what does a woman need to be happy?

Write Happy Poetry This Month! Simple Ideas For Any Writer, Any Age

It’s National Poetry Month! Einstein and I disagree slightly about what a man or woman needs to be happy – what would your ‘happy’ poem sound like? This is a fun, simple type of poetry to write and share with your students; just imagine the possibilities! They could adopt different points of view, write as characters from a novel. Have them create hand-drawn images, or search and add digital images based on poem keywords to add a visual element. Combine poems into categories, write group poems…the possibilities are huge!

Please share your/your class poems in the comments, or send me an image of how they turned out! Feel free to use this post as a starting point.

Einstein said:

Happy

A table, a chair,
a bowl of fruit and a violin;
what else does a man need
to be happy?

what does a woman need to be happy?

In honor of National Poetry Month, I thought we should flip his ideas a bit:

mamawolfe’s version:

A bench, a book
big snowy mountains and coffee with cream;
what else does a woman need
to be happy?

~mamawolfe

happy

Check out my other poetry ideas here, and please share your results! I’ve also got some awesome poetry hyperdocs – let me know in the comments if you’re interested in them!

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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life's other half

Being Reminded Of Life’s Other Half

Last weekend we remembered and rejoiced the life of a young man who died in an avalanche last winter. His tragic passing rattled any sense of security I was feeling about my own children on the mountain, out doing what they love and the possibility…

There, under the spectacular azure sky painted with swirling clouds, surrounded by oak trees and rolling expanses of green grass, we were reminded of life’s other half – the part where we question, and cry, and consider why.

life's other half

Carson was a young man, just entering adulthood, happy, healthy and loved. He was exploring life – creating a life – to be lived on his terms.

He was a man I’d watched over the years, sharing my school, karate and ski racing communities.

I remember him from karate classes, his tall, skinny frame clad in a white gi as he willed himself through an arduous black belt test with my son. I remember his legs in horses stance for what seemed like hours, trembling with determination.

I remember his curly, dirty blonde hair and shy glances when I’d see him in the hallways at school. Never his teacher, I still tried to draw him out and connect when I could. He was a shy one back then.

I think about him on the ski race course, carefully navigating slalom turns with the concentration of a scientist studying his experiment. I can see his mother’s smile as he watched him cross the finish line, or persevere through the final round of push-ups, sweat dripping off his face and legs and arms quivering under the pressure.

And looking up at the clouds, I think about the lessons we learn through life’s other half.

His service, full of music and love, reminded me of those ordinary moments we spend with people we love, and that in the face of their absence, we realize how prophetically purposeful they can be. Songs we loved, poetry we aligned with and talks along the beach or on a mountain top that at the time we knew were special, but when in the midst of life’s other half we realize were profound.

Carson’s memorial reminded me of my gratitude for the extraordinary in the ordinary every day. For the love of family, friends and community that surround us. And for the generosity of the universe, to open up the skies, to fill them with clouds and sunlight, and the reminder that we are all here for such brief, sparkling, exquisite moments together.

I hadn’t seen Carson for awhile. I was happy to hear he’d joined up with the ski team again, now as a coach, and he was happily living and working in Tahoe. In so many ways, he was just a regular human, finding his way and discovering who he was.

He was living life generously, with delight.

I am not saying that we should love death,

but rather that we should love life so generously,

without picking and choosing,

that we automatically include it (life’s other half) in our love.

This is what actually happens in the great expansiveness of love,

which cannot be stopped or constricted.

It is only because we exclude it that death becomes more and more foreign to us and,

ultimately,

our enemy.

It is conceivable that death is infinitely closer to us than life itself…

What do we know of it?

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

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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What Would You Do If You Were Guaranteed Success?

What would you do if you were guaranteed success?

Would your life be very different from the way it is now?

coffee-563800_1920

If I were guaranteed success….

I would create the perfect cup – or cups – of coffee, deliberately grinding the beans,

hovering over the red kettle as it rises to just before a boil,

grab it, and pour with gusto.

 

I’d exuberantly throw open the windows, welcoming the morning birdsong from my upstairs desk,

pull the blanket over my lap and scribble my thoughts with my cherished black pen,

and the words would fall into place…

daisies-676368_1280

You’d see me wearing the slightly higher heeled boots with black tights,

not worrying about being on my feet all day

or if I could gracefully ride my bike to work.

 

If I were guaranteed success…

I would call and text her every morning and each night

just to check in and see what life is like so far away,

and send her a few dollars for fresh fruit.

 

I would zip up my ski parka and snap into my bindings,

jump into the race course and fly down the hill-

my smile blinding the spectators on the sidelines…

 

then go home to create the perfect tiramisu for her birthday party,

not buying any ingredients  fat-free, sugarless or on sale,

and sit by her side savoring every exquisite bite.

village-690938_1280

If I were guaranteed success…

I would find a way to make a living

that doesn’t trade time and flexibility for income,

and no grouchy, uptight parents would tell me how to do it.

 

I’d buy a fast laptop

lock myself high up in the mountains or on a seaside cliff,

turning pictures into words, memories into stories

smiling broadly every morning….

 

opening the chest of love letters from long ago,

letting the words and memories pour into my heart-

dripping through my veins and onto a page

for you to read.

 

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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When Your Kids Are Athletes, Life Shifts

Looking back over the last eight years, I realize I’ve put tens of thousands of miles on my cars. I’ve worn through two sets of snow tires, at least three sets of snow cables, and bottle after bottle of anti-freeze windshield washer liquid. I’ve learned to keep blankets, towels, shovels, lighters, lanterns, water and kitty liter available at all times-just in case. I’ve mastered the art of breakfast-in-the-car, preheating burritos at 4am, and how to pack enough food to keep two teens and a dad satisfied until wearily, they return home for dinner.

This year, I’ve had a shift in parenting, creating a shift in lifestyle. One of my athletes is on her own, stuffing her ski bag with Cliff bars, water bottles  and squished pb & j sandwiches. She remembers her goggles and glasses and wax and poles all by herself. She follows in our family footsteps of preparedness like a champ.

My other athlete has been sidelined, injuries forcing him to rest, heal, and reevaluate. He’s found – finally – a few new outlets for his every-present energy (I never thought I’d be so grateful for skateboarding), and is, at this moment, tossing a lacrosse ball with his buddy to try out a new sport.

Tomorrow we head up for our first – and last – ski day of the season. Broken legs and ski slopes don’t make good friends, it turns out. We’ll still wake in the dark, bundle up and tumble to the car in the pre-dawn hours, armed with strong coffee and warm burritos. We’ll watch the sun rise over the Sierras, and breathe deeply the air of our home away from home. We’ll have one more day to test the muscles ripped apart last summer. One more chance to get my athlete back where he belongs.

I’m pleased that this all coincides with a feature I have on Ten To Twenty Parenting – a post I wrote a few years ago, when these kids were in the throes of racing, when parenting an athlete was as normal as sending them off to school each day – when I never even considered doing anything else.

To read my feature article, Parenting Athletes: How And Why I Do It, click here. Maybe it will trigger some fond memories of parenting your own athletes, too.

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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This Place We Call Home: Christmas Time Poetry

This Place We Call Home

place we call home Christmas time

This place we call home is
Magical,
Sparkly
Majestic
Tranquilizing

This place welcomes them
Home
Year after year
For decades
Sometimes with arms that change
Sometimes that grasp too tightly
Unsure when to let go
There to heal

This place we call home
Scented with pine, cinnamon
Melting wax
A balm redolent of family
And the essence of hard work

This place  showers all who enter
With possibility
And hope
Cleansing the exterior
Revealing
A mantra of self-confidence
And absolute belief in the power of
The mind and body
To learn
Heal
And love

This place
This mountain
This home

Welcome
Let us embrace
Nice to see you again, it cautiously whispers
I’m home

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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