Randy pausch dating advice
He had just been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.
In a little over an hour, to a packed lecture-hall, Pausch delivered a deeply moving speech on the subject of "really achieving your childhood dreams." The optimistic philosophy he espoused, in a lecture punctuated by both laughter and tears, resulted in scenes resembling a real-life version of Dead Poets Society.
At the centre of Pausch's remarkable tale is "The Last Lecture," an old academic conceit whereby teachers are asked to imagine they're near death and must therefore sum up the entire collection of wisdom they wish to pass on to their students in a single lecture.
Pausch, a 47-year-old father of three, didn't have to imagine anything when he gave his own "last lecture" on 18 September.
To Americans who have recently, through the likes of Barack Obama, learnt to love public speaking, it has provided a timely reminder of how life ought to be lived.
The first public mention of Pausch's lecture appeared in The Wall Street Journal, whose columnist Jeff Zaslow heard about it on the grapevine. "I live in Detroit, about 300 miles away, and I ended up driving to save the cost of a flight. But I could not have foreseen what followed, even in my wildest dreams." Zaslow decided to write about the lecture in his next column, and put together a five-minute highlights video of it for the Journal's website.
He articulated that in a way that captured people's imaginations." Most of Pausch's successfully realised dreams were gloriously nerdy, like seeing his name in the World Book Encyclopedia, floating in zero gravity and meeting Captain Kirk (or, at least, William Shatner).
He also describes how not achieving a dream can be as enriching as achieving one.
When he first developed symptoms, he thought it was hepatitis.He was cycling and speaking on his cellphone headset, and I said, 'Do you want to stop and call me from a landline?I don't want you to get in an accident.' He said, 'So I get in an accident. ' So I could tell that he had a sense of humour before I even got there." "I don't know how to not have fun," Pausch tells his audience.These days, most people imagine that when they succumb to the inevitable and utter what must be their "last words", they will have time for little more than a brief, faltering sentence.If they are lucky, it will be shared with a few close family members before being swiftly consigned to the scrapheap of history. In September, the previously unknown computer science expert delivered a remarkable lecture to students at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
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In a market crammed full of questionable self-help tomes, Pausch's honest and humble life lessons are expected to top bestseller lists in America and have already been translated into 18 languages.