Randolph Frederick "Randy" Pausch was born in October 23, 1960. He was an American professor of computer science and human-computer interaction and design at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was known for some lectures like "The Importance of Making Technology More Friendly to Users" and "Time Management".But the most noticable part was when he presented a lecture called "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams". This lecture also called "The Last Lecture" , based on his condition while presenting the lecture.
Diagnosed with Cancer
In 2006, he was diagnosed with cancer in his pancreas. He, then, underwent a surgery to stop the cancer, but it was unsuccessful. The doctor proceed to the next experiment, doing a radiation treatment that could possibly increase his chances of survival for another 5 years to 45 percent. After doing the treatment, some tests showed that he was free of cancer. But, not so long after that, in late of August, recent CT scan showed that there are 10 tumors in his liver. Doctor said, he had only three to six months of good health left to live.
Pausch nearly canceled his lecture due to the verdict that his life was not long. He was deciding whether to make the speech, or to stay at home to get his family in order so that they would be set to live a normal life following Pausch's death. Pausch discussed the matter with his wife Jai, who requested that Pausch stay at home. Jai suggested that Pausch should be spending some of his time left with their three children, not giving a speech. But Pausch insisted to give the speech, He said "My children will remember me through seeing my lecture."
An Unforgetable Lecture Ever
Then, he delivered the "Last Lecture" in front of over 450 audiences at Carnegie Mellon University's McConomy Auditorium. Instead of delivering a teary speech or sorrwoful atmosphere, he delivered a cheerful and full of laughter speech. His lecture was articulated in three parts : achieving your childhood dreams, helping others achieve their dreams, and lessons learned. He received a long standing ovation for his speech.
"The Last Lecture" then attracted wide attention from the international media. It was published in a book called "The Last Lecture" same as his speech at Carnegie Mellon University. The book was received well, and eventually earned the number one spot on the New York Times bestseller list for 80 straight weeks. But, the ending wasn't sweet. Randy Pausch passed away because of complications from pancreatic cancer on July 25, 2008. His death saddened many people especially those who had greatly helped by him. He loved to help anyone to achieve their childhood dream.
Few days before his death, he made a final farewell video with teary eyes. He really loved his family. In that video, He said "For the kids, It's important that you guys know, that Dad never give up, and you guys need to know how much I love you, and how much it saddened me to know that I won't be there, but you need to know that eventhough I'm not with you in the moment, that doesn't mean I don't love you". Even a strong person like him show his humanity and brittleness before his death.
"The key question to keep asking is, Are you spending your time on the right things? Because time is all you have. ” - Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture