In part of his lecture, Pausch talks about how he gave his students the opportunity to create a project, and how they blew him away with their work. He said they had done enough work in this one project alone that he would've felt comfortable giving them an "A" for the entire semester. When he went to one of his colleagues for advice on what to do for the rest of the projects, since his students had exceeded his expectations nearly beyond belief, his friend told him to tell his students that he knew they could do better, and expected them to achieve more the next time around! One of the greatest things that I took away from Pausch's lecture is that you shouldn't do your students a disservice by setting the bar too low for them. If we set low expectations because we believe that's the only effort that our students are going to put in, we are limiting them. By believing that they can and will achieve great things, we are setting them up for success; and by giving them this, we are giving them the opportunity to blow us away with what they can do.
Along with that, Pausch talks a lot about working hard, and choosing to lead your life this way. If you put in good effort, and truly give it your all, Pausch believes that karma will do its work, and dreams and opportunities will present themselves to you! From my experience, I have to say I agree with this. During the times that I was truly passionate about something, and put my whole heart in it, opportunities did present themselves. This lecture was a good reminder for me to keep trying to live my life this way.
The last thing that I took away from Pausch's lecture is that if you are going to do anything new or "pioneering", you are going to get arrows in your back. Anytime you take a risk and do something differently, there are going to be critics! There are going to be people who don't believe in or understand what you are doing, and some maybe never will. Pausch inspired me that if I ever face this, to keep pressing forward with what I'm doing, and what I believe in, and to not let other people's criticisms discourage me. Of course, I should always be open to feedback, especially as a teacher, but if I want to approach teaching in a new way, I shouldn't get discouraged if some people just don't understand at first. Something that I hope to share with my students someday, like Randy Pausch did with his students and the millions of people that he has inspired through his last lecture, is to never lose their childlike wonder in life! Pausch believes that this is what drives us, and I want to inspire my students to keep that perspective, and to keep dreaming and believing that amazing things can happen.