Friday, July 25, 2008

Randy Pausch, unforgettable

Randy Pausch has driven me nuts since we were kids. He died this morning after a battle with pancreatic cancer. I really don't know what to do with myself.

I met Randy when I transferred to public school shortly after my mother's death. My Mom had cancer too. Randy and I were both in seventh grade, but didn't really become friends until eight grade. From then on, we saw each other in school every day until graduation.

Randy was a genius- seriously, his IQ measured off the charts. He told me and I believed him, particularly after sitting behind him in Trig. He's been described as "cocky and dismissive", which he certainly could be. Randy was also a conservative, superior, chauvinistic, geeky, awkward, uncool kid. He also had the gift of laughing at himself, which was necessary for a geek in a high school where athletics ruled.

In spite of his attitude, much of what Randy said was accurate. Eventually, I learned to appreciate this. (years later) Randy excelled at delivering "course corrections" that I used after I stopped being mad at him. He taught me a lot about how a gentleman should behave. We were competitors and always friends. I appreciated his open friendship in a time when there were few female and fewer African-Americans in advanced science and math courses.

We've had only a few contacts since college. I contacted him during his illness, and was happy to hear that he was still himself. I'm glad I got to say goodbye. Until recently, I had not realized just how much he meant to me. Randy had an enormous effect on who am have become. He always encouraged me. He absolutely made me more aggressive and competitive. (in a good way)

As I wrote earlier, my meeting Randy was linked to changes after my mother's death. His death, under similar circumstances is unnerving. I'm grieving for both of them.

3 comments:

Daisy mum said...

You should be proud to have had the opportunity to known someone like Randy. People don't get the opportunity to know other people as amazing as Randy. Or appreciate that kind of friendship. I didn't realize the value of friendships until I was around 30. I hope you hang in there. I am sure Randy is there watching over you. God Bless you.

bunnits said...

I've enjoyed reading your thoughts. Sorry for the loss of your friend. Your were gifted with many memories that will be there for the years ahead. I hope to continue to check out your blog (from the ravelry blog comment train: archaeologie).

Samsara said...

Hello from the Ravelry Blog train. Sorry to hear about your friend. Thinking of the happy times will help with the greiving process.