An emotional look at gratitude at BC

Josh Coyne, CSOM ’14, has made quite a few members of the Boston College community shed tears in front of their computers the past two days. Coyne posted the video “A Happy Little Thing Called ‘Thank You’” on YouTube yesterday, and it’s already accumulated more than 1,000 views. In the video, Coyne has 30 BC students undergo an experiment in gratitude, with a surprise twist. Watch the video above, and read more about the experiment from Coyne here:

The Heights: Where’d you get the idea for the project?

Coyne: Interestingly enough, the idea of the thesis is rooted in a series of roadblocks. I didn’t want to do a traditional business topic for my thesis (though I was expected to, being in CSOM), but had trouble understanding where I could add value to the research landscape among topics I enjoyed like happiness or spirituality or purposeful living, etc. I also couldn’t find a faculty member in CSOM who would be my thesis advisor given that the topic was outside of traditional CSOM disciplines. Finally, I didn’t know what to do for the experiment to evoke a genuine, raw form of gratitude from participants.

After hours of conversations with numerous individuals, I was able to overcome these roadblocks and arrived at my thesis idea: could gratitude affect college students’ stress, self-love, and happiness? The idea of the experiment actually came from an old video on happiness I remembered watching that asked participants to write about and then call someone whom they were grateful for, and I thought it would be great to take the experiment to BC’s campus.

Believe it or not, the video was never an intention of mine. I fully planned to do the experiment with 30 BC students without any cameras, particularly since my smart phone just broke so I had no mechanism to even try to film with. It was only after talking to a few individuals prior to my experiment that I realized that it may be cool to film individuals’ reactions in the experiment. Luckily, I was able to borrow a friend’s camera and brought it with me to every interview. The video is simply a culmination of all the different interviews with participants over two weeks.

The Heights: What role is the video playing in your thesis?

Coyne: Grade-wise, it plays no role at all, unfortunately. It was more a project for myself. Thesis-wise, it became a sort of validation of my project and my intentions with it. I can remember trying to recruit people to be in the video, telling them that I was “trying to make them happier,” and they were so confused because I couldn’t tell them how. Can’t imagine how I must have sounded. But I hope this video is able to do the same with those who watched it—remind us of some of the small things that do matter, the things we often forget about that can go a long way.

The Heights: Did you do the experiment yourself?

Coyne: That’s funny you mention that, because a few of my friends actually tried to get me to do it. Unfortunately, not only did I already know what the experiment entailed (meaning I couldn’t do it anyway), but I also didn’t really want to be in the experiment. I wanted to showcase others. Everyone who I talked to had a story that could make your heart stop, and the video was simply my attempt to share those stories with the world – this interview should really be for those guys. Those are the ones who really made it so special. I just let viewers see what I saw.

Gallery: BC’s Edible Books Festival

The Boston College Libraries staff showed off their culinary artistic skills at Tuesday’s Edible Books Festival, displayed in O’Neill Library. The contest featured 23 entries, and each food creation made references to books or the written word. From a red velvet cake called “The Scarlet Letter” to a blueberry-topped “Huckleberry Flan,” this exhibit certainly gave some food for thought–and for stomachs.

Photos by Emily Fahey / Heights Editor.

Gallery: Holi Festival

On Saturday, hundreds of students headed to the Seminary Field at Brighton Campus to celebrate Holi, a Hindu festival corresponding to the vernal equinox, marking the start of spring. The event was sponsored by the South Asian Student Association, and featured music by Electronic State of Mind.

The Scene Sessions: Seaver’s Express

Following Monday’s release of “A Different Gravity,” Seaver’s Express performed its new single live in Mary House on Newton Campus for the first installment of The Scene Sessions video series. After the departure of lead singer Jacob Monk, CSOM ’16, last semester, Brian Seaver—22-year-old brother of guitarist Sean Seaver, A&S ’16—took over as frontman. Vocalist Zoe Ainsburg also joined the band. “A Different Gravity” is the first track Seaver’s Express has recorded since the transformation.

Performers

Brian Seaver – Vocals/Guitar
Sean Seaver – Guitar
Chris Southiere – Percussion
Will Lyle – Bass
Zoe Ainsburg – Vocals

Production Team

Emily Sadeghian – Director/Editor
Dan Lyle – Sound Engineer
John Wiley – Producer
Ariana Igneri – Film Supervisor

The Tables In Lower Aren’t Safe

The Undergraduate Government of Boston College set up an impromptu dance-off in Lower dining hall tonight to promote this year’s Annual Showdown. There was a lot of not turning down—or, er, none of it? This song still doesn’t make any sense.


The Annual Showdown is on Sat. April 5.

Video via Maggie Powers / Heights Editor.

Meet The Cast Of ‘For Colored Girls’

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf is a choreopoem written by American playwright Ntozake Shange, was first performed in a California woman’s bar in 1975, and later opened on Broadway in 1976. John Houchin, an associate professor within the theatre department and the director of the BC production, was joined by guest artist Robbie McCauley, who was part of For Colored Girls’ Broadway cast. McCauley, the Monan professor in theatre arts at Boston College this semester, served as a dramaturg and acting teacher in the BC production of For Colored Girls, partnering with Houchin who has personally done extensive research on Black theatre.

For Colored Girls opened in Bonn Theatre Wednesday night and runs through Sunday. Meet the eight woman cast.

Kate Henry | Lady In Brown “Just being part of a wider community of women who I can relate to and I can cherish their company, and h

Kate Henry | Lady In Brown
“Just being part of a wider community of women who I can relate to and I can cherish their company, and having the director’s expertise, was a wonderful experience.”

Monica Wright | Lady In Yellow "Especially with the seating placed on stage, it's very new, and I think it's definitely more uncomfortable for the audience than it is for us, because we were told by the director and choreographer to own the space."

Monica Wright | Lady In Yellow
“Especially with the seating placed on stage, it’s very new, and I think it’s definitely more uncomfortable for the audience than it is for us, because we were told by the director and choreographer to own the space.”

 

Ashlie Pruitt | Lady In Blue "Just being completely open and vulnerable during these rehearsals and these warm-ups, yeah, it was an interesting process."

Ashlie Pruitt | Lady In Blue
“Just being completely open and vulnerable during these rehearsals and these warm-ups, yeah, it was an interesting process.”

Toluwase Oladapo | Lady In Green "You might be punk-rock, you might be half-white, you might have grown up in a black neighborhood, poor neighborhood—anything. We are honestly the black story."

Toluwase Oladapo | Lady In Green
“You might be punk-rock, you might be half-white, you might have grown up in a black neighborhood, poor neighborhood—anything. We are honestly the black story.”

Median Geyer | Lady In Aqua "This play is about the experience of eight black women, but they're dealing with topics that are relevant in society for a lot of people."

Median Geyer | Lady In Aqua
“This play is about the experience of eight black women, but they’re dealing with topics that are relevant in society for a lot of people.”

Sydney McNeal | Lady In Purple "My favorite aspect of the show is the incorporation of dance. I think it serves as a mirror for the message in the play—and it's non-verbal, which is something you don't always encounter in a play."

Sydney McNeal | Lady In Purple
“My favorite aspect of the show is the incorporation of dance. I think it serves as a mirror for the message in the play—and it’s non-verbal, which is something you don’t always encounter in a play.”

Ashley Branch | Lady In Orange "I really hope people will connect to something in the play, whether it's one of the monologues or they realize something about themselves."

Ashley Branch | Lady In Orange
“I really hope people will connect to something in the play, whether it’s one of the monologues or they realize something about themselves.”

Raven Tillman | Lady In Red "I really hope people will become empathetic toward the stories that weren't just happening when this piece was written—they're happening today."

Raven Tillman | Lady In Red
“I really hope people will become empathetic toward the stories that weren’t just happening when this piece was written—they’re happening today.”