"brick walls are there for a reason"
Published on September 25 2007
I wandered in to the living room the other day, only to catch the tail end of the nightly news, which was a clip called the "person of the week". I missed the whole thing, only hearing enough to know that the "person" was a college professor delivering a speech of some sort. It wasn't until a couple of days later, when I read the article below, that I realized what I had missed. This story is incredible. It's sad, but results in one of the most hilariously funny speeches about childhood dreams and a life very well lived that I've ever heard. First, go read the article, but then..... make yourself a cup of your favorite beverage, clear a 1 3/4 hours block of time, and go to this link. It's worth the watch. Trust me. He'll tell you why the walls are there. A Beloved Professor Delivers The Lecture of a Lifetime
Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University computer-science professor, was about to give a lecture Tuesday afternoon, but before he said a word, he received a standing ovation from 400 students and colleagues. He motioned to them to sit down. "Make me earn it," he said. What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? This is a common title for talks on college campuses today. Schools such as Stanford and the University of Alabama have mounted "Last Lecture Series," in which top professors are asked to think deeply about what matters to them and to give hypothetical final talks. It can be an intriguing hour, watching healthy professors consider their demise and ruminate over subjects dear to them. At the University of Northern Iowa, instructor Penny OConnor recently titled her lecture "Get Over Yourself." At Cornell, Ellis Hanson, who teaches a course titled "Desire," spoke about sex and technology. At Carnegie Mellon, however, Dr. Pausch's speech was more than just an academic exercise.