[Jai walks on stage, teary-eyed. She walks with Randy to the cake. Randy: You gotta blow it out. The audience goes quiet. Jai blows out the candle on the cake. Randy: All right. Massive applause.]
And now you all have an extra reason to come to the reception. [laughter] 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’s at the bottom of barrels of crap. [Shows slide of Steve Seabolt next to a picture of The Sims] [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 pulled me aside and said, oh, by the way, we’re about to give eight million dollars 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 that’s just incredible. But, you know, it certainly would have been reasonable for me to leave 48 hours after 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 were 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? Don’t complain. Just work harder. [shows slide of Jackie Robinson, the first black major league baseball player] 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 my any Friday night in my office at ten o’clock 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? [dramatic pause] 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; standing ovation for 90 seconds; Randy brings Jai onto the stage and they take a bow; they sit down in their seats; standing ovation continues for another minute]
Thank you everyone. I’d like to thank all of you for coming. This really means a lot I know to Randy. He had this theory even up to yesterday that there wouldn’t be anyone in the room. Randy Pausch [from seat]:
I know. I’m the other Randy. That’s been my role here for the past 10 years ever since Randy Pausch came here on the faculty. And what I mean by that is, I introduce myself. I’m Randy Bryant from Computer Science. They go, oh, Randy from CS. You’re the one that does all that cool stuff of building virtual worlds and teaching children how to program. And I go, no, no, sorry. That’s the other Randy. I’m the wrong one. Sorry, I’m just like a dull nerd. [laughter] So, but I’m very pleased today to be able to sort of run a brief series of ways in which we want to recognize Randy for his contributions he’s made to Carnegie Mellon, to computer science and to the world at large. So we have a few – it will be a brief program. We have a few people I’ll be bringing up one after the other. I’m sort of the MC here. So first I’d like to introduce who you’ve already met, Steve Seabolt from Electronic Arts. [applause]
My family wondered whether or not I would make it through the introduction. [voice starts to crack up] And I did that but I might not do so well now. So bear with me. As Randy mentioned, he and I, Carnegie Mellon and Electronic Arts share a particular passion about nurturing young girls and trying to encourage young girls to stay with math and stay with science. Every geek in the world shouldn’t be a guy. You know, it’s such a twist of fate that there’s so many people that are worried about offshoring, and at the same time companies are forced to off-shore, there are fewer and fewer students entering computer science. And the number of women entering computer science just keeps dropping like a rock. There are way too few Caitlins in this world. And Caitlin, we need so many more of you. And with that in mind, Electronic Arts has endowed a scholarship fund. It’s the Randy Pausch endowed scholarship fund, established in 2007 by EA. In honor of Randy’s leadership and contribution to education, computer science, digital entertainment, and his commitment to women in technology. This scholarship will be awarded annually to a female undergraduate CMU student who demonstrates excellence in computer science and a passion in the pursuit of a career in video games. Randy, we’re so honored to do this in your name. [applause]
Next I’d like to introduce Jim Foley. He’s on the faculty at Georgia Tech and he’s here representing the ACM Special Interest Group in Computer Human Interaction. Jim. [applause]