Childhood Dreams

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The word “dream” has several meanings in English. The basic meaning refers to the “dreams” that you have you’re sleeping–you feel like you are seeing or doing things that aren’t real. Another meaning is idiomatic, referring to your hopes and wishes. You may have heard of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech, “I Have a Dream.” In this speech, he is not talking about the dreams he has when he sleeps. He is talking about his hope that racism will end someday. This was a big dream, and I think it hasn’t fully come true yet. (When a dream “comes true,” it becomes real.) Most people have big and small dreams for their lives. Childhood dreams are the hopes and wishes that you have when you are a child. Some childhood dreams are realistic (such as visiting another country); some are difficult (such as becoming a professional singer); and others are almost impossible (such as becoming a superhero or owning a castle).

Recently, many internet users have been watching a video called “Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” Randy Pausch was a writer and computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, a well-known university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. He died on July 25, 2008, when he was just 47 years old. Last fall, he gave a lecture called “Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” Many people really liked it at the time, and it has become even more popular since then.

It’s a very long speech, and it is definitely at an advanced English level. There are images included as part of his presentation, which may help you understand what he’s saying. However, he does use some slang, many idioms, etc. (You can read the speech here [PDF] or here [website]. Look for page 3, where it says Randy Pausch:. That’s where the video starts.) Give the video a try if you are interested:

What were your childhood dreams? Have they come true? I’m honestly not sure what mine were, but maybe I should try to remember them.