To prepare, students spend the first day (today) watching some highlights from Randy Pausch's "The Last Lecture". Despite the fact that the "lecture" itself is starting to get a little dated, and most people have already seen it, I think it's still a valuable piece of material for students to watch. And yet, the more I watch it, it has nothing to do with the content of the speech. After all, much of the story is either inside jokes to the CMU crowd, or Randy Pausch's own personal life story. In fact, at the end of the speech, he reveals the story isn't even for us as the audience, but rather his own children "when they're old enough" (which is probably right around now since it's been 10 years since the speech was given). The content, however, is irrelevant; it's the concept of seeing what someone truly cares about the end of their life. Randy Pausch chooses to share his life story with his children...but what would the rest of us choose? Most people don't get the chance in real life, so the end of the high school, the final stage of the first 18 years of their life, seems as good a time as any.
We'll be working on the actual speeches in the coming days; for now, the students are left with one important question- what would I say if I only had one last speech to give?