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Careers: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Until today I had never heard of Professor Randy Pausch of Carnegie Mellon University. I hadn’t heard about his trailblazing work in computer science studies – particularly in virtual reality and creating a playful way to teach computer programming to children.

But then someone sent me a link to his final lecture, which CMU recorded on September 18th and streamed on the web. The 47-year-old Pausch, who is dying of terminal pancreatic cancer, is worth listening to – and remembering – because he has something to teach all of us about achieving our childhood dreams.

In his hour-plus long talk to an audience of 400 friends, faculty and students, Pausch liberally weaves humor, storytelling and multimedia tools to convey invaluable advice about building a career and managing relationships with bosses, co-workers, students, and family.

“We’re not going to talk about spirituality and religion,” he says. “Although I will tell you that I have experienced a deathbed conversion. I just bought a Macintosh. … Now I know I’d get 9 percent of the audience with that.”

It had been too many years since I heard a really inspirational and informative college lecture. What if you had one last lecture to give – what would you say to your friends, colleagues and loved ones?

“I don’t know how to not have fun,” he says at one point. “I’m dying and I’m going to keep having fun every day I have left.”

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Rusty Weston, My Global Career • San Francisco, Ca • http://www.myglobalcareer.com/

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