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Here is another activity that goes well with The Last Lecture. On a few occasions when I needed to miss school due to a funeral, I have left this for a sub plan. The day before being out I explain the activity so the students have a clear understanding of the expectations.
Here is the handout for the students.
The Last Lecture: Parent Lottery
“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
I have had to leave this assignment in one form or other a few times in my teaching career because of a funeral I needed to attend. It is an opportunity to take ONE CLASS period to give a solid sincere effort to create a document that will be cherished for the rest of a person’s (a parent’s / parents’) life (or lives).
Parents are extremely influential in our personal development. Their lessons, advice, and guidance will stay with us for all of our lives. If you become a parent, often you will hear the same words of wisdom you heard as a child, only now the words are coming from your lips.
Like all humans, parents sometimes have flaws. The purpose of this activity is to focus on the positives, the things that make a parent (or parents) special. Each one of us has different relationships with our parents, however, as young adults you can understand some of the good qualities in others. The following activity will require you to reflect on your parents and your relationship with them.
In The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch comments that he has won the parent lottery. In the case of the parent lottery, fortunately there are many who feel they have gotten lucky. Hopefully, many of you feel as fortunate as Randy did.
You will spend the next class period (possibly with a substitute) completing the following activities:
- “I had a father and a mother who got so many things right.”(page 22) Make a list of the things your parents got right.
- “My dad gave me advice on how to negotiate my way through life.… Never make a decision until you have to.” & “Just because you’re in the driver’s seat does not mean you have to run people over.” (page 23) Explain the valuable advice you have received from your parents.
- “Kids more than anything else – need to know their parents love them.” (page 26) So do parents – Let your parents know that you love them and that you value all the sacrifices they have made for you over your life. This is an opportunity to thank your parents for all the little things they have done for you over the years. In this activity, the main goal is to show your love for important people in your life.
- Memories – Create a list of all your memories. The memories can be in bullet form and only need to be understood by the recipient. The timespan is your entire life, so you should not have a problem creating an extensive list. A few ideas could be: vacations, holidays, sporting events, special events, family traditions, family jokes / stories, – ANYTHING & EVERYTHING!
You will present your parents with some or all of the ideas above.
You may listen to your headphones as you complete this activity (the substitute will see this in writing). I will be checking the quantity and quality of the work on my return (not the content). Like other activities you will be sharing with parents. This time part of your grade will be written feedback (just in case the letter gets lost between class and your parent).
* If you feel that you will not be able to complete this assignment because of a strained relationship, please see me privately to discuss an alternative assignment.