Haley Scott DeMaria

Archive for July, 2012

BEING A TORTOISE

Summer is here. I noticed on my calendar that July 1 marked the halfway point of 2012: 186 days past, 186 days to go. Which means I didn’t even make it six months with my resolution to blog weekly. I wish I could blame it on the slower pace of summer, but I’m not sure we’ve slowed down yet.

This past week, my two boys and I went river tubing on the Shenandoah River with two other families: three moms, eight kids, 100 degree heat. Because of the lack of snow this winter, the Shenandoah was running low and slow; too slow for our kids. As much as the other moms and I were looking forward to a leisurely float down the river, our kids had a different idea. My youngest swam down the entire river, leaving me to drag his tube; the rest of the kids were in and out of their tubes: walking in the water, swimming, splashing, everything but floating.

We traveled less than a mile. It took us 2 ½ hours.

When we finished, we had lunch on the side of the river and decided to take another trip down the Shenandoah (you can float the route as many times as you like). This time we decided to stay in our tubes and just float. My girlfriend and I managed to do this; the kids did not. They insisted on getting out, swimming, “walking” along because it was “faster.” Well, guess what? The moms finished our float much faster (even as slow as we were going) because just sat there, relaxed and let the river carry us. By slowing down, we actually went faster. And had a more enjoyable time.

I have thought about this for the past couple of days: By slowing down, we actually went faster. How many times in life do we go too fast and make mistakes, which actually slows us down? Or, we go too fast and just miss out. I don’t think our kids made mistakes on the river, nor do I think they missed out on anything; they were, after all, with their friends. But it was still a great lesson for the moms and great guidelines to model.

Because if we don’t slow down, our kids never will.

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  • 2TOR

    Last week at I had the privilege of speaking at 2tor’s company meeting (sounds like the word “tudor” or “tutor” depending on if you favor British royalty or education).

    I appreciate and enjoy each opportunity to share my story, but speaking to this company in particular had great meaning for me. Not only is one of 2tor’s founders a friend, but the platform 2tor developed enabled me to achieve a life-long goal: my masters degree.

    2tor was recently named a Forbes Top-10 Company that is Changing the World. 2tor’s CEO was just named Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young. 2tor is changing the world by the way we view – and access – higher education. But what are they really doing? 2tor is making a difference.

    What made me think of this on Independence Day? Because what 2tor is doing – and in particular what they have already done – is so American.

    I had the privilege to attend the awards dinner last week when 2tor’s CEO was honored as an Entrepreneur. But it wasn’t just watching the video of his story that inspired me; I was moved by learning about all the nominees, listening to their vision and their beliefs that their vision could make a difference. The room was filled with visionaries, some American some not, who are able to put their vision into action because of the country in which we live. To take an idea and turn it into a company – and one that makes a difference – is truly American. I was so excited and proud when my friend’s name was read as the winner. But in reality, with entrepreneurs like these, we are all beneficiaries and winners.

    So while “changing the world” and being “entrepreneur of the year” might seem out of reach to most of us, making a difference is something we can all do…and should do…out of respect for those who have made a difference before us and those who are still doing so. Like 2tor. Check out some of the lives they have changed:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=692RwlU7kvI

    Happy 4th!

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