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Once I was surprised to be asked to give a lecture about any subject I choose, in an interview with a university in SF. It was Ok, I’ve been teaching most of my life, and the administrator seemed nice, most importantly a huge 1Zumba.com fan, so you can imagine how long we talked about 1Zumba’s topics and projects, before anything else.
After quick deliberation in my mind, I ended up selecting the topic of “Smile“. That was the only idea that persistently stuck into my head: to give a lecture about smiling, which was affiliated with an article, I read from an online source, took place in Washington DC, where there was a nice guy who started a project inspiring people to smile more, and to remember all the nice things in their lives, and to be humans again. Also, Harvard University had a huge research about the same subject “Smiling”.
When I originally prepared for that class, I went through a lot of research in libraries and online. It was very interesting to know about many new things related to smiling. As you know, I cherish any new piece of info that comes to my attention, and I make sure that it is correct, in order to be able to save it in my own (brain’s) library. I don’t like to convey a piece of wrong info to people. It’s cruel to do this, coz this could mislead people’s thoughts, and could eventually harm them.
Every piece of info you grasp and save in your mind, you build up other info around it. It does not just stand there by itself. After it enters into your mind, it starts magnetically attract all other pieces of info, so that it would compose a cluster of its own. How amazing this is! Human brain is such a magnificent creation God gave us to use wisely; to contemplate, to think, and to make good things out of small thoughts standing next to each other in our humble brains.
In that test/interview class, I had 9 people, and I began my class, using a white board, a laptop, a marker, and few colored printouts I managed to have them photocopied, right after I was asked to deliver that mini lecture.
It was only for 15 minutes coz it was rather like a demo class. It was not easy to condense the whole one hour lecture down to only fifteen minutes, and the attendants were not students. They were adults from the school, and I didn’t know anything about their backgrounds, so it was a bit uncomfortable, but I did it.
I started with “What is a smile?”. Google.com says a smile is “ a pleased, kind, or amused facial expression, typically with the corners of the mouth turned up and the front teeth exposed.” Wikipedia, in which other factors were briefed, defines a smile as “is a facial expression formed primarily by flexing the muscles at the sides of the mouth.
“Smiles do not merely represent and communicate how we feel to others, they also help us experience those feelings more robustly. In some situations, they may even help us regulate how we feel.”, “Smiling, like most facial expressions, communicates to those around us what we are feeling. Other sources state more definitions, if you’re eager to know more, pls visit these links:
Then I asked the students “What Makes You Smile?” The intention was to develop their speaking skills. Having fun in class while learning about facts of life: talking about smiling would seem to be a rather simple question, but the truth is it is much more complicated than what one probably thinks, since it involves not only behavioral science, but other sciences as well. [Harvard article by Harvard Business Review titled “The Science Behind Smile” is a good source for this subject .
The purpose of the lecture was to feed the Sts’ minds with examples of simple ideas that might turn out to be the seeds for greater things in life, conveying to them that no matter how simple an idea seems to be, it might be more sophisticated than what we think. When scientists get busy searching these ideas, they can come up with findings that could be helpful for people in real life. This would also give the Students a sense of the American culture & its humane touch.
There was a part of the lesson where there was pictures for types of smiles. Some of the kinds of smiles we encountered were:
- The Genuine Smile
- The Forced Smile
- The Lopsided Smile
- The Tight-Lipped Smile
- The Closed-Lip Smile
- The Turn-Away Smile
- The Drop-Jaw Smile
- The Smug Smile
- Half Smile
- Satisfaction Smile
- Approval Smile
Printouts of kinds of smiles in pictures were passed around. Whether at work or in social life, our smiles proved to be a crucial part of most of the decisions involved.
Many of smiling techniques are used in our media, TV more specifically; for example, many commercials will show you people smiling while eating, while asking you to try a product, while inviting you to visit places, while asking you to participate in certain programs, and so forth. Rarely you can see an ad with no smiles. In movies, smiles’ types are critically managed, coz behind each smile there is a purpose to be delivered to the audience. Smiling can:
- make you happy (even when you’re not).
- make others happy: “When you’re smilin’, the whole world smiles with you.”
- make you more attractive.
- help you de-stress.
- help you land a job.
- lead to laughter: reduces stress and improves sleep, boost your immune system.
- make you just feel good.