Sunday, February 22, 2009

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

I was cynical about this assignment at first because of the length of the lecture. But after watching it, I totally agree that it was more than worth the time. The first thing I noticed about Randy Pausch is that he was in remarkable spirits for somebody who was dying. The entire lecture he was making jokes and wisecracking, even challenging those who may pity him to match him in a push-up contest. He was so full of vitality and life I am sure it was an honor for any student to have had him as a professor. I know that if I were in his shoes that I would not even be able to take it an iota as well as he did.

One of his mantras that I really identified with was his obsession with having fun. He says that he doesn't know how to NOT have fun, even though he is dying he is still having fun. I have always tried to live my life in the same way, but sometimes it is much too easy to get bogged down in a multitude of responsibilities and frustrations. One of the main things I want to achieve as a teacher is to have a fun classroom and create a memorable experience for my students.

It is truly amazing how he was able to achieve all of his childhood dreams. I can't even remember any of my childhood dreams! I read a bit more about him after the assignment, and I found out that he was able to practice with the Pittsburgh Steelers, achieving the one goal on his list that had eluded him. One of my main goals has always been to backpack through Europe, and I hope I get that opportunity in a few years when I graduate from college.

Dr. Pausch also made it a point to mention "brick walls", barriers that keep you from your goals if you don't want them enough. I have gone through a lot in my life, but I have never let it keep me from my goal of going to school and becoming a teacher. I have had to delay my dreams and alter my plans accordingly, but here I am. I am sure there will be many more obstacles in my future, but I am willing to do what it takes to get what I want. Pauch's last lecture was extremely true and insightful and it is a tragedy that it did truly live up to it's name.

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