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Stu Speaks

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The still pond

Wed, 2008-12-31 13:44

When I was a child I used to live by a giant pond. It may have in reality, been a tiny pond but as a small boy it seemed giant. I used to wade in knee deep and catch frogs and bring them home to keep as pets only to be told to release them later by my parents. There was a big old apple tree that we used to climb and rip off the crab apples and see who could throw them the furthest, if you hit the pond you were king. Then there were those days when you would sit by the waters edge and be in harmony with the crickets, the bull frogs and the birds. On those days I would peer down and see the reflection of a boy with unkempt hair and dirt on his face. Sometimes I would wonder if I would ever grow up, if I would stay that boy forever.

Reality is I grew up. We all do. Some faster then others. Now as man in my 39th year of life, approaching 40 I stop and reflect. Some people I know spend their days still avoiding the reality of getting older, they fear the idea of being more mature, or responsibility. They still drink like they did when they were 21 years old, they sleep away their days with excuses. I even have a friend who lives with his parents… 39 and still at home. He says he has it “perfected”. Maybe he does… who knows?

I have other friends still who are executives in big companies. Making lots of money and holding great positions of power. Although I wonder if that choice has cost them some of the innocence of life, some adventure. Then there are a few people I know who travel the globe choosing to live the ways of a transient, a gypsy. Country to country living off of this adventure called life.

As I sit in my home at 5:55 am on New Year’s Eve day and write this blog I reflect back to that pond and then travel through my life. Looking at the adventure that it has been. The places I have gone, people I have met, the mistakes I have made and the celebrations I have been part of. I wonder what will come next? I wonder where I will be in 12 months. Who will I be in one year. I will be different, but how? The amazing thing is, as opposed to when I was a child catching frogs by the pond I am in charge. Sure life can throw you obstacles and challenges but it’s how I, as an adult deal with them.

I wonder now if I was able to look down at that reflection in the pond what and who would I see? Who would look back at me?

At the end of each day, after spending hours at the pond I would hear my mom or dad’s voice yelling for me to come home. I would run to my house and be full of stories, many I wouldn’t tell, many would remain my own secret wondrous adventure. Then after dinner I would find my bed and fall asleep dreaming of what was next, what would happen tomorrow? Never knowing what the next chapter would hold. It’s the same thing today. I have more control of my reactions but no more control of the day, or year that shall unfold, but I shall make the most of it.

Happy New Year to all the STUpendous BLOG readers. Thanks for your comments and thoughts. I love writing it and I love that people read it. These are just my thoughts, not always right and quite often up for debate, but they are mine.

Each year at this time I write my top ten wishes for the year so hear goes my top ten for 2009:

1. A cure for Cancer.
2. My dear friend Laura to get better.
3. A cure for MS.
4. Strength for my sister in law Arlie.
5. Patience and understanding. We all could use more of that.
6. For all of my family to all have a healthy and happy year.
7. For my nephew CJ as he embarks on his new journey to the West. Be safe and be wise.
8. For Brenda and Rich’s baby. May it be healthy and full of joy!
9. YLCC, OSLC and the YLCC LTC to have another great year!
10. I wish for PTY to be a success and that I have the strength to live the life I know I can.

What are your wishes for 2009? Share them here on the STUpendous BLOG!

Talk to you next year!

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  • Stu Speaks

    Students were very engaged, enthusiastic and excited. Stu is hilarious…seriously. “Humour is never a bad thing” said one student.

    ~Annalisa Varano - Vice Principal - St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School
  • Stu Speaks

    They say a great presenter “leaves them wanting more”. Well, we loved your presentation and the entire team asked me when you will be back! You are truly STUpendous!

    ~Nancy Klensch - Founder of Summit Kids
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu is an energetic, entertaining and dynamic presenter. He captures is audiences’ attention and keeps the room engaged for the entire presentation! His stories in his presentation captures everyone at different points, even the teachers!

    ~Sara Meaney - Cobourg Collegiate Institute
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu was great! Staff and students felt it really broke the anxiety in the building and we even got cupcakes today from one of the students.

    ~Carrie Rowlandson - William Aberhart High School, Calgary Alberta
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu was fantastic. There is nothing better than seeing 600 adolescents laughing their heads off. He delivers a terrific message and has the entire audience engaged, thinking, listening and most importantly laughing within seconds, and he keeps it going for over an hour. Thanks again on behalf of the Shores!!

    ~Doug Woods - Vice Principal, Nantyr Shores Secondary School
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu’s speech did exactly what I hoped it would do when I tried to bring him in: it brought the school together for a good laugh while empowering the student body to be the change they wish to see in their classroom. I feel he hit this goal perfectly.

    ~Steven Fotheringham - Oakville Trafalgar High School
  • Stu Speaks

    I really liked how the speech really just seemed like Stu was telling us funny stories, but he always related it back to the overall message. It didn’t sound like a speech at all, it was as if he was just talking to the crowd. I would say that he is excellent in connecting with the audience and keeping them entertained. There was not a two minute period in Stu’s speech were nobody was laughing. He kept us amused throughout the entire presentation. I thought he was perfect.

    ~James Palloto
  • Stu Speaks

    I would highly recommend Stu, his engaging personality was a real hook for the students and his messages were ones that many of them could identify with. The humour was great and the students shared that they enjoyed the presentation.

    ~Teresa Fowler - W.H. Croxford High School, Airdrie, Alberta
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu is personable. Students are willing to listen to him. They enjoy listening to him. He has a message, but he is also entertaining. He is fun to listen to and students don’t feel talked down to or preached at.

    ~Tanya Lacey - McKinnon Park Secondary School, Caledonia, ON
  • Stu Speaks

    I was at the OCA conference on May 6th, and I just wanted to thank you on being such a wicked keynote… you definitely put me back in the camp mindset and reminded me of what’s truly important about the up-coming summer. Once again, a job very well done.

    ~Emily Summers
  • Stu Speaks

    The students really enjoyed Stu’s humour and low-key but critical message about getting involved and getting the most out of their High School experience. I would recommend Stu as a speaker who relates well to students, is funny, and gets the message out without preaching.

    Thank you,

    ~Lynn Toye