Archive for March, 2012

The Last Lecture – Book review

How to achieve your childhood dreams

What will you do if you have short time to live? is the question posted by the Author Randy on the back cover of the book. Yes, Randy is not a normal human being who lived on earth, he was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer yet that didn’t let him down. He lived with positive spirits to turn the world with his great speech named “The Last Lecture”

Chloe Stands On Daddy Hand

I ordered this book after viewing “Randy Pausch” video in Youtube that he presented in Oprah as well as after the full lecture given at Carnegie Mellon University.

Randy has two face one is as a parent his is so caring, his wife name is Jai, he has three children named Dylan, Logan and Chloe. Next one is as a Professor at Carnegie Mellon University he has done lots of wonders in making students to understand Virtual Reality.  That’s a normal thing Professor’s or as a parent do in a day-to-day life, but How Randy is different?

Randy after diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer wanted to settle down peacefully with his wife and children to take rest.  Yet , when he quit the job at Carnegie Mellon University he was asked to give “The Last Lecture” which is normally taped by the university for their records. Randy was forced to go there because his wife Birthday fell on the same day. Even then Randy felt not to lose the chance given to him so he flies to Philadelphia with his wife and delivers The Last Lecture.

Each and every person has childhood dreams and even some people might forget what they dreamed about. Randy is not a normal person he was working hard and the professional journey is so great. In this book Randy writes about his life changing experience that will change many people’s life. Initially Randy speaks about his childhood dreams and convey the he achieved it. He is a humorous person by nature, he will definitely make you to laugh at many moments. He explained how he achieved his childhood dreams in the first part and later on his book describes about how to help someone else to achieve their childhood dreams. To quote some incidences from Randy’s life, he wanted to be at Zero gravity, certainly it’s not possible if you are an outsider. When he was at college his students got the opportunity to visit  but as a Professor also he was not able to go with his students so he gives up his teaching job and act as a journalist to travel with the students to stay in Zero gravity for a while. Like wise there are many stories behind his achievement (like getting a project in EA, working in Aladdin Project and students virtual reality projects etc etc).

“Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer.”
― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Here he conveys us about how to make the class interesting and also how to help students to achieve their dreams. He personally acknowledges that there are road blocks in everyone life those are to test human beings whether they try to break it or they tend to stop at the place. Those who cross the road blocks are star performers. He advises every one to break the brick wall. He says his secret of success is his “hard work” and nothing else. He also understood how to motivate students and help students. You will get all the insights when you read his book. There are many quotes by Randy and one good theory called “Head fake”.

It’s all about leadership, life, professionalism, ambition, admiration, achievement, passion and personality. So it’s a must read for people who are in teaching profession also to people who want to achieve their dream.

I would to give a quote from his book to end this review.

“It’s not about how to achieve your dreams, it’s about how to lead your life, … If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself, the dreams will come to you.”
― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

For more quotes please click here

Myths in a classroom..

In a class have many thought process going. Some listen ,some pretend to listen, and some live in a different world . There are many myths existing in a classroom. I would like to share it with you all now.I would like to give it from a Professor view as well as the student view.

Professor view with their ideas in the brackets:-

Myth 1 # Students are not intelligent and they don’t know anything about the subject. [So I can teach anything]

Myth 2# Students don’t listen to the class. [ Why should I put my efforts and waste energy]

Myth 3# Students are naughty and imperfect. [ I came to take a class, this is not a moral education class]

Myth 4# They don’t have any doubts. [ I need not to ask anyone whether you understood or not ]

Myth 5# If they are silent, they understand everything.

Myth 6# If Professor tells a joke, that will change the mood of the entire class. [ When I am serious and strict they listen to me instead of being lenient]

Myth 7# All the students are brilliant in a class, hence teach them at HARVARD UNIVERSITY level. [ They came to Post Graduate Class why should explain them simply, make it complex]

Students view and their thoughts:-

Myth 1# Professor knows everything. [ So ask him question, if he don’t reply he know nothing.]

Myth 2# Professor lenience can be exploited. [He will not question even if I do a murder]

Myth 3# Professor cannot notice me while I sleep.

Myth 4# He/She corrects paper without reading it.

Myth 5# He/She don’t notice any of my activity.

Add more myths to this post if you know.

Got a chocolate.

Motivation is the most prime factor that will help people to climb the ladder. I personally felt that, I didn’t received any small gift from my Professor’s. So, I started my class with presenting chocolates to my students. I am not trying to impress them, but I am trying to motivate them to study more. On any surprise day, I will post them a question, one who comes up first with right answer will receive a chocolate.

Today it was great, I am now pulling out people asking to present on any topic of their interest. My student Naresh is so silent in the class as well as naughty sometimes, he wears a broad black color framed spectacles. I have asked him to present on a product, he choose BSNL Tablets ( in collaboration with Pental technologies). I liked him very much because he prepared a PPT within a day with all the details and presented to the students very clearly and concisely. After finishing the presentation he said, “Sir, I have a question to ask you”

I was really shocked, I didn’t know what is the question he is going to ask me. My inner mind said, “Bala, if you are not able to answer then you are not a good teacher” :P. With courage I said, “Go ahead”

He asked a question from the presentation, like ” Who is the competitor for BSNL Tablet?”

Since I listened to the presentation I gave the right answer. Surprisingly he presented me a chocolate. I am so happy for that 🙂 Thanks a lot students… You are keeping the class alive.

Day of Joy with Chocolate