On September 18, 2007, Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch delivered a one-of-a-kind last lecture that made the world stop and pay attention. It was called the The Last Lecture. Pausch discussed his life achievements even though he had cancer and would soon pass away within a few months. In his lecture he really held his composure and did not want pity from the audience because his talk was not about cancer. He choose to talk about how to achieve your dreams or enable the dreams of others instead. This was one of the most inspirational lectures I have ever watched in my entire life.
So What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch?
"Randy Pausch says that problems are like "Brick Walls." They will always be there and we have to accept that. We should not look at problems in a bad way, but rather a challenge to see if we want something bad enough. Problems will not get in the way of our opportunity if we choose to fight back and go after our goals. When I encounter problems in my classroom I will not give up, instead I will find a solution. There will always be some kind of problem that I am facing in my career, but I know that I will rise up to the challenge every time.
In The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch says, “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”. These are such true words and the sooner we accept that the happier we will be in our lives, instead of trying so hard to change those cards. Pausch could not change his fate that he would soon pass away from cancer after his lecture. Instead of moping around about it he decided to give a motivational lecture that forever left a mark on the lives of many others. It is easy to see that this man lived a wonderful life because of how he choose to live his life. I can easily use this everyday motto in my classroom because their will be times I have to teach a class that I may not be too fond of. Their will be times when I get students who are not interested in what I have to say no matter how hard I try to captivate their attention. I have to accept that I cannot be the perfect professor who wins over every student's interest each semester. No classroom is perfect and that is okay I just have to put in my very best effort. I will always try to enable my student's dreams and help them reach their full potential no matter what.
Accept feedback and criticism because it means their is someone who wants you to improve. Criticism is not a bad thing and do not get defensive when others are trying to give you this important feedback. These were great words of wisdom because this personally was a problem I use to have for the longest time. I could not handle criticism well, but over time I learned that it is okay receive feedback. It helps you to become better and better. You should be concerned when nobody is criticizing you because that means people have given up on you. As a professor when I am criticized I plan to take this as a way to improve my teaching methods. I want all of my students to fill out evaluation sheets because their feedback matters to me.
After watching this video I could sit here and type out all of his words of wisdom, but we would be here for a very long time. These were just a few that I choose because of personal experiences. This video was simply amazing and one of the most uplifting lectures I have ever had the chance to listen to. I try to always keep a positive outlook in life in all that I do and this lecture just boosted that positivity even more. I am so glad I had the chance to hear this video because it just makes me want to strive even harder to reach my goal of becoming a professor. I have to say the best part was the end because Pausch explains his final "head fake" of his lecture. The lecture was never intended for the audience, but for his children. This was an amazing speech and legacy he left behind for his children. He wanted them to live a life they always dreamed about.