Sunday, October 7, 2012

Blog Assignment #6

Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture

Randy Pausch
Randy Pausch's Last Lecture was incredibly moving and inspirational. He is a fantastic speaker, and his message was very humbling for me. At the time he was giving this last lecture, Dr. Pausch was battling a life-threatening cancer, and he knew he most likely would not be around for much longer. Many of us probably would use our last speech to express how sad we were about the disease, but Dr. Pausch was so energetic and positive. He wanted to use his circumstances to inspire others, rather than using his lecture to focus on himself. He began by discussing his childhood dreams and how he accomplished each of them in some way or another. He stressed the importance of dreaming and how the inspiration to dream is huge. It is important for us to have specific dreams; a few of his dreams were as follows: being in zero gravity, playing in the NFL, and being a Disney Imagineer. One dream that stuck out the most to me was his wish to play in the NFL. He described how he had a coach that said there were 22 people on the football field, but only one carried the ball. His coach wanted to focus on what the other 21 players were doing. I enjoyed this analogy of establishing the fundamentals because as a volleyball coach, fundamentals is something I strive to instill in my players each day. As a future teacher, I want to establish a classroom based on fundamentals so that my students will be prepared to move on to bigger and better things.

Dr. Pausch also used the analogy of "brick walls" several times in his lecture. Brick walls are in our lives to let us prove how badly we want things, and they stop the people who don't want it bad enough. They let us show how high our dedication level is. I've heard the analogy of tearing down walls before, but the way Dr. Pausch put it really hit home with me. Not only will I have to conquer brick walls as a teacher, but I am certain I will also encounter students who are struggling with conquering their own brick walls. They may be struggling with schoolwork, experiencing problems in their home lives, or having a hard time with their friends. I want to be a source of positivity and encouragement for my students, and I want to be able to look past my own needs and focus on every possible way I can to help them conquer their brick walls. I will strive to use resources inside my classroom to help my students not only learn academic information, but I want to help them learn life lessons as well.

Dr. Pausch's Family
Another item Dr. Pausch talked about was the "head fake." He says that the best way to teach someone something is to make them think they are learning something else. Most of the time when we learn, we do so indirectly. I think this can most certainly be applied in the classroom. I know that I personally enjoy learning things when I don't specifically set out to accomplish something or intentionally study something. Some of the greatest lessons I have learned in life have been indirectly. It becomes more fun and less of a hassle to learn things that we aren't necessarily required to learn. For example, a teacher can use a field trip to help students learn about history and the world around them. Field trips can be extremely educational, but the students are able to have a great time in the process. In his conclusion of speaking about the "head fake," Dr. Pausch explained how if you head fake about how to lead your life, dreams will come to you. In other words, if you allow yourself to let loose and learn, your dreams will inevitably fall into place.

I really enjoyed Dr. Pausch's concluding thoughts in his last lecture. He stressed the importance of having fun, and he compared his fun side in life to a fish in water. Fun for Dr. Pausch is necessary for a successful life. I enjoyed how he urged us to decide whether we were a "Tigger" or an "Eeyore." We can either be excited, positive, and ready to conquer the world, or we can become down and disappointed about the negative circumstances in our lives. He also said how we are to never lose our child-like wonder because it is what drives us to help others. In my future classroom, I will strive to stress the importance of cherishing feedback, showing gratitude, and working hard, just like Dr. Pausch described. I want to encourage my students to find the best in everybody, no matter how long they have to wait for them to show it.

I am so thankful I had the opportunity to watch Dr. Pausch's last lecture. He has taught me so many lessons that I can apply in my personal life and hopefully instill in my students. He is a phenomenal speaker, and I will definitely use his lecture as a source of inspiration to refer back to.


  1. You've clearly stated Randy Pausch's teaching methods, discussed each, and applied it to your future teaching. It's nice to see others appreciate Pausch as much as I do.

  2. I am glad you found the video useful. It is a powerful statement.

    Thorough, thoughtful, well done!

  3. You did a really good job with this post. I really enjoyed listening to his Last Lecture, and we all could learn so many things from him. Keep up the good work!!