Monday, September 14, 2009

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

From the author's website: On September 18, 2007, computer science professor Randy Pausch stepped in front of an audience of 400 people at Carnegie Mellon University to deliver a last lecture called “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” With slides of his CT scans beaming out to the audience, Randy told his audience about the cancer that is devouring his pancreas and that will claim his life in a matter of months. On the stage that day, Randy was youthful, energetic, handsome, often cheerfully, darkly funny. He seemed invincible. But this was a brief moment, as he himself acknowledged.

The book, The Last Lecture, that came from the event is a quick read. It's sentimental as you might expect and filled with life lessons that Randy wanted to pass on to his children. The book is divided into sixty short chapters each either a memory or an illustration of an axiom to live by. Through it all we learn Randy's history, his childhood, career success, and, finally, love and family. Would the same piece of work have any impact on us if not for Randy's illness? Probably not - Anna Quindlen proved that to me. But knowing that Randy was so sick at the time and has since died moved me. I wept my way through and took each little nugget of advice straight to heart.

What I haven't done yet is watch the lecture. Here it is for when I am ready.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

I'm sure this is an amazing book, but I'll have to be in the right mood to read it.