Egyptology, archaeology, life in Asia, America, and the Middle East, music, thoughts, and ideas. From the perspective of an independent academic and traveller.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
The Last Lecture
I've just finished reading The Last Lecture, the book written by the late Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch. I'm sure everyone has seen (or heard of) the video of his actual "last lecture", but the book is worthwhile because it expands on many of the thoughts contained in the talk. Pausch conveys in a powerful way the value of childhood dreams, of humility and selflessness, and he manages to make teaching seem like a sacred act. There's a lot here for everyone, especially for anyone who has been or is interested in becoming a teacher. It's a bittersweet book, since he so obviously was unable to live the remainder of his extraordinary life, but ultimately it's a fantastic wake-up call about time, reality (virtual and otherwise), and the importance of extending yourself beyond the moment, beyond your own physical space, and beyond your immediate circle. It reminds me that it's never too late to apologize, never too late to send a handwritten thank-you note, and never too late to get back to the business of living the real life.
Egyptologist, archaeologist, and citizen of the world. I've been working in Egypt at the sacred site of Abydos since 1988, and now direct my own excavation, which centers on the monuments of King Ahmose (ca 1550-1525 BC). I've taught at universities, worked in museums, and travelled a lot. Right now, I'm living between New York City and Hong Kong, with lots of travel on the side. I'm interested in a lot of topics aside from ancient and modern Egypt, however, including all periods of art, art history theory, narrative, languages ancient and modern, and performing arts such as theater, puppetry, and music. Another huge fascination is the religion and culture of India- a place I have not yet visited. Life seems to hold lots of mysteries yet!