Dr. Pausch, whose proudest professional achievement was creating a free computer programming tool for children called Alice, was an improbable celebrity. A self-professed nerd, he pushed his students to create virtual reality projects, celebrated the joy of amusement parks and even spent a brief stint as a Disney “Imagineer.'’

Last September, Dr. Pausch unexpectedly stepped on an international stage when he addressed a crowd of about 400 faculty and students at Carnegie Mellon as part of the school’s “Last Lecture” series. In the talks, professors typically talk about issues that matter most to them. Dr. Pausch opened his talk with the news that he had terminal cancer and proceeded to deliver an uplifting, funny talk about his own childhood dreams and how to help his children and others achieve their own goals in life. He learned he had pancreatic cancer in September, 2006.

Sitting in the audience was Carnegie Mellon alumnus Jeff Zaslow, a columnist with The Wall Street Journal, who wrote about the speech. Media outlets and bloggers linked to the story, and more than 10 million people have since watched an Internet video of the talk. The lecture was translated into seven languages, and Hyperion published a book version (written by Jeff Zaslow and Randy Pausch) that became a New York Times bestseller.


Below is the video of Randy's Last Lecture given at Carnegie Mellon.  I made the border pink in honor of Randy who was always looking for ways to have or create immense fun in everything he did.   Even though his last lecture (a Carnegie Mellon faculty tradition) was poignant, it is about FUN, being ALIVE and CREATING a life filled with your dreams made manifest.   After all, this "Last Lecture" was given by Randy really for only three people - his three small children. 

I invite you to watch it, or rewatch it if you have already seen it, and look to see what can Randy teach you?

(c) 2008  Amy Flynn

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