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Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude

Here at Reedley College we now find ourselves coming up on the end of Week 12 of Fall Semester. It is right about now when endurance (!) and persistence become important. Tasks can begin piling up and procrastination can start to loom. One way to cope is to think about one thing that brings you joy, and to make a plan to re-visit that one thing once you complete a task. Thanksgiving is 4 weeks away, but it is never too early to start thinking about the the things we are grateful for. Try making a list of those things.

  1. your cat/dog/pet

  2. fuzzy socks

  3. steaming coffee

  4. looking a pictures on your phone

  5. particular friends/family members

  6. favorite music

  7. handwork/hobbies/art making

  8. smell of cookies baking

Next, make a list of all of the tasks you need to complete for one week (...or one day!)

  1. English Essay Introduction

  2. Assigned reading

  3. Library Database searching

  4. Article annotations

  5. Business plan outline

  6. doing the laundry

  7. getting gas in the car

  8. meeting classmates for group study session

Tackle the first task, then reward yourself with one of your joy-bringers, one of the things you are grateful for.

One of the things I am grateful for is poetry. Poems capture specific moments in life and cause me to slow down. I take my time, savor the music of the words, and the images they conjure. My first favorite poet was e. e. cummings. He was a rule breaker who did not follow conventions of sentence structure or form. He made me think and he made me laugh. One of my early favorites was " who knows if the moon's a balloon" As the years have passed, I have come to love many, many more poets, some of whom live right here in the central valley of California; Connie Hales, Peter Everwine, Charles Hanzlicek, Phil Levine. You can check out their work at

In this issue of Paper Jam, you will find an article on Haiku, the 3 line 5-7-5 syllable poem. It is a beautiful form, that is simple and way to enjoy a moment of gratitude.

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