Remembering Randy Pausch

Monday, November 21, 2011

I don't think the government has any business telling us whom to honor or when, but the Mayor of Pittsburgh did at least get the matter of whom to honor (if not exactly why) right when he declared yesterday, November 20, to be "Randy Pausch Memorial Day". Fortunately, Pausch's brilliant "Last Lecture" will straighten out anyone who takes the time to listen to it, as the announcement of Randy Pausch Memorial Day on the Carnegie-Mellon web site indicates:

Outside the classroom, he gained public fame for delivering what would come to be known as "The Last Lecture." On Sept. 18, 2007, only a month after doctors told him that he had three-to-six months to live following a recurrence of pancreatic cancer, he presented a lecture called "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" to an overflow crowd in McConomy Auditorium.

The moving and often humorous talk recounted his efforts to achieve such childhood dreams as becoming a professional football player, experiencing zero gravity and developing Disney World attractions.
If I recall correctly, one of the points Pausch made in the above lecture is that we're all dying, and we should try to enjoy whatever time we have as much as we can while we have it -- but he may have said this during his valuable (and also, often humorous) lecture on time management, or, perhaps he made the point several times.

It is hard to believe that this man has been dead for over three years. Fighting pancreatic cancer is certainly a worthy cause, but Pausch's message is even bigger than that. He deserves to be remembered by all of us, and those of us who remember him will be all the richer for it.

-- CAV

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