Reflection of Randy Pausch’s “The Last Lecture”
Pennsylvania State University Berks Campus
The Last Lecture began as a good-bye speech, made by Randy Pausch, a 47 year old professor diagnosed with terminal cancer. His speech at Carnegie Melon University became an Internet phenomenon. It has also been published as a book. I really thoroughly enjoyed his Last Lecture speech. He had a lot of good talking points and brought up some new perspectives, or ways of looking at life situations that got me thinking. He talked a lot about his dreams when he was a child and was very humorous and inspirational throughout his speech. He also had a lot of quotes that I really enjoyed and they are what I want to focus on. “When you screw up and no one yells at you about it then they have given up on you.” They yell at you because they care. This is something that applies to my life. I have had presumably some of the worst years of my life my junior and senior year of high school through entering college. I always believed my parents never understood where I was coming from, and if I did anything slightly wrong, they would blow the situation out of proportion. This is not exactly the same thing, because I would not say that I have “screwed up” in my actions, but more, I have done things that my parents disagreed with. My parents would yell at me for reasons that I did not understand, and things that my friends’ parents would never yell at them for. I know that there are individual differences between families and their own beliefs, but at the time, I hated my parents. We would get into the pettiest fights, and my parents never knew how much I did not do to try and please them. I just wanted to run away and leave and or find a way out. These were somewhat dark times for me because my relationship with my parents was just extremely terrible. Our arguments took an emotional toll on me, and it affected all of my relationships outside of my family and my schoolwork; anything that was important to me was not anymore. All this being said, now that I have been in college I have realized that my parents do really care about me and when they ever got angry or would not let me do something, I know now that it was out of love and parental instinct to protect their child and have my best interests in mind. They also were so strict and disciplinary with me because they just wanted a better life for me than they had, and they did not want for me to “screw up”. I really appreciate all that my parents have done for me to have the life I had, and I am so lucky to have parents who care about me and my future so much. This ties back into another thing Randy Pausch said, which was “when you do something when you are young, it sticks with you.” My parents are pretty conservative and raised me with strict discipline, placing all their emphasis on my academics. My dad would always make me sit at the dinner table and do all of my homework before I could go play or do anything else. This is something that has stuck with me for a long while. I am not as good at still doing this, but what my dad made me do, helped contribute to my work ethic that would get me good grades, organization, and good time management skills all throughout grade school. Also, like Pausch’s father, my dad taught me humility. I try to live my life as modestly as I possibly can, and I get the most gratification out of the smallest things. Unlike Pausch’s father though, my dad never let me draw and write on the walls, even though that never stopped me from doing it, but rather my dad still let me express my creativity in other ways that would not cause property damage. Having a creative outlet is such an important thing and I was glad I was able explore and let my imagination run. If anything, in today’s society, creativity is something that is being undervalued and sacrificed in the sake of making progress and conforming to an academic standard, where the arts and other...
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