Sunday, March 3, 2013

Blog Post Assignment #7

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

I googled Mr. Randy Pausch while working on my first blog post assignment and I was very sad to learn that he passed away of pancreatic cancer on July 25, 2008. In his last lecture at Carnegie Mellon titled "The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" he asked top academics, "What wisdom would you try to impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance?" This lecture was Pausch's lasting legacy to his three children. It became a viral sensation with over six million views and became a New York Times best-seller. I watched a summarized version of this last lecture, which was televised on the Oprah show, after our first blog post assignment because I wanted to hear more of what he had to say. Pausch summed it up by saying, "if you live your life properly, the dreams will come to you”.

For this assignment I watched the full lecture. The first section of his lecture was about his childhood dreams. One of the techniques Mr. Pausch discussed was a “head fake” or indirect learning. He learned this while trying to achieve his dreams of playing in the NFL. Although he never made it to the NFL he did gain the experience of playing the sport and trying to achieve that dream. Parents who sign their kids up to play football are not doing it just so they will learn the sport of football. They are also hoping their child will learn how to be and play on a team. They are hoping their child will also learn “teamwork, sportsmanship, perseverance”. These are things learned indirectly while learning to play team sports. We want our kids to have the experience of playing on a team.

I think learning to work on a team is extremely important in school, in your career, and in all aspects of your life. I will definitely teach my students the importance of group collaboration and working well with others. These are skills they need to learn early in life to use throughout the rest of their lives. It is so extremely important in life to learn to work with others. It is the other people in our lives that will help us reach our dreams.

In the second section of this lecture Mr. Pausch talks about enabling the dreams of others. One of his childhood dreams was to be an imagineer. He achieved that dream and worked on the production of Aladdin. He then decided to figure out a way to help others achieve this same dream. He created a class and curriculum in film animation and it still continues today. This is when he created his lasting legacy, Alice. The third section of his lecture was called Lessons Learned. In this section he talks about the lessons he learned from his parents. He also mentions the other people in our lives that help us along our way: our Teachers, Our Mentors, Our Friends, and Our Colleagues. He listed the ways we can get people to help us: “Tell the truth; Be earnest; Apologize when you screw up; and Focus on others, not [on] yourself” because we cannot achieve our dreams alone.

In the end this whole entire lecture was for his children. So he could teach them how to live their lives so when he is gone they will know how. It really was a touching lecture for his children that impacted the world. Thank you Randy Pausch.


  1. Hi Jamie! I enjoyed reading your comments about Randy Pausch and what impacted you the most from his lecture. I found many of the things you mentioned to be of great importance also. I'm glad that you included his quote from the Oprah episode, "if you live your life properly, the dreams will come to you," because I think that is so true. There are so many points we can apply to our teaching practices and I like the one you included about teaching your students to work as a team. It really is something they will use in their future careers and relationships. Good luck in EDM310 and thanks for sharing what you learned from Randy Pausch's lecture.

  2. Thank you Tonya. I liked the summarized version on Oprah better. It highlighted the most important stuff. And I actually would have loved to hear one of Randy Pausch's lectures in person. He was just a real motivational guy. Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog post. And good luck to you as well.

  3. Dr. Pausch has been an inspiration to me and a lot of others. I am glad you are one of those people.