Monday, October 17, 2011

Blog Post 7

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

image of Randy Pausch
After watching this video, I was amazed at how much Mr. Pausch accomplished in his life. This goes to show that we can do anything we put our minds to. And although there may be many obstacles along the way, we should never give up.

Mr. Pausch had a lot of dreams as a child and one them was to play in the NFL. He never made it that far, but he said he learned a lot more from not accomplishing that dream than he did from any other dream he had. An important lesson he took away from playing football was the "head-fake." The concept here is that most of what we learn, we learn in directly. We get our kids involved with sports not just because it's fun and a great way to help them stay active, but we hope they learn more important things like teamwork, sportsmanship, and perseverance. And those things will help get them further in life.

Mr. Pausch also pointed out that brick walls were there for a reason. He said they let us prove how badly we want things. I never thought of it that way, but it makes so much sense. A lot of times when things get hard, people just give up. But if we are really determined to get what we want and worked so hard to get there, giving up should not be an option. Where there's a will, there's a way.

Later on Mr. Pausch recalls asking the question, "How can I enable the childhood dreams of others?" He said that he was glad he became a professor because that seemed to be the perfect profession to do so. At his university, he set up a course that involved building virtual worlds. Mr. Pausch said he was was blown away by his students just after the first assignment. He honestly wasn't sure how well they would do because he modeled the projects after his experience at Imagineering, and they were undergraduates and didn't have the best tools to work with. Mr. Pausch wasn't sure how to proceed after this. He decided to call his mentor and was told to tell the students, "That was good, but I know you can do better." And this was the perfect advice because Mr. Pausch obviously had the bar set too low, which is the worst thing to do to students. Everyone has the ability to create great works, and if we set limits they will never reach their full potential.

At the very end of the video, Mr. Pausch asked if we figured out the "head-fake" behind his lecture. The lecture wasn't about achieving your childhood dreams, but it was about how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, everything will fall into place. There was a second "head-fake," and although the video ended abruptly when he revealed it, it was actually very touching. Mr. Pausch stated the lecture wasn't for us, but it was for his children. This whole lecture documented his life, his dreams, his achievements, and the lessons he learned along the way. Mr. Pausch can't physically be with his children anymore as they chase their own dreams. I believe he recorded this video to show them that, in addition to how you interact with people, nothing is impossible if you stay focused and determined.

This was a very powerful video, and Mr. Pausch is remarkably inspirational. There are a lot of other lessons included in this video that I didn't mention, but they are all equally important. After watching the video, I don't think it would hurt to evaluate ourselves and our own outlook on life. I know there are a few things I could work on.


  1. Lana,

    I watch this video every single semester and get re-inspired every single time! You mentioned the question Pausch brought up in which he asked, "How can I enable the childhood dreams of others?" Do you plan on using the philosophy in your own future classroom? And if so, how?

    Awesome job!

    - Allie

  2. Lana. I can tell you are a very thoughtful person by reading over your blog post. I much like you and Allie became extremely inspired to evaluate my own life. I cannot begin to tell you how many brick walls I have hit in my life but you know if you hit one hard enough you go right through, just pick yourself up put on a band aid and keep going. I thought it was an interesting way to document his life for his kids while also teaching an audience how to help improve and live your own life because you never know when time may be up. This video was truly touching and multi-functional. I really enjoyed reading your comments and again good luck on continuing your education.