We were asked to skim the transcript of Randy Pausch’s last lecture and watch a small segment. I had read the book The Last Lecture, by Pausch, but hadn’t listened to the lecture, so I decided to watch the entire thing. His lecture was part of the Last Lecture series at Carnegie Mellon University and just happened to literally be his last lecture. It was titled Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.
But remember, the brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.
Why do you think Randy Pausch was able to achieve so many of his childhood dreams?
I believe Randy was fortunate in that his childhood dreams were dreams that stayed with him into adulthood. They were things that he was actually able to accomplish in a professional setting. This coupled with the fact that he had very supportive parents and colleagues, and mentors who helped him reach beyond what he thought was his potential, created an environment in which he was able to achieve many of his dreams. I feel a bit of serendipity went into his meeting with Captain Kirk.
Do you feel that dreaming is important? Why or why not?
Dreaming is very important. If we didn’t have dreams, or hopes and aspirations, none of us would reach for something beyond where we currently are in life. Dreaming is what makes us take chances on a new job, going to school, getting married and having children, traveling to distant lands. It is the stuff of adventure and making a life worth living.
Discuss at least one of your childhood dreams. Explain why you believe you can or cannot achieve this dream.
When I was a little girl, I wanted to be what most little girls dream of—a ballerina, a nurse, or a teacher, and something to do with horses. I took ballet lessons and decided that wasn’t for me. I took horse riding lessons with my mom during high school. I realized I didn’t have the stuff of nurses or teachers.
In high school, I decided I wanted to become an interior designer. I started going to college for that but got married, started working, and then had kids. Later when I wanted to go back to school I wanted to be an author. I was going to study English with an art minor so that I could write and illustrate children’s books. Life happened and that dream didn’t.
Now I am studying Business Management because it goes more along the lines of my work and my natural abilities. I wouldn’t say it was a dream of mine as a child, but I have always been good at organizing and taking
control charge of things.
Now that I am older I have different dreams. Hopefully, I am on the way to making some of them come true.
Pausch, Randy. "The Last Lecture: Achieving your childhood dreams." Carnegie Mellon University, n.d.