01/04/2011 05:45 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

How I Got Happy Developing a Class in Happiness

Great is the irony of designing a brand new class in happiness. Because as you will see if you read the computer diary that I kept when I first started developing the class back in June of 2010, I was decidedly not very happy when I began developing the class.
I told my husband the other night that developing this class (at the University at Albany, SUNY) has been one of the best things I have ever done in my life.
It has TAUGHT ME VERY IMPORTANT LESSONS ABOUT HOW TO BE HAPPY. I would like to thank my husband, Richard Kirsch (one of the most optimistic people I know and a principal player in the long and difficult fight for health care last year) for suggesting that I keep a journal as I started to do the reading and thinking that I needed to do for this class, which begins two weeks from tomorrow on January, 19, 2011.
It took months and months, first to do all the reading that I needed to do, and then, to assemble the syllabus. And then, it took an equal number of months to get the class through various comittees and subcomittees and Dean's and departmental offices etc. You have no idea what a bureaucracy a university can be.
Then I had the equally trying task of getting all the paperwork completed to post the class in the course catalogue on the University's on-line registration system.