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.
He died last night.
I had heard of the book and his speeches over the last couple of months, but I haven't gotten around to reading/listening to them. But on vacation I read a blurb about him in Time's "100 Most Influential People" issue.This line made me tear up:
After showing the walls of his childhood bedroom covered with his drawings of rocket ships and math equations, he tells his audience, "If your kids want to paint their bedrooms, as a favor to me, let 'em do it."I read that quote several times that day as I sat next to a pool, sunglasses on. I pretended to be wiping sweat from my face as I really was drying my eyes. And I think I'm going to tear up again.