Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) had a program entitled, “The Last Lecture”, where they invited professors to imagine they had only one talk left to give before they died. Ironically, they renamed the lecture series last year, just as one of their own, Professor Randy Pausch, who was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, was scheduled to speak.
Pausch delivered his presentation, “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”, on Sept. 18, 2007, and since then, the video has become something of a sensation on YouTube with over 5 million hits. This is amazing for an internet video for many reasons, not the least of which is that the lecture lasts for over an hour and there is no music, no dancing prisoners, no violence, no celebrities in the video.
Instead, Professor Pausch expounds on how his work as an academic (a teacher, really) has helped him realize many of his dreams. He peppers his talk with comedy and great visuals as he works his magic to remind us of the importance of social ties, of teamwork, of dreaming big and working hard, and most importantly of caring about others and having fun as we do it all. The hour plus talk goes by quickly and is worth checking out, for both teachers and students, as Randy Pausch shares the lessons he’s learned and pulls what he calls “a head fake” on his audience, leaving behind one of the most memorable Last Lectures.
Professor Randy Pausch passed away last Friday, July 25, 2008 at the age of 47.
For more, visit www.cmu.edu/randyslecture.
© 2008 henry toromoreno