Give Thanks

Catching up on yesterday’s news, and came across Professor Randy Pausch. From BusinessWeek:

On this Thanksgiving holiday, when we sit with family and friends to express gratitude for the things we have in life, I will think of Randy Pausch. If you haven’t heard his name yet, you should have. On the afternoon of Sept. 18 the Carnegie-Mellon University professor walked into a packed auditorium on the Pittsburgh campus and delivered his “last lecture.”

It was a doozy.

Pausch spoke with the theatrics of a showman, the wit of a master comic, and the eloquence of a statesman. He recalled his own childhood dreams, his life’s goal to enable the dreams of others, and the lessons he learned and wanted to share over the 46 years of his life. Pausch is a handsome man, with a full head of black hair, bushy eyebrows, and a remarkable sense of humor. Of all the lectures this computer science prof had delivered during years in classrooms, this one was especially poignant and urgent. He began simply enough by quoting his father who always told him that when there is an elephant in the room you introduce it.

So Pausch pulled up on an overhead screen a trio of CAT scans that showed the 10 tumors in his liver and spoke about his doctors’ prognosis that he had three to six months of good health left. “That is what it is,” he said simply. “We can’t change it. We cannot change the cards we are dealt—just how we play the hand.”

The video is here, can’t think of a more fitting way to spend some time this Thanksgiving.

Except to get off the computer. Happy Thanksgiving.

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