The Last Lecture Series: Expect the Unexpected

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The Last Lecture Award is the only faculty award at Tarleton that is bestowed entirely by students. Led by The Student Government Association, students are encouraged to nominate a professor that has both influenced their life’s outlook and inspired them. This year’s presenter was Dr. David Frazier, Associate Professor of Agricultural Education in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences here at Tarleton.

Before coming to Tarleton Frazier taught as a high school teacher and FFA adviser in Snyder, Texas.

He has taught at Tarleton since 2012. Through this time he has overseen 300 pre-serve agricultural education teachers and served on 163 graduate student committees.

He has received the NACTA Teaching Award of Merit in 2017 and the O.A. Grant Teaching Award in 2017 and 2018.

The idea behind the Last Lecture is if this is the last lecture the speaker were to give, what would the speaker want their audience to hear and Frazier exemplified just that.

Frazier used his presentation time to tell the audience about his life and how others should live theirs.

Photo Courtesy of Tarleton Media Relations
Dr. David Frazier gave a presentation as a part of the Last Lecture Series on Oct. 8, 2019 in the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Auditorium.

“One of the most important things for you students and other faculty to remember is you better understand your past because that’s the only way people can understand what your purpose is,” Frazier said.

He grew up in a small town of Melrose, NM with a family who impacted everything he has done in his life. The most impactful person in his life was his mother, who attended the lecture. He called her a rock star and explained that she set standards for him and taught him manners that he has carried into his adult life.

He also thanked his brother who lost his path in life and found it again ten years ago sitting in a prison cell. He explained that his brother taught him more than he would ever know, just by being himself. Even through all of his troubles, his brother found a way and Frazier was inspired by that.

“I never dreamed that I would stand on a stage and tell my brother thank you,” Frazier said. “Expect the unexpected.”

Frazier emphasized that sometimes you aren’t going to know what to do with your life but that you have to take the steps to figure it out. He advised that people take the time that they are given in their lives and use it to live and do amazing things. He said that people can make a change and they can impact the world with the time they have.

Sometimes life can be cut short right in the middle of everything being amazing.

“Take advantage of the time you have. Make every single minute that God has given you a blessing. Change somebody’s life. Make somebody happy. Don’t afraid to be a hero,” Frazier said.

Frazier used the example of a special needs student, named Marvin that he used to help with his pigs. Marvin brought Frazier a blue cape because he called him his hero. Marvin was excited every time Frazier helped him even a little bit.

“It isn’t easy to be somebody’s hero,” Frazier said. “Marvin wore me down sometimes, but he taught me something every day and I realized that life is too short not to be someone’s hero.”

Frazier encouraged the audience to do the unexpected and help people instead of turning the other cheek. Take time out of your schedule to be the person that helps others and is kind to them especially when no one else is.

“Be the real you,” he said.

Whenever you are the real you, people will recognize that. He tries to be the real him so that people know that he loves and cares about them. Instead of being fearful of being his true self, he exemplifies it so that others feel that they can too.

Frazier further encouraged young people to stop focusing so much on their selves and what society tells them to be. People should try to find who they are on their own and encourage others to do the same. If you continue to be yourself and love others, people will follow suit.

“All you have to have is love and respect and little bit of knowledge and wisdom to help other people be themselves,” Frazier said.

Frazier inspired the audience to stop looking for the spot light and instead be the light that allows others to shine. He said to assist the people around you in succeeding and seeing their own greatness before showing them yours.

After the Last Lecture, undergrad student and agricultural education major, Tyler Moore said, “Dr. Frazier is a great professor because he actually cares about teaching students. He wants us to learn about agriculture and wants to provide the future generation of students with great teachers to learn from.”

 

Moore said that Frazier once told his students, “If I ever quit being a professor at Tarleton I would go back to teaching High School because that’s where I feel I have the most impact on student’s lives.”