Sunday, October 7, 2012

Blog Post #6

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

This is my second time watch Randy Pausch's last lecture. I watched it back in 2007 when his book had come out and he was at the end of his battle. He was an amazing man and an excellent teacher, that comes across in so many ways. He says at the end of his lecture that the "head fake" is achieving your childhood dreams; the real message is how to live your life. Randy's life is one to admire, both as a future educator and as a person.

In Dr. Pausch's video he covers a number of topics that people can use to help others achieve their childhood dreams. The first is that we have to start with the fundamentals. In other words, we have to do the hard work first (the rules) so we can play the game. He talks about his football coach really giving him a hard time one day. Afterwards, the assistant coach explains to him that that is a good thing. He tells Randy that our critics are your friends, they are the ones telling you they still love you and care. This is a lesson all teachers should carry with them. As an educator, I can imagine it gets easy to become tired and burned out but we must continue to care for our students and be their critic.

I loved the story he told about getting some projects back he had assigned to the students and being "blown away" by them. He calls his mentor and asks what he should do. He is told that he should go in and say "this is good, but I think you can do better." To me, this goes back to pushing our students. As an educator we must always try to get our students to do better; to go a little more and then a little more out of their comfort zone. When we set a bar at any height we do a dis-service to our students. Educators should encourage growth, no matter how big it might be.

Another topic that covers most of Dr. Pausch's lecture is indirect learning. I am currently taking a course here at South that is about art in education. So often we forget that children learn the best when they don't know they are learning. He calls it the "head fake". If we as educators can take a subject and integrate it with art or music or dance, we increase the likely hood of a greater understanding and retention. Randy Pusch, although he isn't dancing or singing in his class, is a great example of this. He believes in letting students explore and get out of the mold of a traditional learning environment. He encourages them to take risks. This is something every teacher should remember.

Randy Pausch shows nothing but enthusiasm during his lecture. You can tell that he has really enjoyed his life and is eager to share it with others. At the end he made a few points: Never lose the childlike wonder and help others. I can tell that Dr. Pausch never lost the childlike wonder. Even on the stage he used costumes and stuffed animals as a part of his lecture. It is
obvious that he has helped numerous students achieve their dreams and he also has been assisted in achieving his own dreams. At one point he says something along the lines of teaching students how to share with other people, how to get them to bring happiness to people, is one of the greatest lessons you can teach. I agree with this one hundred percent. Even in this moving last lecture, Dr. Pausch is able to get people to laugh. He is able to bring them into his happiness and share it with them. I found this video to be just as enjoyable the second time as it was the first.


  1. "When we set a bar at any height we do a dis-service to our students." really? Should we not set goals at all?

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

    Thorough, Thoughtful, Well Done! Thanks.

  2. Kathryn,
    I loved your post! I thought it was great because you put alot of thought and time into it. I thought the same thing about Dr. Pausch, he is an inspiration to us all and I love his tatics. I think you had a great length and it was very thorough and hit the spot. I also loved the story about the projects where he set no limit. Great JOb Kathryn and keep up the good work! Make sure you keep proofing because it is looking good.