Wednesday, April 09, 2008

It's too quiet...

Howdy readers.

Another exciting blurb from the spousal unit tonight.

Morgan and our youngest are not home tonight.
(and now you know what happens when I am left alone in a FAR too quiet house)

'Where are they?' one might ask.

They are dozing (hopefully) in the hospital tonight while said youngest is the subject of a sleep study.

With a little luck the experts will have more suggestions on how to get everyone (starting with the youngest) to sleep better in our house.

So why am I reaching out to the vast expanse of the digital domain?

Randy Pausch.

ABC aired a special tonight on him, his lecture, his family and his story.

In case you havn't heard of him, start HERE.

Randy was a teacher, mentor and friend to me during my time in grad school at CMU.

His oldest is virtually the same age as ours, and they have met and played together. Randy was one of the 2 faculty members who actually came to our house after I graduated to partake in the so called 'BozFest' gatherings we held for our fellow ETC grad students during those arduous 2 years.

In short, I think he's a heck of a fellow.

That's not to say I always liked him or what he had to say (or the total lack of tact displayed while saying it), but I must say that I always respected him and generally liked him in spite of his (sometimes brutal) 'honesty'. And there can be no doubt that he is one seriously sharp tack.

And he's dying.

I know the guy moderately well. He's roughly the age of my sister. (NOT OLD BY ANY MEANS) His kids are of an age with mine. And his situation and how he is dealing with it is both horrifying and uplifting at the same time.

And for a lonely husband sitting alone at night without the love of his life in bed beside him, Randy and his story bring up too many emotions for a loving husband and doting father to handle without sharing with someone. Hence this rambling post.

Here's some proof:

Graduation, May 05.

In some ways I like to think that Randy and I are somewhat alike.

I went back to grad school in hopes of starting a new career for myself in academia. I am a huge believer in the importance of learning to be a good collaborator. I also feel rather strongly that these collaboration skills are frequently (almost always) not addressed adequately (if at all) in undergraduate degrees in the US. Randy is also a big believer in collaboration, and his class 'building virtual worlds' is possibly the best class ever conceived to try to teach those very skills. I have had the honor of both taking it under Randy and co-teaching it when I worked for CMU in Australia. While taking it was probably more work than teaching it, I am hard pressed to say which side was more rewarding.
In any event, I am still employed in Academia, and I am diligently trying to fix (in some small way) the very (broken) system that employs me and feeds and houses my family. I love teaching. I attribute this to the fact that I have had some seriously wonderful teachers in my life.

Randy is right up there with my Wife, my Parents and my Family on the list of most influential teachers in my life to date.

I hope I can put those influences to good use.

I also hope my wife is sleeping soundly at this moment. (as I should undoubtedly be as well-the clock says WHAT?)

Well, what can I say...Chalk it up to sappy TV shows and a far, FAR too quiet house.

I'm sure Morgan will fill you all in on her all night hospital adventure soon.



Morgan said...

Oh darling Im sorry your alone

Im home now with the cranky baby

who did not sleep

Anonymous said...

thank you Will for loving your dear beloved - she is also the love of my life - and the life of my love - Randy was powerful - an ordinary man with a sad situation -but powerful in his aproach to life and life's dealings - not so unlike so many thousands of others - but yet something different - not so unlike you Will - you are also the love of my life - love Mom M

Major Mom said...

Ironic, just Thursday I got an ad in my in-box from Borders books about his book, The Last Lecture.

I'm sorry to hear such bad news about your friend/colleague/mentor.