Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Professor Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

Yesterday as I caught up on reading and responding to some emails, I clicked the DVR and scrolled through some programs that had been recorded. I flipped past an Oprah show that said something about death and dying. I scrolled back up and read the show's premise for that particular day--speaking with terminally ill people about impending death.

Depressing, you might say? Not by far.

When you have a few minutes, click the link below, wait through a brief advertisement, then click on Professor Randy Pausch's Last Lecture on the right. You'll be blessed. I was. And am far more grateful after having watched it, than I was before.

Randy Pausch is a married father of three, a very popular professor at Carnegie Mellon University—and he is dying. He is suffering from pancreatic cancer, which he says has returned after surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Doctors say he has only a few months to live.

In September 2007, Randy gave a final lecture to his students at Carnegie Mellon that has since been downloaded more than a million times on the Internet. "There's an academic tradition called the 'Last Lecture.' Hypothetically, if you knew you were going to die and you had one last lecture, what would you say to your students?" Randy says. "Well, for me, there's an elephant in the room. And the elephant in the room, for me, it wasn't hypothetical."

Despite the lecture's wide popularity, Randy says he really only intended his words for his three small children. "I think it's great that so many people have benefited from this lecture, but the truth of the matter is that I didn't really even give it to the 400 people at Carnegie Mellon who came. I only wrote this lecture for three people, and when they're older, they'll watch it," he says.

1 comment:

  1. I do indeed find Pausch's remarks depressing. I felt fine before watching his lecture, but was thoroughly depressed when it was over.

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