I dont know how many of you have been up on the "Last Lecture" phenom , but Randy Pausch the indomitable Carnegie Mellon professor passed yesterday at his home in Chesepeake, Virginia. His lecture and book have been an inspiration to me as well as many others. I suppose it gives me a sense of my mortality in an even greater way because he was the boy who lived down the street. He sat near me in class from elementary school on and I have known of his existence for 40 years of my life. He was a very unlikely hero. I first remember meeting him on the first day of school in elementary. We had all just moved to a new development and were finding our way. I found my way to a class of eggheads. Randy was the egghead's egghead. As is the case with many nerdy geeky children that have a brain that is a bit to forward for their age he served as a constant irritant for many around him. I remember his wispy light brown hair and taped glasses, striped shirts and high water pants. Though he was a constant butt of jokes among the "cool boys" in our class he never seemed to notice. He was about being one of the group, by hell or high water. Knock him down and he didnt seem to get the message. He was right back there, ready to go. In the past few months, I have come to realize that perhaps this is the thing that remained constant and sustained him and allowed him to achieve his life dreams and serve as an inspiration for others to dare to dream. He stuck his finger out to the nay sayers and as an adult encouraged those who came under his tutelage to be fearless in their pursuit of excellence. Where did he get this spirit from? Who is to ultimately say. His parents were definitely a great influence his mother was a major source of his steely determination. He was a boy scout and seems to have been profoundly affected by it. He didnt feel sorry for himself ever and thus had very little sympathy for those who did. He ran his race well and now my prayer is that he at last rests in peace. Farewell. I am glad that your life brief though it was touched mine in some small and personal way.