Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Randy Pausch's "last lecture"

Apparently there's this concept in academia of the "last lecture"—if you could only lecture once more before you died, what would you say?

Oprah's favorite doctor, Mehmet Oz, heard about an engineer type named Randy Pausch who's dying of pancreatic cancer, and Oprah had Pausch on her show to reprise his "last lecture." The video is here, and it's well worth the 11 minutes it takes to watch if you aren't one of the millions who've already seen it.

It's inspiring (and funny, and touching, and straightforward without being trite), and it reminds us all to keep our focus on what's important. My cynicism put itself on hold for those 11 minutes.

8 comments:

Mona Buonanotte said...

Am I gonna cry when I watch it? 'Cause I should prolly do it at home then....

Orange said...

Yeah, you have to cry a little bit at the end.

DoctorMama said...

My tolerance for poignant is terribly low ... I feel like I see/hear it all day and it's too much to bear at home ... but I'll consider it, because you said to.

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Vandelay said...

Pancreatic cancer is a terrible disease that continues to be ignored by the ACS.

Orange said...

V., all the dreadful and especially deadly cancers get little fundraising attention—pancreatic, ovarian, renal cell, you name it. Not to take anything away from the suffering breast cancer causes, but the omnipresent pink ribbons and fundraising for that cancer probably chips away at the dollars that might otherwise go to researching other cancers.

Vandelay said...

Well unfortunately, mortality rate means nothing as far as allocating funds to different cancer research. 99.5% of people with PC die within 6 months. It means nothing to them. It's all about numbers. Despite that some cancers have like an 80& survival rate, they'll keep getting all the funding.

E. said...

Thanks for putting this up, Orange. I've been meaning to watch it since you posted it, and finally I had a few minutes. Yes, the end made me cry. But I really appreciated much of what he had to say. I especially like how he outlines what an apology actually is.