Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Last Lecture

As all of you know, the last month has been a very challenging one. I got a harsh dose of reality I was completely unprepared for, and am still dissecting how I handled it. Throughout this time, I was very lucky to have gotten great support from family and friends. During this time, one of my friends, neighbor Jude, turned me on to "The Last Lecture" given by Dr. Randy Pausch.

I am not sure how familiar you are with this story - Dr. Pausch was a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University who was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. He was ~45 with a wife and three small children (I think the oldest was 4) at the time of his diagnosis. He was fortunate to have a period of good health, but the cancer returned and the doctors gave him 3-6 mos to live last October.

Carnegie Mellon has this thing called "The Last Lecture". This is usually reserved for retiring professors, and gives them one last opportunity to share their phiolosopohical views - from the view point of the fact that they were dying. Well, in Dr. Pausch's case, this was a fact, he was dying. The lecture he gave was recorded with the intent it would be viewed by a limited number of individuals who could not be present for the actual lecture - to date, the You Tube version I viewed of it has nearly 6 million hits.

Dr. Pausch's last lecture is an hour and 15 minutes long - I would encourage anyone reading this blog to go out to You Tube and view it. The hour will fly by, and you will be captivated by his lecture. You Tube also has a number of TV programs about the Pausch family - he was on Oprah and Jane Pauley interviewed him as well.

Unfortunately, Dr. Pausch passed on July 25, but over the last 9 months of his life, he touched millions of people. I know at some point I will go back out to watch his Last Lecture again, and I hope all of you do as well.


the youngbergs said...

I did watch it a few months ago and was very moved by it. I wish I could make everyone watch it too.

The Monroes said...

I saw the special on 20/20 or one of those shows, it was very touching. I will definitely check it out thanks Nic!

Becky said...

Yes, I agree a very touching story and reminder to treasure our lives.

I like your way of celebrating of going to the AT loft!! Yeah!!