What's the lesson to be learned in The Last Lecture from Randy's attempts to get onto the vomit comet?

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In the largest sense, there are two lessons that Randy directly mentions in connection with his efforts to experience the Vomit Comet. As he begins this part of his speech, he makes the point that "it’s important to have specific dreams. I did not dream of being an astronaut,...I just wanted the floating." He wasn't interested in experiencing all the astronaut training - he just wanted to experience zero gravity. 

His other lesson illustrated through this particular experience is that "one of the themes that you’ll hear...is have something to bring to the table, right, because that will make you more welcome." Pausch demonstrated his commitment to being able to meet the requirements for participants in the competition to join his college students in the Vomit Comet. He resigned his position as the advisor and proved that he would be riding as a representative of the media, as allowed by the competition rules. When questioned about this ploy, he explained the value of the Vomit Comet experience for all members of the team working on the development of virtual reality and agreed that, as a media person accompanying the team, he would help to publicize the program. This persuaded the persons coordinating the program to allow him to experience weightlessness - the primary objective.



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