I'm Glad I Did

I have to say
when I'm old and gray

I'll smile a lot
because I'll get to say,

"I'm glad I did"
instead of, "I wished I had"

"spent more time with them

...when they were young,

and I was their dad."

~Adam Stuart
December 22, 2010

*Written after playing with Sofia all day, who before running off to play with the neighbors, threw her arms around him and kissed his cheek.

As he watched her bound out the door, he threw his arms around her, and sent her kisses from his heart.


The Children's Hour

I originally wrote this with Sofia in mind,
after our water fight today in my classroom after school.

I know I told my principal I'd be good,
and keep my room orderly being the golden rule

But behaving myself is just too much,
when childlike fun leaps into my heart

Knowing how to fill those around me with powerful happiness,
has become my work of art

For every child in all four classes is growing,
some as much as 900% higher from where they used to be

And the look of fire in their eyes today told me,
they were ablaze with the new horizons they could see

So when I begin to question my sanity for giving so much,
and not trying to teach but empower for life

I remind myself that for 60 minutes at a time I can do anything
And that this is the Children's Hour

A sample of the kind of growth happening just within the first 2 months of school:


4% 36% 900%
12% 48% 400%
16% 48% 300%
20% 48% 240%
20% 44% 220%
24% 52% 217%
28% 60% 214%
28% 60% 214%
36% 76% 211%
28% 56% 200%
36% 68% 189%
28% 48% 171%
48% 80% 167%
56% 92% 164%
44% 72% 164%
44% 72% 164%
32% 52% 163%
44% 68% 155%
48% 72% 150%
40% 60% 150%
48% 68% 142%
40% 56% 140%
36% 44% 122%
44% 52% 118%


I Do Know

No matter how difficult pursuing your dreams can be....I know it's worth it

And I know that the best way to go about a difficult task is to have an incredible time doing it

The staff got an email form the Big Cheese to please help the one cleaning person we're down to. As I looked around my room I realized I've once again let having a clean and organized room slip away from me.

I took the high road and admitted my fault, sending her this email:

"In my massive data crunching and “Everyone Must Grow” teaching method I’m once again letting this area slip.

But will I give up?

No! “No” I say!

Did I give up the hope I could be on time even though it has been a chronic problem in my past?

No! My past IS NOT my future! (97% On Time this year – only 1 day 5” late)

Did the Americans give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?


Then neither shall I!!!!!!!

(and all this energy after waking up and rock-and-rolling since 2am)"

(WARNING: possible offensive language for younger than adults people)

Success and achievement and all things related are made much more magical when experienced in an all-out state of enjoyment, even when no one seems to be following your lead.

I am extremely happy to report that the student who finished LAST among ALL 4th graders in math last year is FIRST in GROWTH of BOTH math classes......a 240% improvement in just two months.

Where he WAS is NOT where he IS now!

It's good to be a ridiculous dreamer.

All it takes is for at least one other person to believe with you.

He is my Hero. Just an ordinary person doing extra ordinary things

Music Playlist at MixPod.com


I Don't Know Why

I don't know why it feels so good to call Grandma Bette every night.

I don't know why it was so much fun pushing Brosden in a shopping cart during our walk yesterday night.

I don't know why I feel so safe being wrapped around Bella's finger.

I don't know why I have the energy to eat breakfast with Sofia every morning before school and draw her a love note every afternoon.

I may not know why all these things happen.............But I know that all these things happening make life happy and fulfilling.


Free Spirits Rising to the Heavens

Taking a walk with Shanghai around the lake....reflecting on the weekend.Friday night went to the school's family night and read my new book to them, then went to see a student from last year play volleyball. Her little sister said I was awesome for coming just to see her big sis. I told her if I didn't believe her sis was awesome I wouldn't have come.

Went home to bed, making it to the top of the stairs before crashing on the floor.

The next night I was invited to see the butterfly dance once again, and once again felt like I had entered the world that exists between this one and Heaven......it's here on earth, but so rarely do we allow ourselves to freely develop our beauty that we can only imagine it existing in some far away place at hopefully a far away time.....which we prefer to call Heaven.

As I watched the dancers (absolutely mesmerized and blown away by the belly dancers) I added India to the list of places I had to experience....and began writing down my thoughts:

"The how isn't as important as the why. Passion beyond belief becomes belief. Belief is the driving force behind dream creation (going to India).

Our bodies are absolutely beautiful.....not the media-promoted bodies, but the body expressing itself freely and beautifully.

Mia moglie prossimo sarĂ  indiano (Italian for 'My next wife is going to be Indian) - (Again, written while watching the belly dancers).

Burning Passion - for life....for laughter....for love....for living each moment I exist."

Rupesh was singing and instead of spending money on food, I bought his CD to spend on uplifting my soul.

As the butterfly's mom took a photo of her and I on my motorcycle (the Panther & the Butterfly), she said I would be one of those teachers her daughter would remember forever, just as the former student's grandmother from Friday night had said.

I drove away knowing that I wanted these children to remember me as someone who believed in them and thought they were worth giving extra too.....causing them to believe in themselves as adults and continue giving to themselves.........and that I wouldn't be that one teacher who did this.....but one of many!!!!!!

I know this dream HAS to happen, and it's going to take so much spirit that even though I woke up this morning not wanting to move, I went to a Hindu temple service and was absolutely blown away by how much it paralleled the science behind Quantum Physics. It was over much too fast and I can't wait to take my kids next week when they're with me, watching at least one of them play the tambourine their first time there just as I had done today.

Went to look for a bongo/lap drum with my new friend Nana, whom I watched in amazement during the ceremony, prompting me to ask him if he would teach me how to play.

Then I visited a Taoist temple on my way home and am excited to take my children there for a Chinese dinner this week.

I am called a "free spirit". Does this mean the alternative is to be a "trapped spirit"?

But all of this couldn't compare to the simple words from my Grandma before we hung up

"Goodnight Adam. I love you."
(picture taken from one of my favorite meditation spots)

I take her love for me and send it back out into the world

Goodnight world. I love you. Tomorrow we'll wake up and live as the big, giant and free spirits we really are

Behind every god is love,and with love behind you, there is no where to grow but up to the heavens

Tomorrow will be a heavenly day.


The Best We Can

There is something so amazing inside each one of us. Even five-year-old Nadir whom I a few weeks ago at a Hindu dance competition (behind Sofia in picture above). It's up to us to uncover what that is, and develop it the best we can, and with as much love as we can.


New Realities to Step Into

 Rise from the dead and kiss the stars

It's time to become who you really are

Pictures of Bella learning about Martin Luther King's courage at his museum in Atlanta, then applying that courage to her own life as she faced her fears on Cedar Point's scariest rides in Ohio.

How we experience the experiences we go through creates the realities we step into.

All I want is for my children (and students) to experience life in a way that allows them to continually create better and brighter realities to step into.........one positive and powerful thought, feeling and action after another.


Light & Laughter

I'm glad my son is my son. He brings a lot of light and laughter into my life. This video clip he showed me this week is one example:

Thank you Brosden (taken this summer outside the Greek Parthenon replica built in Tennessee for the 1898 World's Fair),


We Are the Butterfly

I've heard it said that when a butterfly flaps its wings the effect can be felt on the other side of the world. It's a 100+ year-old metaphor used in chaos theory that one small action in a dynamic or changing system can not only have an effect on the whole, but create a long-term change in that system.

One of our small actions can lead to one big change, in our life, in the life of another, or in the world at large, whatever the system is that we're trying to effect.

Saturday night I was the one affected in a big way by the beautiful butterfly dancing up on stage. Her dancing, the amazing vocal talent of Rupesh, my own daughter dancing around after the competition was over......Made me realize that WE are the butterfly

And when we have the courage to even TRY to live our dreams, we flap our wings and affect others in a positive way, be it in the room or clear across the world.

It filled my heart with love and peace.....this is what life is about - freely and fearlessly expressing the truth and beauty inside of us, flapping our wings and changing the world in more beautiful way.

Yesterday I received this picture from a former student

She's loving middle school and loving life, dreaming and doing bigger than ever before. And because of this, she's feeling big in this world and flapping her wings, effecting great change in herself and the world around her.

Last year when she was thinking and doing little I would flap my wings and let her know. Having potential means nothing if you don't use it, and by teaching her as the brilliant, creative individual she was, not only did she go up a level on the state test, but she went up a level in who she was and what she was capable of doing and being.

Yesterday in class a student came up to me complaining that she's only been in the country for two years and it isn't fair for me to expect her to produce as much as the other students because they've been here 8 years longer.

I told her the truly fair thing for me to do was to expect her to work 8 times harder. She began to cry, just as the student in the picture above did last year when I told her she had to flap her wings harder (flashing me back to when Patrice was in my class - The Last of the Mohicans - A Tribute to Patrice)

I wasn't trying to make her cry but get her out of her cocoon and to see herself as I did, a beautiful butterfly capable of much bigger thought and action. Instead of lowering the bar for her I raised it, challenging her to get more points on the online math program than she has ever done before.

Not only did she do that, but this morning I can see she worked harder than all but 2 of her classmates, outworking 18 others.

Today I'm going to stand on the desks and invite her to join me, in celebration for flapping her wings so hard.

Because the truth is, what she does in her life will echo in her world.

And if she does it big enough, brilliantly enough, and beautifully enough......it will echo in eternity as to what we all can do and be........our biggest, most brilliant and beautiful selves.


Truth & Beauty....Sets Us Free to Live, and Die, Freely

It wasn't just watching the innocence of children that moved me Saturday night, it was being in the midst of children being children; dancing, playing, laughing and living in their truth and beauty

By the end of the first week of school I was already exhausted, feeling almost as tired as I did at the end of the last week of school of last year. Sixty new students entered my doors and less than 1/4th of them are still on fire with all the good they are and all the greatness yet to come in their lives.....

If only they will have the courage to dream big and do big once again

Because if they don't, they will dream and do even less in their adult lives when things get tougher, perhaps even dashing the dreams and hopes of their own children.

By midweek I had taken a fist to my face from a man who used to use that same hand to hit his child. Since he's been able to outsmart the system but not smart enough to control his anger, as his own father wasn't able to control his, he and I have an agreement that as long as he doesn't touch his child I won't tell the authorities and he can take his anger and pain out on me.

Every 60 seconds 116 people die in the world. For 60 seconds at a time I can believe the world can be a place of safety for children and growth for adults.

For 60 seconds at a time I can have the strength and stamina to be my strongest and most loving self.

I can give everything I have to seeing the best in all those around me, helping them learn to defeat their learned fears and limitations.

A man's strength should never be used to beat his children or spouse. But it can also be used for much more than winning an athletic trophy, making a million dollars, or impressing others in a gym. At a higher level, his strength and stamina can become his passion for playing with his children, pleasing his woman, protecting those around him, and pursuing the dreams that lead him to become his highest self.

At a deeper level it is for uplifting himself and others to higher and higher levels of living, laughing and loving, where together nothing is impossible and dreams become reality when backed by positive, passionate and purposeful direction.

But defeating these demons holding us back takes its toll. Just getting others to believe in themselves again and that they can defeat them is the first battle.

By the time I left school at 6pm on Friday I was exhausted and already doubting myself, thinking I was foolish for fighting this hard again for children that would be gone in a year and for risking my life by jumping into a child's and father's hell to bring a light that has never existed.

On the way home I asked Sofia what Daddy lived for and what was he going to die for. She said, "Love". I asked her if she was really OK with that. In all her truth and beauty she said, "Of course!"

I knew she was right. We're all going to die for something; making as much money to buy as many things as possible, getting as many people to like us as possible, pleasing our God as much as possible, etc, etc.

Living and dying for true love, which I only know as truth and beauty, has to be the only thing worth living and dying for.

That night I felt Sofia kiss me and whisper that she loved me. I tried to respond but was so tired I couldn't open my mouth to tell her I loved her back. I think she knew what I was trying to say, because she kissed the small cut on my nose where I had been hit and hugged me tightly.

I drifted off to sleep with warmth in my heart, dying at the end of this day in order to be reborn the next, because I had told a student I would try to go to her Hindi dance competition on Saturday.

It seemed important to her, and if I was going to do all I could to prove to her how important she truly was, I had to do more than try, I had to show up and show her she was worth it.

That night she showed me how worth it it was. She reminded me why I do this, what I'm giving my life to. The truth and beauty I saw flowed into me and everything made sense. Home is where the heart is. And I was home.

I used my phone to write what I saw and felt and will share as soon as possible. It's time to begin another week, and thanks to my Sofia and the beautiful butterfly I saw dancing Saturday night, I have the strength and stamina to give my all bringing out the truth and beauty in those around for another week, in an even stronger and more beautiful spirit than before this experience.


hey daddy its me sofia

"hey daddy its me sofia. i love you."

I woke up the other morning and found this comment on a post I had written about her. It reminded me why I started writing in the first place, and how I wished I wrote more, for my children. Since they live primarily with their mothers this was my way of giving them a lasting gift of memories when we were together. And now my youngest (8 years old) is using it to send that love back to me, making a complete circle.

She's on vacation with her mother and I miss her so much it hurts, especially on my walks with Shanghai. I see her in front of me. I feel her hand holding mine. I hear her laughter.

Love is a funny energy and emotion. It makes you completely vulnerable to the dream or person you're in love with.

You see it everywhere you look because when you submit to it, it dominates and elevates your thoughts to the highest possible levels.....and makes you want to be your highest possible self.

You feel it everywhere because when you open up to it it dominates and elevates your feelings to the highest possible vibrations.....and makes you want to create positive change in the world.

And you hear it everywhere because when love is what you're committed to it's the truest and most beautiful sounds you can hear.....and you realize you are creating Heaven right here on Earth.

Since my phone isn't working, I guess I just wanted to tell you Sofia I miss you and can't wait to see you when school starts tomorrow on Monday (it's 72 steps from my classroom to yours).

You are truth and beauty to me in its highest form.

You remind me how important it is to fill yourself up with both and let it flow out into the world around you.

You are....incredible

And I absolutely can't wait to have you in my presence again.

I miss you.


Twelve Days of Summer Family Vacation 2010

Twelve days of travel
Twelve days of fun
Twelve days of adventure
In the rain and in the sun

Hunting for hidden treasures

Seeking the truth we desperately need

Listening to voices from beyond the grave
Of how every human can succeed
Studying the laws of nature
And the amazing nature of man

Opening up all my senses
To take us from "I can't" to "I can"

This is a life worth living
As exhausting as it can be 

This is a life worth giving
This is the best of me

~Adam Stuart
June 29th, 2010
(written on my little sister's 40th birthday)

 All I know is love. It's a very "Forrest Gump"-like love in that it's simple and pure, and all I've become made of.....and believe is inside everyone of us.

I know even more after this trip exploring the sites of MLK, the Parthenon replica in Nashville, Mammoth Cave, Abe Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Native Americans and the Wright Brothers that EVERY child can be reached in EVERY classroom, that child abuse DOESN'T have to exist, and that terrorism CAN BE counteracted with love.


It has to be BIG!

It has to become so big inside of us that WE BECOME BIGGER BY IT.

It's a big dream.....One that's going to take as many big dreamers as possible.

You will find men who want to be carried on the shoulders of others, who think that the world owes them a living. They don't seem to see that we must all lift together and pull together.
Henry Ford