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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Thursday, August 30, 2007

WOW! Maja's Contest

You have a BIG fan! Maja is so inspired by you guys already that she contacted me about putting her money where your capabilities are. I haven't decided what the conditions are, but from the prizes she's offering it makes sense to tie it to reading.

1st prize ~ A full set of Harry Potter, including the newest book!!! (No small prize)

2nd prize ~ A full set of C.S. Lewis (The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, etc.)

3rd prize ~ I haven't decided, but this prize will go the the most improved reader, not the reader with the most books read! I think that is super fair!!!

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketAre you able to find the line of symmetry in this picture? Math is in nature. Go outside - Be a kid! Take a walk with your family or friends and find as many examples of math in nature as you can.

It's dark outside? Search the internet for pictures like the one I came across while writing a poem on nature. Here are some ideas:

arrays, lines of symmetry, shapes, angles

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Work Hard ~ Play Hard

Taylor, Florencia and Katie doing well enough on their in-class reading assignment to take time off and play a little Spanish air guitar to the music of The Gipsy Kings (I got to play just because I'm the teacher - and, well, I need to have fun too).

Shaquan knocking down walls that held him back only one day before.

Chad doing the same.

Katie doing the same.

100% of the class is caught up in their reading!!!!!!!!!

This is proof to me that you CAN change your life in 24 hours. In school all you have to do is go to bed smarter than you were when you woke up. This also applies to being stronger, happier, healthier, wealthier (whatever your goal is).

It IS possible. It IS being done. As children and adults we incorrectly learn this change has to happen in big ways, all at once, and tend to give up when it doesn't.

Big shots are just little shots who kept on firing.


The heroes of room 208 are doing it in just the first seven days of school. Let's grab hold of their courage and do it too as adults; seven days from now being much more than we are today!

You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.
Jack London

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Knocking Down the Walls Before Us

I've heard that you're as big as the obstacle that stops you. But I also know that sometimes the obstacle seems like an insurmountable wall in front of you.

I know this is what many students think. Once you get behind in school, what you're expected to know seems to pile up faster than you can learn it, and the wall gets higher and higher, until you wonder why you should even try......if you're never going to be able to climb it anyway.

Good God, Mighty Mohammed and Brazen Buddha......if a child is learning, AND ALLOWED TO LEARN, to give up on him or herself in school, what kind of future is in store for them as an adult?!?

I'm beginning to think the kids who act up in school are the ones who still know inside that they are capable of more, it's just no one has figured out how they best learn and/or still believes they can learn, let alone Dream Big, Do Big, and BE BIG!

Some of these kids need our help in knocking down the walls in front of them. What usually happens is the kid is knocked down; in confidence, in self-esteem, in self-worth.

Yes I made Miguel cry yesterday because I wouldn't let up, I wouldn't back down and I wouldn't give up on him. He brought nothing into the classroom from the weekend. I put my hands on his desk, looked him in the face and told him that he WAS NOT nothing, and I wouldn't allow him to bring nothing. I've yet to meet a failure and I DON'T KNOW HOW TO ALLOW SOMEONE TO FAIL. So I see the best in them and work to help them see it too.

Well, my tough love made tears come down his face. I got out my phone and called my mother in Ohio, who says I should be training marines, not kids, because I'll make them cry. I lightened up but still kept believing in him in my head, hoping I had lifted him up versus knocking him down.

And this is the note I got from his mother this morning:

Dear Mr.Stuart,
........... Yesterday I was impressed that Miguel just wanted to read like if there was no tomorrow he read the thirty minutes on one book then he read for about one hour and 33 minutes I was in shock.
Thank you for whatever it is that you are doing to motiviate my son to read please keep doing it.
I hope that he reads as much as you needed him to read. I know that you are very busy but when you get the chance if you can write in a letter or you can call me if by any chance I dont pick up that probably means that I am still working you can leave me a message.
Thank you for being an awesome teacher my son talks about you everyday but dont worry they are good things.

Have a great day
Miguel`s mom

And here's my reaction (lifting Miguel up to demonstrate his new view of the world).

This takes energy. Energy I don't really have. But it's needed so I will dig deep and find it, and draw it from friends, children family = LOVE.

And it leaves me with no time

no time for worry, doubt (myself or others)

of the wall in front of me just gets higher and higher

Now if I can get some students to STOP reading - Taneacea the Terminator reads well past bedtime. I had to tell her I won't credit past 9pm - she read till 4am Monday night - I think I'm firing them up too much - Better than not enough :-)

Must go pick up Sofia for school, take her to class, visit her in class, pick her up from class - With Love, anything IS possible - it is my life source anyway

Random Shots

These are some random pictures from yesterday. I don't have time this morning to post all the ones we've taken. will write more later

Sunday, August 26, 2007

How Should Knowledge Be Taught?

Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.

(427 BC-347 BC)

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

It's Time to Kick a Little "But"

Eight, just eight students did their 30 minutes of reading the first night. Oh boy! It's time to kick a little "but".

"I wanted to Mr. Stuart, 'but'......

"I tried to but.........

It doesn't matter what followed the "but". You either have excuses or results. The excuses might be valid, but it still keeps you from having results. And in this class, you WILL have results!

Today was proof of many things:

That people aren't born great, they become great with great action.

Racism and nationalism are myths. What you "are" (white, black, brown, yellow, purple) and where you're from has nothing to do with the success you can attain. WHAT YOU DO WITH WHAT YOU HAVE does.

But before I can write more I have to make sure I have media release forms of the EXCELLENT EIGHT students and THE FANTASTIC FOUR. Must respect parent wishes.

In the picture I was respecting the great people they were capable of becoming, calling out to their INNER SPIRITS. (My mom said it was OK for me to post my picture, if I would just shave "that nasty goatee").

*p.s. Sandeep - you are too kool for words my young brother. You'll get to see the new kids on Mr Stuart's block later today.

Peace & Fire

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Practice Laughter and Love

I came across these pictures while looking for some to include with the "Winners Learn to Like Themselves Through Practice" post I was doing on my students' web page.

All three of these girls are among the best in the nation, and perhaps the world, in at least one area. After seeing the pictures of this "Dream Team", Three Musketeers, Tres Amigos, etc.......three words began to sound off in my head as to how they got this way:

"Practice", "Laughter" and "Love."

While pouring a cup of coffee with this chanting still in my head, I realized this was the reason for their remarkable success. As I drank to this epiphany, the words began changing order. They went from:








and when things don't work out




*and just rinse and repeat as necessary, UNTIL the desired results are reached. This simple formula works whether you're a child or adult, between children and adults, children, and adults.

And most importantly, it works with ourselves. We are humans "being". This takes practice. Nature has evolved through 4.6 billion years of practice. It must have laughed at some of the things it's created. And it certainly must have loved so many of the beautiful things it's loved and laughed into existence through practice.

We, "(wo)man", are universal babies, barely 3.6 million years old. We owe it to ourselves to never give up on who we are, and who we are capable of becoming.

We are all so much more than we give ourselves credit for. What race, sex, religion, nationality we are and income we have has nothing to do with our capabilities. I've personally seen this (or maybe personally seen to it) happen in every type of classroom among every type of student.

So let's practice laughter and love with each other, and most importantly, with ourselves. Our evolution requires it. We don't evolve through hate or victimization. We grow through practice, or struggle. And there's no better way to do this than with the water of laughter and the sunshine of love.

Impossible growth IS possible, miraculous results ARE achievable, and the human species making the world a better place IS attainable.



"...You are here....Life exists...Let the powerful play go on that you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?"
- from Dead Poets Society (you can see Robin Williams' photo in the LAUGHTER and PRACTICE pictures, which he signed, "To Mr. Stuart's class, DREAM BIG!", using a photo from the movie. I'd say he is contributing a GREAT verse to our play. Thank you, Robin!

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Winners Learn to Like Themselves Through Practice

It was good meeting you new students and it was great seeing some of the "old" (LOL). Thank you for stopping by Amanda, Jessica, and Bridget.

Here's a note I found written in one of my notebooks from last year. It applies to all of us and is perfect for the start of a new year.

"Winners learn to like themselves through practice."

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Math Trick from Your New Zealand Fan Tui


Here is a math trick so unbelievable that it will stump
you. Personally I would like to know who came up with
this and why that person is not running the country.
Grab a calculator (you won't be able to do this one
in your head)

1. Key in the first three digits of your phone number
(NOT the Area Code...)

2. Multiply by 80

3. Add 1

4. Multiply by 250

5. Add to this the last 4 digits of your phone number

6. Add to this the last 4 digits of your phone number

7. Subtract 250

8. Divide number by 2

Do you recognize the answer??

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Self Alone Exists

Before the world was created, the Self Alone existed; nothing whatever stirred. Then the Self thought: "Let me create the world." He brought forth all the worlds out of himself: Ambhas, high above the sky; Marichi, The sky; Mara, the middle region that is earth; And Apa, the realm of waters below.

-Aitareya Upanishad

Did you know that in the first moments when we wake up, we have to actually REMEMBER our problems, and become stressed? This is hard scientific evidence that we really do create the worlds we live in. Our dominant thoughts and feelings dominate how we see our reality. And this either empowers or disempowers us in the pursuit of achieving our dreams.

The brain processes 400 billion bits of information a second but we're only aware of 2,000 of those bits. And most of these bits are of the environment, time and our physical bodies. - Dr. Joe Dispenza (undergard in biochemisty, post grad training in anatomy and physiology, neurochemisty, neurophysiology, and genetics)

So many of us simply accept what we see as a set reality and unable to change it very much, feeling helpless; the mind being just a reflex organ that reacts to everything it sees.

I've heard "Every day is a new life to the wise man". With the new lives I've seen in students created by making the choice to see their worlds as full of potential, this is becoming truer every day.

This picture is from a student's web page, called "LIVE LIFE TO DA FULLEST". I had Michael two years ago, and told him if I ever found him not living his dreams, I would come after him and make him, even pulling him over a fast food counter as an adult (he told me his biggest dream was becoming a chef). He had come too far in one year to ever allow his dream space to get small again; going from "F's" to "A's", and from being someone who said "he'd try" (but didn't succeed) to someone who said "He'd Do", and DID!

I think his title lets me know he still believes. I encourage you to add him as a friend, letting him know other incredible people believe in him as well. You can find him among my top friends on MySpace.

And if children are capable of doing this, so are we adults. (Rarlynn, another amazing student from two years ago)

"Throw out everything you don't need in here (the mind) that is keeping you from this moment....You'll be amazed at what you can do....This moment is the only thing that matters." (from the movie Peaceful Warrior)

In those first few moments of each new dawn, the self alone exists. Let your first thought be:

Today, out of myself, let me create my world.

Wishing you Zen and Inner Strength......and Miracles in Your Life,

- Adam

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Your Inner Compass - A Child's Toy

I hope none of you ever lose the confidence that you are OK JUST AS YOU ARE.

Yesterday I wrote about man's "natural" beauty. When we're young we don't try to be beautiful, we just are. This lasts longer for some than others, depending on the length of time we're covered in an appreciative love for everything we are and everything we're capable of still becoming. It's like good soil, sun and water for us to grow up healthy, wealthy and wise.

At some point most of us start trying to be attractive, whether to our parents, our world, or to that "just one". This is a learned thing, that how we are naturally somehow isn't good enough. Once this mental path is taken it seems to get us emotionally and spiritually lost. The longer we travel it, the less we are able to see real beauty in ourselves or in others. And what we see as beautiful too closely matches what the media says we need to be acceptable and beautiful.

Then one day we wake up, look at our less-than-beautiful messed-up lives, feeling ugly and lost. Without realizing it, we have been worshiping the opinion of our fellow man to tell us our lives have meaning and importance instead of listening to our inner voice. We have been praying to the saints of money and materialism to tell us of our worth in this world, instead of allowing abundance to flow into our lives as a by-product of following our joy and developing our talents. We realize we are so lost; in the deep woods with no sunlight to guide us out.

There always is a way out, if you believe there is. If you're unable to reconnect with your inner child, perhaps you'll be able to follow your inner compass. This is from my friends at Daily OM. As Ben Franklin said, "...I was conscious, that not a tenth part of the wisdom was my own...but rather the gleanings that I had made of the sense of all ages and nations. However, I resolved to be the better for the echo of it.."

Daily OM

August 7, 2007

Information And Inspiration
Roadmaps Of Life

All the major spiritual traditions serve the purpose of offering us a roadmap to guide us on our individual journeys to enlightenment. These roadmaps are made up of moral codes, parables, and, in some cases, detailed descriptions of mystical states. We often study the fine points of a particular ascended master’s narrative in order to better understand our own and to seek inspiration and guidance on our path. In the same way, when we plan a road trip, we carry maps and guidebooks in an effort to understand where we are going. In both cases, though, the journey has a life of its own and maps, while helpful, can only take us so far. There is just no comparison between looking at a line on a piece of paper and driving your own car down the road that line represents.

Some people seem well-suited to following maps, while others are always looking for new ways to get where they’re going. In the end, the only reliable compass is within, as every great spiritual guide will tell you. The maps and travelogues left behind by others are great blessings, full of useful information and inspiration, but they cannot take the journey for us. When it is time to merge onto the highway or pull up anchor, we are ostensibly on our own. Strange weather patterns, closed roads, and traffic jams arise in the moment, out of nowhere, and our maps cannot tell us what to do. Whether we take refuge in a motel by the side of the road, persevere and continue forward, or turn back altogether is entirely up to us.

Maps are based on observations from the past and we are living in the present, so we are the only true experts on our journey to enlightenment. We may find that the road traveled by our predecessors is now closed. We may feel called to change direction entirely so that the maps we have been carrying really no longer apply. These are the moments when we learn to attune ourselves to our inner compass, following a map that only we can see, as we make our way into the unknown territory of our own enlightenment.

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