Joan Wiese Johanes

Study Guide for Your Final Exam

I. True or False

More statements are true than false,
but if part of a statement is false, it’s false.
Never, only, or always statements are seldom true.

Wise men always make wise choices.
Only fools make the same mistakes twice.
There never can be more than one love of your life

Generally, sometimes, and often indicate truth:

Slacking is sometimes beneficial to morale.
Morale boosting is generally good.
Good thinking often results in success.

Remember, white lies aren’t really white;
they are like snow that falls through pristine air,
but then is sprinkled with snow fleas
as soon as it touches the ground.

II. Multiple Choice

Usually wrong answers precede the right one—
A woman who marries more than once is

A bride more than a bridesmaid
Believes in marriage as a temporary state
Sees a need for change
Defines herself in someone new.

Choose C if you’re not sure, but statistically
B is almost as likely; trust your intuition.
Remember, None of the Above and All of the Above
are seldom the answer, so even if you really think
each leaf-coated sphere of unassembled snowman

looks like three huge meatballs,
a trio of hedgehogs, your father’s clay marbles,
and the ghost of Christmas past,

choose the best answer.

III. Essay

Make sure you understand the question,
budget your time, and determine if your opinion
matters or if you must rely on facts.
For facts, quote experts, but if your essay
can be personal, tell your readers
that each winter your husband and you lie down,
and wave your arms and legs until angels appear.
Detail is important;
say you have pledged to do this yearly until
the rescue squad has to pull you out of the snow.
If you have time left, proofread your work.
Neater papers usually receive higher scores.

Joan Wiese Johannes has published four chapbooks. She agrees with the stage manager in Our Town who said only poets and saints truly appreciate life while living it. Hardly a saint, Joan lives a good life in Port Edwards, WI with her poet/artist husband Jeffrey. Website:

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