Randy Pausch是美国卡内基梅隆大学的计算机科学、人机交互及设计教授。2006年9月,他被诊断患有胰腺癌。2007年9月18日,他在卡内基梅隆大学做了一场风靡全美的“最后的演讲”,根据这次演讲,他出版的“The Last Lecture”一书则成为亚马逊网站上最为畅销的书籍之一。

Jeffrey Zaslow
fifty-three long bike rides
fifty-three "lectures"

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These lectures are routinely videotaped. I knew what I was doing that day. Under the ruse of giving an academic lecture, I was trying to put myself in a bottle that would one day wash up on the beach for my children. If I were a painter, I would have painted for them. If I were a musician, I would have composed music. But I am a lecturer. So I lectured. I lectured about the joy of life, about how much I appreciated life, even with so little of my own left. I talked about honesty, integrity, gratitude, and other things I hold dear. And I tried very hard not to be boring. This book is a way for me to continue what I began on stage. Because time is precious, and I want to spend all that I can with my kids, I asked Jeffrey Zaslow for help. Each day, I ride my bike around my neighborhood, getting exercise crucial for my health. On fifty-three long bike rides, I spoke to Jeff on my cell-phone headset. He then spent countless hours helping to turn my stories – I suppose we could call them fifty-three "lectures" – into the book that follows. We knew right from the start: None of this is a replacement for a living parent. But engineering isn't about perfect solutions; it's about doing the best you can with limited resources. Both the lecture and this book are my attempts to do exactly that.