Friday Blog Hop ~ Learning Curve

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Question of the week: 
What would you REALLY like to learn?

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Meet Some New Bloggers!

Tired of reading the same blogs every day?  Want to be inspired by other great writers and thinkers? Then why not link up with Clairejustine and mamawolfe for our Wednesday Blog Hop?
For this week only, I have been kindly asked to co-host with Clairejustine.  By reading her blog, clairejustineoxox, we’ve become new blogging friends, even though we live in different countries!  She loves to write about her family, running, baking, creating unique clothing from vintage finds, photography…in other words, she’s a woman of many talents!


Here are the rules of the hop….

1.Follow the host of the hop at clairejustineoxox on Google friends connect and this week’s co-host – me! – mamawolfe .  Also, kindly leave a comment on this or another post ~ I’d love to read your blog, too!


2.Link up your blog to the linky below.

3.Visit some other blogs, follow ones you like and make new friends.  Please leave meaningful comments-we’re interested in building relationships here.

4.Please only family friendly blogs only.

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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9_11 started as an ordinary day

9/11: It Started Like Any Ordinary Day

9/11: It started like any ordinary day. 

 
After maternity leave, I’m still getting the hang of getting out of the house on time each morning. I’m up early enough to have some ‘me’ time – 5:30 a.m. – before the pitter patter of my 23-month-old boy’s feet signal the start of mommy-time.  Must plan Cameron’s birthday party for next weekend, I think. Coffee made, candles lit, I start up the desktop as part of my morning ritual, eager to check email and read the news.   Having children broke us of our TV news habit when we realized they were transfixed with images of stark reality we were trying so desperately to shelter them from.
 
 
A breaking news alert flashes into my inbox – “Plane crashes into building in New York.”  Hmm.  I’ve never been to New York.  Worlds away from my cozy study.  I hope it’s nothing serious.
 
Pitter patter pitter patter…here comes my boy, blankie, and book in hand.  My heart thrills at the sight of his big round head.  “Make sister juice,” he chimes with a smile as big as any Cheshire cat.  I switch off the computer, eager to start the morning snuggle and reading time.  It is just another ordinary day.
 
The 11-mile commute to school is nothing unusual.  I drive past the harvested tomato fields, crop dusters skim the highway.  Lesson plans fill my mind.  Exit right, then left, then straight down the walnut tree-shrouded road towards Douglass Junior High, where my 7th grade English students stand lined up, waiting for me.
 
“Hey, did you hear about the plane crash?” they shout as I open the door.
 
“Yes, I did,” I answer, and switch on the lights.  “Let’s get started.”
 
“But, can’t we watch the TV?  I have an aunt that lives in New York, and I’m worried,” a child pleads.
 
“TV?  When do we ever watch TV in class?” I respond with a smile.   ‘Let’s get started – it’s grammar day everyone’s favorite!”
 
Moments later, an announcement is delivered by a TA telling us the grim news.  Not one plane crash, now it’s two.  What???  The Pentagon?  Three planes?  Buildings collapsed?  People dying?  But it’s just an ordinary day!
 
Why don’t I have my cell phone?  This ancient classroom has no Internet; the only technology is the old TV mounted in the corner of the classroom.  Where are my babies? Did Lily make it to kindergarten?  What the hell is going on? I want to go home…
 
Thoughts flash through my head as I try to process what to do.  Thirty sets of eyes stare at me, searching for comfort.  I’m the teacher.  I’m in charge.  I know what to do?  Frantic thoughts of my own children race through my mind.  Are they OK?  What will happen to us?  Are the terrorists on their way?
 
Then I realize-someone is taking care of my children, just as I’m taking care of someone else’s.  I know what to do.  They need me to make sense of it.  That’s what I would want my child’s teacher to do.  Reluctantly, yet desperately, I turn on the TV.  I have to know. I can’t wait all day.
 
After two hours, no word from my family, I switch it off.  Business as usual – that’s what educators do.  Keep them calm, keep them busy.  I know it’s only going to get worse, and it’s only 10 a.m.
 
Two more hours and I’m done.  As I jump in my little gold Escort wagon, I’ve never been so relieved to only work part-time; 11 miles fly by-not enough time to decide how to explain the unexplainable to my 5-year-old.  The radio news drones on and on.  Thousands dead.  The children.  The mommies and daddies who will never commute home again.  The parents who will never see their babies again.  The young people who will never have the joy of holding their child in their arms.  It’s more than I can bear.  The tears stream down my face as I safely reach home.  It’s clearly not just an ordinary day.
 
‘Mommy, why are you sad?  What happened at school today?” Lily whispers, her big blue eyes boring into mine.  How do I answer?  She’s only five.  Far too young to have to learn about such horrors. I tell her a story about a plane crashing and good guys trying to stop the bad guys. “Did the bad guy go to jail?” she questions.
 

“No, he died,” I reply, choking back tears at her innocence.

“I’m sorry he died, Mommy.  But I’m glad that we weren’t on that plane.”
 
“Me too, baby.  Me, too.”  I realize it may never be an ordinary day again.

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Friday Photo: Exhaustion

Sometimes as I’m moving around in my day, an image gets stuck in my head that I can’t shake. Sometimes it conjures up a memory, a feeling, or provides an impulse to do something. Often, though, I just see something that I want to capture in my mind for no particular reason-it just speaks to me. I’d like to offer these images up for ‘thought contributions’-as a way to generate a community of ideas together.

As I was searching for a Friday Photo in my albums, I was trying to think of how to picture exhaustion.  I was considering just a black box when suddenly this image popped up.  It was taken in Donner Lake State Park near Truckee, California just over a year ago.  It makes me miss both having the energy of a child, and the innocence to think that if I just push hard enough the boulders in my life might just budge.

Wishful thinking?

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Monkey Mind

There she goes again.  That chatter.  That voice in my head that directs me like a traffic cop.  That sound of my non-existent older sister or nagging mother-in-law that won’t stop offering advice about what to do, how to act, where to be, and when to sleep.  She just won’t shut up.   From the moment I rise to the moment I rest she is there, nestling on my shoulder, whispering in my ear.  Do. More. Better.

http://masonimages.com/

And yes, she is a figment of my imagination. I’m not experiencing any psychological disorder or seeing things that aren’t real.  But she feels real, and she makes me feel things I don’t always want to think about. Or shouldn’t really think about.  She’s my monkey mind, and she just won’t shut up.  And she whispers…Be. More. Faster.

Thoughts spin around my brain when I’m alone and when no children are needing me, no husband is nearby, and for that one split second it appears no outside demands are asking to suck me dry.  But that’s where Miss Monkey fits in.  She reminds me of the to do list, the to don’t list, and everything in between.  She moves me from the kitchen to the laundry room to the bedrooms and back.  She sits me down at the computer to write, then nudges me up to move the clothes to the dryer-oh wait-don’t forget to change the air filter and water the plants.  The dog needs a walk-gotta do that. Maybe I can stop at the bank…ACK! The tomato sauce is boiling over and now sticks solid on the bottom of the pan. Another tick on the to do list gets added.  Back to the computer-DING! The dryer is finished and as I walk to the laundry room she reminds me that the packages need mailing and the garbage cans are still on the curb.  Then grade the papers.  Kids have homework.  Practice.  Lessons.  Would that telephone please ring at a more convenient time; I don’t need to talk to a telemarketer EVER again.  The dog barks for his walk.  And she yells…Do. More. Now.

Seriously?  I’m so young!  I’m just a mom, a wife, a worker, a writer, a….woman.  Why won’t Miss Monkey just shut up and let me think? I could get it done if she. just. would. stop. that. incessant. chatter. that. reminds. me. I. am. human?  And she screams…Do. It. NOW!

She makes me think.  She makes me think I should trust her, not my gut.  Wait-who is she?  How dare she leave me thinking like this.  Making me feel upset, and vulnerable, and sometimes very alone.  She makes me forget where I started, and where I’m going.  She spins me around until I f.a.l.l.

But I’m not really, alone, am I?  You hear her too…don’t you?

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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