Monday, October 10, 2011

Blog Post #7

randy pausch

Randy Pausch was an inspiring man. Before his death from pancreatic cancer in 2008, he gave his last lecture at Carnegie Mellon University.  In this lecture, Mr.  Pausch talks about childhood dreams.  He begins by talking about his own childhood dreams.  The first one was to experience zero gravity.  The second was to play in the NFL.  He also wanted to write in an encyclopedia .  He wanted to be the Star Trek Captain Kirk, and he dreamt of winning large stuffed animals from amusement parks.  He dreamt of being a Disney Imagineer.  Mr. Pausch talks in the first part of this lecture about how he achieved his childhood dreams.  The most memorable part of this section was when he talks about brick walls.  He helps his listeners to understand that brick walls are not meant to stop us.  They are there to help us realize how badly we want our dream.  They are there to help us reach them before others do.

The next part of the lecture is when Mr.  Pausch talks about helping others achieve their dreams.  This is even more important than realizing our own.  He talks about students that he has had over the years, and he lists many of the accomplishments that his classes at Carnegie Mellon have achieved.  He talks about his idea of Alice, which uses "head fakes".  This allows children to learn valuable information while ding something fun. He shows examples of the groundbreaking work his students have done in the field of virtual reality.  He shows the video of the world they created, and then he shares some of his favorite memories.

Finally, Mr.  Pausch thanks the people that have been influential in his career.  He talks about the professors that have inspired and helped him decide which career path to take.  Mr.  Pausch talks about the team that will be moving forward with the programs that he has implemented.  He shares the lessons that were given to him, which included getting "dutch Uncle-d" by his mentor.  He talks about all the people who help and influence us along the way.  These include teachers, parents, and mentors.  He talks about loyalty, and how it is so important, and that it goes two ways.  He used a great example of a student that he vouched for, who eventually became a valuable member of his team.

The video was very touching and funny.  Mr.  Pausch handled the subject of his illness with amazing humor and grace.  My favorite part of the video was when he surprised his wife and sang happy birthday to her.  It was obvious that he meant what he said about having fun every day.  He was an inspiring speaker and a great man.  In the end Mr.  Pausch reveals that this speech was really for his children.  Of all the "head fakes" he ever did, his last lecture was the best.


  1. A very moving and touching lecture. What did you learn from it that will affect your teaching?

  2. I learned that it is important to make sure that students are having fun as well as learning. I know that every thing that I will teach is not going to be a fun thing to learn, but I think that as a teacher it will be important for me to find a way to make it interesting and engaging for my students. I also learned that no matter how big a child's dream is, or how far fetched it may seem, that I should do everything I can to help that child realize their dream. I hope that lesson will help me to be a better mom as well as teacher.