Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Last...Lecture

It must say something about the times we live in when even the "last lecture" of a dying professor can be commercialized to such a high degree.

That's what I thought when I wanted to add a link on this blog to the late Randy Pausch's famed speech at Carnegie Mellon for all my students to see only to discover that the lecture was now a whole website, a book, and other odds and ends. My gut reaction was to can my intentions.

Is everything really for sale? I asked myself. Let's look for a speech by Martin Luther King or Barack Obama.

Then calm took me under its wing again, and I capitulated. There are so many reasons that the Pausch lecture is interesting, we shouldn't be dissuaded by the hype.

So here it is, ladies and gentlemen, Randy Pausch's Last Lecture. Just be careful about bumping into the hawkers in the door way.


ivo said...

oh, yes: this is surely one of most inspiring lectures I've seen (on video or live), a true love declaration to teaching, research and general good-natured curiosity. I was particularly struck by the sheer enthusiasm of this guy for his field. Truly contagious.

At the time I watched it there were no book and no hype yet, and I was so *eager* for everybody to watch it too... Then, I was similarly annoyed when I noticed the growing commercialization, but I guess it does make his message more available to people. It's not as if it were a "The Secret" style vacuous scam, after all.

Brad Blackstone said...

You're right, Ivo. If something needs to be made available to the masses it might as well be this classic "lecture."

Thanks for commenting!

sherlynn said...
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sherlynn said...

Finally I got the chance to sit down and watch his last lecture! It is no wonder you brought him up as somewhat a model for presentations - his slides were concise, his eye contact was good, his body language, his humour and his "stage" presence were brilliant.

Suddenly I wished some of my lecturers were at least half as engaging as Randy Pausch! (Oops)

His lecture was truly inspirating and motivating. I'm glad to have taken an hour off report writing to watch it. I especially liked the Brick Wall theory :D

Well, it's rather sad to lose such a talent but I guess, life is unpredictable isn't it?

Thanks for putting up the link! Watching the actual lecture and reading the book gave me two totally different feels and I certainly remember his lecture much better :D