Windy Gordon, Western Carolina University assistant professor of psychology, will speak on the topic “Keep Listening Because Life Is Happening” as he presents the university’s annual “Last Lecture” on Wednesday, Nov. 2.
Gordon’s presentation will begin at 3 p.m. in the theater of A.K. Hinds University Center. The event honors a WCU faculty member who has been recognized by students for teaching with great passion and enthusiasm. The “Last Lecture” allows faculty members to share words they would present if it was the final lecture they had a chance to give.
The Last Lecture Award is the only teaching award at WCU in which the recipient is selected solely by students. Recipients are announced each spring at the annual Faculty and Staff Excellence Awards ceremony.
Gordon said his topic for the Nov. 2 lecture is related to a “Last Lecture” he delivered in 2009 with the title “Listen Carefully In Case Life Happens.” In this year’s remarks, he plans to reprise some thoughts from the earlier lecture as he focuses on the challenge of finding a truly meaningful personal goal, but this year he also plans to speak about the demands of pursuing that goal.
“I believe that many factors in our day-to-day life prevent us from actually recognizing what matters most or what is truly important,” he said. “For example, we can’t attend to everything at once and much of our focus is drawn to rather meaningless activities that seen to fill our days. If we don’t turn our attention to something more important than Facebook or Twitter, then we may never become aware of events and lessons that could shape our lives. This is what I meant when I focused on ‘listen carefully’ in 2009.”
Gordon said he will follow up those thoughts by addressing “a second important step” in living a productive and meaningful life.
“When you find your goal, you must be willing to persist in pursuit of the goal,” he said. “Our modern lifestyle is defined by both the nearly overwhelming flood of information and by an expectation of immediate gratification. Yet, achieving what really matters is seldom an immediate or automatic process. Living a meaningful life requires a lot of effort over a very long time.”
Gordon received his doctorate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1983. He has been a member of the WCU faculty since 2004.
The “Last Lecture” is sponsored by WCU’s Student Government Association and is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Karen Farmer Walker, SGA adviser in the Department of Campus Activities, at 828-227-2610 or email@example.com.
By Randall Holcombe