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, January 24, 2008

You Find What You Look For

Mr. Stuart, I forgot my homework.....

Mr. Stuart, I forgot my Shakespeare paper........

In the past you guys said this. Now, in the present (day), you still sometimes say it, but follow it with..."so I went on line and found the poem so I could do the homework."

Your new ability to think and solve your problems by looking for, AND FINDING, solutions made me think the following:

I'm not sure successful people have the least amount of problems. They might even have more. But I am sure that they are the best at finding solutions for those problems.

And that is exactly what you did. You were successful at finding a solution for your problem.

Instead of looking for and finding an excuse for not being able to do your homework, you found a solution that allowed you to get your homework done.


This, my intelligent and courageous young MLK's, is bigger than you can imagine. Now......Can you imagine continuing looking for and finding solutions to your problems instead of excuses for your failures.....the rest of your life???????

Can you IMAGINE what your life will be like????

Taneicea's Poem ~ Thank You My Brother

"Thank you for freedom. Thank you for peace. Thank you my brother, for having this dream."

- Taneicea (January 21, 2008)

The importance of Martin Luther King, Jr. DREAMING BIG and DOING BIG is not only did HE become big, but it has allowed OTHERS to dream, do and BECOME BIG as well (Taneicea now unafraid to have her picture taken).

His passion turned him into an extraordinary person, giving this ordinary man EXTRAORDINARY belief that ALL students can be reached, which in turn has inspired this ordinary girl to climb EXTRAORDINARY heights.

We hold onto not only our own dreams, but THE DREAMS OF OTHERS AS WELL.

EVERYTHING you and I do today matters. Everything we do has an effect, either positive or negative. And what WE CAN DO TODAY is very small compared to what most actually WILL DO TODAY.

Make this day count......choose to have the courage to face your own fears.......because others are counting on it to help them face theirs!

I am so proud of how far Taneicea has come, both academically and personally. Her inner strength is allowing her to begin to feel AND TRULY BECOME UNSTOPPABLE! (Taneicea doing ANOTHER extra project AND asking to practice facing her fears again THE VERY NEXT DAY after crumbling to the floor in fear and "failure" the day before)

I can't believe I get paid to do this, and am grateful my career exists. MLK awakened the internal flames of so many.

I am sure he died believing we would continue doing the same, in hopes the entire world would be aflame in bright light....not by terrorist bombings and retaliatory missile strikes.....but by that "eternal summer (of hope, courage, accomplishment, love and evolution) that never fades" (Shakespeare)

And let's do it together, arm-in-arm. We are human beings, and need each other. Going it alone drains the very life out of you. We need each others' love and encouragement to keep going. And you never know what one thing you'll say or do that will stay with another person the rest of his or her life, affecting all the people that person affects.

Have the courage to be kind today! Effect an infection of inner strength based on honest appreciation for what is an unconditional belief in what could be. Do that....and "that" will be created!

Just look at what Taneicea has become in half of a year for all the proof you need.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Find The Hero

Taneicea is reciting a poem she made in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Look at her face; filled with hope and happiness, believing in the promise that a today filled with great belief and great actions creates an even greater tomorrow........the same as MLK.

I'll ask her to write it down for me today. I liked it very much.

I wrote a poem for her the first day I met her. It was stolen from the back of my motorcycle before I could publish it but the first few lines were something like:

Please sir, I hope you're not lying. Could someone believe in me this much, Without me even trying?

I want to believe in me so much much as you seem to believe in me.

I was reading Shakespeare's sonnets the other day and found a perfect one for her to replace mine. It's slightly better :-)

It talks about going through rough times (Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May) and the good times seeming far too short ( And summer's lease hath all too short a date).

And it also speaks the truth of the power of an eternal internal summer, so long as that sunshine is kept alive inside ( But thy eternal summer shall not fade).

Sonnet XVIII

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Love and beauty is not about what someone else sees in you and what they can take or get from you, it's about seeing it in yourself and others, and the process of igniting it and fanning the flames until there's a wildfire inside, even if it takes dancing to Sinatra while still teaching (helping new student Courtney understand multidigit decimal multiplication).

Since her arrival she has yet to leave class one day not knowing something she didn't know when she arrived.

In spite of the singing, dancing and sonnets, there are no wasted days in this class, because there are no people who are a waste of time.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Shakespeare were both courageous persons who felt and thought deeply.

Taneicea, who has grown @two years in reading this year in just five months, and actually asked for these pictures to be taken, has found her courage and ability to think and feel deeply.

She is my hero. At the Foo Fighters concert last week during the song "There Goes My Hero", I began to see the faces of my students, past and present. I realized I liked the song so much because not only are people like Sinatra, Shakespeare and MLK my heroes, but so are my children and students.

It's so easy to see the hero inside of each one of them. And all I have to do is hold onto that vision until it becomes a reality.......TO THEM!

Find the hero inside of others....And you'll find it inside of yourself!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Air Pressure

Definition: Air Pressure is the force exerted by air, compressed, on any surface that has contact with it. Air pressure changes with altitude. When you move to a higher place air pressure decreases because there are fewer air molecules as you move higher in the sky.

Experiment: So when I squeeze the bottle the cap will go fling off and down the stairwell because the air pressure that is building up inside the bottle when the bottle is squeezed it is so compressed that all the air molecules push the cap off of the bottle.

- Kelly

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