The Last Lecture by Randy Paush
I really enjoyed listening to The Last Lecture. Randy Paush was diagnosed with liver cancer and given 3-6 months to live. This lecture was given during that time on September 18th 2007. He passed away on July 25th 2008. Randy Paush was a brilliant man who accomplished many great things. He was also terribly funny. In this lecture, he covered three topics: his childhood dreams, enabling the dreams of others, and his lessons learned: how you can achieve your dreams or enable the dreams of others.
Randy Paush had 6 childhood dreams and he managed to reach 4 of them. The ones that he obtained were being in zero gravity, being a Disney imagineer, writing an article for World Book Encyclopedia, and winning stuffed animals. He did not achieve being Captain Kirk, but he did meet William Shatner. He also was not able to play in the NFL, but he said that "football got me where I am today." I think that the dreams Mr. Paush was able to accomplish were truly remarkable. There aren't many non-astronauts who can say that they've been in zero gravity! Randy Paush had a wonderful saying, "Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things."
Mr. Paush started a wonderful course called Building Virtual Worlds. The entire course was/is project based and each project is to be completed as part of a group in a two-week time span. Once each project is completed, the people in your group will change and you will complete another project. Randy Paush used many teaching methods, like these. He was very open to trying new things in the classroom. He pushed his students to do better and treated each student as someone with potential.
He helped start a master's program at Carnegie-Mellon. This program is completely different from "normal" master's programs. It is all project-based and includes many field trips. There are no books. Mr. Paush said that you shouldn't need any books, as you spent plenty of time reading books in your undergraduate career. There are companies that have signed a guarantee saying they will employee graduates of this master's program. Randy Paush was definitely a pioneer in education. I hope to use the idea of project- based learning in my classroom.
Finally, Mr. Paush spoke about his lessons learned. Here are some things Randy Paush said that he learned: to help others, to Never lose the Childlike Wonder and Loyalty is a two-way street. He also gave this advice:
- Tell the truth
- Be earnest
- Apologize when you screw up
- Show gratitude
- don't complain; work harder
- Be good at something: it makes you valuable
- Work hard
- Find the best in everybody; no matter how long you have to wait for them to show it
- Be prepared: "luck" is where preparation meets opportunity
Mr. Paush suggested "Decide if you're a Tigger or an Eeyore.” Thus, are you going to go through life enjoying it or moping?