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Thread: If you had one last lecture to give before you died, what would you say?

  1. #1

    Default If you had one last lecture to give before you died, what would you say?

    If you were given an hour to talk of what mattered most to you, and if you knew going in that this was the last chance you would ever get in life to speak, what would you say?

    On September 18, 2007 Randy Pausch, a tenured professor at Carnegie Mellon, had just this opportunity. In August 2007 a CAT scan revealed 10 tumors in his liver and the doctors told him he had 3-4 months of good health left. Today is November 2007 so you can do the math.

    The following link takes you to a webcast of the lecture. I?ll warn you that it is long, about an hour actually, but for those willing to watch it in its entirety, even if broken up into pieces, it?s time well spent.

    http://video.google.com/googleplayer...21849901825950

    This link is a transcript of the event, for those who would rather read. I challenge anyone to read the first three pages, or watch the first five minutes and try to walk away or put it down or turn it off.

    http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~pausch/Randy/...transcript.pdf

    He does not talk about living or dying with cancer; he doesn?t talk about spirituality or religion; he talks about childhood dreams and how he achieved them and how as you grow older enabling the dreams of others is far more enriching and fun. He speaks about the brick walls we face in life and how they are there for a reason.

    ?But remember, the brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don?t want it badly enough. They?re there to stop the other people.?
    I would consider it a personal favor if some of you would read or watch it. At times it is funny, almost hilarious, and at others moments immensely profound. If you have the preconception it will be something filled with morose or depressing thoughts, you are wrong. It is not.

  2. #2

    Default Re: If you had one last lecture to give before you died, what would you say?

    I'm glad you posted this. I've seen this and read about it in the Wall Street Journal, and it's worth everyone's time, imo.

  3. #3

    Default Re: If you had one last lecture to give before you died, what would you say?

    I saw about 40 minutes of it before I had to go. Everyone should watch it is very good.
    RIP Jacob Schlottke 1984-2011




  4. #4
    World Champ ODH's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you had one last lecture to give before you died, what would you say?

    Interesting read. Like you said he does not really talk about his own dying you almost forgot that he really is going to die soon.

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    Default Re: If you had one last lecture to give before you died, what would you say?

    Quote Originally Posted by ODH View Post
    Interesting read. Like you said he does not really talk about his own dying you almost forgot that he really is going to die soon.
    Yes, I find it hard to believe that he can be so upbeat in the face of his impending demise, although he did say at the beginning that he would get teary if he spoke about his wife and children. I guess he can just set it aside for awhile and act "normal." Even though I've dealt with the death of loved ones, I have no idea how I would act when faced with my own death.
    Atrophy: what you get when you win atournament.

  6. #6

    Default Re: If you had one last lecture to give before you died, what would you say?

    Very good video. Thanks for posting it.
    Curtis Chenoweth
    wannabe national champ headed to a new home:walkman:

  7. #7

    Default Re: If you had one last lecture to give before you died, what would you say?

    I watched it last night. I liked it all, but especially the idea of the bar chart he made for his class. They took a survey about how well their partners worked in a group. He took the data and made a bar chart so they could see where their classmates ranked them and think about how they interacted with their peers.

    Thanks, PM for posting that.
    "All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind." -- Abraham Lincoln

  8. #8

    Default Re: If you had one last lecture to give before you died, what would you say?

    My thanks to those who had the time to watch it and comment. I'll be watching for the brick walls and the head fakes.

  9. #9

    Default Re: If you had one last lecture to give before you died, what would you say?

    Thanks to Google I found this page:
    http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~pausch/news/index.html
    One interesting entry:

    Oct 19 , 2007: Palliative Chemo is WORKING!!!!

    On Oct 1st, I had a CT-scan, and a follow-up PET-CT scan on Oct 13th. Both confirmed that we are willing: The tumors in my spleen are now gone, and the dozen or so tumors in my liver are all either stable or slightly smaller.

    This happens in something like 15% of the cases of people who get gemcitabine+tarceva. It's a lottery, and I'm a winner. Statistically, this means I probably just bought an extra 2-4 months of good health. Said another way, I may have just doubled my life expectancy - you try to do that!

    Most importantly, that buys me time to pursue "plan B" - the gemcitabine+tarceva will not last forever, and we want to have the next thing cued up and ready to go.

    I am currently looking into other chemotherapies, some vaccination approaches (including a custom vaccine that would be made from my own cancer cells), and some super-secret stuff I'm not at liberty to talk about. But it is safe to say that I am thrilled with the quality of medical care I'm receiving and that I feel like I'm getting the cutting edge stuff that my species can provide for me.

    Having said that, "winning" means buying time; I will always hold out hope that a miracle cure is developed that would give me a normal life span, but right now we're fighting to stay alive a few more months at a time.,

    My quality of life is very good: I ride my bike an hour a day, play as much as I want with my kids, and enjoy being married to the most wonderful woman in the world. I have interimittant gut pain, some fatigue, and some mild "flu like symptoms" each week, approximately 24-72 hours after the chemo, but it's manageable. Small price to pay for walking around.
    "All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind." -- Abraham Lincoln

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