July 28, 2008

RIP Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch passed away from complications of pancreatic cancer on July 25th, 2008. He was 47 years old, but he lived to see everything he wanted for himself come true.

He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year -- the 5 year survival rate is 5% -- and this gave him some time to think. He decided to participate in Carnegie Mellon's "Last Lecture" series with a truly great Last Lecture. He talked about Really Achieving his childhood dreams. It was a silly list, as children are prone to do, but it was inspirational to hear how it shaped his life. And the amazing things he was able to accomplish because he had it all written down.

His wishes continued to come true, even after his Last Lecture (Randy Pausch's homepage) as people heard his story through friends on email, youtube and even on TV shows like Oprah and the Dateline.


I never had the courage to make a list like that as a child. I was a pragmatic and practical kid -- I didn't want to disappoint my future self by coming up with goals like "finding the cure for cancer" or "making sure the world never forgot me." (Which incidentally, were the sorts of things I thought about growing up.)

In honor of Randy Pausch, I'd like to state my future goals/dreams as a human, a student, a future doctor and a future husband/father (distant future for both) for all to see... and perhaps, I can live to achieve them as he had, in spite of the insurmountable odds. It will be just as fantastic and random as his list, I bet.

"The brick walls are there to show us how much we really want something. They
are obstacles only for the OTHER PEOPLE." -Randy

  1. Make a movie/film/short about my personal vision OF the world and FOR the world.
  2. Do something significant in the field of Science and/or Medicine -- a legacy for others to follow
  3. Public service/public health/community building for the people I love in the place I live
  4. Go SCUBA diving at the Great Barrier Reef
  5. Make my children and my wife my #1 priority, even though other aspects of my life may take more time and be more pressing (at any particular moment in time) and make sure THEY KNOW IT
  6. Learn to tapdance and perform a number from Singing in the Rain
  7. Write a fairy-tale about my Dungeons and Dragons characters

Hm... I'll have to put an addendum to this list. I need to go to sleep so I can get "psyched" about my Psych rotation. :)

Rest in peace Randy Pausch... I pray that your family and friends pull through in these hard times. May you continue to touch and inspire people as I have been.

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