Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch
Randy Pausch is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. He is not only an excellent professor but an inspiration. He is looking death in the face and he still is able to laugh and make his audience laugh and forget about his troubles. In his lecture he discusses three topics: his childhood dreams, enabling the dreams of others, and lessons he has learned.
Randy had a great childhood, his parents were loving and gave him permission and the possibility to dream. They were not a wealthy family, just a normal middle-class family. As a child he dreamed of many things; meeting his childhood hero, floating in space, and being an imagineer. He actually was able to reach many of these dreams in one way or another. He didn’t actually go into space but he was able to go into a zero gravity area, he met with captain Kirk, and he worked with imagineers to put Aladin to life.
Pausch said “experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted”. This quote is so true. I have had plenty of jobs where I thought I was going to be doing one thing or another, and been shocked to find out I am doing something completely different than planned. Those are the jobs that I have actually learned the most from however. I also really liked Paush’s quote that the leader isn’t always the smartest guy on the team. I have found in many situations that the smartest people on the team are not the ones to step up, the people who can handle the pressure and are leaders do.
One lesson Pausch said he learned, like most people, was that he experience brick walls in his life. Instead of letting these brick wall hold him back, he used it as encouragement. He said brick walls are there to stop people who don’t want something badly enough. I have hit a few brick walls in my life, and this quote really struck me. I have also found that if I really want something badly enough, even if something was holding me back, I have been able to achieve it. I think people really respond when they know someone has a true desire for something.
The last thing Pausch discussed was enabling others, as a college student studying education, I felt like he was speaking directly to me. He made a comment that one of his advisors said he was such a great speaker that any company he worked for would put him in a sales position; and the advisor said, if you’re going to sell something, why not sell something worthwhile like an education. I really believe Pausch looked for the best in others, this is a quality I lack but his presentation made me think about and want to improve upon. I want my students to appreciate me as a nice person and aspire to do better in their lives, I want to be as great of an inspiration as Pausch was.