4 Most Contagious Smiles on Campus

Have you ever noticed how some people smile? What’s up with that?

(Photo: Reviving Minds Therapy)

Me personally? I hate smiling. But lately I have discovered my face muscles jerking upwards against my will, and I believe I have discovered the root of the cause. This campus is lousy with happy people; some with smiles as contagious as the Black Plague.

This is a public service announcement: If you are planning on being grumpy all day today, you’ll want to avoid the following OKWUnians below…

4. Arionna Harms

Arionna, performing her average Tuesday rituals.

You would think that someone with a name like Arionna Harms would be more well-suited for combat- she has one of the best last-name-is-also-a-verb-names since Wesley Sniped and Laurence Fishburned.

Kelso Burn from "That 70s Show"
Unrelated photo. The Carsey-Werner Company

But Arionna Harms is one of the least combat-savvy people I have ever met. She makes up for it, however, with a smile of such potential energy that it is banned by parts of the Geneva Convention. It has very short range, but shoots broad like a shotgun. Anyone in the vicinity is immediately infected. Stay away from Arionna Harms if you don’t feel like smiling today.

All of these people were contentedly frowning before Arionna showed up.

All photos of Arionna Harms supplied by Arionna Harms. No photos of Arionna Harms were Arionna Harmed in the making of this post.

3. Morgan Ward

Morgan Ward Smile Facebook Picture Flower

Morgan Ward does not yet want to be my friend on Facebook, so statistically you probably know her better than I do. She leads chapel occasionally. She wears those ankle-length skirts that are inexplicably popular at Wesleyan. They look nice, but make fleeing from predators impossible. I tried to demonstrate this once by releasing several wolves while she performed. They ran into the chapel and were immediately saved.

wolves howling
(Photo HOTNstock on DeviantArt)

That’s the type of infectious smile we’re dealing with here. It’s like a Venusaur’s Solarbeam: It’s strength can vary depending on factors like charge time and the weather, but it can strike from any distance. You can’t be safely grumpy even in the very back row of chapel, stubbornly refreshing Facebook over and over. You can hear the smile in her voice and it will get you smiling regardless. If you don’t want to be happy in Chapel when Morgan’s performin’, you’re out of luck.

All photographs of Morgan Ward pulled with permissions from Morgan Ward’s Facebook Page.

2. Jordan Griffith

jordan griffith basketball profile picture facebook

I don’t know how much Jordan Griffith visits the Eagle page, but Jordan if you are reading this: Hello. We have quite the little history between us, don’t we? You smiling at me. Me spilling whatever i’m holding as I involuntarily smile back. That one time you gave me leg-lift advice in the gym. “Please put a shirt on,” you said.

“Also, those are not leg-lifts.”
(Photo: maryjane via YouTube)

Either Jordan Griffith doesn’t smile often or I don’t see her often enough to know better, but I know for a fact that at least once a day I will at some point run into Jordan Griffith, she will smile at me, and I will just continue walking in whatever direction I feel looks most casual.

*Checks cellphone* pretends to be surprised* Walks faster*
(Photo: The Kendra Todd Group)

Jordan’s smile is the most confusing on the list because it makes me smile by proxy but somehow I don’t mind. Jordan, I forgive you for making me smile. We should hang out more. I have  learned tons and tons of romance tips and tricks, and if my life wasn’t in shambles right now I’d marry you tomorrow.

Don't worry; my life is in shambles right now.
Don’t worry; my life is in shambles right now.

All photos of Jordan Griffith were pulled with permissions from Jordan Griffith’s Facebook Page.

1. Dr. Derek Jarmola


That is Dr. Darek Jarmola, Professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts at OKWU, and that is one of three faces that he has ever made. He has two phases of smile and that contemplative look and that’s it. Phase one smile is a barely discernible upward smirk that lets you know that you are walking into a trap. Once the trap springs he grins like a shark.

One day I was sitting in class with Dr. Jarmola and we were discussing Western Philosophy. Dr. Jarmola made the type of joke he is famous for: Just ambiguous enough that you don’t know if it is actually a joke or not.


He slowly made eye contact with each and every student in the room with a Phase One smirk on his face. I was sweating.  If I started laughing, either people would look down on my sophomoric humor or I would appear crazy, quietly laughing to myself in class. I was trapped. I must have given something away, because Dr. Jarmola started Phase Two Shark Grinning and pointed at me.

“Alex!” he said loudly in the silent classroom, “What’s so funny?”

Everyone looked at me and I lost it. I laughed for ten minutes and had to be escorted out of the building. Dr. Jarmola’s contagious smile takes the #1 spot because given enough time it can dissolve any defenses you may have and land a solid karate chop straight to your funnybone, sending you to the laughter hospital.

And once it’s over, you’re not sure if he ever smiled at all.


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