 30% worth of your final grade.

I hope I covered everything and that you can understand what I wrote. Farewell!

Happiness App?!

In today’s world, people have managed to create websites and apps about promoting happiness. Technology is improving so much that it started making apps which can tell a person what he’s doing wrong in his daily life. The sites and apps created clarify the right path to happiness which have a lot of great points about how to reach happiness.

To my experience, I believe that the app Happify is the most accurate to pursue happiness. I’m not the only one that says it, websites and articles say the same about this app. For example, The New York Times article, “Positive Thinking, With a Little Help From Your Phone”, which  quoted, “Happify is perhaps the most sophisticated positive vibes app available now. The idea of this free iOS app is to train you into thinking positively and feeling happy by engaging you in various “tracks” with different goals like improving your confidence or seeing new possibilities”. Through all the apps for happiness I went through, I thought that the “Happify” app was the one that actually could really help with a person’s journey to happiness. It does several things that the other apps about happiness don’t actually do. Even though I’ve used it for only three days, I’ve meditated, which I really enjoy, and I’ve played games which I also enjoy.

This app starts by asking you questions about your life and from there it puts you on a basic track. Each track includes quizzes, games and activities that guide you to seeing more positive aspects of your daily life. The app also makes you see your happiness level to help you make better choices in your daily life to become happy. I also has a page with comments and photos of other people to encourage you in your life and you can do the same.

I find it fascinating how these apps are actually able to help others and monitors their happiness. I think it is a helpful and very successful way to help people and their well-being. Although these happiness apps have great aspects, I believe that people will not be able to reach happiness only through technology. I think that the journey to happiness could only be reached if the person himself puts some efforts into finding a better, positive, and healthy way to reach happiness. Technology can help in some ways but however cannot actually make a person completely happy.

Many of the apps about happiness don’t actually help a person in their journey to happiness but they are more like computers checking for a data to manage. Also, these apps, unlike humans, don’t know about the well being of a person. Therefore, a person shouldn’t actually rely on a app to make them happy but something “real” like themselves.

My Happy Place!

New York has a lot of wonders and even though I travel a lot, to some extend, this city has beautiful aspects. I’ve explored New York City a lot, and some places have really stood out to me. However if i was to choose one, it will be 14 ST – Union Square. Not only that specific spot but also the surroundings of it. I love diversity and Union Square is a place in which a lot of diversity can be found.

In most places I’ve visited, New York City has been the only one with so much diversity, and it is best shown in Union Square. Whenever I need to calm down or have a laugh, or just walk around, Union Square is where I find myself. Not only is it beautiful, but it is surrounded by things to explore. It is a place where a person can shop, go to restaurants for a new taste, explore beautiful parks, see different kind people, and learn about different cultures.

In Union Square, I’ve actually seen many things. It is my favorite place in New York City because it is the only place in the whole city where I don’t actually feel like a stranger. Its a place where I could hang out with my friends and have a blast. its a place where i see great fashion. It’s my favorite place to shop in. Its a place where I could read, take my mind off of unhealthy things and just be me.

I also love the history of it. I find it amazing that it used to be a burial ground just like most parks in New York City, but it still fascinating. It also has statues of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Mohandas Gandhi, and Marquis de Lafayette to show respect and I’m a person who loves their history.

Most of all, I love this square because it is just beautiful, the first place I visited when I arrived in the U.S. on 2009, and where I made a lot of memories.

Essay 1 Pre-Draft: Thesis Paragraph

“True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery). Several people might agree with this quote because happiness can be found by helping others and by making new experiences. However, happiness is a controversial issue in which people have different opinions on how it is built. The article “How to Buy Happiness” by Sonja Lyubomirsky and the the article “What Suffering Does” by David Brooks show two different perspectives about how happiness is reached. To me, the key to happiness is about making our lives better through accepting the past and through experiences, because experiences aren’t quantitative, they’re not defined by numbers or worth, but qualitative, that is what quality experience you have.

Class Notes 09/30/2014


  1. High-stakes: really important to perform excellently on all categories.
  2. Low-stakes: important, however with less pressure on performing excellently on all categories.
  3. Revise: to go over something with the aim of making it better, changing it, and re-thinking it.
  4. Superficial: on the surface.
  5. Recursive: a revision process in writing.
  6. Scaffolding: building in steps.
  7. Indignation: righteous anger.


  • Latenesses and absences. ( no more then 10% of absences, meaning only 3 are allowed, and 2 latenesses counts as 1 absence)
  • If not done already, read al other classmate posts.

Formal Writing: 

In formal essays, you have to think about all the issues, not only the content and your ideas, but also the structure of your writing. So, you really have to work on having an argument, having a really good introduction, having really well-formed paragraphs, with topic sentences, using evidence, and quotes, and siting correctly, having work sited page at the sentence level, and having no errors, no spelling mistakes, using words correctly, and having your sentences vary. It is important because they are going to be held to a higher standard, in terms of the sort of quality of the writing itself.

In class, we did free-writing about 3 things:

  1. What is our writing process.
  2. What are the emotions we have when writing or having to write about something. (Reflection)
  3. What is the ideal way of writing.

Prof. Belli said that when writing, the 3R should be applied which are Revision, Recursive, and Reflection.

  • Revision process is really important because a large part of your grade for the course and essays are going to be built on the quality and thoughtfulness of you revision.
  • Reflection is really important because in each essay done for this class, a page long, single-spaced reflection letter to Prof. Belli will be attached to it. It will consist of the revisions made, the reasons why they were made, what’s good about them, and the struggles encountered.

Writing Process: (What we students do or think)

What is our writing process?

  • Brainstorm.
  • Go straight to it, meaning just start writing.
  • Analyze the topic.
  • Research.
  • Ignore the assignment.
  • Procrastinate.
  • Make an outline.
  • Free-writing.
  •  Tell someone.

What are the emotions we feel?

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Over thinking
  • Anger
  • Overwhelmed
  • Empty
  • Stuck
  • Boredom
  • Rebellion
  • Indignation
  • Fear

Ideal Process of Writing:

  1. Analyze the topic and assignment.
  2. Make a really rich outline that include an introduction, (hook, explanation of topic, and thesis statement), at least 3 paragraphs, (main ideas, proof/evidence, concluding sentence), argument against your idea if it applies, and a conclusion, restating your ideas.
  3. Write freely as much as possible about your topic and what you want to include in your essay.
  4. Go through all paragraphs and edit it to make it better.
  5. Peer edit your own work.
  6. Have a person or more give you feedback on your paper. (Prof. or classmates)
  7. Reflect about it.

Homework: read the article “What Suffering Does” by David Brooks given in class, make an reversed outline, look up vocabulary, and prepare for tomorrow’s class.

I tried and I hope I covered everything that was done.


Money = Happiness!

The article “How To Buy Happiness” by Sonja Lyubomirsky talks about how money can buy happiness. The author speaks of research done that has shown how a person’s happiness could be based on how she/he chooses to spend their money. Furthermore, she wrote that evidence has shown that experiences make people happier, and she gave three reasons to support her belief. First, experiences make people happier because unlike material things, experiences don’t change and cannot be replaced. Second, experiences are more likely to be shared with others. Third, experiences make people happier because things could be made as a competition as in people tend to compare their things to other’ possessions. Lyubomirsky also states that the only things that are bought that could make make a person happier are based on three main things: 1. The possession of required skill, knowledge, qualification, or capacity, 2. Being connected to others, and 3. The state of having independence or control over someone’s life. She also adds that another way to buy happiness is by spending money on others instead of just oneself, because by giving money to others, a person could learn to appreciate what he/she owns, by giving to those who have less. Her final statement about buying happiness talks about how using our money to give us more time off of work, because people who are wealthy tend to work more and spend less time enjoying their lives. Basically, Lyubomirsky believes that the key to happiness is not about how wealthy we are but about how we use the money we have.

I personally agree with this article, because to me money could definitely buy happiness. Having money could make a person do whatever they ever wanted to do. For instance, traveling is something that makes me happy; discovering new cultures and helping those in needs is something that fulfills my life, however without money I would never be able to do this. Also, even though this might not be true for many people, I believe that in the modern world we live in, money is basically the top priority to all people who want to be happy. Of course, there are those who are wealthy and miserable, however there are those who also are wealthy but live their lives with much happiness because of the money they got. Material things won’t always make a person happy because they are temporary but if a person knows how to spend their money on things that actually matter he/she could bring happiness to themselves. Sonja Lyubomirsky said that the key to happiness isn’t about how rich a person is but about how the person spends his/her money in her article, which is true. There are those people who become happier by giving to or helping others in need, and others who spend their money on unnecessary things that might or might not make them happier. I actually think that it depends on the person.

Introducing Me! ^.^

Hello everyone! My name is Anna Coulibaly. I’m a 18 year old freshman. I was born in Italy, and I’m a world traveler! I’ve been in over 50 countries. I speak five different languages fluently (Italian, French, English, Wolof, and Fulany). I graduated from Manhattan International High School. I’m really friendly and I love meeting new people. I love learning especially from people and different cultures. I’m an NYPD explorer and I can’t wait to join the National Cost Guard, of course after I’ve earned my degree in school. I love writing and drawing. I’m really hoping to do great in class. ^.^