October 17, 2008

Dreaming and Teaching

Today I attended a Teaching Summit where I work. The keynote speaker was Jeffrey Zaslow, the co-author of The Last Lecture. If you're not familiar with The Last Lecture, you can catch bits and pieces of it on YouTube.

I'm still absorbing everything I heard and felt. Randy Pausch's story is heartbreaking and awe inspiring. The book, if you haven't read it, is an amazing collection of short stories put together to deliver a life lesson each of us could benefit from learning.

The Summit wasn't just about Randy's story, lecture, or book, though. It was an opportunity for our faculty and students to take a moment to think through what life-lessons, in and out of the classroom, are important to them. Their presentations revealed not only the power of teaching, but the scope of where teaching is done. Learning does not happen only in the classroom. It happens everywhere and sometimes the teacher is really the student.

There was one other message I took away from today's series, though. The power of dreams matters because when it's time to look back on your life and evualate your existence, it is usually against our dreams that we measure our happiness and success. Some dreams will not come to fruition. Some dreams will remain secreted away inside our hearts as regrets, while others shine as a beacon of accomplishment.

When I look back on my life, I hope I followed my dreams, even if they never came true.