July 28, 2008


I came to work about five minutes ago, and I was barely sitting when one of my co-workers came into the room and told me "your internet professor is dead". At first I didn't know what the heck he was talking about. But then I remembered that I had pitched a story about Randy Pausch to him about a month ago (he declined back then). I went to Pausch's website, he died three days ago on Friday. For those of you who are not familiar with Pausch (I wrote a post about him back when). Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and he was dying of Pancreatic cancer. Diagnosed in 2006 and given three months to half a year he continued to fight the cancer for almost two more years. His "last lecture", held at Carnegie Mellon, inspired many young (but I reckon also older people) to make the most of their lives. The lecture made the You Tube rounds and got published as a book. (you can find Randy Pausch's story here and his personal website where he kept updates on how he was doing here).

I'm not crying (I try not to at work), but I do feel terrible. After all, the words of this amazing person did touch my heart and somehow, as he was doing OK for such a long time (with ups and downs of course) according to his website, I kinda took it for guaranteed that he'd be around a bit longer. Boy, what I would have given for an interview with him. In cases like that it really sucks being on the wrong side of the pond... Even via a youtube video on a screen that guy came across as extremely charismatic and a person with so much heart and enthusiasm. My heart goes out to his family, his friends and his students - and all those others who, like me, feel they have learned so much from Randy Pausch's Last Lecture.

edit: This NYT article succeeded in making my cry.

1 comment:

Teena in Toronto said...

I was sad to hear about his passing ... I just read the book a couple weeks ago.