Randy Pausch Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams
This one hour and 16 minute youtube video is well worth the time it takes to watch. When we were first assigned to watch his time management video I instantly respected him and felt like, hey, here is a genuine, positive influence in this sometimes mixed up society. So when we were assigned the Achieving your Dreams lecture I was completely taken off guard when he shared the "elephant in the room" news. He has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest forms of this vile affliction. I was not expecting this, because knowing what I know about this form of cancer I knew there was a great possibility his death was surely in the very near future. Expecting no pity he urges everyone by saying, "You can't change the hand you're dealt, just how you play your hand."
Once this information was out of the way, he began what is now commonly referred to as "The Last Lecture." He begins by sharing his childhood dreams and how each person will come up against "brick walls" when trying to achieve them. Yet with an environment that is supportive, encouraging, and involved a child can succeed in this challenge while also being secure enough to learn from failures. I believe all teachers and parents should follow this rule: Brick walls only prove a level of dedication, if one doesn't bail they will see that the best gold is at the bottom of the barrel. Meaning if you try hard enough your hard work will pay off, maybe not always the way we might expect but each challenge brings experience and that is always a win-win situation.
I love the advice he offers about showing gratitude. He doesn't just say that we should always acknowledge our appreciation to those we work with but takes it even further by asking, "HOW CAN YOU NOT?" I think this is so important because it can make a world of difference in a work environment, or any environment for that matter. Even a mother who has cooked a nutritious meal for her family that takes planning, shopping, cooking and even cleaning time, a "Thanks Mom, that was great!" makes it all worth the effort. Especially in a collaborative atmosphere like school, teachers can share experience and advice that can make such an incredible difference in the education students receive.
There are so many things Randy Pausch discussed in this video that I will surely take with me in my own journey into teaching and learning. First of all his "Grand Vision" that everyone ought to be helping others. This doesn't have to be monetary help, as a student that is not realistic at this point, but volunteering is a great way to make a difference until then. His attitude while staring death in the face is truly remarkable. He encourages everyone to never lose childlike wonder and asks, "are you a Tigger or an Eeyore?" I plan to be a Tigger even after my boucny, pouncy, isn't much fun, fun, fun, fun, fun! What an incredible gift Pausch got to experience. So many lose loved ones unexpectedly and he and his wife had the opportunity to prepare for the devastation in as positive way imaginable. He was able to leave behind this incredible "Last Lecture" as a message to his three precious children and wife. This was such a personal journey that he shared with the world, I am amazed at his courage. "Though this body is crushed, the spirit soars."
You can visit his website here: Randy's Website