Stuart's Spectacular Students

This is dedicated to my amazing students. The goal is for each and every one of them to feel unstoppable by the time they walk out of the classroom door for the final time in May. This chronicles their journey; their own Chronicles of Self-Actualization.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Saturday Morning YALP

A Strong Spiritual SHOUT, A Loud Barbaric ROAR, A Saturday Morning YALP! From Walt Whitman's front door.

(I was responding to an email and just felt like playing with alliteration and rhyme, releasing the stress of waking up late and trying to meet a deadline this am - LIFE KICKS long as you can kick your own).

.......Ahhhh, the battle so often is within for the "Peaceful Warrior".

Whether it's "Yay tho I walk in the valley of the shadow of death" and fearing no evil, or taking on the weight of the world, Kick Your Butt Today! Make things happen. Today will NEVER come again. Greet it with a SHOUT, a ROAR, or a YALP - but greet it. It is your friend, stopping by once in your lifetime to never come again.

Shake it's hand and embrace it. Invite it in to stay. Share a cup of coffee or tea. Get to know it in all its imperfections and beauty. Work together to improve and appreciate your own. Allow it to help you become your most wonderful you, giving the world what only you can give. And at night when it has to go, be able to say,

Tomorrow do thy worst For I have lived today!

Peace, Love & Inner Strength,

Living Sensationally is the Best, and you all are in the wonderful beginnings of your wonderful lives. Make them extraordinary!


Mr. Stuart

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Give Without Seeking Anything in Return

There is a big difference between an opinionated person and a person with intelligent opinions. One seeks to limit the world according to their views. The other wants to widen the way in which the world can be viewed. Which one are you?

Your world is the size of your mind. How big can you get it? How beautiful and amazing can it be? How much fun can you create in it? How much can get accomplished? What kind of people are in it with you? This last point is crucial. What kind of people are you allowing into your world, giving your time to that you will never get back? Are these people adding to or taking away from your life?

Are YOU adding to or taking away from others lives? This is why being genuine is crucial. You can fool the world by pretending to be something you're not, and pretend to give freely while secretly seeking only to take.

But the wise old Universe can see, and see you are attracting others such as thee, and soon your life is filled with false friends and takers, that only serve to make your life a living hell in the making.

Give to someone today without seeking anything in return. I really think it sends out such strong vibrations of purity at the cellular level that it's picked up by others' cells and sent back.

But it's sent back even stronger, affecting more than just the two people involved. Recent emails and comments I've received have empowered me with perfect timing, and are affecting all those who see them, from the blogpots to MySpace.

When you believe in something (or someone) with your very cells IT HAPPENS, THEY HAPPEN! How else do you explain phenomena like what's been happening with my students and others across the world year after year? It's an emotional storm of belief passed from inside the teacher to the inner world of the student, repeated over and over with EACH one in the room.

As I am in the middle of a battle called grad school finals, I see a bigger battle looming on the horizon, the start of a new school year. We all have our battles coming to us; this is mine. As I prepare myself for a new class of students, it is the incredible comments from incredible people that give me the strength to believe I can once again create a genuine emotional storm of belief in everyone with my very cells, and be intelligent enough to see how to get that fiery storm into the hearts and minds of each one at their very cells.

This is how students become unstoppable, children feel loved, marriages survive, impossible battles are won, and worlds are changed.

Thank you for all those giving freely to me. You are changing my world and the worlds of all I touch.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Peaceful Warrior

"I call myself a peaceful warrior, because the battles we fight are on the inside." - from the movie Peaceful Warrior

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

More Student Bllopers, Ooops, Bloopers

This is especially for all of us intensely passionate creatures, who need to just stop and laugh sometimes (thanks Jessica). I'm dedicating the guest book on MySpace as a show of strength and support for Baby Kaleb, who isn't doing as well as first thought. Please sign if you're so inclined.

Alone we tire. Together WE INSPIRE!

So to help us renew our inner spirits through laughter, here is an excerpt from Richard Lederer's hilarious book, "Anguished English".

"It is truly astounding what havoc students can wreak upon the chronicles of the human race. I have pasted together the following "history of the world from genuine student bloopers....from eighth grade through college level. Read carefully, and you will learn a lot:

Ancient Egypt was inhabited by mummies. They lived in the Sarah Dessert and traveled by Camelot. The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere.

The pyramids are a range of mountains between France and Spain. The Egyptians built the pyramids in the shape of a huge triangular cube.

In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. One of their children, Cain, asked, "Am I my brother's son?" Jacob stole his brother's birthmark.

Pharaoh forced the Hebrew slaves to make bread without straw. Moses led them to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened, which is bread made without any ingredients. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments. He died before he ever reached Canada.

David was a Hebrew king ...who fought with the Finkelsteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical times. Solomon, one of David's sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines. Later came Job, who had one trouble after another."

....That's it for now. The Geeks and Rowmens are next.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Baby Kaleb Needs ALL of Your Inner Strength

Baby Kaleb is back in the hospital (see A GIANT LEAP BACK). A victim of baby shaken syndrome from a non-family member, he and his family need all the inner strength each and every one of us has.

Maybe I'm asking because I feel mine running out. I feel great sadness. My friend Liz just wrote a post asking for one word that describes us. "LIFE!" burst from my heart over and down my arms out to my fingers as I typed my singular definition.

With LIFE we have everything. Without it we have nothing. So after punching a door and with tears in my eyes I send this to you. Send him the strength to fight for his life. Send it now, and send it strong.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


You are officially one of the highest growing classes in Orange County last year. All of our efforts have paid off. Congratulations! I am so proud, and miss you guys more than ever. Remember when I told you not to be afraid of the FCAT, to be the buzz saw and tear it up? Well, you did and I mentioned you guys throughout a post I wrote today called "BRING ON THE PAIN!". Here it is.....

I received a comment from a good friend on my "The Power of Life" post. He felt bad for me and encouraged me to stay strong and positive, which is a nice thing to say. But I wanted to make it very clear, that being in pain is not necessarily bad. It is in dealing with the pain in your life YOU BECOME STRONGER and MORE POSITIVE. And as your strength increases, so does your ability to cause GREAT change in your life, and hence THE WORLD that interacts with you. (By being a happy and strong person, I believed we could combine great fun with great learning in the classroom)

Pain is an incredible tool to produce miracles. Life IS NOT a pursuit of trying to avoid pain or feel sorry for those that have it in their lives (I was sent to the principal's office at least three times for "expecting too much" from Kenny, yet constantly questioned by other teachers and students if I really ever taught anything because there was so much noise and laughter coming from the room).

The principal chose to trust me. As much as I respect any boss, I was strong enough to believe in myself whether my boss and others did or not. Since I used to crumble when my wives didn't believe in me, I can only attribute this HUGE amount of growth from going through and overcoming MORE fear, doubt, worry and pain involving the loss of my children from my everyday life. Going from a half-million dollar home to a rented room in a neighborhood known as "Crime Hills" didn't hurt me anywhere near this much. (I was too hard on Ryan in the beginning and had to go through the pains of learning a different approach. We ended the year very close.)

I finally learned not to feel sorry for myself (thanks Mom and Dad for saying things I needed to hear). I certainly don't want anyone else feeling sorry for me now. That can only bring me back down and weak. Too many students need me to believe in them. How long can I do that feeling so bad about my situation that I can't sleep at night?

Every person knows how hard it is to hold onto their dreams with each passing year. It is less painful to let them go as foolish and unrealistic than it is to hold on to them. And the more you do make them come true and begin succeeding you WILL have to deal with the pain of critics who really just wish they could be more like you.
(Jessica is a GENIUS! She would create characters to go along with her stories, testing at the very top of the country in reading, and at the highest level you can in math - her WORST subject at the start of the year!)

The main reason they're not more like you is not because they don't have your potential, it's because they haven't put themselves through the process of dealing with their everyday pain as well as you have, and in process, getting strong enough to develop said gifts. This is exactly what I was talking about in "Give One More, To One More". That's why I feel "potential" is nothing. What you do with your potential is everything. (Serena WILL become ANYTHING she wants)

In fact, the more pain, the greater the opportunity for growth. The bigger the obstacle, the bigger you can become. I read somewhere that "you're as big as the obstacle that stops you". I've never forgotten it.

So I put my students through more pain and expectation than they have ever had before.
(I taught Haseeb like Denzel Washington coached his players in "Remember the Titans". This is what worked for him, what he needed. He was accepted to private middle school and Denzel's signed picture is in the room.)

At the same time they experience more fun and laughter than they ever had, probably since Kindergarten, simply because I have taken the pains to learn each of their motivations and learning styles, teach them that way, and then teach them how to motivate and teach themselves.

This produces a great flow of real learning versus trying to force it. As a result, I am allowed to operate as a doctor and strength-coach, identifying and working with individual needs versus standing in front of the room and "teaching" all day. (Kenny, one of my biggest challenges and one of the ones I miss most, grew more in overall reading and math than any other student in the entire 5th grade). I just put a slide show on MySpace (click here) in celebration of their achievement as being one of the highest growing classes in Orange County, FL (the other O.C. :-)

So I say, "BRING ON THE PAIN!" If it doesn't kill you it will make you stronger. I have found this to be very true. I know pain can hurt, but it can't kill. Only you can do that. And ONLY YOU can use it to allow you to grow and become more enlightened, more peaceful, and much happier in the long run, which is TODAY! I have wanted it to kill me in the past because then I wouldn't have to feel it anymore. But I held on one more day, sometimes even one more hour. But I did. (Mighty Malcolm, like myself, wasn't so mighty in the beginning. By the end he was!)

Now I am a healthier and happier person with healthier and happier children, other kids no longer being abused, students in the top of the county and country and I bet the world, straight A's in a tough masters program, and two book series in process. All from struggle, all from pain, all from overcoming fear, doubt and worry - three of the worst drugs you can take into your mind.

So bring on the pain. Bring on the badness. I will not intend or desire any of it, but by Buddha and God and any other enlightened being I can learn from and grow, I WILL SUCCEED. I WILL LIVE WHILE I'M ALIVE. I will live ALIVE-ING versus DYING.

We don't enter school knowing how to do and deal with everything. We don't leave school knowing all of it either. Life is a process, a wonderful adventure that includes scaling cliffs and climbing mountains as much as it does swimming in the ocean and walking through a meadow of flowers.

No matter what mountain you're being asked to climb, CLIMB IT! And when you get to the top, reach out help others up. We are all capable of being more than we're living now, and more greatness than we could ever imagine. Our success is only starting.

There's Zen in Fire! All the time!

*P.S. If you'd like, here is the link to their stories from about Christmas to the end of the year, Stuart's Spectacular Students (I had the strength to know they would be spectacular and hold onto that vision, until they saw it and believed it too. Thank God for the pain I've been through.)

Their stories from the first of the year to Christmas are on Samurai Teaching ~ Sensational Living. This blog got so big I had to make the other. The link to the first student story on the Samurai blog is "The Winners of Washington Shores.'"

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Hilarious Student Bloopers

These are actual student mistakes, unintentional ones, collected by Richard Lederer, a high school English teacher. These make me laugh, and then I remember this is the future of our country, and start to cry :-) (Just kidding. When things are wrong....DO SOMETHING TO MAKE THEM RIGHT.)

Don't sit around and complain, anyone can do that. But, can you go about fixing the problem with a sense of humor? That not only makes the problem more likely to be solved, but much, much more enjoyable. I have had enough near-death experiences to appreciate the opportunity to wake up and say, "I'm still here? Cool!"

This great appreciation for life today has helped me to care less about what people think of me, and more about how I can help people think more of themselves, while I am here. My greatest concern being my children and my students. It's a pretty cool way to live.

The History of The World (from 8th grade through the college level)

Ancient Egypt was inhabited by mummies, and they all wrote in hydraulics. They lived in the Sarah Dessert and traveled by Camelot. The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere, so certain areas of the dessert are cultivated by irritation.

The pyramids are a range of mountains between France and Spain. The Egyptians built the pyramids in the shape of a huge triangular cube.

The Bible is full of interesting caricatures. In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. One of their children, Cain, asked, "Am I my brother's son?"

God asked Abraham to sacrifice Issac on Mount Montezuma. Jacob, son of Issac, stole his brother's birthmark. Jacob was a patriarch who brought up his 12 sons to be patriarchs, but they did not take to it. One of Jacob's sons, Joseph, gave refuse to the Israelites.

Pharaoh forced the Hebrew slaves to make bread without straw. Moses led them to the red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments. He died before he ever reached Canada.

....Well, back to working on my thesis, which is on education. I'll post more when I take another break. Till then, keep laughing, or crying. The US emerged as the world's greatest power just a short 60 years ago after World War II. China is predicted to take our place in as little as 30 years. India might surprise us all and beat them to it (greater democracy and faster growth to compensate for China's greater numbers).

Half our economy comes from the math, science, and engineering fields. After kicking out and keeping out many foreigners contributing to this part of our GDP after 911, it seems as if the real terrorism of that event is just beginning.

And with fewer and fewer American students entering the math and science fields because they don't "get it" and therefore don't find it interesting, it's as if we're throwing away this incredible freedom we've gained via economic prosperity and burying our heads in the sand in ignorance.

Hence, another example of where I just don't see ignorance as being bliss. What you, I and especially our children don't know, harms us all. "A's" in school don't mean a thing if that knowledge cannot be broken down and used to solve open-ended problems.

The world is full of problems, and we need heroes to solve them. The longer I teach the more important I see my job. When someone now asks me what I do for a living, with a Bruce Willis-like smile on my face I say, "I wake up grateful that I'm alive, get on my motorcycle, and go make heroes."

"The gods favor the bold." - Ovid

Make a hero today. Go believe in someone.

- Adam Stuart

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Coming Alive in the Summertime

Life is rich, very rich. Summertime helps remind us of this as our senses awaken to the wealth and abundance of life . It's difficult to see this richness and great abundance in our own lives when we see ourselves as separate from it; as something that is happening outside of us, and not within us.

And it is, for as long as we continue to see it that way, because what we choose to "see" we choose to make our experience of "reality". The warmth of summer calls us to reconnect with the reality of our intimate relationship with all things.

Go with it. Take a deep breath, and take in the wealth and abundance of life through all of your senses. It will allow you to see yourself as part of this wonderful expanding universe.

Renew yourself through your thoughts and emotions and even your individual cells will grow more attractors for positive and empowering emotions, as will their daughter cells after division.

Before you know it, feeling alive and seeing your great abundance will produce more and more of it in your life, and you will realize just how connected we all are, to all things.

"Solitary brother, is there still a part of you that wants to live? Solitary sister, is there still a part of you that wants to give? If we try, we can live our lives the way we want to be. It's the loneliness that's the killer. Will we live, or will we die?" - Seal (from his song "Killer")

Daily OM

Warmth And Renewal


Our memories of summer are often intense because it is a season blessed with a vividness unsurpassed by any other time of year. Our senses are delighted by bright colors, fresh scents, vibrant flavors, brilliant sunlight, and heat's caress. There is a sumptuousness about summertime, as both flora and fauna come into their own, regaling us with natural beauty. Our day-to-day circumstances may not change as spring turns into summer, yet we nonetheless feel refreshed. Our burdens seem lighter, and we feel compelled to play, to travel, to relax, and to experience all of life's joys to their full extent during extended sunlit hours.

Rituals specific to the summer season empower us to attune ourselves to the changes that take place in nature and within ourselves as the weather grows warmer. Some summertime rituals are highly personal—remnants of past traditions we have unconsciously preserved through practice.

Others can be incorporated into our lives whenever we feel the need to experience summer's significance on a deeper level. Summer is at its core a season of light, and by opening ourselves and our spaces to this light, we honor all the joy associated with the coming months. Unbolting windows and doors, arranging bright-golden blooms in a vase, and turning our faces toward the sun become a celebration when done with intent. Summer is also a wonderful time to practice focused listening, as the air is filled with beautiful sounds particular to the season.

To begin, find a quiet, solitary spot. For 10 minutes, pay attention to the workings of your mind and allow it to wander at will. Then turn your att! ention to the sounds resonating around you and note what you hear, whether the buzzing of bees, children's laughter, or birdsong.

Thoughts of summer likely evoke numerous pleasant images in your mind. However, if what you envision seems little more than a piece of your distant past, you can reacquaint yourself with the joys of summertime by immersing yourself in its pleasures. Wake up with the sunrise, take a day trip to the beach, indulge in an ice cream cone, or simply sit quietly in nature's embrace. The season will pass quickly, but while it remains, you can revel in the richness of life and renew yourself in the wonder of the light.


Monday, July 09, 2007

It's the Size of the FIGHT in the Cat

You guys have heard this before from me. Since the cat's in the picture instead of the dog, I changed it a little.

They say it's not the size of the cat in the fight, but the size of fight in the cat that determines the outcome.

This is more than true for us humans as well. Anyone who has studied history can tell you numerous stories of those with great desire accomplishing great things.

Think back on the times when you were able to accomplish something you didn't think you could this past year. You and I know it was because you had great desire.

I was the smallest kid in my class up till high school. After I grew Freshman year I was still the skinniest kid. At home I used to ask my one-year-older sister to pretend she was a girl at school coming down the hallway, and ask her if she could tell if I had any muscles.

She was nice, but honest, and told me "no". I kept asking her, pretending to open my locker and "flexing" my arms, but still no muscles could be seen. After three years she said maybe I needed to lose all my fat before I could gain muscle. I had no fat to lose, and gave up asking her.

But I loved football and wanted to play so badly (and did for three years) that I ran my summer workouts with a weight jacket and asked every big guy at the local YMCA about their workouts. I finally made the varsity team my Senior Year, and we even made the playoffs for the first time in years.

I ran the next summer workouts again with a weight jacket and never missed going to the gym. I ended up being the only one from my high school to go on to play college ball, even though I only played varsity in high school one year.

"I didn't have any special gift, and I'll say that to anyone out there who thinks they need a special gift. Focus, and a little bit of obsession helps. When I was young I thought 'there will be a changing of the guard and someone is going to take over'. Why not me?" - Steve Martin

Someone today is going to take one step closer to achieving their dreams. Why not you?

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Monday, July 02, 2007

The Sin of Lying

I believe we should learn to laugh at least once a day. Even if it doesn't help us live longer, it definitely helps us live happier. :-)

I would like to try something like this with next year's class. But if they're anything like you guys, they would actually do the assignment and realize I was making up this "phantom" assignment.

I hope you all realize how special your class was. Truly remarkable!

A minister told his congregation, "Next week I plan to preach about the sin of lying. To help you understand my sermon, I want
you all to read Mark 17."

The following Sunday, as he prepared to deliver his sermon, the
minister asked for a show of hands. He wanted to know how many
had read Mark 17. Every hand went up.

The minister smiled and said, "Mark has only sixteen chapters.
I will now proceed with my sermon on the sin of lying."

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