By Randy Pausch Group Members: Chinmay Deshmukh Varun Chawla Atif Jamil Rohan Agarwal Pranjul Yadav Rohit Pande
Born: October 23, 1960 Baltimore, Maryland, USA Baltimore, Maryland Died: July 25, 2008 (aged 47) Chesapeake, Virginia Pancreatic cancer Chesapeake, Virginia Pancreatic cancer Citizenship: United States Fields: Computer science Computer science Institutions: Carnegie Mellon University University of Virginia
Professor Pausch was invited to deliver a speech as part of a “Last Lecture” series, in which professors are asked to talk about a topic that really matters to them, and to impart their wisdom as if it were the last lecture they would ever give. Ironically, a few weeks after being invited to deliver that lecture, Randy was told he had only three to six months to live.
The Last Lecture is a memoir, a celebration of life, and a testament to the power of childhood dreams. “These are the things I won’t get the chance to tell them over the next twenty years I’m trying to put myself in a bottle that will one day wash up on the beach for them.”
He describes his cancer as “an engineering problem.” “How to spend my very limited time” ◦ “The obvious part is being with, and taking care of, my family.” ◦ “The less obvious part is how to teach my children what I would have taught them over the next twenty years.” “If I were a painter, I would have painted for them. If I were a musician I would have composed music. But I am a lecturer. So I lectured.”
Randy almost didn’t go to Pittsburgh to deliver his last lecture. His wife Jai had wanted him to stay home with her and the kids. “An injured lion wants to know if he can still roar. Its about dignity and self-esteem, which isn’t quite the same as vanity.”
Randy’s dad always taught him that if there is an elephant in the room, introduce it. Randy decided to begin his talk in a specific way – showing his CT scans, introducing “the elephant in the room,” assuring everyone he’s not in denial, and doing push-ups. “In the audience’s laugher and surprised applause, it was almost as if I could hear everyone collectively exhaling their anxeity. It wasn’t just some dying man. It was just me. I could begin.”
Being in Zero Gravity Playing in the NFL (National Football League) Being a Disney Imagineer Authoring an article in the World Book Encyclopedia Being Captain Kirk Winning stuffed animals
The Vomit Comet, Johnson Space Center, Houston Student Project I called an official at NASA to ask for his fax number. “What are you going to fax us?” he said. I explained: my resignation as the faculty advisor and my application as the journalist
Dream: play in the NFL Coach Graham practice with no football fundamentals training Randy very hard “When you did something wrong but nobody saying anything to you anymore, that means they gave up to you”
“we have carefully reviewed your application and presently we do not have any positions available which require your particular qualifications.” Brick walls are there for a reason
Brick walls are there for a reason: They let us prove how badly we want things
Virtual Reality on Five Dollars a Day Aladdin attraction where you would fly a magic carpet Some brick walls are made of flesh
A simple one, being an author in the World Book Encyclopedia When Randy was a kid, he had the World Book Encyclopedia on the shelf. For the freshman like him, this was just a paper…
And after he had become somewhat of an authority on virtual reality, he was at the level of people the World Book would bother. They called him up and he wrote an article You can find his article under V for Virtual Reality
Finally all he has to say is that having been selected to be an author in the World Book Encyclopedia, he now believes that Wikipedia is a perfectly fine source for information because he knows what the quality control is for real encyclopedias.
Captain Kirk was a role model for young people This was everything he wants to be, and what he learned that carried him forward in leadership later is that Captain Kirk wasn’t the smartest guy on the ship
There is this skill set called leadership, whether anyone likes the series or not, there’s no doubt that there was a lot to be learned about how to lead people by watching Captain Kirk guy in action. So he got to achieve this dream
James T. Kirk, and his alter ego William Shatner, wrote a book. It was with Chip Walter who is a Pittsburgh- based author who is quite good, and they wrote a book on basically the science of Star Trek And they went around to the top places around the country and looked at various things and they came here to study our virtual reality setup
He said “ This may seem mundane to you, but when you’re a little kid and you see the big buff guys walking around the amusement park and they’ve got all these big stuffed animals, right? “ And there he was, winning as many stuffed animals as possible.
“We’ve talked about helping other people enable their dreams. Somewhere along the way there’s got to be some aspect of what lets you get to achieve your dreams. First one is the rule of parents, mentors and students.”
“He also did very, very significant things to help lots of people. There is a dormitory in Thailand that my mom and dad underwrote. And every year about 30 students get to go to school who wouldn’t have otherwise.” “These are the kind of things that I think everybody ought to be doing. Helping others.”
“He(his father) had fought in World War II in the Battle of the Bulge, and when we were going through his things, we found out he had been awarded the Bronze Star for Valor. My mom didn’t know it. In 50 years of marriage it had just never come up.”
“I was complaining to my mother about how hard this test was and how awful it was, and she just leaned over and she patted me on the arm and she said, we know how you feel honey, and remember when your father was your age he was fighting the Germans.”
“When I was in high school I decided to paint my bedroom. I always wanted a submarine and an elevator. And the great thing about this is they let me do it.”
Teachers… Andy Van Dam Mentors Friends Colleagues
“Don’t go do that(job). Go get a Ph.D. Become a professor. And I said, why? And he said, because you’re such a good salesman that any company that gets you is going to use you as a salesman. And you might as well be selling something worthwhile like education.”
You just have to decide if you’re a Tiger or and Eeyore. Never lose the childlike wonder. It’s just too important. It’s what drives us.
Randy talked about the importance of adults in a kid’s life. How does it effects when the adults are too rigid and when its vice-versa. He also laid stress on the fact that adults should encourage the children to dream big.
Randy believed that fashion is the way in which people express themselves. Randy also admired certain people in his life because they never complained. He believed that complaining is never a good strategy in life and rather one should try to work against the odds. Randy believed a lot in group dynamics and team work. Its all a give and take relationship.
Though not visible but there is a lot of contribution from other people in an individual’s success and therefore he supported team work. One should never hesitate to do something new. Experience is always there, even when one fails. He also talked about apologies, thank you notes, decision making and risk taking abilities.
The autobiography was not meant to give the audience a sneak peak into his up bringing but was (mainly) to serve as a memoir for his kids. Not in any chronological order. Written in a very comfortable childlike tone.
The book presents some choicest of his life narratives which he would have loved his children to read and learn from. Its not a propaganda of a personal opinion – neither something drastically revealing – but a very titillating insight into his life adventures.