Wednesday March 25th the ULSU presents the second annual Last Lecture. As it was founded last year by the 2007/ 2008 Vice President Academic for the ULSU I thought it would be only suiting to sit down with him, mono a mono, and have a grand ‘ole chat about what he envisioned and how he thinks it has played out. Now, I was just too consumed with this week’s BoingBoing guest blogger to sit down and actually talk to Jason so I just asked Jason to interview himself. The following is a direct transcript of that interview.
Q: What inspired you to create the speaker event, The Last Lecture?
A: The Last Lecture is not an original idea. I would be lying if I said that I did not have any inspiration from outside sources in coming up with the event. I distinctly remember seeing Randy Pausch’s lecture entitled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” and how he spoke with so much passion and wisdom to, not only his student but also his co-workers and peers. It touched those he was closest to and reached out to complete strangers.
Q: Why did you create the Last Lecture here at the University of Lethbridge?
A: I saw it as a way for professors and instructors here at the University of Lethbridge to communicate their life to students. As instructors, these people are confined to academic teachings, and only on a few instances, have I been enlightened on a progressive way of thinking that exceeds molecular genetics and organic chemistry. Many students and staff develop personal relationships with these people and I wanted to give them an opportunity – a chance to speak their mind about love, life, and all its hardships and tribulations – to give a heartfelt speech to those they cared about and to those who cared about them.
Q: Why not any other speaker event?
A: Convenience has a part to do with it – after all, it takes a great deal of effort and resources to book speakers from agents who have no personal investment aside from their reputations. I believe the local community is overlooked in terms of speakers. Many people regard their professors as someone who specializes in their field and nothing more – as though they are some sort of robot that is put into a closet at night until the next day’s lecture. This is the wrong mindset to get into, these people have been through university as both a student and as a tutor, and they are perfect by no means.
Since these people are not perfect, they have faced many troubles that we face today and to hear how they overcome their obstacles can inspire us to do the same. I want people to hear these professors speak and to hear how they’ve reached their current spot as respected, smart members of society and how we can do the same.
I remember my first year of university where my chemistry professor, Dr. Peter Dibble, told the class, “How many of you think I’m smarter than you?” The majority of the class put up their hands, he joked, “Those who didn’t put up your hands are very arrogant. But you’re right. The only thing that makes me different than you is experience”.
He is right. The only thing that makes us different than each other, different from our friends, different from our instructors is experience. And that’s something I want to emphasize, especially with this lecture series.
Q: How do you feel about this year’s Last Lecture?
A: I think Jenn Prosser is completely incompetent and inept. Next question. Just kidding Jenn. I’m actually really glad that I started a legacy lecture here at the University of Lethbridge. In ten, twenty, thirty years from now, I can look back and say that I have impacted the lives of not only other students, but of the lecturers, of everybody who cared to listen and change their lives for the better.
This years Last Lecture features Political Science professor Chris Kukucha, Education professor Robin Bright and Management professor Craig Milner. It begins at 7pm and is in PE 264, all are welcome and admission is free.