Sunday, October 7, 2012

Blog Assignment #6

Randy Pausch displays the stuffed animals he had won during his younger years at his last lecture

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

"Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" is one of the most inspirational, humorous, and hopeful video I have ever watched. Randy Pausch, full name Randolph Frederick Pausch, was a professor of computer science and human-computer interaction & design at Carnegie Mellon University. He is also the creator of a software called "Alice". In this video, he talks about how he achieved his childhood dreams by going through many obstacles whether it's good or bad. He also tells us how he achieved it, how we can achieve our own, how we can help enable other people's dream and what you can learn from it. It's not just a video on methods to how to achieve your dreams but how to lead your life. There are many advice I took from the "Last Lecture".

One of the advice he gave us is to not let brick walls stop you. Brick walls are to block the people who really don't want to be dedicated or show how badly they want to achieve something. Don't use brick walls as a way to stop you from what you believe, want to accomplish or achieve. Instead, use them as a chance to show the world how badly you want it. You should show your dedication. In a way, a brick wall can be seen as an "obstacle" in your life. You have to get through that obstacle and chase your dreams. I think this is important advice to teach your students. You should encourage your students and let them know that they have to be strong and firm about what they want. Along the way, there will be brick walls or obstacles but don't let that affect you. Find your way around the brick wall than to let it stop you. If you get rejected from your dream University, don't let that stop you. Keep trying and one day something good will come. Randy Pausch was rejected from Carnegie Mellon but he kept trying. He eventually got accepted.

Another big advice he gave us that he used during his time teaching at Carnegie Mellon is do not set the bar for your students. At 34:44 minutes of the video, he asked his "sensei" Andy on what to do about the students remarkable projects. Basically Andy told him that he should just go back in class and tell his students that they did well but can do better. The reason behind it is because since Randy didn't even know how high of a bar he should set, why even set one? Like Andy says, setting one without knowledge is a disservice to the students. Instead of setting a bar, just keep pushing them. I think this is important because once you set a bar, whether you know how high or not, you always want your students to keep going forward. My parents always did that with me. I come home with projects, papers and exams that I received 90's on. They were happy but not extremely. They said I can do better. At first I was mad but I am glad they did that. I pushed myself harder. I learned and achieved more than I would ever before. Once you let a student know that they have done the best they can do, most of them will just stop and won't continue discovering or put in the effort. This is not for all students. It happens most of the time.

From the many advice he gave, I think the best advice is to never give up. I have always lived by that even though many people have tried to get it across me that there are things that are just "impossible". Once upon a time, creating medicine to fight headaches was impossible. Once upon a time, landing on the moon was impossible. What do you know now? One day, we will be able to fly on our own. It is also important to never give up on your hopes and dreams. One day, if you believe in it and never give up, it will happen. I think this is extremely important for students. As they grow up and are learning new things, they will have people coming into their life telling them that they are foolish and had already set the bar for them. For example, your parents may tell you that you are not college material because they weren't or they just don't think you are. If you really want to college, believe it and don't give up. If you really want to grow up and be an astronaut, don't give up. As a future educator, it will be the most important thing I'll do. It's not for teaching's sake but to help my future students.

I can go on and on about the many advice he gave. I have a long list of advice I jotted down while watching the video. I can go on forever writing about it. For my future classroom, there is nothing I wouldn't use from this video. I'd want to help my students, push them to do better, give them feedback and teach them how to listen to it, teach them gratitude, loyalty, tell them to never give up, achieve their childhood dreams and many more. These are not things that a student should only learn for education but for their life. These are things that can be applied to your life. I will also teach them how to be positive no matter what. Randy Pausch was dying, suffering from cancer and had all sorts of problems but that did not stop him from anything he wanted to do. He can even do more push-ups than me! Having a positive attitude is also a key and I believe it will be for students as well.

I loved the video and feel really inspired. I really wish I would've known about him earlier in life. I would have loved to attend one of his speeches. I found myself tearing a bit, not because I pity him but because we lost a great person on Earth. We need more people like him. We need more people who are willing to help our future generation. We need people like him to teach others how to achieve your childhood dreams and to never give up. Even until he died, he was a positive and humorous guy. Like he asked, do you want to be the Tigger or the Eeyore? He was the Tigger and I think everyone should be. I understand that there are times in our life where it's a struggle. We have things that occur but don't let those stop you from your dreams. I have been through a serious case of depression before. It was for about 4-5 years. In the end, I pushed myself. I made a choice to go forward because I couldn't stand it anymore. I understand that not many people have that initial push. This is where I say that I am sad we lost a great man like him. He is a person who would give you that initial push. Randy was successful. Success doesn't come on its own. We build it on our own. We try and go forward. We go around all the brick walls that are in our way. We shouldn't complain about our problems. Instead of complaining, we should think of ways to fix it. We should never give up and never lose our childhood dreams or our vision. These are all the advice we should take and apply into our future classrooms, our own life, children and many others.


  1. Anna,
    I am very impressed by your blog post! Very insighful, moving, and inspired! So glad to see that you got a lot out of this post and were able to relate. I appreciate the personal examples that show how well you connected to Pausch's speech, and how well you took his words to heart! This post also shows your dedication to teaching, and to your students! I am sure you are going to be a great educator who cares about your students' success. Very good work!
    Keep up the good work, Anna :)