10 Questions for Dr. Randy Pausch
10 Questions for Dr. Randy
I shared a video titled The Last Lecture – Really achieving your child hood dreams on my blog about a year ago, it was probably the 2nd day of my blogging world, Dr. Randy Pausch, the professor at Carnegie Mellon University who inspired countless students in the classroom and others worldwide through his highly acclaimed last lecture.His stirring final speech became an Internet sensation.
He died of complications from pancreatic cancer on July 25th 08. He was 47.He left three children and their caring mother.
I am sharing few questions asked from asked him , when he was alive.Please note that these are from http://www.Time.com.This man was great, Every time I watch this video , I feel lot of strength within myself, i start believing my self & my dreams. His video lecture is a compulsory item of my cell phone and my laptop..Really great source of Motivation…. Now.. the Q & A session..
From your lecture, you seem like a very modest person. How are you handling the adulation? —Vernon Hines, Columbia, Md.
First off, I reject the premise. Anyone who knows me well will tell you that arrogance is one of my flaws. As for handling the response from people, this has been a tough time, and it has been greatly buoying to my spirits to have so many people rooting for me.
Do you believe that you were chosen to deliver a message of hope? —Catherine Pilie, New Orleans
Well, gosh, I’ve never really thought about that. I attribute it to bad luck and nothing else. Certainly if I had the choice, I’d give it all back if I could give the cancer back with it. I’m glad I am making the best of a bad situation, but I certainly would rather have not been in a bad situation to start with.
Are you leaving special letters or videos for your family? —Elizabeth Hicks North Hills, Calif.
Yes. One of the most important things is that children need to know they’re loved. That’s something that I am communicating very directly to them while I’m alive and something they can look at later on.
Have you given your wife permission to remarry? —Gbolohan Omotola, Lagos
It’s not my permission to give. But I will leave this message for my children [ages 6, 3 and 22 months]: If the time comes when she should remarry, you might have a lot of mixed feelings about that, and you’re entitled to them all. If you’re wondering how Dad felt, he wants Mom to be happy.
I’m 54 and have terminal cancer. I wanted to be an artist but ended up in IT. Do I keep working till I die? Do I quit and go to art school? Do I travel the world? What the hell am I supposed to do? —Terry Asdell, Indianapolis
Everybody’s situation is unique. From your description, I’d bet on art school.
My sister is dying of liver cancer. What can be done to find better cancer treatments? —Becca Hallock, Canton, Conn.
Hard question. Pharmaceutical companies have a financial incentive to find a single drug that would beat a disease. But I think with cancer we’re seeing what we saw with AIDS. The answer is really in cocktails.
Have you looked at alternative remedies? —Dr. Julius Kryss Frankfurt, Germany
I’ve received 10,000 e-mails—that’s a real number—many of them telling me about different remedies. But my first filter is, Has it been through any kind of clinical study? The plural of anecdote is not data, so if you know three people that did some alternative cure, that’s positive, but it’s not the same thing as real, clinically proved data.
I know you as a pioneer from when I took your computer-science class in college. What milestones in virtual reality do you want those who follow in your footsteps to reach? —Mathew Morton, Boston
Virtual reality thus far has focused on bizarre, interesting perceptual thrills. I’d like to see them move on and try to really tell interactive stories. How do you put the user in control? It’s a nuanced problem that’s going to take a lot of smart people working for a long, long time.
What can schools do to help students dream bigger? —Anna Wei, New York City
All universities ought to do a better job of encouraging students to take courses outside of their major. Dreams come from broadening your horizons and rubbing elbows with different kinds of people.
What music do you turn to for comfort? —Tatsuhiko Yamada, Tokyo
When you are going through chemotherapy, you can’t listen to the theme from Rocky too many times.
I’ve noticed that you’re a great believer in vacations. What place has inspired you most? —Anastasia Nikolaeva, Cologne, Germany
On our honeymoon, my wife and I went to Thailand. We got to see the dormitory that my parents were able to create. There’s nothing like seeing that kind of help for other people to really inspire you.
I’m a massive push-up maniac. How many push-ups could you have done during your lecture if you kept going? —James Cash, Lexington, Ky.
That day? [Laughs.] I was in good shape then. I could probably have done 100. It may have been sets of 25, but I think could have gotten to 100.
What was your happiest moment, personally and professionally? —German Oliveros, Bucaramanga, Colombia
Personally, it was the day I proposed to my wife. Nothing could ever touch when she said, ‘yes.’ Professionally the two moments that come to mind are when I got to Imaginarium, which was just such a joyous thing, and the very first “Building Virtual Worlds” show that we did. It’s amazing when young kids do something that is literally beyond your imagination.
Einstein once said, “It’s a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.” What would you say to that? —Muhammad Damanhori, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
That reminds me of Mark Twain, “Don’t let your schooling get in the way of your education.” I always tell my students that they should spend their time in whatever way helps them learn. I’m perfectly happy if they cut my class because they were doing something that was a better use of their time.
What hopes do you have for your children? —Kimi Ynigues, Boise, Idaho
I don’t have specific dreams for my children. I have tremendous hope that they will have dreams, that they will work hard, that they will chase them, and they will try to do something worthwhile with their lives. I personally believe that the worst thing you could do for your children is to say, ‘My dream for you is to do X.’ Because, boy, if you aren’t lucky enough to pick their natural inclination and desire, you’ve just set up a situation of tremendous tension that may not work out well.
You mention in your lecture that one of the keys to success is working extra hard. But shouldn’t life have a balance? —Claire Morris in Arlington, VA
The thing I wish I’d clarified in the lecture is that was when I was single. Once I got married and had kids you would not find me in my office at 10pm.
What’s your favorite book? —Zora Brozina, Zagreb, Croatia
I loved A Wrinkle in Time. I dearly love Flowers for Algernon. There is an unpublished manuscript that I think is going to soon be published. It’s by a guy named Rich Gold who died way too young. It’s called The Plenitude. It’s an obscure reference, but one that I hope will become less obscure over time.