By Jill Tucker | SF Chronicle
Friends. Family. Music. Money. Health. Dogs.
Students at Thurgood Marshall High School in San Francisco are happy
about a lot of things in their lives, sharing their good feelings on a
tree of happiness Thursday to celebrate the United Nations International
Day of Happiness.
Zucaru Ruth, a senior, was so happy she wore heels
to school — a rare-but-beloved wardrobe choice given the three flights
of stairs she climbs up and down at school each day.
“I’m also happy to be who I am because I know who I am,” she said.
With a little prodding she shared who she is: “Very intelligent,
smart, open-minded, I would say outgoing, a leader. I can say
And definitely happy.
Students spread the happiness, writing what makes them happy on the
tree’s leaves. As the day wore on, the paper tree filled with those
“I woke up on the good side,” said 11th grader Kashee Tausi,
16. “It’s a pretty day and I’m looking good; we get out early.” On her
leaves, she wrote “family,” “me,” “my friends,” “my dog,” and “the
The effort, coordinated by peer resources teacher Neelam Patil, shifted the entire mood of school, students and staff said.
“I think, as human beings, the tendency is there are 10 positives to
each negative and we focus on the negative,” Patil said. “When they
start talking about what they’re happy about they get happy.”
– Jill Tucker