Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams
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[applause] Pausch: MAKE ME EARN IT. IT’S A– man: YOU DID. Pausch: IT’S WONDERFUL
TO BE HERE. WHAT INDIRA DIDN’T TELL YOU
IS THAT THIS LECTURE SERIES USED TO BE CALLED
“THE LAST LECTURE.” IF YOU HAD ONE LAST LECTURE
TO GIVE BEFORE YOU DIED, WHAT WOULD IT BE? I THOUGHT, “DAMN,
I FINALLY NAILED THE VENUE, AND THEY RENAMED IT.” SO, YOU KNOW, IN CASE THERE’S
ANYBODY WHO WANDERED IN AND DOESN’T KNOW
THE BACKSTORY, MY DAD ALWAYS TAUGHT ME, WHEN THERE’S AN ELEPHANT
IN THE ROOM, INTRODUCE THEM. IF YOU LOOK AT MY CAT SCANS, THERE ARE APPROXIMATELY
TEN TUMORS IN MY LIVER, AND THE DOCTORS TOLD ME THREE TO SIX MONTHS
OF GOOD HEALTH LEFT. THAT WAS A MONTH AGO,
SO YOU CAN DO THE MATH. I HAVE SOME OF THE BEST DOCTORS
IN THE WORLD. SO THAT IS WHAT IT IS. WE CAN’T CHANGE IT,
AND WE JUST HAVE TO DECIDE HOW WE’RE GOING TO RESPOND
TO THAT. WE CANNOT CHANGE THE CARDS
WE ARE DEALT, JUST HOW WE PLAY THE HAND. IF I DON’T SEEM AS DEPRESSED
OR MOROSE AS I SHOULD BE, SORRY TO DISAPPOINT YOU. [laughter] AND I ASSURE YOU,
I AM NOT IN DENIAL. IT’S NOT LIKE I’M NOT AWARE
OF WHAT’S GOING ON. MY FAMILY, MY THREE KIDS,
MY WIFE, WE JUST DECAMPED. WE BOUGHT A LOVELY HOUSE
IN CHESAPEAKE, VIRGINIA, NEAR NORFOLK,
AND WE’RE DOING THAT BECAUSE THAT’S A BETTER PLACE FOR THE FAMILY TO BE,
DOWN THE ROAD. AND THE OTHER THING IS I AM IN PHENOMENALLY GOOD HEALTH
RIGHT NOW. I MEAN, IT’S THE GREATEST THING OF COGNITIVE DISSONANCE
YOU WILL EVER SEE IS THE FACT THAT I AM
IN REALLY GOOD SHAPE. IN FACT, I’M IN BETTER SHAPE
THAN MOST OF YOU. [applause] SO ANYBODY WHO WANTS TO CRY
OR PITY ME CAN COME DOWN
AND DO A FEW OF THOSE, AND THEN YOU MAY PITY ME. [laughter] ALL RIGHT, SO WHAT WE’RE
NOT TALKING ABOUT TODAY, WE’RE NOT TALKING ABOUT CANCER, BECAUSE I SPENT A LOT OF TIME
TALKING ABOUT THAT, AND I’M REALLY NOT INTERESTED. IF YOU HAVE ANY HERBAL
SUPPLEMENTS OR REMEDIES, PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM ME. [laughter] AND WE’RE NOT GOING
TO TALK ABOUT THINGS THAT ARE EVEN MORE IMPORTANT THAN ACHIEVING
YOUR CHILDHOOD DREAMS. WE’RE NOT GOING TO TALK
ABOUT MY WIFE. WE’RE NOT TALKING ABOUT MY KIDS,
BECAUSE I’M GOOD, BUT I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO TALK ABOUT THAT
WITHOUT TEARING UP. SO WE’RE JUST GOING TO TAKE THAT
OFF THE TABLE. THAT’S MUCH MORE IMPORTANT. AND WE’RE NOT GOING TO TALK
ABOUT SPIRITUALITY AND RELIGION. ALTHOUGH I WILL TELL YOU
THAT I HAVE EXPERIENCED A DEATHBED CONVERSION. I JUST BOUGHT A MACINTOSH. [applause] NOW, I KNEW I’D GET 9%
OF THE AUDIENCE WITH THAT. ALL RIGHT, SO WHAT IS TODAY’S
TALK ABOUT THEN? IT’S ABOUT MY CHILDHOOD DREAMS
AND HOW I HAVE ACHIEVED THEM– I’VE BEEN VERY FORTUNATE
THAT WAY– HOW I BELIEVE I’VE BEEN ABLE
TO ENABLE THE DREAMS– I’VE BEEN ABLE TO ENABLE
THE DREAMS OF OTHERS, AND TO SOME DEGREE,
LESSONS LEARNED– I’M A PROFESSOR; THERE SHOULD BE
SOME LESSONS LEARNED– AND HOW YOU CAN USE THE STUFF
YOU HEAR TODAY TO ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS
OR ENABLE THE DREAMS OF OTHERS. AND AS YOU GET OLDER,
YOU MAY FIND THAT ENABLING THE DREAMS
OF OTHERS THING IS EVEN MORE FUN. SO WHAT WERE
MY CHILDHOOD DREAMS? WELL, YOU KNOW, I HAD
A REALLY GOOD CHILDHOOD, I MEAN, NO KIDDING AROUND. I WAS GOING BACK THROUGH
THE FAMILY ARCHIVES, AND WHAT
WAS REALLY AMAZING WAS, I COULDN’T FIND ANY PICTURES
OF ME AS A KID WHERE I WASN’T SMILING,
ALL RIGHT? AND THAT WAS JUST
A VERY GRATIFYING THING. THERE WAS OUR DOG, RIGHT? AW, THANK YOU. AND THERE I ACTUALLY
HAVE A PICTURE OF ME DREAMING. [laughter] AND I DID A LOT OF THAT. YOU KNOW, THERE WAS A LOT
OF “WAKE UPS,” YOU KNOW? AND IT WAS AN EASY TIME
TO DREAM. I WAS BORN IN 1960,
ALL RIGHT? WHEN YOU’RE EIGHT
OR NINE YEARS OLD AND YOU LOOK AT THE TV SET
AND MEN ARE LANDING ON THE MOON, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE, AND THAT’S SOMETHING
WE SHOULD NOT LOSE SIGHT OF, IS THAT THE INSPIRATION AND THE PERMISSION TO DREAM
IS HUGE. SO WHAT WERE
MY CHILDHOOD DREAMS? YOU MAY NOT AGREE
WITH THIS LIST, BUT I WAS THERE. [laughter] BEING IN ZERO GRAVITY, PLAYING IN THE NATIONAL
FOOTBALL LEAGUE, AUTHORING AN ARTICLE IN
THE “WORLD BOOK” ENCYCLOPEDIA– I GUESS YOU CAN TELL
THE NERDS EARLY– [laughter] BEING CAPTAIN KIRK. ANYBODY HERE
HAVE THAT CHILDHOOD DREAM? NOT AT CMU, NO. I WANTED TO BECOME
ONE OF THE GUYS WHO WON THE BIG STUFFED ANIMALS
IN THE AMUSEMENT PARK, AND I WANTED TO BE
AN IMAGINEER WITH DISNEY. THESE ARE NOT SORTED
IN ANY PARTICULAR ORDER, ALTHOUGH I THINK
THEY DO GET HARDER, EXCEPT FOR MAYBE THE FIRST ONE. OKAY SO BEING IN ZERO GRAVITY. NOW, IT’S IMPORTANT
TO HAVE SPECIFIC DREAMS. I DID NOT DREAM OF BEING
AN ASTRONAUT, BECAUSE WHEN I WAS A LITTLE KID,
I WORE GLASSES, AND THEY TOLD ME “OH, ASTRONAUTS
CAN’T HAVE GLASSES.” AND I WAS LIKE, “MM, I DIDN’T
REALLY WANT THE WHOLE ASTRONAUT GIG;
I JUST WANTED THE FLOATING.” SO–AND AS A CHILD– [laughter] PROTOTYPE 0.0. BUT THAT DIDN’T WORK SO WELL,
AND IT TURNS OUT THAT NASA HAS SOMETHING CALLED
THE VOMIT COMET THAT THEY USE TO TRAIN
THE ASTRONAUTS, AND THIS THING DOES
PARABOLIC ARCS, AND AT THE TOP OF EACH ARC, YOU GET ABOUT 25 SECONDS
WHERE YOU’RE BALLISTIC AND YOU GET ABOUT A ROUGH
EQUIVALENT OF WEIGHTLESSNESS FOR ABOUT 25 SECONDS. AND THERE IS A PROGRAM
WHERE COLLEGE STUDENTS CAN SUBMIT PROPOSALS, AND IF THEY WIN THE COMPETITION,
THEY GET TO FLY, AND I THOUGHT
THAT WAS REALLY COOL, AND WE HAD A TEAM,
AND WE PUT A TEAM TOGETHER, AND THEY WON,
AND THEY GOT TO FLY, AND I WAS ALL EXCITED BECAUSE
I WAS GOING TO GO WITH THEM… AND THEN I HIT
THE FIRST BRICK WALL, BECAUSE THEY MADE IT
VERY CLEAR THAT UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES
WERE FACULTY MEMBERS ALLOWED TO FLY
WITH THE TEAMS. I KNOW.
I WAS HEARTBROKEN, RIGHT. I WAS LIKE, “BUT I WORKED
SO HARD.” AND SO I READ THE LITERATURE
VERY CAREFULLY, AND IT TURNS OUT THAT NASA– IT’S PART OF THEIR OUTREACH
AND PUBLICITY PROGRAM, AND IT TURNS OUT
THAT THE STUDENTS WERE ALLOWED TO BRING A LOCAL MEDIA
JOURNALIST FROM THEIR HOMETOWN. [laughter] RANDY PAUSCH, WEB JOURNALIST. IT’S REALLY EASY
TO GET A PRESS PASS. SO I CALLED UP THE GUYS AT NASA,
AND I SAID, “I NEED TO KNOW
WHERE TO FAX SOME DOCUMENTS.” AND THEY SAID, “WHAT DOCUMENTS
ARE YOU GOING TO FAX US?” I SAID, “MY RESIGNATION
AS THE FACULTY ADVISOR AND MY APPLICATION
AS THE JOURNALIST.” AND HE SAID, “THAT’S A LITTLE
TRANSPARENT, DON’T YOU THINK?” AND I SAID, “YEAH, BUT OUR
PROJECT IS VIRTUAL REALITY, “AND WE’RE GOING TO BRING DOWN
A WHOLE BUNCH OF VR HEADSETS, “AND ALL THE STUDENTS
FROM ALL THE TEAMS “ARE GOING TO EXPERIENCE IT “AND ALL THOSE OTHER
REAL JOURNALISTS ARE GOING TO GET TO FILM IT.” JIM FOLEY’S GOING,
“OH, YOU BASTARD, YES.” AND THE GUY SAID,
“HERE’S THE FAX NUMBER.” SO–AND INDEED, WE KEPT
OUR END OF THE BARGAIN, AND THAT’S ONE OF THE THEMES
THAT YOU’LL HEAR LATER ON IN THE TALK IS HAVE SOMETHING TO BRING
TO THE TABLE, RIGHT, BECAUSE THAT WILL MAKE YOU
MORE WELCOMED. AND IF YOU’RE CURIOUS ABOUT
WHAT ZERO GRAVITY LOOKS LIKE, HOPEFULLY THE SOUND
WILL BE WORKING HERE. man: IT’S ON. woman: ALL RIGHT,
GO GET ‘EM, MAZI. THIS IS FANTASTIC. IT’S JUST AMAZING. IT’S NOTHING LIKE I EXPECTED. Pausch: THERE I AM. [laughter] woman: THIS IS AWESOME. [laughs] YOU GOT ONE, MAZI. THAT’S GOOD. man: GOT A BALL FOR YOU, MAZ. [laughter] Pausch: YOU DO PAY THE PIPER
AT THE BOTTOM. SO CHILDHOOD DREAM NUMBER ONE,
CHECK. ALL RIGHT, LET’S TALK
ABOUT FOOTBALL. MY DREAM WAS TO PLAY
IN THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE, AND MOST OF YOU DON’T KNOW
THAT I ACTUALLY PLAYED–NO. [laughter] NO, I DID NOT MAKE IT
TO THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE, BUT I PROBABLY GOT MORE
FROM THAT DREAM AND NOT ACCOMPLISHING IT THAN I GOT FROM ANY OF THE ONES
THAT I DID ACCOMPLISH. I HAD A COACH. I SIGNED UP WHEN
I WAS NINE YEARS OLD. I WAS THE SMALLEST KID
IN THE LEAGUE BY FAR, AND I HAD A COACH, JIM GRAHAM,
WHO WAS 6’4″. HE HAD PLAYED LINEBACKER
AT PENN STATE. HE WAS JUST THIS HULK OF A GUY, AND HE WAS OLD SCHOOL,
I MEAN, REALLY OLD SCHOOL. LIKE, HE THOUGHT THE
FORWARD PASS WAS A TRICK PLAY. [laughter] AND HE SHOWED UP FOR PRACTICE
THE FIRST DAY, AND, YOU KNOW,
HE’S THIS BIG HULKING GUY. WE WERE ALL SCARED
TO DEATH OF HIM, AND HE HADN’T BROUGHT
ANY FOOTBALLS. HOW ARE WE GOING TO HAVE
PRACTICE WITHOUT ANY FOOTBALLS? AND ONE OF THE OTHER KIDS SAID, “EXCUSE ME, COACH,
BUT THERE’S NO FOOTBALL.” AND COACH GRAHAM SAID,
“RIGHT, HOW MANY MEN ARE ON A FOOTBALL FIELD
AT A TIME?” “11 ON A TEAM, 22.” AND COACH GRAHAM SAID, “ALL RIGHT, AND HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE TOUCHING THE FOOTBALL
AT ANY GIVEN TIME?” “ONE OF THEM.” AND HE SAID, “RIGHT,
SO WE’RE GOING TO WORK ON WHAT THOSE OTHER 21 GUYS
ARE DOING.” AND THAT’S A REALLY GOOD STORY, BECAUSE IT’S ALL ABOUT
FUNDAMENTALS, FUNDAMENTALS, FUNDAMENTALS, FUNDAMENTALS. YOU’VE GOT TO GET
THE FUNDAMENTALS DOWN, BECAUSE OTHERWISE THE FANCY
STUFF ISN’T GOING TO WORK. AND THE OTHER JIM GRAHAM STORY
I HAVE IS, THERE WAS ONE PRACTICE WHERE HE JUST RODE ME
ALL PRACTICE. JUST, “YOU’RE DOING THIS WRONG.
YOU’RE DOING THIS WRONG. “GO BACK AND DO IT AGAIN.
YOU OWE ME. YOU’RE DOING PUSH-UPS
AFTER PRACTICE.” AND WHEN IT WAS ALL OVER, ONE OF THE OTHER ASSISTANT
COACHES CAME OVER AND SAID, “YEAH, COACH GRAHAM RODE YOU
PRETTY HARD, DIDN’T HE?” I SAID, “YEAH.” HE SAID, “THAT’S A GOOD THING.” HE SAID, “WHEN YOU’RE
SCREWING UP “AND NOBODY’S SAYING ANYTHING
TO YOU ANYMORE, THAT MEANS THEY GAVE UP.” AND THAT’S A LESSON THAT STUCK
WITH ME MY WHOLE LIFE IS THAT WHEN YOU SEE YOURSELF
DOING SOMETHING BADLY AND NOBODY’S BOTHERING
TO TELL YOU ANYMORE, THAT’S A VERY BAD PLACE TO BE. YOUR CRITICS ARE YOUR ONES
TELLING YOU THEY STILL LOVE YOU AND CARE. AFTER COACH GRAHAM,
I HAD ANOTHER COACH, COACH SETLIFF, AND HE TAUGHT ME A LOT ABOUT
THE POWER OF ENTHUSIASM. HE DID THIS ONE THING WHERE
ONLY FOR ONE PLAY AT A TIME, HE WOULD PUT PEOPLE IN
AT, LIKE, THE MOST HORRIFICALLY WRONG
POSITION FOR THEM. LIKE, ALL THE SHORT GUYS
WOULD BECOME RECEIVERS, RIGHT? IT WAS JUST LAUGHABLE. BUT WE ONLY WENT IN
FOR ONE PLAY, RIGHT? AND, BOY, THE OTHER TEAM
JUST NEVER KNEW WHAT HIT ‘EM, BECAUSE WHEN YOU’RE
ONLY DOING IT FOR ONE PLAY AND YOU’RE JUST NOT WHERE
YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE AND FREEDOM’S JUST ANOTHER WORD
FOR NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE, BOY, ARE YOU GOING
TO CLEAN SOMEBODY’S CLOCK FOR THAT ONE PLAY. AND THAT KIND OF ENTHUSIASM
WAS GREAT, AND TO THIS DAY, I AM MOST
COMFORTABLE ON A FOOTBALL FIELD. I MEAN, IT’S JUST ONE
OF THOSE THINGS WHERE, YOU KNOW, IF I’M WORKING
A HARD PROBLEM, PEOPLE WILL SEE ME WANDERING
THE HALLS WITH ONE OF THESE THINGS,
AND THAT’S JUST BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU DO SOMETHING
YOUNG ENOUGH AND YOU TRAIN FOR IT, IT JUST BECOMES
A PART OF YOU, AND I’M VERY GLAD THAT FOOTBALL
WAS A PART OF MY LIFE, AND IF I DIDN’T GET THE DREAM
OF PLAYING IN THE NFL, THAT’S OKAY. I PROBABLY GOT STUFF
MORE VALUABLE, BECAUSE LOOKING AT WHAT’S
GOING ON IN THE NFL, I’M NOT SURE THOSE GUYS
ARE DOING SO GREAT RIGHT NOW. OKAY. AND SO ONE OF THE EXPRESSIONS I LEARNED AT ELECTRONIC ARTS,
WHICH I LOVE, WHICH PERTAINS TO THIS IS,
“EXPERIENCE IS WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU DIDN’T GET
WHAT YOU WANTED.” AND I THINK THAT’S
ABSOLUTELY LOVELY. AND THE OTHER THING
ABOUT FOOTBALL IS, WE SEND OUR KIDS OUT
TO PLAY FOOTBALL OR SOCCER OR SWIMMING OR WHATEVER IT IS, AND IT’S THE FIRST EXAMPLE
OF WHAT I’M GOING TO CALL A HEAD FAKE
OR INDIRECT LEARNING. WE ACTUALLY DON’T WANT OUR KIDS
TO LEARN FOOTBALL. I MEAN, YEAH, IT’S REALLY NICE THAT I HAVE A WONDERFUL
THREE-POINT STANCE AND THAT I KNOW HOW TO DO
A CHOP BLOCK AND ALL THIS KIND OF STUFF. BUT WE SEND OUR KIDS
OUT TO LEARN MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THINGS: TEAMWORK, SPORTSMANSHIP,
PERSEVERANCE, ET CETERA, ET CETERA. AND THESE KINDS
OF HEAD FAKE LEARNINGS ARE ABSOLUTELY IMPORTANT, AND YOU SHOULD KEEP
YOUR EYE OUT FOR THEM, BECAUSE THEY’RE EVERYWHERE. ALL RIGHT, A SIMPLE ONE, BEING AN AUTHOR IN
THE “WORLD BOOK” ENCYCLOPEDIA. WHEN I WAS A KID, WE HAD THE “WORLD BOOK”
ENCYCLOPEDIA ON THE SHELF. FOR THE FRESHMEN,
THIS IS PAPER. [laughter] WE USED TO HAVE THESE THINGS
CALLED BOOKS. AND AFTER I HAD BECOME SOMEWHAT
OF AN AUTHORITY ON VIRTUAL REALITY,
BUT NOT, LIKE, A REALLY IMPORTANT ONE– SO I WAS AT THE LEVEL OF PEOPLE
THE “WORLD BOOK” WOULD BADGER– THEY CALLED ME UP,
AND I WROTE AN ARTICLE, AND THIS IS CAITLIN KELLEHER. AND THERE’S AN ARTICLE IF YOU GO
TO YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY WHERE THEY STILL HAVE COPIES
OF THE “WORLD BOOK.” LOOK UNDER “V”
FOR VIRTUAL REALITY, AND THERE IT IS. AND ALL I HAVE TO SAY
IS THAT, HAVING BEEN SELECTED
TO BE AN AUTHOR IN THE “WORLD BOOK”
ENCYCLOPEDIA, I NOW BELIEVE THAT WIKIPEDIA
IS A PERFECTLY FINE SOURCE FOR YOUR INFORMATION BECAUSE I KNOW WHAT
THE QUALITY CONTROL IS FOR REAL ENCYCLOPEDIAS. THEY LET ME IN. ALL RIGHT, NEXT ONE. [laughter] AT A CERTAIN POINT,
YOU JUST REALIZE THERE ARE SOME THINGS
YOU ARE NOT GOING TO DO, SO MAYBE YOU JUST WANT TO STAND
CLOSE TO THE PEOPLE. I MEAN, MY GOD, WHAT
A ROLE MODEL FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. I MEAN, THIS IS EVERYTHING
YOU WANT TO BE, AND WHAT I LEARNED
THAT CARRIED ME FORWARD IN LEADERSHIP LATER IS THAT, YOU KNOW, HE WASN’T THE SMARTEST
GUY ON THE SHIP. I MEAN, SPOCK WAS PRETTY SMART, AND MCCOY WAS THE DOCTOR,
AND SCOTTY WAS THE ENGINEER, AND YOU SORT OF GO,
“AND WHAT SKILL SET DID HE HAVE TO GET ON THIS DAMN THING
AND RUN IT?” AND, YOU KNOW,
CLEARLY THERE IS THIS SKILL SET CALLED
LEADERSHIP, AND, YOU KNOW, WHETHER OR NOT
YOU LIKE THE SERIES, THERE’S NO DOUBT THAT THERE WAS
A LOT TO BE LEARNED ABOUT HOW TO LEAD PEOPLE
BY WATCHING THIS GUY IN ACTION, AND HE JUST HAD THE COOLEST
DAMN TOYS. I MEAN, MY GOD, HE, YOU KNOW– I JUST THOUGHT IT WAS
FASCINATING AS A KID THAT HE HAD THIS THING
AND HE COULD, YOU KNOW, TALK TO THE SHIP
WITH IT. [electronic beeping] I JUST THOUGHT
THAT WAS JUST SPECTACULAR, AND OF COURSE NOW I OWN ONE,
AND IT’S SMALLER. SO THAT’S KIND OF COOL. SO I GOT TO ACHIEVE THIS DREAM. JAMES T. KIRK–HIS ALTER EGO
WILLIAM SHATNER WROTE A BOOK, WHICH I THINK WAS ACTUALLY
A PRETTY COOL BOOK. IT WAS WITH CHIP WALTER, WHO IS A PITTSBURGH-BASED
AUTHOR WHO IS QUITE GOOD, AND THEY WROTE A BOOK
ON BASICALLY THE SCIENCE OF STAR TREK,
YOU KNOW, WHAT HAS COME TRUE, AND THEY WENT AROUND TO THE
TOP PLACES AROUND THE COUNTRY AND LOOKED AT VARIOUS THINGS, AND THEY CAME HERE TO STUDY
OUR VIRTUAL REALITY SETUP, AND SO WE BUILT
A VIRTUAL REALITY FOR HIM. IT LOOKS SOMETHING LIKE THAT. WE PUT IT IN,
PUT IT TO RED ALERT. HE WAS A VERY GOOD SPORT. IT’S NOT LIKE HE SAW
THAT ONE COMING. AND IT’S REALLY COOL
TO MEET YOUR BOYHOOD IDOL, BUT IT’S EVEN COOLER
WHEN HE COMES TO YOU TO SEE WHAT COOL STUFF
YOU’RE DOING IN YOUR LAB, AND THAT WAS JUST
A GREAT MOMENT. ALL RIGHT,
WINNING STUFFED ANIMALS. THIS MAY SEEM MUNDANE TO YOU, BUT WHEN YOU’RE A LITTLE KID
AND YOU SEE THE BIG BUFF GUYS WALKING AROUND
AN AMUSEMENT PARK AND THEY’VE GOT ALL THESE
BIG STUFFED ANIMALS, RIGHT? AND THIS IS MY LOVELY WIFE, AND I HAVE A LOT OF PICTURES
OF STUFFED ANIMALS I’VE WON. THAT’S MY DAD POSING WITH ONE
THAT I WON. I’VE WON A LOT OF THESE ANIMALS. THERE’S MY DAD. HE DID WIN THAT ONE
TO HIS CREDIT. [laughter] RIGHT, AND THIS WAS JUST A BIG PART OF MY LIFE
AND MY FAMILY’S LIFE, BUT, YOU KNOW,
I CAN HEAR THE CYNICS. YOU KNOW, IN THIS AGE
OF DIGITALLY MANIPULATED THINGS, MAYBE THOSE BEARS REALLY AREN’T
IN THE PICTURES WITH ME, OR MAYBE I PAID SOMEBODY
FIVE BUCKS TO TAKE A PICTURE IN
THE THEME PARK NEXT TO THE BEAR. AND I SAID, “HOW, IN THIS AGE
OF CYNICISM, CAN I CONVINCE PEOPLE?” AND I SAID, “I KNOW.
I CAN SHOW THEM THE BEARS.” BRING THEM OUT. [applause] IF YOU CAN JUST PUT ‘EM
RIGHT THERE. JUST PUT THEM BACK
AGAINST THE WALL. woman: IT’S HARD TO HEAR YOU. Pausch: THANKS, HONEY. SO HERE ARE SOME BEARS. WE DIDN’T HAVE QUITE ENOUGH ROOM
IN THE MOVING TRUCK DOWN TO CHESAPEAKE, AND ANYBODY WHO WOULD LIKE
A LITTLE PIECE OF ME AT THE END OF THIS,
FEEL FREE TO COME UP. FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE. ALL RIGHT, MY NEXT ONE,
BEING AN IMAGINEER. THIS WAS THE HARD ONE. BELIEVE ME,
GETTING TO ZERO GRAVITY IS EASIER THAN BECOMING
AN IMAGINEER. WHEN I WAS A KID,
I WAS EIGHT YEARS OLD AND OUR FAMILY TOOK
A TRIP CROSS-COUNTRY TO SEE DISNEYLAND, AND IF YOU’VE
EVER SEEN THE MOVIE “NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VACATION,”
IT WAS A LOT LIKE THAT. IT WAS A QUEST. AND THESE ARE REAL
VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPHS, AND THERE I AM IN FRONT OF THE CASTLE,
AND THERE I AM– AND FOR THOSE OF YOU
WHO ARE INTO FORESHADOWING, THIS IS THE ALICE RIDE. AND I JUST THOUGHT THIS WAS JUST
THE COOLEST ENVIRONMENT I HAD EVER BEEN IN,
AND INSTEAD OF SAYING, “GEE, I WANT
TO EXPERIENCE THIS,” I SAID, “I WANT TO MAKE STUFF
LIKE THIS.” AND SO I BIDED MY TIME, AND THEN I GRADUATED
WITH MY PhD FROM CARNEGIE MELLON,
THINKING THAT MEANT ME INFINITELY QUALIFIED
TO DO ANYTHING, AND I DASHED OFF MY LETTERS
OF APPLICATION TO WALT DISNEY IMAGINEERING, AND THEY SENT ME SOME OF THE
DAMNED NICEST GO-TO-HELL LETTERS I HAVE EVER GOTTEN. I MEAN IT WAS JUST– “WE HAVE CAREFULLY REVIEWED
YOUR APPLICATION, “AND PRESENTLY WE DO NOT HAVE
ANY POSITIONS AVAILABLE WHICH REQUIRE
YOUR PARTICULAR QUALIFICATIONS.” NOW, THINK ABOUT THE FACT THAT
YOU’RE GETTING THIS FROM A PLACE THAT’S FAMOUS FOR GUYS
WHO SWEEP THE STREET. SO THAT WAS A BIT OF A SETBACK. BUT REMEMBER, THE BRICK WALLS
ARE THERE FOR A REASON. ALL RIGHT, THE BRICK WALLS
ARE NOT THERE TO KEEP US OUT. THE BRICK WALLS ARE THERE
TO GIVE US A CHANCE TO SHOW HOW BADLY
WE WANT SOMETHING, BECAUSE THE BRICK WALLS
ARE THERE TO STOP THE PEOPLE WHO DON’T WANT IT
BADLY ENOUGH. THEY’RE THERE TO STOP
THE OTHER PEOPLE. ALL RIGHT,
FAST FORWARD TO 1991. WE DID A SYSTEM BACK
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA CALLED VIRTUAL REALITY
ON $5 A DAY, JUST ONE OF THOSE UNBELIEVABLE
SPECTACULAR THINGS. I WAS SO SCARED BACK IN
THOSE DAYS AS A JUNIOR ACADEMIC. JIM FOLEY’S HERE, AND I JUST
LOVE TO TELL THIS STORY. HE KNEW MY UNDERGRADUATE
ADVISOR, ANDY VAN DAM, AND I’M AT MY FIRST CONFERENCE,
AND I’M JUST SCARED TO DEATH, AND THIS ICON
IN THE USER INTERFACE COMMUNITY WALKS UP TO ME
AND JUST OUT OF NOWHERE JUST GIVES ME
THIS HUGE BEAR HUG, AND HE SAYS,
“THAT WAS FROM ANDY.” AND THAT WAS WHEN I THOUGHT,
“OKAY, MAYBE I CAN MAKE IT. ALL RIGHT, YOU KNOW,
MAYBE I DO BELONG.” AND A SIMILAR STORY IS THAT THIS WAS JUST
THIS UNBELIEVABLE HIT BECAUSE AT THE TIME, EVERYBODY NEEDED $1/2 MILLION
TO DO VIRTUAL REALITY, AND EVERYBODY FELT FRUSTRATED, AND WE LITERALLY
HACKED TOGETHER A SYSTEM FOR ABOUT $5,000 IN PARTS
AND MADE A WORKING VR SYSTEM, AND PEOPLE WERE JUST LIKE,
“OH MY GOD, THIS IS LIKE , YOU KNOW, THE
HEWLETT-PACKARD GARAGE THING. THIS IS SO AWESOME.” AND SO I’M GIVING THIS TALK,
AND THE ROOM HAS JUST GONE WILD, AND DURING THE Q&A,
A GUY NAMED TOM FURNESS, WHO WAS ONE OF THE BIG NAMES
IN VIRTUAL REALITY AT THE TIME, HE GOES UP TO THE MICROPHONE,
AND HE INTRODUCES HIMSELF. I DIDN’T KNOW
WHAT HE LOOKED LIKE, BUT I SURE AS HELL
KNEW THE NAME. AND HE ASKED A QUESTION,
AND I WAS LIKE, “I’M SORRY, DID YOU SAY
YOU’RE TOM FURNESS?” AND HE SAID, “YES.” I SAID, “THEN I WOULD LOVE
TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION, BUT FIRST, WILL YOU
HAVE LUNCH WITH ME TOMORROW?” [laughter] AND THERE’S A LOT
IN THAT LITTLE MOMENT. RIGHT, THERE’S A LOT
OF HUMILITY BUT ALSO ASKING A PERSON
WHERE HE CAN’T POSSIBLY SAY NO. [laughter] AND SO IMAGINEERING
A COUPLE OF YEARS LATER WAS WORKING ON
A VIRTUAL REALITY PROJECT. THIS WAS TOP SECRET. THEY WERE DENYING THE EXISTENCE
OF A VIRTUAL REALITY ATTRACTION AFTER THE TIME
THAT THE PUBLICITY DEPARTMENT WAS RUNNING THE TV COMMERCIALS. SO IMAGINEERING REALLY
HAD NAILED THIS ONE TIGHT. AND IT WAS
THE ALADDIN ATTRACTION WHERE YOU WOULD FLY
A MAGIC CARPET, AND THE HEAD-MOUNTED DISPLAY,
SOMETIMES KNOWN AS GATOR VISION. AND SO I HAD AN IN. AS SOON AS THE PROJECT
HAD JUST– YOU KNOW, THEY STARTED RUNNING
THE TV COMMERCIALS, AND I HAD BEEN ASKED TO BRIEF
THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE ON THE STATE OF VIRTUAL REALITY. OKAY, FRED BROOKS
AND I HAD BEEN ASKED TO BRIEF THE SECRETARY
OF DEFENSE, AND THAT GAVE ME AN EXCUSE. SO I CALLED THEM UP. I CALLED IMAGINEERING,
AND I SAID, “LOOK, I’M BRIEFING
THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE. I’D LIKE SOME MATERIALS
ON WHAT YOU HAVE, BECAUSE IT’S ONE OF THE BEST
VR SYSTEMS IN THE WORLD.” AND THEY KIND OF PUSHED BACK. AND I SAID, “LOOK, IS ALL
THIS PATRIOTISM STUFF IN THE PARKS A FARCE?” AND THEY’RE LIKE, “HMM, OKAY,”
BUT THEY SAID, “BUT THE PR DEPARTMENT DOESN’T–
THIS IS SO NEW, “THE PR DEPARTMENT DOESN’T HAVE
ANY FOOTAGE FOR YOU, “SO I’M GOING
TO HAVE TO CONNECT YOU STRAIGHT THROUGH TO THE TEAM
WHO DID THE WORK.” JACKPOT. SO I FIND MYSELF ON THE PHONE
WITH A GUY NAMED JON SNODDY WHO IS ONE OF THE MOST
IMPRESSIVE GUYS I HAVE EVER MET, AND HE WAS THE GUY
RUNNING THIS TEAM, AND IT’S NOT SURPRISING
THEY HAD DONE IMPRESSIVE THINGS. AND SO HE SENT ME SOME STUFF. WE TALKED BRIEFLY. HE SENT ME SOME STUFF,
AND I SAID, “HEY, I’M GOING TO BE OUT
IN THE AREA “FOR A CONFERENCE SHORTLY. WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET TOGETHER
AND HAVE LUNCH?” TRANSLATION: “I’M GOING
TO LIE TO YOU “AND SAY THAT I HAVE AN EXCUSE
TO BE IN THE AREA “SO I DON’T LOOK TOO ANXIOUS, BUT I WOULD GO TO NEPTUNE
TO HAVE LUNCH WITH YOU.” AND SO JON SAID, “SURE,” AND I SPENT SOMETHING LIKE
80 HOURS TALKING WITH ALL THE VR EXPERTS
IN THE WORLD, SAYING, “IF YOU HAD ACCESS TO THIS ONE
UNBELIEVABLE PROJECT, WHAT WOULD YOU ASK?” AND THEN I COMPILED ALL OF THAT,
AND I HAD TO MEMORIZE IT, WHICH ANYBODY WHO KNOWS ME KNOWS
THAT I HAVE NO MEMORY AT ALL, BECAUSE I COULDN’T GO IN LOOKING
LIKE A DWEEB WITH, YOU KNOW, “HI, QUESTION 72.” SO I WENT IN, AND THIS WAS,
LIKE, A TWO-HOUR LUNCH, AND JON MUST HAVE THOUGHT HE WAS TALKING
TO SOME PHENOMENAL PERSON, BECAUSE ALL I WAS DOING
WAS CHANNELING FRED BROOKS AND IVAN SUTHERLAND
AND ANDY VAN DAM AND PEOPLE LIKE THAT,
AND HENRY FUCHS. SO IT’S PRETTY EASY TO BE SMART WHEN YOU’RE PARROTING
SMART PEOPLE. AND AT THE END OF THE LUNCH
WITH JON, I SORT OF, AS WE SAY IN THE BUSINESS,
MADE “THE ASK.” AND I SAID, “YOU KNOW,
I HAVE A SABBATICAL COMING UP.” AND HE SAID, “WHAT’S THAT?” [laughter] THE BEGINNINGS
OF THE CULTURE CLASH. AND SO I TALKED WITH HIM
ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF COMING THERE
AND WORKING WITH HIM. AND HE SAID, “WELL,
THAT’S REALLY GOOD EXCEPT, “YOU KNOW,
YOU’RE IN THE BUSINESS “OF TELLING PEOPLE STUFF, AND WE’RE IN THE BUSINESS
OF KEEPING SECRETS.” ALL RIGHT, AND THEN
WHAT MADE JON SNODDY JON SNODDY WAS HE SAID,
“BUT WE’LL WORK IT OUT,” WHICH I REALLY LOVED. THE OTHER THING THAT I LEARNED
FROM JON SNODDY– I COULD DO EASILY
AN HOUR-LONG TALK JUST ON WHAT HAVE I LEARNED
FROM JON SNODDY. ONE OF THE THINGS HE TOLD ME
WAS THAT, “WAIT LONG ENOUGH, AND PEOPLE
WILL SURPRISE AND IMPRESS YOU.” HE SAID, “WHEN YOU’RE PISSED OFF
AT SOMEBODY “AND YOU’RE ANGRY AT THEM, “YOU JUST HAVEN’T GIVEN THEM
ENOUGH TIME. “JUST GIVE THEM
A LITTLE MORE TIME, AND THEY’LL ALMOST ALWAYS
IMPRESS YOU.” AND THAT REALLY STUCK WITH ME. I THINK HE’S ABSOLUTELY RIGHT
ON THAT ONE. SO TO MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT,
WE NEGOTIATED A LEGAL CONTRACT. IT WAS GOING TO BE THE FIRST– SOME PEOPLE REFERRED TO IT
AS THE FIRST AND LAST PAPER EVER PUBLISHED BY IMAGINEERING– BUT THE DEAL WAS I GO,
I PROVIDE MY OWN FUNDING, I GO FOR SIX MONTHS,
I WORK WITH A PROJECT, WE PUBLISH A PAPER. AND THEN WE MEET OUR VILLAIN. I CAN’T BE ALL SWEETNESS
AND LIGHT, BECAUSE I HAVE NO CREDIBILITY. SOMEBODY’S HEAD’S GOING TO GO
ON A STICK. TURNS OUT THAT THE PERSON
WHO GETS HIS HEAD ON THE STICK IS A DEAN BACK
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA. HIS NAME IS NOT IMPORTANT. LET’S CALL HIM DEAN WORMER. [laughter] AND DEAN WORMER HAS A MEETING
WITH ME WHERE I SAY, “I WANT TO DO
THIS SABBATICAL THING, “AND I’VE ACTUALLY GOTTEN
THE IMAGINEERING GUYS TO LET AN ACADEMIC IN,”
WHICH IS INSANE. I MEAN, IF JON HADN’T GONE NUTS, THIS WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN
A POSSIBILITY. THIS IS A VERY
SECRETIVE ORGANIZATION. AND DEAN WORMER LOOKS
AT THE PAPERWORK, AND HE SAYS, “WELL, IT SAYS
THEY’RE GOING TO OWN YOUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY.” AND I SAID, “YEAH, WE GOT THE
AGREEMENT TO PUBLISH THE PAPER. “THERE IS NO OTHER IP.
I DON’T DO PATENTABLE STUFF.” AND HE SAYS, “YEAH,
BUT YOU MIGHT, SO DEAL’S OFF. “JUST GO AND GET THEM TO CHANGE
THAT LITTLE CLAUSE THERE AND THEN COME BACK TO ME.” I’M LIKE, “EXCUSE ME?” AND THEN I SAID TO HIM, “I WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND
HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS. “IF WE CAN’T WORK THIS OUT, “I’M GOING TO TAKE
AN UNPAID LEAVE OF ABSENCE, AND I’M JUST GOING TO GO THERE,
AND I’M GOING TO DO THIS THING.” AND HE SAID, “HEY, YOU KNOW, “I MIGHT NOT EVEN
LET YOU DO THAT. “I MEAN, YOU’VE GOT THE IP
IN YOUR HEAD ALREADY, “AND MAYBE THEY’RE GOING
TO SUCK IT OUT OF YOU, SO THAT’S NOT GOING
TO FLY EITHER.” [laughter] IT’S VERY IMPORTANT TO KNOW
WHEN YOU’RE IN A PISSING MATCH, AND IT’S VERY IMPORTANT TO GET OUT OF IT
AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. SO I SAID TO HIM, “WELL,
LET’S BACK OFF ON THIS. DO WE THINK THIS IS
A GOOD IDEA AT ALL?” HE SAID, “I HAVE NO IDEA IF THIS
IS A GOOD IDEA, YOU KNOW.” I WAS LIKE, “OKAY, WELL,
WE’VE GOT COMMON GROUND THERE.” THEN I SAID, “WELL,
IS THIS REALLY YOUR CALL? ISN’T THIS THE CALL OF
THE DEAN OF SPONSORED RESEARCH IF IT’S AN IP ISSUE?” AND HE SAID,
“YEAH, THAT’S TRUE.” I SAID, “BUT SO IF HE’S HAPPY,
YOU’RE HAPPY?” “YEAH, THEN I’D BE FINE.” pew! LIKE WILE E. COYOTE. AND I FIND MYSELF
IN GENE BLOCK’S OFFICE, WHO IS THE MOST FANTASTIC MAN
IN THE WORLD, AND I START TALKING
TO GENE BLOCK, AND I SAY, “LET’S START AT THE HIGH LEVEL,” SINCE I DON’T WANT TO HAVE
TO BACK OUT AGAIN. “SO LET’S START
AT THE HIGH LEVEL. DO YOU THINK THIS IS
A GOOD IDEA?” HE SAID, “WELL, IF YOU’RE ASKING
ME IF IT’S A GOOD IDEA, “I DON’T HAVE
VERY MUCH INFORMATION. “ALL I KNOW IS THAT ONE
OF MY STAR FACULTY MEMBERS “IS IN MY OFFICE,
AND HE’S REALLY EXCITED, SO TELL ME MORE.” HERE’S A LESSON FOR EVERYBODY
IN ADMINISTRATION. THEY BOTH SAID THE SAME THING, BUT THINK ABOUT
HOW THEY SAID IT, RIGHT? “I DON’T KNOW!” “WELL, I DON’T HAVE
MUCH INFORMATION, “BUT ONE OF MY STAR
FACULTY MEMBERS IS HERE, AND HE’S ALL EXCITED,
SO I WANT TO LEARN MORE.” THEY’RE BOTH WAYS OF SAYING
I DON’T KNOW, BUT, BOY, THERE’S A GOOD WAY
AND A BAD WAY. SO ANYWAY, WE GOT IT
ALL WORKED OUT. I WENT TO IMAGINEERING,
SWEETNESS AND LIGHT, AND ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL. SOME BRICK WALLS
ARE MADE OF FLESH. SO I WORKED ON
THE ALADDIN PROJECT. IT WAS ABSOLUTELY SPECTACULAR,
I MEAN, JUST UNBELIEVABLE. HERE’S MY NEPHEW CHRISTOPHER. THIS WAS THE APPARATUS. YOU WOULD SIT ON THIS SORT
OF MOTORCYCLE-TYPE THING, AND YOU WOULD STEER
YOUR MAGIC CARPET, AND YOU WOULD PUT ON
THE HEAD-MOUNTED DISPLAY. THE HEAD-MOUNTED DISPLAY
WAS VERY INTERESTING. IT HAD TWO PARTS, AND IT WAS
A VERY, VERY CLEVER DESIGN. TO GET THROUGHPUT THROUGH,
THE ONLY PART THAT TOUCHED THE GUEST’S HEAD
WAS THIS LITTLE CAP, AND EVERYTHING ELSE
CLICKED ONTO IT, ALL THE EXPENSIVE HARDWARE. SO YOU COULD REPLICATE THE CAPS BECAUSE THEY WERE BASICALLY
FREE TO MANUFACTURE. THIS IS WHAT I REALLY DID IS, I WAS A CAP CLEANER
DURING THE SABBATICAL. I LOVED IMAGINEERING. IT WAS JUST A SPECTACULAR PLACE,
JUST SPECTACULAR, EVERYTHING THAT I HAD DREAMED. I LOVED THE MODEL SHOP, PEOPLE CRAWLING AROUND ON THINGS
THE SIZE OF THIS ROOM THAT ARE JUST
BIG PHYSICAL MODELS. IT WAS JUST AN INCREDIBLE PLACE
TO WALK AROUND AND BE INSPIRED. I’M ALWAYS REMINDED OF WHEN
I WENT THERE AND PEOPLE SAID, “DO YOU THINK THE EXPECTATIONS
ARE TOO HIGH?” AND I SAID, “YOU EVER SEE
THE MOVIE “CHARLIE
AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY”– “WILLY WONKA
AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY” WHERE GENE WILDER SAYS
TO THE LITTLE BOY CHARLIE– HE’S ABOUT TO GIVE HIM
THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. HE SAYS, “WELL, CHARLIE,
DID ANYBODY EVER TELL YOU “THE STORY OF THE LITTLE BOY WHO SUDDENLY GOT EVERYTHING
HE EVER WANTED?” CHARLIE’S EYES GET LIKE SAUCERS,
AND HE SAYS, “NO, WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM?” GENE WILDER SAYS,
“HE LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER.” OKAY, SO WORKING ON
THE ALADDIN VR, I DESCRIBED IT AS A ONCE-IN-EVERY-FIVE-YEARS
OPPORTUNITY, AND I STAND BY THAT ASSESSMENT. IT FOREVER CHANGED ME. IT WASN’T JUST THAT IT
WAS GOOD WORK AND I GOT TO BE A PART OF IT, BUT IT GOT ME INTO THE PLACE
OF WORKING WITH REAL PEOPLE AND REAL HCI
USER INTERFACE ISSUES. MOST HCI PEOPLE LIVE IN THIS
FANTASY WORLD OF WHITE COLLAR LABORERS
WITH PhDs AND MASTER’S DEGREES. YOU KNOW, UNTIL YOU GOT
ICE CREAM SPILLED ON YOU, YOU’RE NOT DOING FIELD WORK,
ALL RIGHT? AND MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE,
FROM JON SNODDY I LEARNED HOW TO PUT ARTISTS
AND ENGINEERS TOGETHER, AND THAT’S BEEN THE REAL LEGACY. WE PUBLISHED A PAPER, JUST A NICE ACADEMIC
CULTURAL SCANDAL. WHEN WE WROTE THE PAPER,
THE GUYS AT IMAGINEERING SAID, “WELL, LET’S DO
A NICE BIG PICTURE LIKE YOU WOULD IN A MAGAZINE.” AND THE SIGGRAPH COMMITTEE,
WHICH ACCEPTED THE PAPER, IT WAS LIKE THIS BIG SCANDAL. “ARE THEY ALLOWED TO DO THAT?” [laughter] THERE WAS NO RULE. SO WE PUBLISHED THE PAPER,
AND AMAZINGLY, SINCE THEN, THERE’S A TRADITION
OF SIGGRAPH PAPERS HAVING COLOR FIGURES
ON THE FIRST PAGE. SO I’VE CHANGED THE WORLD
IN A SMALL WAY. AND THEN AT THE END
OF MY SIX MONTHS, THEY CAME TO ME,
AND THEY SAID, “YOU WANT TO DO IT FOR REAL?
YOU CAN STAY.” AND I SAID, “NO.” ONE OF THE ONLY TIMES IN MY LIFE
I HAVE SURPRISED MY FATHER. HE WAS LIKE, “YOU WHAT?” HE SAID, “SINCE YOU WERE,
YOU KNOW, ALL YOU WANTED, AND NOW THAT YOU GOT IT,
AND YOU’RE–HUH?” THERE WAS A BOTTLE OF MAALOX
IN MY DESK DRAWER. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR. IT WAS A PARTICULARLY
STRESSFUL PLACE. IMAGINEERING IN GENERAL
IS ACTUALLY NOT SO MAALOX-LADEN, BUT THE LAB I WAS IN–
OH, JON LEFT IN THE MIDDLE, AND IT WAS A LOT LIKE
THE SOVIET UNION. IT WAS A LITTLE DICEY
FOR A WHILE, BUT IT WORKED OUT OKAY, AND IF THEY HAD SAID,
“STAY HERE OR NEVER WALK
IN THE BUILDING AGAIN,” I WOULD HAVE DONE IT. I WOULD HAVE WALKED AWAY
FROM TENURE. I WOULD HAVE JUST DONE IT. BUT THEY MADE IT EASY ON ME. THEY SAID, “YOU CAN HAVE
YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO,” AND I BASICALLY BECOME A DAY-A-WEEK CONSULTANT
FOR IMAGINEERING, AND I DID THAT
FOR ABOUT TEN YEARS, AND THAT’S ONE OF THE REASONS YOU SHOULD ALL
BECOME PROFESSORS, BECAUSE YOU CAN HAVE YOUR CAKE
AND EAT IT TOO, OKAY? I WENT ON AND CONSULTED
ON THINGS LIKE DISNEYQUEST. SO THERE WAS
THE VIRTUAL JUNGLE CRUISE AND THE BEST INTERACTIVE
EXPERIENCE I THINK EVER DONE– AND JESSE SCHELL
GETS THE CREDIT FOR THIS– PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN,
WONDERFUL AT DISNEYQUEST. AND SO THOSE ARE
MY CHILDHOOD DREAMS, AND, YOU KNOW,
THAT’S PRETTY GOOD. I FELT GOOD ABOUT THAT. SO THEN THE QUESTION BECOMES, HOW CAN I ENABLE
THE CHILDHOOD DREAMS OF OTHERS? AND AGAIN, BOY, AM I GLAD
I BECAME A PROFESSOR. WHAT BETTER PLACE
TO ENABLE CHILDHOOD DREAMS? MAYBE WORKING AT EA,
I DON’T KNOW. THAT’D PROBABLY BE
A GOOD CLOSE SECOND. AND THIS STARTED IN
A VERY CONCRETE REALIZATION THAT I COULD DO THIS, BECAUSE A YOUNG MAN
NAMED TOMMY BURNETTE, WHEN I WAS AT THE UNIVERSITY
OF VIRGINIA, CAME TO ME, WAS INTERESTED IN JOINING
MY RESEARCH GROUP, AND WE TALKED ABOUT IT,
AND HE SAID, “OH, AND I HAVE
A CHILDHOOD DREAM.” IT GETS PRETTY EASY TO RECOGNIZE
THEM WHEN THEY TELL YOU. AND I SAID, “YES, TOMMY,
WHAT IS YOUR CHILDHOOD DREAM?” HE SAID, “I WANT TO WORK ON
THE NEXT “STAR WARS” FILM.” NOW, YOU GOT TO REMEMBER
THE TIMING ON THIS. WHERE IS TOMMY?
TOMMY IS HERE TODAY. WHAT YEAR WOULD THIS HAVE BEEN?
YOUR SOPHOMORE YEAR. woman: RIGHT THERE. man: IT WAS AROUND 1993. Pausch: ARE YOU BREAKING
ANYTHING BACK THERE, YOUNG MAN? OKAY, ALL RIGHT, SO IN 1993. AND I SAID TO TOMMY,
“YOU KNOW THEY’RE PROBABLY NOT GOING
TO MAKE THOSE NEXT MOVIES.” [laughter] AND HE SAID, “NO, THEY ARE.” [laughter] AND TOMMY WORKED WITH ME
FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS AS AN UNDERGRADUATE
AND THEN AS A STAFF MEMBER, AND THEN WHEN I MOVED
TO CARNEGIE MELLON, EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF MY TEAM CAME FROM VIRGINIA
TO CARNEGIE MELLON EXCEPT FOR TOMMY,
BECAUSE HE GOT A BETTER OFFER, AND HE DID, INDEED,
WORK ON ALL THREE OF THOSE FILMS. AND THEN I SAID,
“WELL, THAT’S NICE, BUT, YOU KNOW, ONE AT A TIME
IS KIND OF INEFFICIENT.” AND PEOPLE WHO KNOW ME KNOW
THAT I’M AN EFFICIENCY FREAK. SO I SAID, “CAN I DO THIS
EN MASSE? CAN I GET PEOPLE TURNED
IN SUCH A WAY THAT THEY CAN BE TURNED ON
TO THEIR CHILDHOOD DREAMS?” AND I CREATED A COURSE,
I CAME TO CARNEGIE MELLON, AND I CREATED A COURSE CALLED
“BUILDING VIRTUAL WORLDS.” IT’S A VERY SIMPLE COURSE. HOW MANY PEOPLE HERE HAVE
EVER BEEN TO ANY OF THE SHOWS? OKAY, SO SOME OF YOU HAVE
AN IDEA. FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DON’T,
THE COURSE IS VERY SIMPLE. THERE ARE 50 STUDENTS DRAWN FROM ALL THE DIFFERENT
DEPARTMENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY. THERE ARE RANDOMLY CHOSEN– RANDOMLY CHOSEN TEAMS,
FOUR PEOPLE PER TEAM, AND THEY CHANGE EVERY PROJECT. A PROJECT ONLY LASTS TWO WEEKS,
SO YOU DO SOMETHING, YOU MAKE SOMETHING,
YOU SHOW SOMETHING, THEN I SHUFFLE THE TEAMS,
YOU GET THREE NEW PLAYMATES, AND YOU DO IT AGAIN,
AND IT’S EVERY TWO WEEKS, AND SO YOU DO FIVE PROJECTS
DURING THE SEMESTER. THE FIRST YEAR
WE TAUGHT THIS COURSE, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DESCRIBE HOW MUCH OF A TIGER BY THE TAIL
WE HAD. I WAS JUST RUNNING THE COURSE BECAUSE I WANTED TO SEE
IF WE COULD DO IT. WE HAD JUST LEARNED HOW TO DO
TEXTURE MAPPING ON 3D GRAPHICS, AND WE COULD MAKE STUFF
THAT LOOKED HALF DECENT. BUT, YOU KNOW, WE WERE RUNNING ON REALLY WEAK COMPUTERS
BY CURRENT STANDARDS. BUT I SAID, “I’LL GIVE IT
A TRY.” AND AT MY NEW UNIVERSITY,
I MADE A COUPLE OF PHONE CALLS, AND I SAID, “I WANT
TO CROSS-LIST THIS COURSE TO GET ALL THESE OTHER PEOPLE,”
AND WITHIN 24 HOURS, IT WAS CROSS-LISTED
IN FIVE DEPARTMENTS. I LOVE THIS UNIVERSITY. I MEAN, IT’S JUST–
IT’S THE MOST AMAZING PLACE. AND THE KIDS SAID, “WELL,
WHAT CONTENT DO WE MAKE?” I SAID, “HELL, I DON’T KNOW. “YOU MAKE WHATEVER YOU WANT. TWO RULES: NO SHOOTING VIOLENCE
AND NO PORNOGRAPHY.” NOT BECAUSE I’M OPPOSED TO THOSE
IN PARTICULAR, BUT, YOU KNOW, THAT’S BEEN DONE
WITH VR, RIGHT? AND YOU’D BE AMAZED
HOW MANY 19-YEAR-OLD BOYS ARE COMPLETELY OUT OF IDEAS WHEN
YOU TAKE THOSE OFF THE TABLE. [laughter] ANYWAY, SO I TAUGHT THE COURSE. THE FIRST ASSIGNMENT,
I GAVE IT TO THEM, THEY CAME BACK IN TWO WEEKS,
AND THEY JUST BLEW ME AWAY. I MEAN, THE WORK WAS SO BEYOND,
LITERALLY, MY IMAGINATION, BECAUSE I HAD COPIED THE PROCESS
FROM IMAGINEERING’S VR LAB, BUT I HAD NO IDEA WHAT THEY COULD OR COULDN’T DO
WITH IT AS UNDERGRADUATES, AND THEIR TOOLS WERE WEAKER, AND THEY CAME BACK
ON THE FIRST ASSIGNMENT, AND THEY DID SOMETHING
THAT WAS SO SPECTACULAR THAT I LITERALLY DIDN’T–
TEN YEARS AS A PROFESSOR, AND I HAD NO IDEA
WHAT TO DO NEXT. SO I CALLED UP MY MENTOR. I CALLED UP ANDY VAN DAM,
AND I SAID, “ANDY, I JUST GAVE
A TWO-WEEK ASSIGNMENT, “AND THEY CAME BACK
AND DID STUFF “THAT IF I HAD GIVEN THEM
A WHOLE SEMESTER, “I WOULD HAVE GIVEN THEM
ALL “A”s. SENSEI, WHAT DO I DO?” AND ANDY THOUGHT FOR A MINUTE,
AND HE SAID, “YOU GO BACK
INTO CLASS TOMORROW, “AND YOU LOOK THEM IN THE EYE,
AND YOU SAY, ‘GUYS, THAT WAS PRETTY GOOD,
BUT I KNOW YOU CAN DO BETTER.'” [laughter] AND THAT WAS EXACTLY
THE RIGHT ADVICE, BECAUSE WHAT HE SAID WAS, “YOU OBVIOUSLY DON’T KNOW
WHERE THE BAR SHOULD BE, “AND YOU’RE ONLY GOING
TO DO THEM A DISSERVICE BY PUTTING IT ANYWHERE.” AND, BOY,
WAS THAT GOOD ADVICE, BECAUSE THEY JUST KEPT GOING,
AND DURING THAT SEMESTER, IT BECAME
THIS UNDERGROUND THING. I’D WALK INTO A CLASS
WITH 50 STUDENTS IN IT, AND THERE WERE 95 PEOPLE
IN THE ROOM, BECAUSE IT WAS THE DAY
WE WERE SHOWING WORK, AND PEOPLE’S ROOMMATES
AND FRIENDS AND PARENTS– I’D NEVER HAD PARENTS
COME TO CLASS BEFORE. IT WAS FLATTERING
AND SOMEWHAT SCARY. AND SO IT SNOWBALLED, AND WE HAD
THIS BIZARRE THING OF, “WELL, WE’VE GOT TO SHARE THIS.” IF THERE’S ANYTHING
I’VE BEEN RAISED TO DO, IT’S TO SHARE,
AND I SAID, “WE’VE GOT TO SHOW THIS
AT THE END OF THE SEMESTER. WE’VE GOT TO HAVE A BIG SHOW.” AND WE BOOKED THIS ROOM,
MCCONOMY. I HAVE A LOT OF GOOD MEMORIES
IN THIS ROOM. AND WE BOOKED IT NOT BECAUSE
WE THOUGHT WE COULD FILL IT, BUT BECAUSE IT HAD THE ONLY A/V
SETUP THAT WOULD WORK, BECAUSE THIS WAS A ZOO,
COMPUTERS AND EVERYTHING. AND THEN WE FILLED IT,
AND WE MORE THAN FILLED IT. WE HAD PEOPLE STANDING
IN THE AISLE. I WILL NEVER FORGET THE DEAN
AT THE TIME, JIM MORRIS, WAS SITTING ON THE STAGE
RIGHT ABOUT THERE. WE HAD TO KIND OF SCOOT HIM
OUT OF THE WAY. AND THE ENERGY IN THE ROOM
WAS LIKE NOTHING I HAD EVER EXPERIENCED BEFORE,
AND PRESIDENT COHON, JERRY COHON WAS THERE,
AND HE SENSED THE SAME THING. HE LATER DESCRIBED IT AS LIKE AN OHIO STATE FOOTBALL PEP RALLY
EXCEPT FOR ACADEMICS, AND HE CAME OVER, AND HE ASKED
EXACTLY THE RIGHT QUESTION. HE SAID, “BEFORE YOU START,” HE SAID, “I GOT TO KNOW,
WHERE ARE THESE PEOPLE FROM?” HE SAID, “THE AUDIENCE,
WHAT DEPARTMENTS ARE THEY FROM?” AND WE POLLED THEM,
AND IT WAS ALL THE DEPARTMENTS, AND I FELT VERY GOOD, BECAUSE I HAD
JUST COME TO CAMPUS. HE HAD JUST COME TO CAMPUS, AND MY NEW BOSS HAD SEEN
IN A VERY CORPORAL WAY THAT THIS IS THE UNIVERSITY
THAT PUTS EVERYBODY TOGETHER, AND THAT MADE ME FEEL
JUST TREMENDOUS. SO WE DID
THIS CAMPUS-WIDE EXHIBITION. PEOPLE PERFORMED DOWN HERE. THEY’RE IN COSTUME,
AND WE PROJECT JUST LIKE THIS, AND YOU CAN SEE
WHAT’S GOING ON. YOU CAN SEE WHAT THEY’RE SEEING IN THE HEAD MOUNT. THERE’S A LOT OF BIG PROPS. SO THERE’S A GUY
WHITE WATER RAFTING. THIS IS BEN IN “E.T.” AND YES, I DID TELL THEM
IF THEY DIDN’T DO THE SHOT OF THE KIDS
BIKING ACROSS THE MOON, I WOULD FAIL HIM. THAT IS A TRUE STORY. AND I THOUGHT
I’D SHOW YOU JUST– [laughter] SO I THOUGHT I’D SHOW YOU
JUST ONE WORLD, AND IF WE CAN GET THE LIGHTS
DOWN IF THAT’S AT ALL POSSIBLE. NO, OKAY, THAT MEANS NO. ALL RIGHT. ALL RIGHT,
WE’LL JUST DO OUR BEST THEN. rabbit: OH, HELLO THERE. [giggles] I’M LONELY. MAKE ME A WORLD. [giggles] YAY! YAY! YAY! [giggles] YAY! [giggles] MAKE ME SOME TREES. [giggles] YAY! YAY! YAY! OOH, THAT’S NICE. [epic choral music] OOH. LA LA-LA LA LA LA-LA-LA LA LA-LA LA LA-LA LA
LA-LA LA LA LA-LA LA LA-LA-LA LA LA-LA LA LA-LA-LA LA LA-LA LA LA LA-LA LA LA LA-LA LA LA LA-LA-LA THIS IS FUN. [giggles] LA LA-LA LA LA-LA-LA LA LA-LA LA-LA-LA LA LA LA all: WHEE! Pausch: NOW, THEY’RE GONNA
TURN THIS ON ITS HEAD. WATCH CLOSELY. THE WORLD DOESN’T WANT
TO GO ON TO THE NEXT THING
IN THE SHOW. SO SHE’S READY TO MOVE ON,
AND IT’S NOT. rabbit: WHAT ARE YOU DOING? YOU CAN’T END THIS NOW. woman: BUT THERE ARE SO MANY
OTHER WORLDS THAT HAVE TO GO. rabbit: BUT OUR WORLD
IS THE BEST WORLD. HEY, HEY, HEY! HEY, NO! NO! [giggles] HERE I AM. woman: WE’RE GONNA
SHUT YOU DOWN. CONTROL, ALT, DELETE. rabbit: NOT CONTROL,
ALT, DEL– [laughter] [screaming] rabbit: HE LEFT US. HE LEFT US. [screaming] MY SKIN. MY SKIN. MY SKIN! [screaming and muffled gunshots] [screaming] WE LOVED YOU. GOOD-BYE! [laughter] Pausch: IT WAS
AN UNUSUAL COURSE WITH SOME OF THE MOST BRILLIANT,
CREATIVE STUDENTS FROM ALL ACROSS
THE CAMPUS. IT JUST WAS A JOY
TO BE INVOLVED. AND THEY TOOK THE WHOLE STAGE
PERFORMANCE ASPECT OF THIS WAY TOO SERIOUSLY. [laughter] AND IT BECAME THIS
CAMPUS PHENOMENON EVERY YEAR. PEOPLE WOULD LINE UP FOR IT. IT WAS VERY FLATTERING, AND IT GAVE KIDS
A SENSE OF EXCITEMENT OF PUTTING ON A SHOW FOR PEOPLE
WHO WERE THEN EXCITED ABOUT IT, AND I THINK THAT THAT’S
ONE OF THE BEST THINGS YOU CAN GIVE SOMEBODY, THE CHANCE TO SHOW THEM
WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO MAKE OTHER PEOPLE
GET EXCITED AND HAPPY. I MEAN,
THAT’S A TREMENDOUS GIFT. WE ALWAYS TRIED
TO INVOLVE THE AUDIENCE, WHETHER IT WAS PEOPLE
WITH GLOW STICKS OR BATTING A BEACH BALL AROUND
OR DRIVING. THIS IS REALLY COOL. THIS TECHNOLOGY
ACTUALLY GOT USED AT THE “SPIDERMAN 3” PREMIERE
IN L.A. SO THE AUDIENCE WAS CONTROLLING
SOMETHING ON THE SCREEN, SO THAT’S KIND OF NICE. AND I DON’T HAVE A CLASS PICTURE
FROM EVERY YEAR, BUT I DREDGED ALL THE ONES
THAT I DO HAVE, AND ALL I CAN SAY IS THAT
WHAT A PRIVILEGE AND AN HONOR IT WAS
TO TEACH THAT COURSE FOR SOMETHING LIKE TEN YEARS, AND ALL GOOD THINGS
COME TO AN END, AND I STOPPED TEACHING
THAT COURSE ABOUT A YEAR AGO. PEOPLE ALWAYS ASK ME
WHAT WAS MY FAVORITE MOMENT. I DON’T KNOW IF YOU COULD HAVE
A FAVORITE MOMENT, BUT, BOY, THERE IS ONE
I’LL NEVER FORGET. THIS WAS A WORLD WITH, I BELIEVE
A ROLLER-SKATING NINJA, AND ONE OF THE RULES WAS THAT
WE PERFORM THESE THINGS LIVE, AND THEY ALL HAD TO REALLY WORK, AND THE MOMENT
IT STOPPED WORKING, WE WENT TO
YOUR BACKUP VIDEOTAPE, AND THIS WAS VERY EMBARRASSING. SO WE HAVE THIS NINJA ON STAGE, AND HE’S DOING
THIS ROLLER-SKATING THING, AND THE WORLD,
IT DID NOT CRASH GENTLY. WHOOSH. AND I COME OUT, AND I BELIEVE
IT WAS STEVE AUDIA, WASN’T IT? WHERE IS HE? OKAY, WHERE IS STEVE? AH, MY MAN, STEVE AUDIA. AND TALK ABOUT
QUICK ON YOUR FEET, ALL RIGHT? I SAY, “STEVE, I’M SORRY,
BUT YOUR WORLD HAS CRASHED, AND WE’RE GOING TO GO
TO VIDEOTAPE.” AND HE PULLS OUT HIS NINJA SWORD
AND SAYS, “I AM DISHONORED!
WHA!” AND JUST DROPS. [laughter and applause] AND SO I THINK
IT’S VERY TELLING THAT MY FAVORITE MOMENT IN TEN YEARS
OF THIS HIGH-TECHNOLOGY COURSE WAS A BRILLIANT AD-LIB. AND THEN WHEN THE VIDEOTAPE
IS DONE AND THE LIGHTS COME UP, HE’S LYING THERE LIFELESS,
AND HIS TEAMMATES DRAG HIM OFF. IT WAS REALLY
A FANTASTIC MOMENT. AND THE COURSE
WAS ALL ABOUT BONDING. PEOPLE USED TO SAY,
YOU KNOW, “WHAT’S GOING TO MAKE
FOR A GOOD WORLD?” I SAID, “I CAN’T
TELL YOU BEFOREHAND, “BUT RIGHT BEFORE
THEY PRESENT IT, “I CAN TELL YOU
IF THE WORLD’S GOOD “JUST BY THE BODY LANGUAGE. “IF THEY’RE STANDING
CLOSE TO EACH OTHER, THE WORLD IS GOOD.” AND BVW
WAS A PIONEERING COURSE. I WON’T BORE YOU
WITH ALL THE DETAILS, BUT IT WASN’T EASY TO DO, AND I WAS GIVEN THIS WHEN
I STEPPED DOWN FROM THE ETC, AND I THINK IT’S EMBLEMATIC. IF YOU’RE GOING TO DO ANYTHING
THAT’S PIONEERING, YOU WILL GET THOSE ARROWS
IN THE BACK, AND YOU JUST HAVE
TO PUT UP WITH IT. I MEAN, EVERYTHING THAT
COULD GO WRONG DID GO WRONG, BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, A WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE
HAD A WHOLE LOT OF FUN. WHEN YOU’VE HAD SOMETHING FOR TEN YEARS THAT YOU HOLD
SO PRECIOUS, IT’S THE TOUGHEST THING
IN THE WORLD TO HAND IT OVER, AND THE ONLY ADVICE
I CAN GIVE YOU IS, FIND SOMEBODY BETTER THAN YOU
TO HAND IT TO, AND THAT’S WHAT I DID. THERE WAS THIS KID
AT THE VR STUDIO WAY BACK WHEN, AND YOU DIDN’T
HAVE TO SPEND VERY LONG IN JESSE SCHELL’S ORBIT TO GO, “THE FORCE IS STRONG
IN THIS ONE.” AND ONE OF MY GREATEST– MY TWO GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS,
I THINK, FOR CARNEGIE MELLON WERE THAT I GOT JESSICA HODGINS
AND JESSE SCHELL TO COME HERE
AND JOIN OUR FACULTY, AND I WAS THRILLED WHEN
I COULD HAND THIS OVER TO JESSE, AND TO NO ONE’S SURPRISE, HE HAS REALLY TAKEN IT UP
TO THE NEXT NOTCH, AND THE COURSE IS
IN MORE-THAN-GOOD HANDS. IT’S IN BETTER HANDS. BUT IT WAS JUST ONE COURSE, AND THEN WE REALLY TOOK IT
UP A NOTCH, AND WE CREATED WHAT I WOULD CALL
THE DREAM FULFILLMENT FACTORY. DON MARINELLI AND I
GOT TOGETHER, AND WITH THE UNIVERSITY’S
BLESSING AND ENCOURAGEMENT, WE MADE THIS THING
OUT OF WHOLE CLOTH THAT WAS ABSOLUTELY INSANE, SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN TRIED. ALL THE SANE UNIVERSITIES DIDN’T
GO NEAR THIS KIND OF STUFF, CREATING A TREMENDOUS
OPPORTUNISTIC VOID. SO THE ENTERTAINMENT
TECHNOLOGY CENTER WAS ALL ABOUT ARTISTS
AND TECHNOLOGISTS WORKING IN SMALL TEAMS
TO MAKE THINGS. IT WAS A TWO-YEAR PROFESSIONAL
MASTER’S DEGREE, AND DON AND I WERE
TWO KINDRED SPIRITS. WE’RE VERY DIFFERENT. ANYBODY WHO KNOWS US KNOWS THAT WE ARE
VERY DIFFERENT PEOPLE, AND WE LIKED TO DO THINGS
IN A NEW WAY, AND THE TRUTH
OF THE MATTER IS THAT WE ARE BOTH A LITTLE
UNCOMFORTABLE IN ACADEMIA. I USED TO SAY THAT I AM
UNCOMFORTABLE AS AN ACADEMIC BECAUSE I COME FROM A LONG LINE
OF PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY WORKED
FOR A LIVING, SO… [laughter] I DETECT NERVOUS LAUGHTER. AND I WANT TO STRESS,
CARNEGIE MELLON IS THE ONLY PLACE
IN THE WORLD THAT THE ETC
COULD HAVE HAPPENED, BY FAR THE ONLY PLACE. OKAY, THIS PICTURE
WAS DON’S IDEA, OKAY? AND WE LIKE TO REFER
TO THIS PICTURE AS DON MARINELLI ON GUITAR
AND RANDY PAUSCH ON KEYBOARDS. BUT WE REALLY DID PLAY UP
THE LEFT BRAIN, RIGHT BRAIN, AND IT WORKED OUT REALLY WELL
THAT WAY. DON IS AN INTENSE GUY. [laughter and applause] AND DON AND I SHARED AN OFFICE, AND AT FIRST
IT WAS A SMALL OFFICE. WE SHARED AN OFFICE
FOR SIX YEARS, ALL RIGHT? NOW, THOSE OF YOU WHO KNOW DON
KNOW HE’S AN INTENSE GUY, AND, YOU KNOW,
GIVEN MY CURRENT CONDITION, SOMEBODY WAS ASKING ME–
THIS IS A TERRIBLE JOKE, BUT I’M GOING TO USE IT ANYWAY, BECAUSE I KNOW DON
WILL FORGIVE ME. SOMEBODY SAID,
“GIVEN YOUR CURRENT CONDITION, “HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT WHETHER YOU’RE GONNA GO
TO HEAVEN OR HELL?” AND I SAID, “I DON’T KNOW,
BUT IF I’M GOING TO HELL, I’M DUE SIX YEARS
FOR TIME SERVED.” I KID. SHARING AN OFFICE WITH DON WAS REALLY LIKE SHARING
AN OFFICE WITH A TORNADO. THERE WAS JUST SO MUCH ENERGY, AND YOU NEVER KNEW
WHICH TRAILER WAS NEXT, RIGHT? BUT YOU KNEW SOMETHING EXCITING
WAS GOING TO HAPPEN, AND THERE WAS SO MUCH ENERGY, AND I DO BELIEVE IN GIVING
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE. SO IN MY TYPICALLY VISUAL WAY, IF DON AND I WERE TO SPLIT
THE SUCCESS FOR THE ETC, HE CLEARLY GETS
THE LION’S SHARE OF IT. HE DID THE LION’S SHARE
OF THE WORK, OKAY. HE HAD THE LION’S SHARE
OF THE IDEAS. IT WAS A GREAT TEAMWORK. I THINK IT WAS A GREAT YIN
AND A YANG, BUT IT WAS MORE LIKE “YIN”
AND YANG. AND HE DESERVES THAT CREDIT,
AND I GIVE IT TO HIM, BECAUSE THE ETC
IS A WONDERFUL PLACE, AND HE’S NOW RUNNING IT,
AND HE’S TAKING IT GLOBAL. WE’LL TALK ABOUT THAT
IN A SECOND. DESCRIBING THE ETC
IS REALLY HARD, AND I FINALLY FOUND
A METAPHOR. TELLING PEOPLE ABOUT THE ETC IS LIKE DESCRIBING
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL IF THEY’VE NEVER SEEN IT. SOONER OR LATER YOU’RE GOING
TO MAKE THE MISTAKE. YOU’RE GOING TO SAY,
“WELL, IT’S LIKE A CIRCUS.” AND THEN YOU’RE DRAGGED
INTO THIS CONVERSATION ABOUT, “OH, HOW MANY TIGERS;
HOW MANY LIONS; ALL RIGHT,
HOW MANY TRAPEZE ACTS?” AND THAT MISSES THE WHOLE POINT. SO WHEN WE SAY WE’RE
A MASTER’S DEGREE, WE’RE REALLY NOT LIKE ANY MASTER’S DEGREE
YOU’VE EVER SEEN. HERE’S THE CURRICULUM. THE CURRICULUM ENDED UP
LOOKING LIKE THIS. ALL I WANT TO DO
IS VISUALLY COMMUNICATE TO YOU THAT YOU DO FIVE PROJECTS
IN BUILDING VIRTUAL WORLDS. THEN YOU DO THREE MORE. ALL OF YOUR TIME IS SPENT
IN SMALL TEAMS MAKING STUFF, NONE OF THAT
BOOK-LEARNING THING. DON AND I HAD NO PATIENCE
FOR THE BOOK-LEARNING THING. IT’S A MASTER’S DEGREE. THEY ALREADY SPENT FOUR YEARS
DOING BOOK LEARNING. ALL RIGHT, BY NOW THEY SHOULD
HAVE READ ALL THE BOOKS. THE KEYS TO SUCCESS WERE THAT CARNEGIE MELLON
GAVE US THE REINS, COMPLETELY GAVE US THE REINS. WE HAD NO DEANS TO REPORT TO. WE REPORTED DIRECTLY
TO THE PROVOST, WHICH IS GREAT,
BECAUSE THE PROVOST IS WAY TOO BUSY
TO WATCH YOU CAREFULLY. WE WERE GIVEN EXPLICIT LICENSE
TO BREAK THE MOLD. IT WAS ALL PROJECT BASED. IT WAS INTENSE. IT WAS FUN,
AND WE TOOK FIELD TRIPS. EVERY SPRING SEMESTER
IN JANUARY, WE’D TAKE ALL 50 STUDENTS
IN THE FIRST-YEAR CLASS, AND WE’D TAKE THEM OUT
TO SHOPS AT PIXAR. WE’D TAKE ‘EM TO PIXAR,
INDUSTRIAL LIGHT AND MAGIC, AND OF COURSE
WHEN YOU’VE GOT GUYS LIKE TOMMY THERE ACTING AS HOST,
RIGHT, IT’S PRETTY EASY TO GET ENTREE
TO THESE PLACES. SO WE DID THINGS VERY,
VERY DIFFERENTLY. THE KIND OF PROJECTS
STUDENTS WOULD DO, WE DID A LOT OF WHAT WE’D CALL
EDU-TAINMENT. WE DEVELOPED
A BUNCH OF THINGS WITH THE FIRE DEPARTMENT
OF NEW YORK, A NETWORK SIMULATOR
FOR TRAINING FIREFIGHTERS, USING VIDEO GAME-ISH TYPE
TECHNOLOGY TO TEACH PEOPLE USEFUL THINGS. THAT’S NOT BAD. COMPANIES DID
THIS STRANGE THING. THEY PUT IN WRITING, “WE PROMISE
TO HIRE YOUR STUDENTS.” I’VE GOT THE EA
AND ACTIVISION ONES HERE. I THINK THERE ARE NOW,
HOW MANY, FIVE? DREW KNOWS, I BET. SO THERE ARE FIVE
WRITTEN AGREEMENTS. I DON’T KNOW OF ANY OTHER SCHOOL THAT HAS THIS KIND OF WRITTEN
AGREEMENT WITH ANY COMPANY, AND SO THAT’S A REAL STATEMENT. AND THESE ARE
MULTIPLE-YEAR THINGS, SO THEY’RE AGREEING
TO HIRE PEOPLE FOR SUMMER INTERNSHIPS
THAT WE HAVE NOT ADMITTED YET. THAT’S A PRETTY STRONG STATEMENT ABOUT THE QUALITY
OF THE PROGRAM. AND DON, AS I SAID, HE’S NOW–
HE’S CRAZY. I MEAN THAT IN A WONDERFUL
COMPLIMENTARY WAY. HE’S DOING THESE THINGS
WHERE I’M LIKE, “OH, MY GOD.” HE’S NOT HERE TONIGHT,
BECAUSE HE’S IN SINGAPORE, BECAUSE THERE’S GOING TO BE
AN ETC CAMPUS IN SINGAPORE. THERE’S ALREADY ONE
IN AUSTRALIA, AND THERE’S GOING TO BE ONE
IN KOREA. SO THIS IS BECOMING
A GLOBAL PHENOMENON. SO I THINK THIS
REALLY SPEAKS VOLUMES ABOUT ALL
THE OTHER UNIVERSITIES. IT’S REALLY TRUE
THAT CARNEGIE MELLON IS THE ONLY UNIVERSITY
THAT CAN DO THIS. WE JUST HAVE TO DO IT
ALL OVER THE WORLD NOW. ONE OTHER BIG SUCCESS
ABOUT THE ETC IS TEACHING PEOPLE
ABOUT FOCUS– OH, I HEAR THE NERVOUS LAUGHTER
FROM THE STUDENTS. I HAD FORGOTTEN THE DELAYED
SHOCK THERAPY EFFECT OF THESE BAR CHARTS. WHEN YOU’RE TAKING
BUILDING VIRTUAL WORLDS, EVERY TWO WEEKS
WE GET PEER FEEDBACK. WE PUT THAT ALL
INTO A BIG SPREADSHEET, AND AT THE END OF THE SEMESTER, YOU HAD THREE TEAMMATES
PER PROJECT, FIVE PROJECTS. THAT’S 15 DATA POINTS. THAT’S STATISTICALLY VALID. AND YOU GET A BAR CHART
TELLING YOU ON A RANKING OF HOW EASY YOU ARE
TO WORK WITH, WHERE YOU STACK UP
AGAINST YOUR PEERS. BOY, THAT’S HARD FEEDBACK
TO IGNORE. SOME STILL MANAGED. [laughter] BUT FOR THE MOST PART,
PEOPLE LOOKED AT THAT AND WENT, “WOW, I’VE GOT TO PICK IT UP
A NOTCH. “I BETTER START THINKING ABOUT
WHAT I’M SAYING TO PEOPLE IN THESE MEETINGS.” AND THAT IS THE BEST GIFT
AN EDUCATOR CAN GIVE IS TO GET SOMEBODY
TO BECOME SELF-REFLECTIVE. SO THE ETC WAS WONDERFUL, BUT EVEN THE ETC AND EVEN AS DON
SCALES IT AROUND THE GLOBE, IT’S STILL VERY LABOR INTENSIVE,
YOU KNOW. IT’S NOT TOMMY
ONE AT A TIME. IT’S NOT A RESEARCH GROUP
TEN AT A TIME. IT’S 50 OR 100 AT A TIME
PER CAMPUS TIMES FOUR CAMPUSES. BUT I WANTED SOMETHING
INFINITELY SCALABLE, ALL RIGHT? SCALABLE TO THE POINT
WHERE MILLIONS OR TENS OF MILLIONS
OF PEOPLE COULD CHASE THEIR DREAMS
WITH SOMETHING. AND, YOU KNOW,
I GUESS THAT KIND OF A GOAL REALLY DOES MAKE ME
THE MAD HATTER. SO ALICE IS A PROJECT THAT WE’VE
WORKED ON FOR A LONG, LONG TIME. IT’S A NOVEL WAY
TO TEACH COMPUTER PROGRAMMING. KIDS MAKE MOVIES AND GAMES, THE HEAD FAKE–AGAIN,
WE’RE BACK TO THE HEAD FAKES. THE BEST WAY
TO TEACH SOMEBODY SOMETHING IS TO HAVE THEM THINK
THEY’RE LEARNING SOMETHING ELSE. I’VE DONE IT MY WHOLE CAREER. AND THE HEAD FAKE HERE IS THAT
THEY’RE LEARNING TO PROGRAM, BUT THEY JUST THINK THEY’RE
MAKING MOVIES AND VIDEO GAMES. THIS THING
HAS ALREADY BEEN DOWNLOADED WELL OVER A MILLION TIMES. THERE ARE EIGHT TEXTBOOKS
THAT HAVE BEEN WRITTEN ABOUT IT. 10% OF U.S. COLLEGES
ARE USING IT NOW, AND IT’S NOT THE GOOD STUFF YET. THE GOOD STUFF IS COMING
IN THE NEXT VERSION. I, LIKE MOSES, GET TO SEE
THE PROMISED LAND, BUT I WON’T GET
TO SET FOOT IN IT, AND THAT’S OKAY,
BECAUSE I CAN SEE IT, AND THE VISION IS CLEAR: MILLIONS OF KIDS HAVING FUN
WHILE LEARNING SOMETHING HARD. THAT’S PRETTY COOL. I CAN DEAL WITH THAT
AS A LEGACY. THE NEXT VERSION’S
GOING TO COME OUT IN 2008. IT’S GOING TO BE TEACHING
THE JAVA LANGUAGE IF YOU WANT THEM TO KNOW
THEY’RE LEARNING JAVA. OTHERWISE THEY’LL JUST THINK THAT THEY’RE WRITING
MOVIE SCRIPTS. AND WE’RE GETTING THE CHARACTERS FROM THE BEST-SELLING PC GAME
IN HISTORY, “THE SIMS.” AND THIS IS ALL ALREADY
WORKING IN THE LAB, SO THERE’S NO REAL
TECHNOLOGICAL RISK. I DON’T HAVE TIME TO THANK
AND MENTION EVERYBODY IN THE ALICE TEAM, BUT I JUST WANT TO SAY THAT
DENNIS COSGROVE IS GOING TO BE BUILDING THIS,
HAS BEEN BUILDING THIS. HE IS THE DESIGNER. IT’S HIS BABY, AND FOR
THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE WONDERING, “WELL, YOU KNOW,
IN SOME NUMBER OF MONTHS, WHO SHOULD I BE EMAILING
ABOUT THE ALICE PROJECT,” WHERE’S WANDA DANN? OH, THERE YOU ARE. STAND UP,
LET THEM ALL SEE YOU. EVERYBODY SAY,
“HI, WANDA.” all: HI, WANDA. Pausch: SEND HER THE EMAIL. AND I’LL TALK A LITTLE BIT MORE
ABOUT CAITLIN KELLEHER, BUT SHE’S GRADUATED
WITH HER PhD AND IS AT WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, AND SHE’S GOING
TO BE TAKING THIS UP A NOTCH AND GOING TO MIDDLE SCHOOLS
WITH IT. SO GRAND VISION,
AND TO THE EXTENT THAT YOU CAN LIVE ON
IN SOMETHING, I WILL LIVE ON IN ALICE. ALL RIGHT, SO NOW THE THIRD PART
OF THE TALK, LESSONS LEARNED. WE’VE TALKED ABOUT MY DREAMS. WE’VE TALKED ABOUT HELPING OTHER
PEOPLE ENABLE THEIR DREAMS. SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY, THERE’S GOT TO BE SOME ASPECT OF WHAT LETS YOU GET
TO ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS. FIRST ONE IS THE ROLE OF
PARENTS, MENTORS, AND STUDENTS. I WAS BLESSED TO HAVE BEEN BORN
TO TWO INCREDIBLE PEOPLE. THIS IS MY MOTHER
ON HER 70TH BIRTHDAY. I AM BACK HERE. I HAVE JUST BEEN LAPPED. THIS IS MY DAD RIDING A ROLLER
COASTER ON HIS 80TH BIRTHDAY, AND HE POINTS OUT THAT,
YOU KNOW, HE’S NOT ONLY BRAVE; HE’S TALENTED, BECAUSE HE DID WIN THAT BIG BEAR
THE SAME DAY. MY DAD WAS SO FULL OF LIFE. ANYTHING WITH HIM
WAS AN ADVENTURE. I DON’T KNOW WHAT’S IN THAT BAG,
BUT I KNOW IT’S COOL. MY DAD DRESSED UP
AS SANTA CLAUS, BUT HE ALSO DID VERY,
VERY SIGNIFICANT THINGS TO HELP LOTS OF PEOPLE. THIS IS A DORMITORY IN THAILAND
THAT MY MOM AND DAD UNDERWROTE, AND EVERY YEAR, ABOUT
30 STUDENTS GET TO GO TO SCHOOL WHO WOULDN’T HAVE OTHERWISE. THIS IS SOMETHING MY WIFE AND I HAVE
ALSO BEEN INVOLVED IN HEAVILY, AND THESE ARE
THE KIND OF THINGS THAT I THINK EVERYBODY OUGHT
TO BE DOING, HELPING OTHERS. BUT THE BEST STORY
I HAVE ABOUT MY DAD IS– UNFORTUNATELY
MY DAD PASSED AWAY A LITTLE OVER A YEAR AGO, AND WHEN WE WERE GOING
THROUGH HIS THINGS– HE HAD FOUGHT IN WORLD WAR II
IN THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE– AND WHEN WE WERE GOING
THROUGH HIS THINGS, WE FOUND OUT HE HAD BEEN AWARDED
THE BRONZE STAR FOR VALOR. MY MOM DIDN’T KNOW IT. IN 50 YEARS OF MARRIAGE,
IT HAD JUST NEVER COME UP. MY MOM. MOTHERS ARE PEOPLE WHO LOVE YOU
EVEN WHEN YOU PULL THEIR HAIR. AND I HAVE TWO
GREAT MOM STORIES. WHEN I WAS HERE STUDYING
TO GET MY PhD AND I WAS TAKING SOMETHING
CALLED THE THEORY QUALIFIER, WHICH I CAN DEFINITIVELY SAY IS THE SECOND WORST THING
IN MY LIFE AFTER CHEMOTHERAPY… [laughter] AND I WAS COMPLAINING
TO MY MOTHER ABOUT HOW HARD
THIS TEST WAS AND HOW AWFUL IT WAS,
AND SHE JUST LEANED OVER, AND SHE PATTED ME ON THE ARM,
AND SHE SAID, “WE KNOW HOW YOU FEEL, HONEY,
AND REMEMBER, WHEN YOUR FATHER WAS YOUR AGE,
HE WAS FIGHTING THE GERMANS.” [laughter] AFTER I GOT MY PhD,
MY MOTHER TOOK GREAT RELISH IN INTRODUCING ME AS,
“THIS IS MY SON. HE’S A DOCTOR BUT NOT THE KIND
WHO HELPS PEOPLE.” [laughter] THESE SLIDES
ARE A LITTLE BIT DARK, BUT WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL,
I DECIDED TO PAINT MY BEDROOM. I’D ALWAYS WANTED A SUBMARINE
AND AN ELEVATOR. AND THE GREAT THING ABOUT THIS– [laughter] WHAT CAN I SAY? AND THE GREAT THING
ABOUT THIS IS, THEY LET ME DO IT, AND THEY DIDN’T
GET UPSET ABOUT IT, AND IT’S STILL THERE. IF YOU GO TO MY PARENT’S HOUSE,
IT’S STILL THERE. AND ANYBODY WHO IS OUT THERE
WHO IS A PARENT, IF YOUR KIDS WANT TO PAINT
THEIR BEDROOM, AS A FAVOR TO ME,
LET THEM DO IT, OKAY? IT’LL BE OKAY. DON’T WORRY ABOUT RESALE VALUE
ON THE HOUSE. OTHER PEOPLE WHO HELP US BESIDES
OUR PARENTS: OUR TEACHERS, OUR MENTORS, OUR FRIENDS,
OUR COLLEAGUES. GOD, WHAT IS THERE TO SAY
ABOUT ANDY VAN DAM? WHEN I WAS A FRESHMAN AT BROWN,
HE WAS ON LEAVE, AND ALL I HEARD ABOUT
WAS THIS ANDY VAN DAM. HE WAS LIKE A MYTHICAL CREATURE,
LIKE A CENTAUR, BUT LIKE
A REALLY PISSED OFF CENTAUR, AND EVERYBODY WAS, LIKE,
REALLY SAD THAT HE WAS GONE
BUT KIND OF MORE RELAXED, AND I FOUND OUT WHY, BECAUSE I STARTED WORKING
FOR ANDY. I WAS A TEACHING ASSISTANT
FOR HIM AS A SOPHOMORE, AND I WAS QUITE
AN ARROGANT YOUNG MAN, AND I CAME IN
TO SOME OFFICE HOURS, AND OF COURSE IT WAS 9:00
AT NIGHT, AND ANDY WAS THERE
AT OFFICE HOURS, WHICH IS YOUR FIRST CLUE AS TO WHAT KIND OF PROFESSOR
HE WAS. AND I COME BOUNDING IN,
AND, YOU KNOW, I’M JUST–I’M GOING
TO SAVE THE WORLD. THERE’RE ALL THESE KIDS
WAITING FOR HELP, DA DA, DA DA, DA DA,
DA DA. AND AFTERWARDS, ANDY LITERALLY
DUTCH-UNCLED–HE’S DUTCH, RIGHT? HE DUTCH-UNCLED ME, AND HE PUT HIS ARM
AROUND MY SHOULDERS, AND WE WENT FOR A LITTLE WALK, AND HE SAID, “RANDY,
IT’S SUCH A SHAME “THAT PEOPLE PERCEIVE YOU
AS SO ARROGANT, “BECAUSE IT’S GOING TO LIMIT WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO BE ABLE
TO ACCOMPLISH IN LIFE.” WHAT A HELL OF A GOOD WAY
TO WORD “YOU’RE BEING A JERK.” RIGHT? HE DOESN’T SAY,
“YOU’RE A JERK.” HE SAYS, “PEOPLE ARE PERCEIVING
YOU THIS WAY,” AND HE SAYS, “THE DOWNSIDE IS,
IT’S GOING TO LIMIT WHAT YOU’RE GOING
TO BE ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH.” WHEN I GOT TO KNOW ANDY BETTER,
THE BEATINGS BECAME MORE DIRECT. [laughter] I COULD TELL YOU ANDY STORIES
FOR A MONTH, BUT THE ONE I WILL TELL YOU
IS THAT WHEN IT CAME TIME TO START THINKING
ABOUT WHAT TO DO AFTER GRADUATING FROM BROWN, IT HAD NEVER OCCURRED TO ME
IN A MILLION YEARS TO GO TO GRADUATE SCHOOL,
JUST OUT OF MY IMAGINATION. IT WASN’T THE KIND OF THING
PEOPLE FROM MY FAMILY DID. WE GOT, SAY,
WHAT DO YOU CALL THEM? JOBS. AND ANDY SAID,
“NO, DON’T GO DO THAT. GO GET A PhD.
BECOME A PROFESSOR.” AND I SAID, “WHY?” AND HE SAID, “BECAUSE
YOU’RE SUCH A GOOD SALESMAN “THAT ANY COMPANY WHO GETS YOU “IS GOING TO USE YOU
AS A SALESMAN, “AND YOU MIGHT AS WELL
BE SELLING SOMETHING WORTHWHILE
LIKE EDUCATION.” THANKS. ANDY WAS MY FIRST BOSS,
SO TO SPEAK. I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAVE
A LOT OF BOSSES. THAT RED CIRCLE IS WAY OFF. AL IS OVER HERE. I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE HELL
HAPPENED THERE. HE’S PROBABLY WATCHING THIS
ON THE WEBCAST GOING, “MY GOD, HE’S TARGETING,
AND HE STILL CAN’T AIM!” I DON’T WANT TO SAY MUCH
ABOUT THE GREAT BOSSES I’VE HAD EXCEPT THAT THEY WERE GREAT, AND I KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE IN
THE WORLD HAVE HAD BAD BOSSES, AND I HAVEN’T HAD TO ENDURE
THAT EXPERIENCE, AND I’M VERY GRATEFUL
TO ALL OF THE PEOPLE THAT I EVER HAD TO REPORT TO. THEY’VE JUST BEEN INCREDIBLE. BUT IT’S NOT
JUST OUR BOSSES. WE LEARN FROM OUR STUDENTS. I THINK THE BEST HEAD FAKE
OF ALL TIME COMES FROM CAITLIN KELLEHER– EXCUSE ME,
DR. CAITLIN KELLEHER– WHO JUST FINISHED UP HERE AND IS STARTING
AT WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, AND SHE LOOKED AT ALICE WHEN IT WAS AN EASIER WAY
TO LEARN TO PROGRAM, AND SHE SAID, “YEAH,
BUT WHY IS THAT FUN?” I WAS LIKE, “WELL,
‘CAUSE I’M A COMPULSIVE MALE. “I LIKE TO MAKE THE LITTLE TOY
SOLDIERS MOVE AROUND BY MY COMMAND,
AND THAT’S FUN.” SHE’S LIKE, “HMM.” AND SHE WAS THE ONE WHO SAID, “NO, WE’LL JUST APPROACH IT ALL
AS A STORYTELLING ACTIVITY.” AND SHE’S DONE WONDERFUL WORK
SHOWING THAT, PARTICULARLY WITH
MIDDLE SCHOOL GIRLS, IF YOU PRESENT IT
AS A STORYTELLING ACTIVITY, THEY’RE PERFECTLY WILLING
TO LEARN HOW TO WRITE COMPUTER SOFTWARE. SO ALL-TIME BEST
HEAD FAKE AWARD GOES TO CAITLIN KELLEHER’S
DISSERTATION. PRESIDENT COHON,
WHEN I TOLD HIM I WAS GOING TO DO THIS TALK, HE SAID, “PLEASE TELL THEM
ABOUT HAVING FUN, BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT
I REMEMBER YOU FOR.” AND I SAID, “I CAN DO THAT,
BUT IT’S KIND OF LIKE A FISH TALKING ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE
OF WATER.” I MEAN, I DON’T KNOW
HOW TO NOT HAVE FUN. ALL RIGHT, I’M DYING,
AND I’M HAVING FUN, AND I’M GOING TO KEEP HAVING FUN
EVERY DAY I HAVE LEFT, BECAUSE THERE’S NO OTHER WAY
TO PLAY IT. ALL RIGHT? SO MY NEXT PIECE OF ADVICE IS, YOU JUST HAVE TO DECIDE
IF YOU’RE A TIGGER OR YOU’RE AN EEYORE. I THINK I’M CLEAR WHERE I STAND ON THE GREAT
TIGGER-EEYORE DEBATE. NEVER LOSE THE CHILDLIKE WONDER. IT’S JUST TOO IMPORTANT. IT’S WHAT DRIVES US. HELP OTHERS. DENNY PROFFITT KNOWS MORE ABOUT
HELPING OTHER PEOPLE. HE’S FORGOTTEN MORE
THAN I’LL EVER KNOW. HE’S TAUGHT ME BY EXAMPLE
HOW TO RUN A GROUP, HOW TO CARE ABOUT PEOPLE. M.K. HALEY–
I HAVE A THEORY THAT PEOPLE WHO COME
FROM LARGE FAMILIES ARE BETTER PEOPLE, BECAUSE THEY’VE JUST HAD
TO LEARN HOW TO GET ALONG. M.K. HALEY COMES FROM A FAMILY
WITH 20 KIDS. YEAH, UNBELIEVABLE. AND SHE ALWAYS SAYS, “IT’S KIND
OF FUN TO DO THE IMPOSSIBLE.” WHEN I FIRST GOT
TO IMAGINEERING, SHE WAS ONE OF THE PEOPLE
WHO DRESSED ME DOWN, AND SHE SAID, “I UNDERSTAND “YOU’VE JOINED
THE ALADDIN PROJECT. WHAT CAN YOU DO?” AND I SAID, “WELL, I’M A TENURED
PROFESSOR OF COMPUTER SCIENCE.” AND SHE SAID, “WELL,
THAT’S VERY NICE PROFESSOR BOY, “BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT I ASKED. I SAID, ‘WHAT CAN YOU DO?'” [laughter] AND, YOU KNOW, I MENTIONED
SORT OF MY WORKING-CLASS ROOTS. WE KEEP WHAT IS VALUABLE TO US,
WHAT WE CHERISH, AND I’VE KEPT MY LETTERMAN’S
JACKET ALL THESE YEARS. I USED TO LIKE WEARING IT
IN GRAD SCHOOL, AND ONE OF MY FRIENDS,
JESSICA HODGINS WOULD SAY, “WHY DO YOU WEAR
THIS LETTERMAN’S JACKET?” AND I LOOKED AROUND AT ALL
THE NON-ATHLETIC GUYS AROUND ME WHO WERE MUCH SMARTER THAN ME,
AND I SAID, “BECAUSE I CAN.” AND SO SHE THOUGHT
THAT WAS A REAL HOOT, SO ONE YEAR SHE MADE FOR ME
THIS LITTLE RAGGEDY RANDY DOLL. HE’S GOT A LITTLE
LETTERMAN’S JACKET TOO. THAT’S MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE. IT’S THE PERFECT GIFT FOR
THE EGOMANIAC IN YOUR LIFE. SO I’VE MET SO MANY
WONDERFUL PEOPLE ALONG THE WAY. LOYALTY IS A TWO-WAY STREET. THERE WAS A YOUNG MAN
NAMED DENNIS COSGROVE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA,
AND WHEN HE WAS A YOUNG MAN, LET’S JUST SAY THINGS HAPPENED, AND I FOUND MYSELF TALKING
TO A DEAN, AND THE DEAN– NO, NOT THAT DEAN. AND ANYWAY, THIS DEAN
REALLY HAD IT IN FOR DENNIS, AND I COULD NEVER
FIGURE OUT WHY, BECAUSE DENNIS
WAS A FINE FELLOW, BUT FOR SOME REASON, THIS DEAN REALLY HAD IT
IN FOR HIM. AND I ENDED UP BASICALLY SAYING,
“NO, I VOUCH FOR DENNIS.” AND THE GUY SAYS, “YOU’RE NOT
EVEN TENURED YET, AND YOU’RE TELLING ME
YOU’RE GOING TO VOUCH FOR THIS SOPHOMORE OR JUNIOR
OR WHATEVER?” I THINK HE WAS A JUNIOR
AT THE TIME. I SAID, “YEAH, I’M GOING
TO VOUCH FOR HIM, BECAUSE I BELIEVE IN HIM.” AND THE DEAN SAID,
“AND I’M GOING TO REMEMBER THIS WHEN YOUR TENURE CASE
COMES UP.” AND I SAID, “DEAL.” I WENT BACK TO TALK TO DENNIS,
AND I SAID, “I WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE YOU–
THAT WOULD BE GOOD.” BUT LOYALTY IS A TWO-WAY STREET. I MEAN, THAT WAS GOD KNOWS
HOW MANY YEARS AGO, BUT THAT’S THE SAME
DENNIS COSGROVE WHO’S CARRYING ALICE FORWARD. HE’S BEEN WITH ME
ALL THESE YEARS, ALL RIGHT. AND, YOU KNOW,
IF WE ONLY HAD ONE PERSON TO SEND IN
A SPACE PROBE TO MEET AN ALIEN SPECIES,
I’M PICKING DENNIS. YOU CAN’T GIVE A TALK
AT CARNEGIE MELLON WITHOUT ACKNOWLEDGING
ONE VERY SPECIAL PERSON, AND THAT WOULD BE SHARON BURKS. I JOKED WITH HER. I SAID, “WELL, LOOK,
IF YOU’RE RETIRING, IT’S JUST NOT WORTH
LIVING ANYMORE.” [laughter] SHARON IS SO WONDERFUL,
IT’S BEYOND DESCRIPTION, AND FOR ALL OF US WHO
HAVE BEEN HELPED BY HER, IT’S JUST INDESCRIBABLE. I LOVE THIS PICTURE, BECAUSE IT PUTS
HER TOGETHER WITH SYL, AND SYL IS GREAT, BECAUSE SYL GAVE THE BEST PIECE
OF ADVICE POUND FOR POUND THAT I HAVE EVER HEARD, AND I THINK ALL YOUNG LADIES
SHOULD HEAR THIS. SYL SAID, “IT TOOK ME
A LONG TIME, “BUT I’VE
FINALLY FIGURED IT OUT. “WHEN IT COMES TO MEN THAT ARE
ROMANTICALLY INTERESTED IN YOU, “IT’S REALLY SIMPLE. “JUST IGNORE EVERYTHING THEY SAY “AND ONLY PAY ATTENTION
TO WHAT THEY DO. IT’S THAT SIMPLE.
IT’S THAT EASY.” AND I THOUGHT BACK
TO MY BACHELOR DAYS, AND I SAID, “DAMN.” NEVER GIVE UP. I DIDN’T GET
INTO BROWN UNIVERSITY. I WAS ON THE WAIT LIST. I CALLED THEM UP,
AND THEY EVENTUALLY DECIDED THAT IT WAS GETTING
REALLY ANNOYING TO HAVE ME CALL EVERY DAY,
SO THEY LET ME IN. AT CARNEGIE MELLON, I DIDN’T
GET INTO GRADUATE SCHOOL. ANDY HAD MENTORED ME. HE SAID, “GO TO GRADUATE SCHOOL. “YOU’RE GOING
TO CARNEGIE MELLON. ALL MY GOOD STUDENTS
GO TO CARNEGIE MELLON.” AND, YEAH,
YOU KNOW WHAT’S COMING. AND SO HE SAID, “YOU’RE GOING
TO GO TO CARNEGIE MELLON, NO PROBLEM.” WHAT HE HAD KIND OF FORGOTTEN
WAS THAT THE DIFFICULTY OF GETTING INTO THE TOP
PhD PROGRAM IN THE COUNTRY HAD REALLY GONE UP, AND HE ALSO DIDN’T KNOW
I WAS GOING TO TANK MY GREs, BECAUSE HE BELIEVED IN ME, WHICH,
BASED ON MY BOARD SCORES, WAS A REALLY STUPID IDEA, AND SO I DIDN’T
GET INTO CARNEGIE MELLON. NO ONE KNOWS THIS TILL TODAY. I’M TELLING THE STORY. I WAS DECLINED ADMISSION
TO CARNEGIE MELLON, AND I WAS A BIT
OF AN OBNOXIOUS LITTLE KID. I WENT INTO ANDY’S OFFICE, AND I DROPPED THE REJECTION
LETTER ON HIS DESK. AND I SAID, “I JUST WANT YOU
TO KNOW “WHAT YOUR LETTER
OF RECOMMENDATION GOES FOR AT CARNEGIE MELLON.” [laughter] AND BEFORE THE LETTER
HAD HIT HIS DESK, HIS HAND WAS ON THE PHONE,
AND HE SAID, “I WILL FIX THIS.” [laughter] AND I SAID, “NO, NO, NO, “I DON’T WANT TO DO IT THAT WAY. “THAT’S NOT THE WAY
I WAS RAISED. “YOU KNOW, MAYBE SOME OTHER
GRADUATE SCHOOLS WILL SEE FIT TO ADMIT ME.”
AND HE SAID, “LOOK. CARNEGIE MELLON’S
WHERE YOU’RE GONNA BE.” HE SAID, “I’LL TELL YOU WHAT.
I’LL MAKE YOU A DEAL. GO VISIT THE OTHER SCHOOLS.” BECAUSE I DID GET INTO
ALL THE OTHER SCHOOLS. HE SAID, “GO VISIT
THE OTHER SCHOOLS, “AND IF YOU REALLY DON’T
FEEL COMFORTABLE AT ANY OF THEM, THEN WILL YOU LET ME CALL NICO?”
NICO BEING NICO HABERMANN. AND I SAID, “OKAY, DEAL.”
I WENT TO THE OTHER SCHOOLS. WITHOUT NAMING THEM BY NAME–
BERKELEY, CORNELL– THEY MANAGED TO BE
SO UNWELCOMING THAT I FOUND MYSELF
SAYING TO ANDY, “YOU KNOW,
I’M GOING TO GET A JOB.” AND HE SAID, “NO, YOU’RE NOT,” AND HE PICKED UP THE PHONE,
AND HE TALKED IN DUTCH. [laughter] AND HE HUNG UP THE PHONE,
AND HE SAID, “NICO SAYS IF YOU’RE SERIOUS, BE IN HIS OFFICE
TOMORROW MORNING AT 8:00 A.M.” AND FOR THOSE OF YOU
WHO KNOW NICO, THIS IS REALLY SCARY. SO I’M IN
NICO HABERMANN’S OFFICE THE NEXT MORNING
AT 8:00 A.M., AND HE’S TALKING WITH ME,
AND FRANKLY, I DON’T THINK HE’S THAT KEEN
ON THIS MEETING. I DON’T THINK HE’S
THAT KEEN AT ALL. AND HE SAYS, “RANDY,
WHY ARE WE HERE?” AND I SAID,
“BECAUSE ANDY PHONED YOU?” AND I SAID, “WELL,
SINCE YOU ADMITTED ME, “I HAVE WON A FELLOWSHIP. “THE OFFICE OF NAVAL RESEARCH, “IT’S A VERY PRESTIGIOUS
FELLOWSHIP. “I’VE WON THIS FELLOWSHIP, AND THAT WASN’T IN MY FILE
WHEN I APPLIED.” AND NICO SAID, “A FELLOWSHIP,
MONEY, WE HAVE PLENTY OF MONEY.” THAT WAS BACK THEN. HE SAID, “WE HAVE PLENTY
OF MONEY. “WHY DO YOU THINK
HAVING A FELLOWSHIP MAKES ANY DIFFERENCE TO US?” AND HE LOOKED AT ME. THERE ARE MOMENTS
THAT CHANGE YOUR LIFE, AND TEN YEARS LATER, IF YOU KNOW IN RETROSPECT
IT WAS ONE OF THOSE MOMENTS, YOU’RE BLESSED, BUT TO KNOW IT AT THE MOMENT WITH NICO
STARING THROUGH YOUR SOUL… AND I SAID, “I DIDN’T MEAN
TO IMPLY “ANYTHING ABOUT THE MONEY. “IT’S JUST THAT
IT WAS AN HONOR. “THERE WERE ONLY
15 GIVEN NATIONWIDE, “AND I DID THINK
IT WAS AN HONOR “THAT WOULD BE SOMETHING
THAT WOULD BE MERITORIOUS, AND I APOLOGIZE
IF THAT WAS PRESUMPTUOUS.” AND HE SMILED,
AND THAT WAS GOOD. SO HOW DO YOU GET PEOPLE
TO HELP YOU? YOU CAN’T GET THERE ALONE. PEOPLE HAVE TO HELP YOU,
AND I DO BELIEVE IN KARMA. I BELIEVE IN PAYBACKS. YOU GET PEOPLE TO HELP YOU BY TELLING THE TRUTH,
BEING EARNEST. I’LL TAKE AN EARNEST PERSON
OVER A HIP PERSON EVERY DAY, BECAUSE HIP IS SHORT-TERM. EARNEST IS LONG-TERM. APOLOGIZE WHEN YOU SCREW UP
AND FOCUS ON OTHER PEOPLE, NOT ON YOURSELF. AND I THOUGHT,
HOW DO I POSSIBLY MAKE A CONCRETE EXAMPLE
OF THAT? DO WE HAVE A CONCRETE EXAMPLE OF FOCUSING ON SOMEBODY ELSE
OVER THERE? COULD WE BRING IT OUT? SEE, YESTERDAY
WAS MY WIFE’S BIRTHDAY. IF THERE WAS EVER A TIME
I MIGHT BE ENTITLED TO HAVE THE FOCUS ON ME, IT MIGHT BE
THE LAST LECTURE. BUT NO, I FEEL VERY BADLY THAT MY WIFE DIDN’T REALLY GET
A PROPER BIRTHDAY, AND I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE
VERY NICE IF 500 PEOPLE– [applause] all singing:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU. Pausch: HER NAME IS JAI. all singing:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEAR JAI. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU. [cheers and applause] Pausch: YOU GOT
TO BLOW IT OUT. ALL RIGHT. [applause] AND NOW YOU ALL HAVE
AN EXTRA REASON TO COME TO THE RECEPTION. REMEMBER, BRICK WALLS LET US
SHOW OUR DEDICATION. THEY ARE THERE TO SEPARATE US FROM THE PEOPLE
WHO DON’T REALLY WANT TO ACHIEVE
THEIR CHILDHOOD DREAMS. DON’T BAIL. THE BEST OF THE GOLD IS AT
THE BOTTOM OF BARRELS OF CRAP. [laughter] WHAT STEVE DIDN’T TELL YOU
WAS THE BIG SABBATICAL AT EA. I HAD BEEN THERE FOR 48 HOURS,
AND THEY LOVED THE ETC. WE WERE THE BEST. WE WERE THE FAVORITES, AND THEN SOMEBODY ELSE
PULLED ME ASIDE AND SAID, “OH, BY THE WAY, “WE’RE ABOUT TO GIVE $8 MILLION
TO USC “TO BUILD A PROGRAM
JUST LIKE YOURS. WE’RE HOPING YOU CAN HELP THEM
GET IT OFF THE GROUND.” [laughter] AND THEN STEVE CAME ALONG
AND SAID, “THEY SAID WHAT?
OH, GOD.” AND TO QUOTE A FAMOUS MAN,
“I WILL FIX THIS.” AND HE DID. STEVE HAS BEEN
AN INCREDIBLE PARTNER, AND WE HAVE
A GREAT RELATIONSHIP, PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL, AND HE HAS CERTAINLY
BEEN POINT MAN ON GETTING A GAMING ASSET
TO HELP TEACH MILLIONS OF KIDS, AND, YOU KNOW,
THAT’S JUST INCREDIBLE. BUT, YOU KNOW, IT CERTAINLY
WOULD HAVE BEEN REASONABLE FOR ME TO LEAVE 48 HOURS
INTO THAT SABBATICAL, BUT IT WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN
THE RIGHT THING TO DO, AND WHEN YOU DO
THE RIGHT THING, GOOD STUFF HAS A WAY
OF HAPPENING. GET A FEEDBACK LOOP
AND LISTEN TO IT. YOUR FEEDBACK LOOP CAN BE THIS
DORKY SPREADSHEET THING I DID, OR IT CAN JUST BE ONE GREAT MAN WHO TELLS YOU
WHAT YOU NEED TO HEAR. THE HARD PART
IS THE LISTENING TO IT. ANYBODY CAN GET CHEWED OUT. IT’S THE RARE PERSON WHO SAYS,
“OH, MY GOD, YOU’RE RIGHT,” AS OPPOSED TO, “NO WAIT,
THE REAL REASON IS”– WE’VE ALL HEARD THAT. WHEN PEOPLE GIVE YOU FEEDBACK,
CHERISH IT AND USE IT. SHOW GRATITUDE. WHEN I GOT TENURE,
I TOOK ALL OF MY RESEARCH TEAM DOWN TO DISNEYWORLD FOR A WEEK, AND ONE OF THE OTHER PROFESSORS
AT VIRGINIA SAID, “HOW CAN YOU DO THAT?” I SAID, “THESE PEOPLE
JUST BUSTED THEIR ASS “AND GOT ME THE BEST JOB
IN THE WORLD FOR LIFE. HOW COULD I NOT DO THAT?”
RIGHT? DON’T COMPLAIN;
JUST WORK HARDER. THAT’S A PICTURE
OF JACKIE ROBINSON. IT WAS IN HIS CONTRACT
NOT TO COMPLAIN, EVEN WHEN THE FANS
SPIT ON HIM. BE GOOD AT SOMETHING;
IT MAKES YOU VALUABLE. WORK HARD. I GOT TENURE A YEAR EARLY
AS STEVE MENTIONED. JUNIOR FACULTY MEMBERS
USED TO SAY TO ME, “WOW, YOU GOT TENURE EARLY. WHAT’S YOUR SECRET?” I SAID, “IT’S PRETTY SIMPLE. “CALL ME ANY FRIDAY NIGHT
IN MY OFFICE AT 10:00, AND I’LL TELL YOU.” FIND THE BEST IN EVERYBODY. ONE OF THE THINGS
THAT JON SNODDY, AS I SAID, TOLD ME IS THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE TO WAIT
A LONG TIME, SOMETIMES YEARS, BUT PEOPLE WILL SHOW YOU
THEIR GOOD SIDE. JUST KEEP WAITING, NO MATTER
HOW LONG IT TAKES. NO ONE IS ALL EVIL. EVERYBODY HAS A GOOD SIDE. JUST KEEP WAITING. IT WILL COME OUT. AND BE PREPARED. LUCK IS TRULY WHERE PREPARATION
MEETS OPPORTUNITY. SO TODAY’S TALK
WAS ABOUT MY CHILDHOOD DREAMS, ENABLING THE DREAMS OF OTHERS,
AND SOME LESSONS LEARNED. BUT DID YOU FIGURE OUT
THE HEAD FAKE? IT’S NOT ABOUT HOW
TO ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS. IT’S ABOUT HOW
TO LEAD YOUR LIFE. IF YOU LEAD YOUR LIFE
THE RIGHT WAY, THE KARMA WILL TAKE CARE
OF ITSELF. THE DREAMS WILL COME TO YOU. HAVE YOU FIGURED OUT
THE SECOND HEAD FAKE? THE TALK’S NOT FOR YOU. IT’S FOR MY KIDS. THANK YOU ALL.
GOOD NIGHT. [applause]

100 thoughts on “Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

  1. Brillant mind. Full of life. Excellent presentation. Jim Carry is his dopleganger. Respect is an understatement. Rest in peace Randy.

  2. Currently watching this as an assignment for my CMAT class. This is truly the best homework assignment I've ever been given, as Randy Pausch's lecture is among the most inspirational things I've heard..ever.

    RIP Mr. Pausch

  3. After reading the last lecture I just could not stop myself from seeing this lecture.He was such a great man with high ideals for life. During his last days he was so positive.Seriously great respect for him. Rest in peace.

  4. I wouldn't have reached what I did without Randy, Iam 51 and now front singer in a crazy rock band, which was my biggest childhood dream…thank you Randy, I just reread last lecture, it still touches me as if it was the first time…

  5. I saw this for the 1st time 9 years ago. I was sitting in my father's lap because middle school me was still small enough to do that. I couldn't get enough of it. I come back here and watch it whenever I get a chance. Because of this, I view my goals in a completely different light. I quote this so much, every day, and my dad quotes it to me. This encouraged me to still chase my dreams. Read the book too! This has been so inspiring and has affected my life in so many ways.

  6. The part that gets me about this lecture is the fact that Randy did not come there to get pity or everyone to feel sorry for him due to having months to live. However, Randy came there to inspire other people and give advice on life. I wish there were more people like him because we live in a world where people think about self, including those who fake having cancer to gain that type of attention. I tip my hat to Randy and for him making a wonderful speech like that because it allowed me to live life the way I want even though if I am going through hell and back. It also taught me to never give up and if I want something badly, go for it. I am happy that my psychology professor had me and my whole class watch this.

  7. BS your critics are the ones who care. I get what he means, but when people stop talking to you about what you're doing, it's because they have given up on ruining it for you and making you stop. Now you can go ahead, have fun, do whatever you want and no criticism.

  8. I try to watch this in December, when the thrill and memories of Christmas clash with the cold and dreary gloom of January. It is good medicine for the soul. Thank You Randy Pausch

  9. I’m in 8th grade. My advisory teacher told me about the book because I had told him that I didn’t have my own to read, he walked up to me with the book. I was skeptical at first, but he left it in the table, and I decided to grab it. I’m only on page 22 (the lecture part) incredible, outstanding book. This speech is so wonderful I am very moved and touched by this, I really enjoyed reading the first 22 pages, I will ask finish reading it, but may I just thank him for telling me about this. Wonderful read :))

  10. Acabo de terminar de leer la última lección, al principio el título no me gusto fui diagnosticada con cáncer del colon hace 6 meses, y este libro me hizo reír me dio lecciones de vida, mi hijo Carlos me regaló el libro ahora le pienso decir que es tiempo de que el también lo lea sería magnífico gracias Randy

  11. I was brought here by Christopher Hitchens cutting evaluation of this talk: "this video is so sickly sweet that it should come with a health warning and an insulin shot".

    And although I know exactly what he meant, I did enjoy the first hour.

  12. This is the third(?) time I'm watching this video since my mom showed it to me. Almost a decade later, I'm studying at one of the universities where he used to teach.
    I now realize that many of my past decisions were inspired and shaped by the lessons that Randy highlights in this talk (and reinforced by my parents). Hopefully one day I can inspire and help others the way Randy has.
    On to the next brick wall

  13. Well done..I came for that thunderous soubd quality thunder..#create soundbyte if this audience applaud please..adding it to #vr..Life is Love ly. AS I happen to own one red sweatshirt of Mickey and Minnie in which I put on #prior to watching this.I have not worn this shirt for years..#coincidence #Serendipity #destiny #appreciate you and your #legacy thank you

  14. This is a wonderful video and he was a worldclass Man,  
    And FUN is VALID and essential to balanced health and long life. When he did his work, it was all like Columbus Discovering America all over again. I RESPECT all that he did. GAMES also serve via APPLICATIONS to more serious worlds.
    HOWEVER: and he would agree I am sure….Headline-making BREAKTHROUGHS in life and death tech NEED to be won…NOW. IN this video, the little bunnies in the VR game? They are Ghosts of the dead in plane crashes and skyscraper 'moments' because the tecchies did not feel like making OCCUPANT SAFETY AND ESCAPE TECHNOLOGY A REALITY, as promised by AERO in 1960. I was there , a child with interest in things…I am right and wish you'd promise that Randy Pausch et al would be ALLOWED to use their super tech minds to Save their little part of the world.

  15. Such a shame this was his last lecture. No surprise his lectures are in the best videos list from Growth Tribe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wR22o7M6iRI&lc=z23yubmq2xfsyv010acdp432wbk0blciobt0byxdlndw03c010c&feature=em-comments

  16. Reading Randy's book and listening to his lecture really gave my life a new perspective!
    Take risks, follow your childhood dreams!

  17. I am a Registered Nurse and sometimes see patients that I feel may be inspired by this video and I refer it to them. My feedback from them is so comforting and they feel it helps them with their difficulty coping with a serious diagnosis. I, myself reflect on this as a caregiver and share some of Randy's legacy of positivity in a difficult place in life. I have read the book twice and it has helped me help patients in my nursing career. The sadness of his passing still remains- but I cherish what he taught me and that I am able to pass it on to others that help them in some way. He made a difference
    in the world and I hope his family is doing well and remains proud of all he gave so many..

  18. I love this book… Saddening and inspiring; touching and motivating

    The Last Lecture (2008) by Randy Pausch

    “I have an engineering problem,” writes Randy, a former professor of Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction and Design at Carnegie Mellon University, “While for the most part, I’m in terrific physical shape, I have ten tumors in my liver and I have only a few months left to live.” How heartbreak, right? He continues, “I am a father of three young children, and married to the woman of my dreams. While I could easily feel sorry for myself, that wouldn’t do them, or me, any good. So, how to spend my very limited time?” 🙁

    To READ my REVIEW of this book, CLICK HERE: https://www.richardangelus.me/2019/03/the-last-lecture-2008-by-randy-pausch.html

  19. I can't believe it's been this long since he passed. I remember seeing the coverage of this and I swear it was just a couple of years ago. Such inspirational message.

  20. I an so glad my learning course instructor prompt me to listen to this talk. It opens a whole new door of the opportunities and possibilities for me ! Now I know why the brick walls are there.

  21. I didn't want to watch the whole thing, so I'm stopping now,,,at 1:14:48.

    BTW, Syl's advice about romantic interests also applies to politicians.

  22. This is a video, I always come back to watch again and again. First time when I watched it was 2008 when I just started my PhD. I watched it again when I take a year out for my first baby, again when I came back to study, again when I was stuck in my final year, again when my daughter was said I am not a Dr that help people…….11 years passed, I have left my research life behind start a new journey in business, I keep coming back to this video because it gives me the strength to face all the wall that I am facing……Thanks, Randy.

  23. Without God, his words ring hollow. The deathbed conversion joke sours the rest of what is a wonderful lecture.

    I can not understand why people feel the need to make fun of God. Is it very smart to alienate billions of people with faith? Does it make you all feel better about your lives or maybe your iniquities?

    You all have a right to your beliefs but it pains me to see the joy and applauding whenever someone expresses their disbelief in our creator.

    Yes, you all are very smart people. You all have your tiny pieces of paper you frame and cherish so much. Bravo! Bravo!

    One thing to think about though. Of all the smartest people in the world, all the Ph.D.'s and Scientists, ZERO, can prove GOD doesn't exist or how we came to be. The best you all have after millennia is we came from a fish. LOL, a fish.

    We may have what you call our "Magic man in the sky" but given the choice and ramifications of falsity, choosing between GOD or a fish the choice is simple. I choose GOD. If this makes you upset please take a minute. Consult your stack of accolades and ask yourself one question…What if you are wrong?

    GOD bless you all

  24. Randy Pausch golden words

    1. Its all about fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals
    2. When you screw up and nobody is there to tell anything, that's a bad state to be in
    3. Experience is what you get, when you didn't get what you wanted
    4. Wait long enough and people will surprise you and impress you
    5. When people give feedback, cherish it and use it
    6. You wait long time, sometimes its years, people will show you their good side, just keep waiting, no matter how long it takes.
    7. Luck is truly when preparation meets opportunity
    8. Headfake 1 – It's not about how you achieve your dreams its about how you lead your life
    Headfake2 – The talk's not for you IT'S FOR MY KIDS
    Headfake 2 – this talk

  25. I just listed: The Last Lecture [hardcover] Pausch, Randy; Zaslow, Jeffrey [Jan 01, 2008], for $8.00 via @amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0340977000/ref=cx_skuctr_share?smid=A3FYCC14ZQ32MA

  26. A man with great courage and dignity. So much soul it resonates outwards and fills the void. A true giver. Someone in whom the appreciation for life is a gift he gives to us by his humble understanding that life is about love, joy and respect for others and being true to yourself. His message of patience and trust is not lost in the subtext of his beautiful lecture either! R.I.P. Randy. 🙏❤️

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