Randy Pausch's Final Lecture
During Randy's childhood, he had several dreams. These included: going to space, playing in the NFL, meeting Captain Kirk, winning big stuffed animals at the fair, and becoming an Imagineer at Disney. He accomplished all of these things except for becoming an NFL player. He learned that "Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want." You do not always get everything you want, but valuable experiences are gained that can help you in other aspects of your life. Pausch constantly repeated the phrase "Brick walls are there to show how badly we want something." When we face a challenge, sometimes it seems like their is no way to accomplish it or get around it. You must persevere and overcome adversity to receive something you want badly. How can we enable the childhood dreams of others? You set the bar high. Your students are only as good as you allow them to be. Students are not as likely to pursue things on their own. If you are there to encourage and push them, there is no telling what they can achieve.
My favorite concept that Pausch explained was the "head fake". According to Pausch, the best way to teach someone something is to make them think they are learning something else. That is exactly what a head fake is. You may make your students form groups to work on a book report, which they believe is to learn about a certain book. What they are really learning is people skills and how to work in a group. This is an easy way to make your students believe they are doing something fun, when you are really trying to teach them something. Most of the time if you tell them they are going to learn something, they get into the mindset that it will be boring. If the student never knows, it is more likely to make an impression on them.
Sometimes in life, you have to ask for a little bit of help. Pausch outlines how this can be accomplished. First of all, there are some places you cannot get to alone and Pausch believes that karma is a real thing. It is okay to ask for help and if you do not help others, it may come back to haunt you. Secondly, tell the truth and be earnest. If you do not tell the truth, you must weave your way through lies and it gets complicated. Thirdly, apologize when you screw up. There is no need to blame things on others. Own up to your mistakes and people will have respect for you. Lastly, focus on others and not on yourself. Pausch's speech may have shown what he experienced in his lifetime, but the speech really focused on how you should live your life. He impacted many people while he was alive and will continue to do so through his Final Lecture.