Chapter 45 Summary

Send Out Thin Mints

One of Pausch’s responsibilities is being an academic reviewer, which means he has to ask other professors to read rather tedious research papers, a task none of them particularly enjoys doing. He discovers a practical plan that works. With each paper that needs reviewing, he sends the professor a box of Girl Scout Thin Mints. In a note, he tells them this is their reward—but they cannot eat the cookies until the paper is finished.

This makes his colleagues smile, and Pausch never has to call and nag them. They see the box on their desks and know what they have to do. If he does have to send gentle e-mail reminders, he simply asks if they have eaten their cookies yet. A box of cookies is an effective communication tool as well as a sweet reward.