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The Dreams Of Others Essay

1197 words - 5 pages

In his book, The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch gives his definition of head fake: teaching someone something that they do not realize they are learning. Randy also states; “Cancer doesn’t make me unique.” (9) As Pausch goes into the details of his life, childhood dreams, cancer, and final talk at Carnegie Mellon University, he presents us with a head-fake of our own; while we absorb the words of a highly regarded lecturer, on the topics of achieving childhood dreams, and making the most of ourselves, we are shown an even greater lesson – the things we do, and the way we interact with people can have an immense effect on the lives around us, for years to come. It is this perspective on life ...view middle of the document...

In a NASA airplane, Pausch floated in zero gravity; he authored the article on virtual reality for World Book Encyclopedia; he flew to California to design rides for Disneyland; he won several large stuffed animals – which he would eventually bring out on stage during his lecture and offer them to members of the audience. In the next section Pausch tells stories of his life, how people let him see different perspectives of himself, and how he was able to show others his own unique perspective. Section four, “Enabling The Dreams Of Others,” He talks about teaching, and how he influenced the lives of his students. In the final two sections of The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch gives his views on life, and talks about how he thinks his children should try to live. He gives stories about each child, and how he tried to give them memories while he was still alive. The book wraps up with Pausch’s final remarks. Here is a man, at his end – trying to say goodbye to his loved ones. After the final chapter, there are several pages of black and white pictures that are from various stories in The Last Lecture.
Randy Pausch devotes an entire section of The Last Lecture to: “Enabling The Dreams Of Others.” I feel this is the strongest section of the book, for several reasons – mainly because it really shows how much Pausch cared for other people. Throughout the first sections of The Last Lecture, Pausch recants the endeavors of his life, specifically, his childhood dreams. He gives great details, and really shows the reader how he was able to achieve all of those dreams; yet, as I read this section, I felt emotionally detached from the father with cancer, who I knew was person telling these stories. The Last Lecture suddenly seemed like Pausch’s attempt to show everyone how remarkable he was. I understand Pausch’s reasoning behind this, he said he wanted “…cement how people will remember me” (7) as well as help his children “…understand who I was and what I cared about.” (8) I believe if Pausch talked about his accomplishments at a later sequence in the narrative flow, it would help to bridge the caring and enabling Randy Pausch, with the look-at-all-I-can-do version, presented in “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.”
In the chapter “Training a Jedi,” Randy Pausch tells the story of “artist-turned-computer-graphics-wiz,” Tommy Burnett. (117) Burnett was...

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