Monday, June 30, 2008

House for Sale

Corner lot, 2.25 acres, 2400 square feet, four bedrooms, two and 3/4 bath, garden, fenced in area adjacent to back deck. Quiet neighborhood, convenient to area golf course with pool. All new appliances within the past two years, new HVAC unit (less than a year old) for main living area, landscaping references available. Termite bonded. Dish, cable, and high speed internet all available on-site.

Hey, it never hurts to utilize every available resource when selling, right? I really have nothing new to report, so I thought I would write that brief ad because there is now a sign in front of our house showing it is officially listed.

-- Robert

Friday, June 27, 2008

Email Can Be Just As Neat As Real Letters

Lately, anytime I get an email about schools, I feel like I'm back in high school waiting to see if I got the scholarship or got into the school. We worked so hard yesterday to get the house ready, and we are down to the very last items to bring out and check off the to do list. So when I got an email stating that my official score report was available, I was excited. Since I already knew the scores of the bulk of it, the only thing that really would be news is my writing score. Still, I felt a little anticipation as I clicked on the link, only to be reminded of the authentication code that came with the unofficial score report. My wife ran to get it so I could tap it in, and the anticipation just grew and grew. I kept thinking "Wow, I thought the score wouldn't be ready for two to three weeks" and "I wonder if schools are already receiving it somehow." My mind raced and raced until....


Oh, it was almost unbearable by then...

She found it! And I punched in the code...

And I laughed.

The writing portion was the same, just as my overall score had been. Still, I am glad. I did not expect to improve there, nor am I disappointed. I am satisfied that my score will not hurt my chances of getting in anywhere I apply.

-- Robert

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cause for Pause

That phrase came into my head yesterday, and I felt like I was supposed to write something about it. I never did, so now I am making up for it. I was talking to a friend about where I would be in a year, and I felt myself start to sound like I was already disengaging from here. I had to stop myself. I said, "I am not checking out of here yet." I really do have a lot to accomplish before we leave this place, and I plan to enjoy my time here. Tonight at the store I saw a man I had not spoken to in some time. He had either forgotten I lived here or did not realize I had moved back. We talked about my plans and I could sense his genuine excitement about it. He was always friendly in the past, but we must have talked for five or ten minutes, so I knew he was very glad for me. As I go through these days, weeks, and months leading up to leaving, I hope to enjoy each one of these experiences and not seek to blow right past people or opportunities.

So, tomorrow I will go to work, do my duties and endeavor to improve my business despite the fact I will leave it in a year. Sunday I will do something similar, as I will teach a lesson in class for the first time in ages (I was slated to teach last Sunday but traded duties with someone and spoke in church instead). I will make the most of this time, especially with my parents, because the future will be here soon enough, and I must enjoy my place in life as it happens instead of looking at the horizon.

-- Robert

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Now For the Hard Part

Thanks for the line, Melissa. Yes, now that I have gotten a good GMAT score, I have to fill out the applications, line up recommendations, order transcripts, and visit campuses. For now, my wife and I plan to take a road trip in the fall to visit most of them in the fall, and I am trying to get contacts in each place so I can make the most of the time I have. Still, all of what I am doing now is easier than actually going to school with a family, but I know I will have lots of help.

I have a good idea of what areas I want to research, and therefore what I want to study. I just need to determine what lines up with my interests among those schools where I am applying. The best thing I can do, from the advice of various professors, is to identify who I want to work with based on their interests and do my best to go to the school where they teach. I have a few leads in that direction, but I want to know more.

Knowledge is power, so I am arming myself. I have enjoyed this search so far, but I have only just started. Hopefully I will be more able to really get my mind around all these elements fairly soon since I will begin applying in another month or so.

-- Robert

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Well, I Didn't Improve My Old Score...

But then, getting the same score was just fine with me! Amazingly, I got exactly the same overall score, though it was based on different underlying elements - I did better on the quantitative but worse on the verbal. I think I may have managed a perfect score on the essays, which would improve from the second highest possible score there, but otherwise, my score was exactly the same and I love it. I started to feel a sense of peace about the test on Friday, but I really started to feel good about it as I started it. The first essay was on a very reasonable subject, as was the second. Then I could definitely tell the questions were getting harder on the quantitative - a sign of success on the GMAT CAT - so I knew I was going to get a good score. With about five questions to go on the verbal I could tell I was starting to get a little tired, but I still knew the score would be strong. I wasn't even surprised, unlike the first time when I thought my score was just an example because I just knew I had done badly. I actually finished every section with more than ten minutes to spare, and finished the whole test forty minutes early. I could barely contain my excitement as I left the center, but I decided to hold my primal scream of joy until I got in my car.

I wanted to thank all of those who wished me well. I appreciated the emails, phone calls, direct conversations, and blog posts that encouraged me. I especially wanted to thank all those who were praying for my success. I knew the Spirit was with me as I moved through the test.

To my family members who I have just found out read my blog regularly, welcome to the party! Thanks for looking in on me, and feel free to comment anytime! Who knew I had an audience (no offense to any regular posters).

Now on to the applications. Head down, arms folded, HERE I GO!

-- Robert

Friday, June 20, 2008

Tomorrow Is Only a Day Away

I am reminded of the week before midterms or finals, as I wait to take the GMAT tomorrow. The air was always full of expectation, anxiety, hope, and adrenaline. I am looking forward to walking out of the test around lunch and feeling the rush of "I am DONE!" For now, though,I feel ready, and I am feeling my internal focus turning on. It might sound silly, but I could definitely appreciate the movie For the Love of the Game when Costner said "clear the mechanism." He could tune out the crowd and just pitch. When I prepare myself well, I can be that way about tests. Thanks to the timing of a trip my wife is taking out of town, I will already be alone tonight, so I decided to get a hotel near the testing center (since it is about an hour away from my house). That way I can get away from a house full of boxes and furniture and instead relax and get a good night's sleep. I have something to read to help me fall asleep, and I can read it again in the morning to help my mind wake up over breakfast. Then I think my "mechanism" will be firing on all cylinders. Head bowed, arms folded, here I go.

-- Robert

Thursday, June 19, 2008


A month ago, my family was mostly recovering from post-vacation illness, and trying to get back into a routine. We were examining future possibilities, but selling your house was only a distant consideration.

Today, my garage is full of boxes, and most of the house is empty except for furniture. What these last two weeks have taught me, quite simply, is we can do anything when we put our minds to it. With a lot of help and a lot of prayer, we have brought ourselves to the point of being to sell our house, and we are looking very seriously at what I need to do so I can get a Ph.D. starting next fall. I am so proud of my wife, organizing so much to get this job done. We have worked as a team, but she has had to oversee most of it at the house. By next Friday, it's entirely possible a for sale sign will be in our front yard. I am simply amazed. I remember looking around our little apartment just over four years ago and wondering how we could ever move out of that, and I just knew the house would be too much to accomplish. Yet here we are, ready to get out and get on to another step on the path to the future. A path we are very aware requires us to be in the moment, taking care of the present or the future will be a pipe dream.

I doubt this post makes very much sense, but I wanted to write down some of my thoughts. The day after tomorrow is the GMAT. Hands folded, head down, here I go.

-- Robert

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

How Far

Today's Hump Day Hmm asks us to consider how far we would "go for kids/family/loved one/self?" The easy answer is "I would die for " whoever. I realize I oversimplify to call it easy, but I am certain I could give up my life for someone I love deeply, like my wife or children. So that may not truly be the extent of how far... what is farther? Well, I hope I would live for my family. I am willing to sacrifice my own wants to satisfy their needs, but more importantly I want to live a life that improves theirs. I want to live in such a way that the energy I expend decreases the energy they have to in order to find joy, to be cared for, and to feel loved. More importantly, I want to live a Christ-like life that shows my children how they ought to treat other people. I want to do things to improve myself so they will understand the importance of lifelong learning. I want to do the things I should to stay healthy so I can be around for them as long as possible.

I realize I am describing an ideal, and obviously I have not gone that far in my life. I certainly do not go that far every single day. But I want to go that far, and I believe I am willing to. So, like I said, dying for someone seems a lot easier than truly living for someone. The great thing about living for someone, truly putting the needs of others first, is how enriching it can be. When I buy myself a gift, I might enjoy it for a time, but when I give a gift to someone else, the joy I get from the exchange lasts much longer. Anytime I am given a choice, I prefer my birthday gift be something I give to someone else (most often my wife). I am far from a selfless constant do-gooder, but as I get older I want to do more, be better, and care more for others.

My idea of living for others, though, was misguided in the past. I thought that making sure I had a job that paid well mattered a lot more than truly reaching for my dreams, so I have worked hard at a job I enjoy but am not passionate about. I realize now, though, that my wife and children need me to seek out my dreams and do the things necessary to achieve them. It is only in finding my life's work that I can truly do my best for them. So, I am going back to school, doing something that will take a lot of work and time away from my family, and reaching higher. I know in the end that my family will have a better "me" to live with, and I will be living more for them than ever, doing what I will love.

-- Robert

Monday, June 16, 2008

Time Flies, Time Drags

As the days fly by en route to the GMAT, I am wondering if I was too hasty to schedule it. Yet, I feel like the time spent waiting to begin the application process will never end. Moving seems to be coming along quickly, yet I know the last few boxes in any move seem to take forever to leave the house. So it goes with any big change, I realize. Since I can't find much of anything interesting to blog about because my brain is on overload, I thought I might write a schedule here that I plan to keep this week:

- Practice one or two quizzes of each type of question
- Practice analytical writing at least once more
- Read one or two academic articles from the subjects I am considering researching
- Prepare a lesson for Sunday
- Make sure the painter, garage door man, and carpenter are lined up
- Get a Uhaul to move boxes to storage unit
- Take GMAT Saturday morning

I figure keeping a schedule like that will be good practice for when schedules look like this:
- Attend seminars
- Work for professor on research/classwork
- Work on research for myself
- See wife and children
- Breathe in, breathe out

Okay, so I'm exagerrating. It's not like I'll see my wife and children every week...

Sorry, my sense of humor is in "warp mode" right now. Hopefully next Monday will bring a good report. Until then, head bowed, hands folded, here we go!

-- Robert

Friday, June 13, 2008

Thank You, Dad

So many times in my past, I have worried that a decision I made would disappoint my father. So many times, he has shown me how silly that fear was. When I felt I should go back to get my MBA, he was excited for me. When I decided to join the LDS Church, he continued to love me and even came to see me join. Now that I feel so strongly that I must pursue my Ph.D., my father has spent many conversations listening to me as I discuss what I am learning, and he has given me a lot of great advice and support. At first, I thought he might be sad to see me leave our company, which we have both spent a lot of years building and changing, but now I can tell he is excited for me to do something we both know I will love. So even though my Dad does not read my blog, I had to write a tribute to him. For a man who is so hard to give a gift to, at least I can do write this post to say thank you, and Happy Father's Day, Dad.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

All Academic

I have now spent more than a week looking at business school websites. They vary like the shades of color in a sunset. Some are very simplistic, to the point of looking like someone unfamiliar with the program wrote them. Others are full of information, explaining the specializations, courses, and programs of study. The information available on professors varies - some simply list names and interests while others are complete with pictures, vitae, and links to publications. What has not seemed to vary, so far at least, is the willingness to share exhibited by all the professors. To a person, each one has been open and forthcoming with advice about the process of applying for and working toward a Ph.D. They have shared different perspectives on the uses for a Ph.D. and the reasons they pursued they got theirs. I am so grateful to find such an inviting group of people from so many different universities. I have had the opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of different programs, the strengths and weaknesses of the schools, and the primary interests of the faculties. I am excited to join their ranks, if they will have me. The recent graduate I just talked to gives me a lot of hope that I might get the chance, since his reasons for wanting a Ph.D. and his interests were and are so similar to my own.

-- Robert

Note: Eight days to the GMAT. Preparations are going well. I feel good about my chances for a good score.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Servant Leadership

I first became interested in getting a doctorate when I dreamed up a course in servant leadership. My name for it was something more like "community service development" but when I looked at existing courses at my university (feeling sure such a wonderful idea must already exist) I found the name for it. What I wanted to do in such a course was help students develop programs to serve the community - either with their own ideas or by improving existing ones - so they could appreciate the value of giving back once they reached Corporate America. The best businesses out there do a great deal for the communities where they exist - some give scholarships, some fund public schools, others sponsor cleanup projects, just to name a few. By working to improve a community, a business can improve its name which can in turn strengthen customer loyalty. I think most people start giving back for an even better reason - it feels good, and it's the right thing to do. Nurturing the environment that supports the business is much like caring for the soil in a garden. The more care one takes to weed, water, and fertilize it, the better the fruits and vegetables are that come out. The more care a business gives its community, the better the employees, customers, and products are that are involved with the business. I knew one man fairly well vicariously because my father worked for him for more than twenty years that did a great deal to demonstrate servant leadership - J.B. Fuqua. He gave large amounts of money to Duke University to name their business school after him, and that school now hosts the Center for Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE), which is an offshoot of servant leadership. Social entrepreneurship refers to businesses developed to serve a need in a community first, with profit and sustainability being a secondary goal. My co-blogger, Todd, and I had a great chat on this subject, and we both have a great deal of interest in studying social entrepreneurship. I feel strongly that this area will play a large role in my studies in a doctoral program, if I can make it work. If not, I will certainly focus my future research and teaching on the subject as much as any university willing to employ me will allow. I believe I can probably even write my dissertation on the subject, if it's not stealing from Todd to do so. To be fair, I have suggested that he and I co-author such a dissertation from two different disciplines of study - his being public administration and mine being entrepreneurship. Perhaps a book on the subject might follow. For now, I at least feel very good about what I should discuss in my applications to the various doctoral programs I am looking in to.

-- Robert

Monday, June 9, 2008

Change Agent

When I was in graduate school, I wrote a business case about a change agent - me. The case described how my office changed - at least in part from my efforts - when I worked in it before graduate school. That was five years ago. Now I feel like writing an update - how I have changed, or perhaps how my own perceptions of "me" have changed. After all, how can I study organizational change, individual changes stemming from their involvement in organizations, or those who enact change without being able to look at myself? Alas, I am not prepared to write such a thing, but I am at least glad to see things more clearly. For now, I will simply write down a few things we are working on as part of our future.

- Putting our house on the market. We planned to pay off our house as fast as we could, but now we're packing it up as fast as can, hoping to get it ready in less than a month so someone looking to move to this area might buy our house. We have a house that is "perfect for a family" (words of our realtor). That also means that the summer is the best time to sell since families don't move in the middle of a school year whenever possible.

- Researching schools to attend. I have spent hours poring over the websites of schools recommended by various professors, and I have started to narrow down my list. I can only send my new score to five schools, so I have to decide which five to send it to for sure. I have a few more than five still on my list for now, but I have a list I know I want to get my score. On the off chance that one of the schools looks at my website and finds this blog, I won't include the list here.

- Studying for the GMAT. I have continued to improve my scores on practice tests, and freshened my memory of how to handle the various questions. So I went ahead and scheduled my GMAT for June 21, a week from Saturday.

We are doing our best to muddle through the day to day while we make these plans. My father has been very supportive of the plans, thankfully. He wants to share what he learned about time management with me while I teach him geometry. I think he marks that as one of his life's shortcomings - he never got to take geometry, despite holding a Masters. I look forward to spending the time learning from each other, bringing a positive change into each other's lives.

-- Robert

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Locked And Loaded

I may be hasty in making the evaluation, but after just a short time of preparing, I feel ready to retake the GMAT. I want to send my score off to the school that will take the one I have already, and then I'll set an appointment and take it. Much like the previous time I took it, I have felt like I am being led to take this test. When I took it last time, I prayed right before I took the test, and I asked that God help my mind be clear so that I could do my best, if he wanted me to go back to school. I got a score that guaranteed me a top assistantship at UGA, so I knew my answer when I left the test site. I did not say "God, take the test for me" or "give me the answer" because I knew that was not how he worked. I knew I had prepared, and I knew I was capable of doing well, so I just asked for help to do what was within my ability. I plan to say the same prayer before taking it again. If I am really meant to follow my dream and become a professor, then I feel sure that I will have the help I need to let my preparation pay off. So I won't say "here's hoping" or "fingers crossed" like I might in some cases. Instead I'll say "head bowed, arms folded, here I go."

-- Robert

Friday, June 6, 2008

What Did I Do Yesterday to Help Me Be Better Today

I don't know that I plan to make this a recurring post every week, and I certainly don't plan to post on this idea every day, but I felt like writing a general post on the idea of daily planning and progress. After all, how can I reach my dreams if I don't take steps each day to do so?

This past week, I have been to two bookstores to get study books for the GMAT, the Graduate Management Admissions Test. It's the like SAT for graduate business schools. I got the first book because I couldn't initially find the second one. The first book, though, had a companion CD-ROM that did not work - it crashed every single time I tried the test on two different computers. So, I went to another store to get the book I really wanted - Kaplan, the creme de la creme of of test preparation. When I took the GMAT six and a half years ago (amazing to see those words), the only thing I did to prepare was use Kaplan's CD-ROM. So, now that I need to take it again, I wanted the program that helped me when it mattered.

Now that I have Kaplan's book and software, I have done several practice tests. I feel better about retaking the test, which could play a part in deciding my future. I don't like statistics deciding my future any more than most people, but it helps when the data plays in my favor. So, I'm handling the little details I will want out of the way when the time comes to apply to different programs.

For anyone reading this and looking for the subtext, I have started looking into getting my Ph.D. in business. So I have also spent a lot of the last two weeks looking at different programs of study and different business schools to determine which ones I should apply to, and which one I would most like to attend. Before I started looking, I already knew I would consider organizational behavior, strategy, and entrepreneurship. I have seen programs that offer the first two under a more broad heading called "management and organization" while others have offered programs in "strategy and organizational theory." For anyone who has taken microeconomics and macroeconomics, organizational behavior is the "micro" field while organizational theory and strategy are the "macro" field in management. O.B. examines individuals and groups and how they interact with the firm (the organization). It also studies human resource considerations such as how to find the right people to fill a need within a firm. Strategy looks at the firm as a whole and examines its abilities, its specialization, and its direction. Strategy might also examine how the firm interacts with the competitive environment, whether the firm has branched out into fields that are diminishing the competitive advantage (or failed to branch out into logical fields that would improve that advantage), and other "big picture" concerns. Not to leave out my other interest, entrepreneurship studies how new businesses are formed, the people who form them, and how existing businesses can use entrepreneurial ideas to improve and compete. These areas may bore some people to tears, but all of them fascinate me, and I would enjoy studying any of them. The question I must answer is which one I want to specialize in for my dissertation and later research.

In my quest to determine what I should pursue, I had an amazing conversation with someone at one of the business schools. I was very encouraged by his attitude, and he seemed very interested to see me pursue my degree. He even gave me an excellent idea for how to frame my interests into a dissertation within the context of one of those disciplines - something few candidates have in mind until they're in a program. I have also exchanged emails with several of my former professors that have helped me know which schools to choose from - unfortunately U.S. News and World Report doesn't have an issue on "top Ph.D. programs in business". Since ten percent of the people who get bachelor's degrees get masters degrees, and ten percent of those get Ph.D.'s (and most of those probably not in business), there are only so many people to ask about programs like these. Still, I feel like I have a selection of schools now, and as I get to know more about them I will move them up or down on my list. Hopefully we'll be able to visit the finalists and make a truly informed decision.

Now back to taking the GMAT practice tests.

-- Robert

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Comfort Zone, Hump Day Hmm

Today's Hump Day Hmm asks us to "Tell us about your comfort zone, outside your comfort zone, and share a journey you took outside your comfort zone...what happened?" Like most people, I think my comfort zone is evolving over time, but I know I am most comfortable when I feel like I understand what I am supposed to do, and I am least comfortable when I feel completely ignorant, unwieldy, or incapable of a task placed before me. I am not an easy person to embarass, but when someone asks me in a public way if I have done something that I did not know I was supposed to have done, or which I have not yet done but did know was my job, that makes me extremely uncomfortable.

I remember one classic example of how someone dealt with this dilemma from my undergraduate days. The professor asked a senior, close to graduation, a question regarding the class subject matter, and he said, "Oh, professor, I am truly sorry, but while I was on Spring Break last week, I developed C.R.S. syndrome." She asked him in complete serious if he was okay and whether or not he needed to be at home resting instead of in class. Feeling a little bad for pulling her leg (and not realizing she did not know the term, apparently), he told her what C.R.S. stood for, and she thought it was so funny that she didn't feel the need to reprimand him. (For those who don't know, like I did not, I don't swear on this blog and really not at all as a general rule, but it stands for "Can't remember s---"). There are days when I feel myself wanting to use that line when I get asked about something I don't know.

Unlike most men, I am not afraid to stop and ask for directions when I am lost. If I am unfamiliar with an area, or if I need to get somewhere I've never been, then I am perfectly fine with calling the place I am trying to find or stopping and asking someone in the vicinity of it for help. What I hate doing, though, is calling someone to ask for help with something they know that I think they will expect me to know. I hated asking my first English professor on a college campus a question about format for a paper that was do, probably because so many of my earlier teachers had made it clear what ogres such professors could be. Yet by asking my question, the professor was perfectly happy to make a wonderful suggestion that might have been obvious to him, but it was an eye opener for me. I said, "I guess I'm still a little bit Frosh" meaning I was still new to the ways of college. He said, "What did you say?" I repeated, "I guess I'm still a little bit Frosh. This is my first term here." to which he said, "I thought for sure you were Junior before you said that. I'm really impressed with how well you handle yourself in my class." I was proud to hear his remarks, and I felt much better the rest of the term with just asking him anything that I felt I did not understand. I got an A in the class, but I felt most of all that I really came into my own as an academic writer thanks to that professor, since the writing I did there was so completely foreign to what I had done even in my joint enrollment English courses in high school up to that point.

Right now, I definitely feel like I am stepping outside my comfort zone. I have spent more than a week writing professors and talking to them by phone in the hopes of better understanding their areas of study. I hate asking because some of them taught me these subjects and I can just sense them wanting to ask, "Well why don't you already know about this subject?" I think my own insecurities have a lot more to do with those concerns than their actual attitudes, though. After all, the reason I came to respect the ones who taught me is that they were so wonderful about having an open door to ask anything we wanted to know. Still, it feels really strange to ask these questions and then let them know I am considering joining their ranks some day. I liken it to a college football player asking a pro player what it means to play one position over another, which the pro player would almost certainly want to say "If you don't know that by now, then you don't belong at this level." So if I want to go "pro" in business as an academic, it feels awkward to say "Tell me what it is you research, because I have no idea what I would ever want to research, let alone research for the rest of my life."

One step outside my comfort zone Tuesday, though, yielded tremendous results. At my wife's encouragement ( have to give her credit for suggesting it be a call instead of an email) I talked to an instructional consultant from one of the universities I was examining. I made the call without giving him any warning because I did not want to be told "sorry, too busy right now" or anything of the sort. I first told him how amazed that such a position as his existed in a business school, because I had never heard of it. He explained that his school was, to his knowledge, the only one in the US with such a position on staff, but that he loved his job. I wanted to know if he was a resource available to Ph.D. students who wanted to become better teachers. He assured me that he was available, and that he often worked with them. His job is to help professors in that college of business (and really only that college with a few exceptions) who want to improve their technique or simply try out something new. I am so glad I called him because by the end of the conversation, I felt much more sure of myself and the possibility that I might belong among the ranks of academia. He even framed what I think might some day prove to be the beginnings of my dissertation. Most of all, he let me know how much he appreciated hearing of my interest and how much he hoped I would follow through on it. I will try to write about that conversation in greater detail in days to come, but for now I am simply glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and called. Going forward, I hope to have similarly enriching conversations and email exchanges in the future that come from stepping out of my comfort zone.

-- Robert

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Right Here, Right Now - a Visceral Response to the Last Lecture

I love to read good books. I enjoy reading books that engage me from the start, and I love to read books that make me want to jump up from the chair, run outside, and scream to whole world "You've got to read this book!" So, if to those reading this post, just imagine me on my front lawn, or maybe even on the roof of my house. Sadly, I suspect what I write will go as unread as what I would be telling from either vantage point. I hope this book does not go unheard or unread, though. Perhaps because it comes at such an appropriate time for me, or maybe because Randy Pausch resonates with me, this book has joined the list of "must recommend" and probably even the list of "might be someone's Christmas / birthday / anniversary/ just-thinking-of-you" gift in the future. Since I am not so well read as I would like, that list is still somewhat short. I still consider it a good list, though.

This book touched me in so many ways that I felt I had to write to Dr. Pausch and tell him. I also wanted to invite him to Melissa's Virtual Book Club event on his book June 2 at 8:00 PM Central. I know it sounds crazy to expect him to come, but one of his chapters is called "All you have to do is ask" so I did. I would love to directly discuss with him some of the things his book brought to my mind, and how much it helped me realize that some of the things I have always imagined I would do "some day" are what I should be doing now. I just hope I follow through on the emotions. If I do, I would owe him a small debt of gratitude, and I think I might find myself writing a letter to his children to let them know what his father's book urged me to do for the sake of my family, namely to pursue my dreams and encourage them to pursue their own.

Here's hoping.

-- Robert
Here are two great links from The Last Lecture that demonstrate Dr. Pausch's legacy: