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Book Reading

Every freshman takes writing prerequisites at Dartmouth. This may come in the form of Writing 5, a class covering the basics of academic writing, research and voice, or Writing 2 and 3, which covers the same topics in a slower pace. I am taking the former. Writing 5 is taught in many sessions, each with its own professor and theme. After attending an open house, I fell in love with Professor Deanne Harper and her topic of Choice, 'Pursuing Happiness.' And I could not have made a better choice.

Class starts at 11:30 A.M., with Professor Harper asking us 'What do you guys wanna talk about today?' We naturally start by talking about some interesting things that happened to us. This is a class on happiness, after all. Then, we talk about what we thought about our assigned reading, which comes from this amazing compilation of essays called Pursuing Happiness by Parfiti and Skorczewski. Last week's Monday reading, Stepping off the Hedonic Treadmill by Mochon et al, was a treat. Reading about how routine events such as exercising or going to church can raise our well-being got me thinking. Exercise, religion... you guys see where I'm going.

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Buddhist Path
You can count on the Dalai Lama for a good read :)

I got out of class and went straight into the... library. See, I exercise plenty, and I practice my faith peacefully. What I required now was a good read. Not one I mindlessly read for an assignment. One I actually fancied, one that got my brain running on new ways. The first one I picked up was a discussion on Buddhism by the Dalai Lama. This proved to be the right choice: he talks a lot of happiness, so I accidentaly stumbled upon the source for my first Writing 5 essay.

My second book, which I am currently reading, is Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho (in English, Rabbit Paul) {word play with his portuguese name}. Even though he is from my country I had never read any of his works, and I must say this one caught me by surprise. The story, full of twists, got me in its grasp. I cannot stop reading, and the pages just keep flowing. Meeting my self-assigned quota of 50 pages a day is so easy. I will not go in depth with the book's story, just know that it talks about feelings and a reality many Brazilians face. You should definitely give it a good read.

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Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes. Catch it in one of 140 languages!!!

Learning not only for academics, but for life, is the reason I wake up every day excited for my first class. I hope you guys get the same feeling when you come join me!

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