CMU professor gives his last lesson on life

I didn’t know him when I was at Carnegie Mellon, but I remember the Alice Project, I worked at the Interactive Lab for a little bit as a student researcher and I think we either shared a lab or they were very close by, but I could be wrong.

CMU professor gives his last lesson on life:

“If I don’t seem as depressed or morose as I should be, sorry to disappoint you,” said Dr. Pausch, a 46-year-old computer science professor who has incurable pancreatic cancer.

It’s not that he’s in denial about the fact that he only has months to live, he told the 400 listeners packed into McConomy Auditorium on the campus, and the hundreds more listening to a live Web cast.

“What we’re not going to talk about today,” he continued, “is cancer, because I’ve spent a lot of time talking about that … and we’re not going to talk about things that are even more important, like my wife and [three preschool] kids, because I’m good, but I’m not good enough to talk about that without tearing up.”

In his 10 years at Carnegie Mellon, Dr. Pausch helped found the Entertainment Technology Center, which one video game executive yesterday called the premier institution in the world for training students in video game and other interactive technology.

“I got the news from my GP,” he wrote, “who said ‘There’s a mass on your pancreas, and it’s not fair.’

“As I later told him, it’s unfortunate, and it’s unlucky, but it’s not unfair. As I always tell my 5-year-old, it’s not ‘unfair’ when you don’t get what you want. We all run the risk of getting hit by the cancer dart.”

“I find that I am completely positive,” he wrote. “The only times I cry are when I think about the kids — and it’s not so much the ‘Gee, I’ll miss seeing their first bicycle ride’ type of stuff as it is a sense of unfulfilled duty — that I will not be there to help raise them, and that I have left a very heavy burden for my wife.”

“I hope my wife is able to remarry down the line. And I hope they will remember me as a man who loved them, and did everything he could for them.”

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