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9/21/2007
11:06 AM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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Living Life, Facing Death, And Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Randy Pausch is a world-renowned computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon and cofounder of the school's Entertainment Technology Center, and in a matter of months he will be dead from the ravages of pancreatic cancer. In his last lecture to the CMU community, the charismatic 46-year-old shared his thoughts on the unshakeable power of imagination, will, and childhood dreams.

Randy Pausch is a world-renowned computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon and cofounder of the school's Entertainment Technology Center, and in a matter of months he will be dead from the ravages of pancreatic cancer. In his last lecture to the CMU community, the charismatic 46-year-old shared his thoughts on the unshakeable power of imagination, will, and childhood dreams.The lecture is a series of personal reflections and stories, deeply personal without being morbid in the least---Pausch has the audience howling with laughter frequently throughout his 90-minute talk. Pausch, whose three children are 5, 2, and 1, said that when he was growing up, he scribbled mathematical equations all over the walls of his bedroom, and he shared photos of those scribblings as proof. One of the biggest gifts he got from his parents, he said, was that they didn't prohibit his unique version of interior decorating and spared him lectures about how such expression would only diminish the resale value of the house. And he exhorted his audience to extend the same freedom for their children: "If your kids want to paint their bedrooms, as a favor to me, let 'em do it."

We all live chaotic lives, and we all periodically---or even frequently---promise ourselves that sometime soon we'll slow down---but most of us don't. We vow that we'll spend more time with our spouses and children---but in spite of those good intentions, we don't. But I think if you watch the video of Randy Pausch's last lecture -- his story of achieving childhood dreams -- you'll greatly increase the odds of achieving the balance in your life that you really want.

And if you'd like to make a donation to support the research advocated by Pausch, here's the info from his website: make donations payable to "UPCI/Pancreatic Cancer Research/Liver Pancreas Institute," and in the "memo" section of the check, please note that your gift is given in Randy Pausch's honor and for support of the research of Dr. Herb Zeh. Mail to: Development Dept., UPMC Cancer Pavilion, Suite 1B, 5150 Centre Ave., Pittsburgh PA 15232. Or by phone you can contact Kambra McConnel in the Development Dept. for the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute at 412-623-4700.

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