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. [laughter]
So, you know, in case there’s anybody who wandered in and doesn’t know the back story, my dad always taught me that when there’s an elephant in the room, introduce them. If you look at my CAT scans, there are approximately 10 tumors in my liver, and the doctors told me 3-6 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 am in better shape than most of you. [Randy gets on the ground and starts doing pushups] [Applause] So anybody who wants to cry or pity me can down and do a few of those, and then you may pity me. [laughter]
既然事已至此，我们无法改变，那么我们就必须决定如何去应对。正如牌局已定，只是我们如何出牌的问题而已。如果我看起来似乎不那么沮丧或者悲戚，抱歉，让大家失望了。[笑声]可以让大家安心的是，我不是在否认事实，我不是不知道发生了什么事情。我的家人，包括三个孩子和我爱人，我们刚刚匆忙地搬了家。我们在弗吉尼亚州的切萨皮克，离诺福克不远的地方买了房，房子很好。我之所以这样做，一方面是因为那个地方更适合我家今后的生活，就在路边；另一方面是因为我目前看起来身体还不错。我是说，你们理解上出现了一个最大的偏差，其实，我的身体相当棒。事实上，我比你们大多数人的体力都强。[兰迪趴在地方，开始做俯卧撑] [掌声] 如果有人想要流泪或可怜我的话，先来做几个俯卧撑，然后你就可以同情我了。[笑声]
All right, so what we’re not talking about today, we are 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 achieved a deathbed conversion. I just bought a Macintosh. [laughter and clapping] Now I knew I’d get 9% of the audience with that, but. 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 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.
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 roles of parents, mentors and students. I was blessed to have been born to two incredible people. This is my mother on her 70th birthday. [Shows slide of Randy’s mom driving a bumper car on an amusement park race course] [laughter] I am back here. I have just been lapped. [laughter] This is my dad riding a roller coaster on his 80th birthday. [Shows slide of dad] And he points out that 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.
那么，我们谈谈第三部分——所获得的教训。我们已经谈论过我自己的梦想，我们已经谈论过如何帮助别人实现梦想。这一路走来，总会有一些因素促使我们能够梦想成真。起首要作用的是父母、导师和学生。感谢上苍，是伟大的父母把我带到了这个世界。这是我妈妈，是她过七十大寿时候的情景。[投影显示：兰迪的妈妈开着碰碰车在游乐园赛车场] [笑声] 我在后面这里，刚被她超了一圈。[笑声] 这是我爸爸，坐着过山车，这是他过八十大寿时候的情景。[投影显示：兰迪爸爸的照片] 他说他不但勇敢，还很聪明，因为他那天还赢回了一只大熊娃娃。我爸爸总是活力十足，他做的任何事情都那么令人神往。我不知道他的口袋里面装着什么，但是我知道，口袋很酷。这是我爸打扮成圣诞老人的样子，他的的确确做了很多很多的事情去帮助别人。这是泰国的一个学生宿舍，是由我爸爸和妈妈资助的。每年有大约三十名学生因此能走进学校，否则，他们就会失学。这也是我爱人和我大力参与的一件事情。我认为，这也是我们每个人都应该参与进来的事情：帮助别人。
But the best story I have about my dad – 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 even when you pull their hair. And I have two great mom stories. When I was here studying to get my Ph.D. 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. [laugher] After I got my Ph.D., my mother took great relish in introducing me as, this is my son, he’s a doctor but not the kind that helps people. [laughter] These slides are a little bit dark, but when I was in high school I decided to paint my bedroom. [shows slides of bedroom] I always wanted a submarine and an elevator. And the great thing about this [shows slide of quadratic formula painted on wall] [interrupted by 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.It’ll be OK. Don’t worry about resale value on the house.
我妈妈。母亲会一直爱我们，即使拽着她的头发，她也爱我们。[投影显示：兰迪小时候拽着他妈妈的照片] 关于我的母亲，我想到两个有趣的故事。当时，我在本校攻读博士学位，并且要通过一门所谓的理论资格考试。我敢确信，这门考试是我一生中经历的，仅次于化疗的“第二件”最糟糕的事情。[笑声] 然后，我就跟我妈抱怨，这门考试有多艰难，有多恐怖。而她呢，靠了过来，拍拍我的胳膊说：“宝贝，我知道你的感觉，不过我记得你爸在你这个年龄的时候，正和德国人打仗呢。” [笑声] 等我获得了博士学位以后，我妈总是向别人津津乐道，说：“这是我儿子，他是个博士，但不能帮人治病。” [笑声] 下面这些幻灯片有点暗。这是我读高中的时候，我就决定自己动手粉刷我的卧室。[投影显示：卧室的照片] 我一直想要一艘潜艇和一架电梯，并且最了不起的是……[投影显示：涂在墙上的二次方程式] [被笑声打断]——我该说什么好呢？ 最了不起的是，父母都允许我这样在墙上涂鸦，并且对此毫不介意。这些涂鸦现在都还在。如果你去我父母的房子那里看看的话，这些依然都在。各位家长，如果谁要去看看，以后你的孩子想要在他们自己卧室涂鸦的话，拜托各位，让他们去画吧。没有关系的，根本不必担心房子转手时候会降价。
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 nine o’clock 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, 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 way to word your being a jerk. [laughter] 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, but. [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 about 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 Ph.D. Become a professor. And I said, why? And he said, because you’re such a good salesman that any company that gets you is going to use you as a salesman. And you might as well be selling something worthwhile like education. [long pause] Thanks.
当我们熟识以后，安迪的批评直接点了。但，[笑声] 安迪的故事，我能讲一个月。其中有一个故事，我想告诉你们。在我思考从布朗毕业以后何去何从的时候，我从来没有想过要上研究生。从未想过。这根本就不是我们家的人能够去做的事情。我有，怎么说来着？我有工作。安迪却说：“别，别去工作。去读了博士，当个教授。”我问：“为什么？”他说：“因为你是一个好推销员，所有的公司也都会把你当成一个好推销员来用。但是，你不妨推销点更有价值的东西，比如说教书育人。” [长时间的停顿] 谢谢。
Andy was my first boss, so to speak. I was lucky enough to have a lot of bosses. [shows slide of various bosses] That red circle is way off. Al is over here. [laughter] 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! [laughter] 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 that have had bad bosses, and I haven’t had to endure that experience and I’m very grateful to all the people that I ever had to have worked for. They have just been incredible.
可以说，安迪我的第一个老板。幸运的是，我有很多老板。 [投影显示：兰迪的所有老板的照片] 照片上的这个红圈太偏了，艾尔应该是在这里。 [笑声] 我不知道这究竟是怎么搞的。他或许正在看此次演讲的网络直播，说：“天哪，他有目标，但他还不会瞄准目标！” [笑声] 我不想谈论那些优秀的老板，只是想说，他们都很卓越。我知道，这世上有很多人碰到了差劲的上司，我还没有过那种经验。再此，我也想感谢我的所有领导，他们一直都很伟大。
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