There are moments in your life when you meet someone during your life that helps inspire you a bit more to continue to go for your dreams. Dr. Randy Pausch is one of those people. If not for his determination to not let his final days be filled with depression and despair, then for the life work he did that inspired so many others. Again, it has been an interesting encounter yet again for me. Before I switched to my English degree, I stuggled as a Computer Science major at Auburn University. During that time, I got the chance to use the ALICE program. My team and I created a musical video for Michael Jackson's Thriller, sadly not up on the internet. That is not important! What is important is that I have directly used a portion of this man's legacy.
So what does he teach in his last lecture? I think the two important aspects we can get from this are 1) Do not give up, just wait and 2) Have fun. The first one is probably one we have all been taught, but only the first part. I remember always being told "Don't give up, keep trying!", but was never told to wait. Waiting is probably a key skill that people are losing, and it is something that needs to be retained. Everything does not come to you at once, and you have to be patient until they do. If you rush to fast into things, you might get annoyed and quit. The other one seems, well like false advice. Work is not meant to be fun right? No! If you get into a job that you do not enjoy, that is a recipe for disaster. Now it's going to be work, hard work at that, but if you enjoy it then you will not feel like you are doing just work. The true meaning of "have fun", especially when teaching, is to enjoy teaching others so that they can enjoy what they do. I'm sure we have all heard "Those who can do, and those that can't teach", well I'm sure they just didn't learn what to do by themselves. No, they had someone who enjoyed teaching them, and that person helped them succeed.
So, why was this lecture so important to me? We both agree on one thing: we want to help others achieve their dreams. Even around six years after his death, he is still inspiring students to push for their dreams, even if takes them a little while. Perhaps, in some way, I can be as inspiring as he was.