Monday, May 18, 2009

Life After "Last Lecture"

This story about Randy Pausch, the "Last Lecture" prof and Oakland Mills grad brought a smile to our face.

We were hunting for a link to a story in last week's People Magazine about how Randy's family is doing since he died of cancer when we came by this bit of trivia regarding the new "Star Trek" movie. (We're still looking for the People link; mom and the kids seem to be doing well).

Carnegie Mellon University professor Randy Pausch -- whose lecture "The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" became a viral YouTube hit and a best-selling book -- did a lot of living in the few months he had after being diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.

Pausch, a longtime Trekkie, recalled on his blog that his first reaction to his diagnosis was, "I don't believe in the no-win scenario" -- a quote from Kirk in the second "Trek" film, "The Wrath of Khan" (1982).

One of his dreams came true when the director of the new "Star Trek," J.J. Abrams, sent Pausch a letter asking him if he wanted a small part in the film.

In his blog, he described the experience: "Naturally, I presumed this was one of my friends, playing a prank. But after a little sleuthing, it was clear it was for real. Jai (Pausch's wife) & I hopped a plane to L.A., where I got a custom-made 'Star Trek' uniform and my own station on the bridge, where I had lots of buttons and controls. I even got a LINE!!!!"

As Pausch noted in his blog, look for a guy who walks across the ship's bridge and says, "Captain, we have a visual!"

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