In a matter completely unrelated to politics, I call your attention to the last lesson taught by Dr. Randy Pausch, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Mark Roth at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote an excellent piece on Dr. Pausch’s lecture. Among the highlights:
“If I don’t seem as depressed or morose as I should be, sorry to disappoint you,” said Dr. Pausch, a 46-year-old computer science professor who has incurable pancreatic cancer.
It’s not that he’s in denial about the fact that he only has months to live, he told the 400 listeners packed into McConomy Auditorium on the campus, and the hundreds more listening to a live Web cast.
Dr. Pausch was not there to talk about cancer:
What he was there to discuss was how to fulfill your childhood dreams, and the lessons he had learned on his life’s journey.
When he was a boy, Dr. Pausch said, he had a concrete set of dreams: He wanted to experience the weightlessness of zero gravity; he wanted to play football in the NFL; he wanted to write an article for the World Book Encyclopedia (“You can tell the nerds early on,” he joked); he wanted to be Captain Kirk from “Star Trek”; and he wanted to work for the Disney Co.
In the end, he got to tackle all of them, he said — even if his football accomplishments fell somewhere short of the NFL.