Randolph Frederick Pausch (also known as Randy Paush) was a reputed and renowned faculty in the School of Computer Science of the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Aside from a professor, he was a pioneer of virtual reality, who, among many things, conducted research in human-computer interactions and initiated the Alice software project. In addition to this, he was a gifted orator. His famous lecture titled as "The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" on September 18, 2007, at Carnegie Mellon was a YouTube hit with 16,893,271 likes to this day. In September, 2006 he discovered that he was the victim of pancreatic cancer at the terminal stage thus expecting a short time to live. Within this time, Paush inspired and guided millions of people (including me) about one topic in specific: Time Management.
Paush was born on October 23, 1960 and he grew up in Maryland. He pursued his undergraduate in the bachelor of computer science in Brown University and his PhD in CMU. After choosing his career as a Computer Science professor and a researcher, Paush first joined University of Virginia's School of Engineering and Applied Science and later CMU, working in the latter for 10 years. He was a consultant for several organizations and companies, including but not limited to Google. He was also the co-author of the book based on his famous The Last Lecture. Along with this he wrote 5 books and seventy articles. He was also the recipient of two ACM Awards, including ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education. In July 25, 2008, at the age of 47, Paush died from his pancreatic cancer.
After listening and reflecting on his lecture on Time Management, I developed a completely novel perspective about the notion of time. Therefore it is evident that I learned a lot from this lecture, perhaps enough to describe it as life changing. Of the number of things I liked about it, the representation of time as a commodity above all value is a concept I liked the most. This actually facilitated me to change my entire view of time and in fact made me guilty to some extent of how much I have already wasted. This insight empowered me to take control and manage my time to a more serious level. Thus I was grateful when he mentioned some of the techniques that seemed to be relevant to my current status as a student. The habit of creating and filling up my calendar and time journal was something I started to develop and so far I have seen some pretty important benefits of organization. Also I am now starting to be more aware of where I am wasting my time and how to stop doing so. The methods of saying no to things that I might consider as inconvenience also seemed to be possible thanks to Paush’s directions. The to-do list grid of categorizing and prioritizing my tasks also attracted me and I seek to incorporate it in my daily life. Amongst various aspects of the lecture, I also liked how Paush emphasized on thanking people and making time for our loved ones too. All in all, the lecture empowered me with the aspiration of pursuing time management skills essential for my development over the next four years here at CMU-Q.
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