Monday, 5 May 2008

The Last Lecture

I think my dad might be psychic. A couple of days ago he was asking me about the guy who did the book The Last Lecture. "The one you blogged about..." he said. "Er, I haven't written a blog about him... yet. I was thinking of writing a blog about him" I replied. In fact, I had been watching Randy Pausch's "The Last Lecture" on YouTube that same day, and here I am writing a blog about him. So, my only conclusion is that my dad must be psychic.*

I had come across the book The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and Jeff Zaslow in a book shop a couple of days before. I hadn't bought the book, nor had I even considered stealing it, but I did scan the inside front cover. It was inspired by an actual lecture given by Pausch at Carnegie Mellon University in September 2007 which was part of a lecture series in which University professors are invited to give a lecture as though it was the last lecture they were to give. What would they say to their students in their last ever lecture? For Pausch this was more than a conceptual exercise. He had been diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and was told by doctors he had months to live. As far as he was concerned this really could be his last lecture.

My friend Simon at work the next day alerted me to the fact that the lecture was available on YouTube having heard an item about it on the radio that morning. So, having now watched the lecture, I thought I'd embed it here for you guys (note: it's about 76 minutes long... short excerpts are also available on YouTube). It's called "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams":

Having been given only a few months to live, Randy Pausch is still with us. His website is here, where there is also a link to updates regarding his progress.

*It turns out my dad had confused Prof Randy Pausch with Prof Robert Solomon about whom I have blogged. I still think he might be psychic.

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