Randy Pausch – Indelible

July 27, 2008

There are tributes to Randy Pausch all over the world, so it seems a little redundant to put them here, but bear with me. I loved his last lecture, which reminded me so much of what I loved about my years as a teacher. Randy was the finest sort of teacher. He could take the most obvious and mundane bit of wisdom or common sense and turn it into something profound. Something a listener could take as a life lesson. He managed to turn a one-man lecture into a moving tribute to life, learning, passion and love. My favorite Randy story is the May 18, 2008 entry on his blog. He gave the charge to the graduates of Carnegie Mellon. As usual, his brief remarks left an indelible impression on everyone who listened. Here’s a short video of the charge.

Publishing a novel is such a personally revealing, emotionally risky thing to do. I always worry when a book hits the stands–did I show too much? Go too far? Will readers see too much of my heart? From now on, I’m going to remember the remarks of Randy Pausch–when you get to the end of your life, you won’t regret the risks you took, the things that embarrassed you or made you look silly; you’ll be glad you followed your passion.

  • I don’t know if you want to read this, Susan, it’s the backstory of how THE LAST LECTURE became a book, never reported before in newspapers or blogs, and you might not want to know all this. Then again, it’s just a publishing shop talk story, and maybe interesting at that. Every book has a backstory. Here’s the backstory for the LAST LECTURE.


  • I am blessed and thankful I showed up on earth during the time in which Randy Pausch was here to learn from him. To his final awesome last words on earth, this man was so inspiring that words honoring him and the life lessons he left us are totally inadequate.
    Wow! What a man!

  • His words should spur us on to do the things which are the “should haves, the could haves, and the maybe I will …….. Respect for those around you, passion in doing something you love, and finding true love where your mate’s happiness is more important than your own, if the world would have these things foremost in their hearts, how lovely the world would be.

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