Randy Pausch, “last lecture” prof passes away

As I previously posted here — with link to the lecture — about Randy Pausch’s piece in the usually less than cutting edge weekly Parade, The Lessons I’m Leaving Behind, adapted from his book The Last Lecture, written with Wall Street Journal reporter Jeffrey Zaslow.


This from today’s article, included in our local Times…

Randy Pausch said obstacles serve a purpose: They “give us a chance to show how badly we want something.” Confronted with incurable cancer, he devised a last lecture that became an Internet sensation, a best-selling book and a celebration of a life spent achieving his dreams.

Ten months after giving the lecture, Dr. Pausch died Friday at his home in Chesapeake, Va., said Jeffrey Zaslow, The Wall Street Journal writer who co-wrote Pausch’s book “The Last Lecture.” Dr. Pausch was 47.

He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September 2006. A year later, he gave the popular 76-minute speech, “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.”

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Here are the seven things that mattered most to Pausch:

  • Always Have Fun
  • Dream Big — Give yourself permission to dream. Fuel your kids’ dreams too. Once in a while, that might even mean letting them stay up past their bedtimes.
  • Ask for What You Want — More often than you’d suspect, the answer you’ll get is, “Sure.”
  • Dare To Take a Risk — Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you wanted. And it can be the most valuable thing you have to offer.
  • Look for the Best In Everybody
  • Make Time for What Matters — Time is all you have. And you may find one day that you have less than you think.
  • Let Kids Be Themselves

Pausch said “We don’t beat the reaper by living longer, we beat the reaper by living well and living fully.”

So re-read the list above and have fun this weekend and as long as you can get away with it.

Of interest: Randy Pausch’s Home Page – The computer science professor’s site at CMU. Includes profile, CV, and publications, as well as personal information, including an account of his experience with pancreatic cancer.

Tags: misc, articles, Randy Pausch.