I am going to say something about it!
If you’ve read my last post you know I’ve posted a YouTube video without saying anything else.
But you know what it’s like when you discover something and you just HAVE TO share it with everyone else? That’s how I feel.
And although I’m assuming Randy Pausch’s story may be familiar to some of you, I’m just going to write about this anyway.
A friend of mine told me about Randy Pausch a few weeks ago, just in passing, and I had forgotten all about it. Until last night when I finally remembered. I don’t know how, why, what brought it to my memory. It’s one of those things that just happens.
I searched for "lecture terminal cancer" (which is what I remembered from the conversation with my friend)on YouTube and among the first results were a series of videos with the title Last Lecture. It was what I was looking for.
So I watched this one, cried for bit and then posted about it.
I seem to be one of those creatures that is ON PURPOSE looking for tears (usually I’m quite cheerful, but today I’m swaying away from the median, or something) because this morning I found myself wanting to know more about it. And I did, I found out more, enough for working the hell out of my lachrymal glands.
You see, Randy Pausch was one of those people that remind you of everything that’s good and beautiful in mankind, a man it would’ve been an out-of-this-world privilege to meet in person. Finding out about him still makes me feel blessed in a way… but also very very sad, out-of-this-world sad. I haven’t felt so sad in years.
Randy Pausch was a computer science professor (PhD), at Carnegie Mellon university. Besides being spectacularly intelligent he was also a life-loving guy, a guy "who could not NOT have fun" which made him extremely loved by his students and everyone surrounding him. His specialty was Virtual Reality (even wrote an encyclopedia entry on VR), and among other wonderful things he worked as an Imagineer for Disney and he helped build a software called Alice through which students can learn computer programming while having fun! He had been married to a wonderful woman for 7 years and they had 3 adorable children together.
And one day he found out he has pancreatic cancer, one of the worst cancers you can get (75% chance to die within 1 year of diagnosis). Which devastated him. And the way he chose to react was by living his life with even more ardor and having even more fun than before.
In the spirit of tradition at Carnegie Mellon ("if you had just 1 lecture to give, what would that lecture be?") he gave a talk called The Last Lecture on how to live your life, a talk which masks a message to his 3 kids, and one of the most moving messages I have heard!
He passed away on July 25th this year (less than 2 years after his diagnosis in Sept 2006), but he has inspired millions (10 millions, to be exact – just look at how many views that video has).
I’m not going to give it all away. But as a favor to your soul and conscience and future perspective on life just take a few hours and listen to his talk.
Here are links to an interview with him and his wife: