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Recap – Primetime

30 Jul

The Last Lecture: A Celebration of Life
In this episode of Primetime, Diane Sawyers paid tribute to the recently departed Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch, whose lecture “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” has become an Internet phenomenon on YouTube with more than five million hits.

For those of you who hadn’t heard of Pausch before his passing (like me), he was a computer science professor who in August 2006 was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (the meanest and douchiest of cancers). He was told in August 2007 to expect a remaining three to six months of good health. In September of that year, Pausch participated in a lecture series where top academics are asked to think deeply about what matters to them, and then give a hypothetical “final talk,” i.e., “what wisdom would you try to impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance?”

His lecture in a nutshell was about how to achieve your childhood dreams by deciding whether you are a Tigger or an Eeyore (i.e. being a positive or negative person). He spoke a lot in the special about being positive and accepting the things you can not change, this being particularly hard when you are married and have three children under the age of 5 and are dying of cancer.

Needless to say, after six minutes my eyes were welling up.

After six more minutes, I was crying.

After six more minutes, full out bawling.

Even after a day of Baby Bee refusing to take naps and now, at bedtime, deciding that she is wide awake as I struggle to put her down, I hold on to her just a little bit tighter, hug her just a little bit longer.

Check it out for yourself, but don’t forget the Kleenex. And prepare to be inspired.