A professor at CMU

“You won’t remember anything about this talk except the crayon,” he said during the closing plenary at CHI.

It’s true. I don’t remember anything from the talk except that he gave a crayon to everyone in the audience. I do remember feeling exhilarated and hopeful after the talk, like I was inspired to do more.

And that was Randy Pausch. He had intrigued me with the ETC program, leading me to take Game Design. I went to the Building Virtual Worlds talk at the end of the semester…and wished I had taken that. It was the ability to create a world of magic, creativity…the ability to achieve childhood dreams.

In fact, that was the title of his last talk. Part of the last lecture series. An idea about what professors would do if it were their last talk. And indeed, it was his last talk after a doctor said that he had only a few weeks left to live after his cancer diagnosis.

His summary: Almost all of us have childhood dreams: for example, being an
astronaut, or making movies or video games for a living. Sadly, most
people don’t achieve theirs, and I think that’s a shame. I had several
specific childhood dreams, and I’ve actually achieved most of them.
More importantly, I have found ways, in particular the creation (with
Don Marinelli), of CMU’s Entertainment Technology Center
(etc.cmu.edu), of helping many young people actually *achieve* their
childhood dreams. This talk will discuss how I achieved my childhood
dreams (being in zero gravity, designing theme park rides for Disney,
and a few others), and will contain realistic advice on how *you* can
live your life so that you can make your childhood dreams come true,
too.

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