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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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I Want to Go to a Place




With a month to go until the end of the school year (and on my birthday) I wrote this poem. I didn't think I could go on giving out like I do any longer. I couldn't even tell myself I could make it for just one more day at a time. On the drive to school I constantly asked myself if I was going to give up right now, and the answer was always "no". (This student came by to tell me he wasn't going to be back next year. Even though he was only in the 3rd grade, his smiling face gave me such a natural burst of energy that I would lift him up and tell him he was a giant, and we would talk of him being in my class in a few years.) 



I'm glad I didn't give up. Not one of these students' parents gave up on them until they learned to walk and talk. Not one of the students failed to realize how incredible they were this year ...... and hopefully for a lifetime. (All my remaining energy drained into him as I held him in my arms)

Often the miracles we so desperately pray for only happen after we desperately hold onto making the miracles happen. A hero is someone who holds on one minute longer than others who have let go. And we can't help others find the hero inside of themselves until we first find it within ourselves.



I just want to go
To a place where I can rest

Away from all the madness
Away from all the mess

I’m tired of being positive
Tired of always finding a way

Tired of changing the world for others
While my own world is in disarray……

What am I supposed to learn here?
What am I doing wrong?

If I’m committed to living from my heart
Can’t more others go along?

Am I supposed to learn to stop dreaming
And agree I’m a ridiculous fool?

What exactly is it I'm trying to do?
What am I giving my life to trying to prove?

Is it not true that we are capable of god-like passions
And lasting immortality?

Am I doomed to the fates of Prometheus and Sisyphus*
Because I rail and preach against man’s mediocrity?

Taken to the breaking point again and again
For the manifestation of these dreams of what we could be

I just don’t think I can hold on any longer
To how beautiful and strong we all can be

If we could just hold on a little longer
To the dreams of what we all could be

~Adam Stuart
May 11, 1943 (I wasn’t even born in 1943. Why did I type that?) - 2010


For more than 2,000 years man has been warned about "dreaming too big". Even gods were punished for helping man think and become bigger than his original primitive self.




The Crimes of Prometheus (the rebel god)





Zeus had many plans for the reshaping of creation. After the fall of Kronos and his confinement in Tartaros, Zeus took no interest in the mortal race of men on the bountiful earth, he intended for them to live as primitives until they died off. Zeus said that knowledge and divine gifts would only bring misery to the mortals and he insisted that Prometheus not interfere with his plans.




Despite Zeus’ warning, Prometheus took pity on the primitive mortals and again, he deceived Zeus. Prometheus gave the mortals all sorts of gifts: brickwork, woodworking, telling the seasons by the stars, numbers, the alphabet (for remembering things), yoked oxen, carriages, saddles, ships and sails. He also gave other gifts: healing drugs, seercraft, signs in the sky, the mining of precious metals, animal sacrifice and all art.






To compound his crime, Prometheus had stolen fire from Zeus and given it to the mortals in their dark caves. The gift of divine fire unleashed a flood of inventiveness, productivity and, most of all, respect for the immortal gods in the rapidly developing mortals. Within no time (by Immortal standards), culture, art, and literacy permeated the land around Mount Olympos (Olympus).

When Zeus realized the deception that Prometheus had fostered, he was furious. He had Hephaistos (Hephaestus) shackle Prometheus to the side of a crag, high in the Caucasus mountains. There Prometheus would hang until the fury of Zeus subsided.






Each day, Prometheus would be tormented by Zeus’ eagle as it tore at his immortal flesh and tried to devour his liver. Each night, as the frost bit it’s way into his sleep, the torn flesh would mend so the eagle could begin anew at the first touch of Eos (the Dawn).






The Crime of Sisyphus (the cheater of death)







When Sisyphus came to the end of his lifetime, Hades, Lord of the Underworld, came to claim him personally for the kingdom of the dead.

For the occasion Hades had brought along a pair of handcuffs.
  "Show me how they work", asked sly Sisyphus, and he was so obviously eager to see how they worked, Hades was hoodwinked into a demonstration. But, as Hades was modeling the handcuffs,Sisyphus snapped them shut.



 And so it came about that the high Lord of the Underworld was kept locked up in a box at the house of Sisyphus for many a day.

Of course nobody in the world could then die! As punishment for giving mortals the immortality of the gods, Sisyphus spent an eternity rolling a boulder up a hill all day, and then watching it roll back down again at night.


 



Since the beginning of time, great effort has been spent on keeping humans "in their place", and as a result most humans spend their entire lives trying to find their place in the world. (the facade of the Parthenon for next year, with "Dream Big, Do Big and Be Big" written in Greek)



Even if we are punished by the gods (or God) for "breaking the rules of mortals", isn't it better to break ourselves free from our self-imposed shackles?



"The worst imprisonment is the one we impose on ourselves." ~ Deng Ming-Dao







1 Comments:

  • At 9:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    WOW!!! very inspirational poem!!! hits home...:)

     

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