EDM 310 Class Blog

Monday, March 7, 2011

Blog Post #7

Randy Paush's Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Carnegie Mellon University Professor Randy Pausch gives one last lecture, beginning with addressing "the elephant in the room": his pancreatic cancer. He was an instructor of computer science, human - computer interaction and design, and creator of the "Alice" interactive computer program for students that teaches them computer programming.  He also worked as an Imagineer for Disney for sometime.   He says "you cannot change the cards you are dealt, just how you play the hand."
His lecture starts to form around his childhood dreams, the lessons he learned in his attempts to achieve them, the dreams of others, and how he enabled the dreams of others. Looking back on the things he most wanted to accomplish as a child, he relives the happy and imaginative days that brought him to this point.  He looks back on his unfulfilled dream of making it to the NFL, and says that "experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted."
Attaining his childhood dreams did not exactly come easy.   Just like everyone else, he had to work to achieve them.  He mentions the "brick walls" or difficulties he was met with in trying to make things happen for himself, and that these "brick walls" are there to test how much you want something, and they are also there to show your dedication.  If you really want to become an imagineer, like he did, or even a teacher like most of us in EDM310, you keep going even though it may take a lot of effort, hard work, and determination to get to where you want to be.
He tells the stories of how he made the dreams of others come true as an educator and that what he accomplished might not have been possible anywhere else, besides Carnegie Mellon University. He and a collleague worked on the Entertainment Technology Center, and their work was made simpler by the format of the program because they had no deans to report to, used project-based curriculum and field trips and were given expllicit instructions to "break the mold".  These ETC's are being implemented worldwide in countries like Australia and Singapore.
Close to the conclusion of his speech he cites the things he finds important, and some of them I definitely agree with: Having fun, never losing your childlike sense of wonder, loyalty, helping others, never giving up, and showing gratitude.
I liked the quote he used from baseball player Jackie Robinson who said: "Don't complain, just work harder."
The video was made in September of 2007, and Randy Pausch lost his battle to pancreatic cancer on July of 2008, but his legacy remains.  What will our legacies be as educators, dreamers, achievers..students, even?


  1. Hey Carly,

    What you summarized about Paush's video was good, I like what you pointed out was important about his speech and the quotes he said. Your right as educators we have to put in a lot of effort and it might take a while but we have to keep pushing. We can never let that brick wall stop us. Great job, keep up the good work!

    - Annie DuBroc

  2. Thank you Annie! I am glad someone agrees with me. To me, the part about the brick wall was what effected me the most because people are always telling me that it's gonna be tough and that I should pick a different career, but I'm a tenacious person. The presence of the brick walls alone is enough to make me want to keep trying.

    Have a great Spring Break!!