The Last Lecture doesn’t have to be final
I don’t remember what I was doing when I first discovered Randy Pausch’s “last lecture” entitled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” It was late at night when I started watching it on YouTube. I looked at my clock halfway through it and it was past 1AM.
I had to make a choice, do I continue watching it, an activity that would be finished at 1:30, or do I turn it off and go to bed, promising myself to finish it the next day?
I watched it that night.
Professor Pausch’s words stuck with me since that night. I found myself quoting him to friends, to my classes, even to my family.
I remember when I heard he’d lost his fight. It was accidental, really. I turned my mother’s computer on and went online. Her homepage is a news site, right there at the top were the words, “Famous professor of ‘the last lecture’ Randy Pausch has died.”
Sometime before he died, a book was published that went into some of the background for the lecture, and embellished on some things he didn’t have time to talk about during the actual lecture.
The book is no less amazing that his lecture. I don’t know of anyone who could go on to talk to hundreds (now millions) of strangers and tell them you’re dying and give them some words to live by, but Mr. Pausch wasn’t just any person.
I got this book yesterday and read it nearly in one sitting. That’s not to say it’s short, it was an engrossing and competely awesome read.
I link below the lecture from YouTube: