“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
–Randy Pausch, “The Last Lecture”
I am flattered and embarrassed by all the recent attention to my “Last Lecture.” I am told that, including abridged versions, over six million people have viewed the lecture online. The lecture really was for my kids, but if others are finding value in it, that is wonderful. But rest assured; I’m hardly unique. Send your kids to Carnegie Mellon and the other professors here will teach them valuable life lessons long after I’m gone. — Randy
Holy moly. I don’t know how I’d never heard of Randy Pausch or “The Last Lecture” before today, but do yourself a favour and watch one of the two versions of this talk I’ve linked to below. Per his introduction on Goodreads:
Randy Pausch was a Professor of Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction, and Design at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States and a best-selling author, who achieved worldwide fame for his “The Last Lecture” speech on September 18, 2007 at Carnegie Mellon University.
Two versions to choose from:
- Here’s the abridged version from Oprah, just over 10 minutes long.
- And here’s the full version, just under two hours long.
And here’s the rest of Randy Pausch’s story from Goodreads:
In August 2006, Pausch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He pursued a very aggressive cancer treatment that included Whipple procedure surgery and experimental chemotherapy; however, in August 2007, he was told the cancer had metastasized to his liver and spleen, which meant it was terminal. He then started palliative chemotherapy, intended to extend his life as long as possible. At that time, doctors estimated he would remain healthy for another three to six months. On May 2, 2008, a PET scan showed that his cancer had spread to his lungs, some lymph nodes in his chest and that he had some metastases in his peritoneum and retroperitoneum.
On June 26, 2008, Pausch indicated that he was considering stopping further chemotherapy because of the potential adverse side effects. He was, however, considering some immuno-therapy-based approaches.
On July 24, 2008, on behalf of Pausch, his friend (anonymous) posted a message on Pausch’s webpage indicating cancer progression further than what was expected from recent PET scans and Pausch becoming more sick than ever. It was announced that his family had sent him into a hospice program — palliative care to those at the end of life.
On July 25, 2008, Diane Sawyer announced on Good Morning America that Pausch had died earlier that morning.
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