Like many people, I learned about Randy Pausch in 2007, when the video of his "last lecture" became an internet sensation. Pausch gave his lecture to students, family and friends at Carnegie-Mellon University when he only had a few months to live. (He died in July 2008.)
A book by the same name was released soon after the lecture as a complement to what he said in that hour. I just read it and found it to be profound, wise and emotional all at once. I recommend that you read it. The parts that stood out were his strong desire to leave a clear and strong "I love you and I will miss you" communication with his family. Although he struggled to deliver the message (it's hard to convince someone you love them when you are soon going to be dead), he was lucky to have the time to deliver his message. (My mother had time to communicate such things to me before she died of cancer.)
The other aspect that struck me was his teaching style. As an author, he is ``Randy Pausch, Professor,'' and you really learn what that means throughout the book: Trust your students, push them, set no upper bounds but be firm on your lower bounds, put them into teams and then make those teams the unit of measure, etc. This is a man who clearly loved teaching and building his students "to be all they could be." I am sure that he did sound like the SOB he said he was, but I am also sure that more than a few students owe their current success, happiness and fulfillment to him. That's what real professors do. I take these views seriously, and I hope to emulate them when I teach in the fall at Cal. Stay turned.
Bottom Line: The meaning of life (after reproduction) is accomplishing your dreams. Is your life meaningful? FIVE STARS.