As college students embark on the debt-laden, life-changing experience of a new year, few will be as inspired to change the world as the incoming class at Georgia Tech. New students were welcomed this week with what Mashable is calling an "epic" convocation, presented by sophomore Nicholas Selby, a mechanical engineering major.
Selby, bespectacled in a formal robe and tie, starts his speech with quiet, earnest nerdiness. "We chose Georgia Tech because we want to do the impossible, and this school is equipped with the resources and faculty to help us do just that," he says, looking like a poster boy for the chess club.
Then everything changes. His tone, his demeanor, and his theme music. Yes, theme music. Selby's performance crescendos and is accompanied by the theme from "2001: A Space Odyssey." Georgia Tech students should not be content to "stand on the shoulders of giants." Instead, Selby exhorts them to "CRUSH the shoulders of the giants upon whom we stand!" At a key moment, he shouts,
"If you want to change the world? You're at Georgia Tech! You can do that! If you want to build the Iron Man suit? You're at Georgia Tech! You can do that! IF YOU WANNA PLAY THEME MUSIC DURING YOUR CONVOCATION SPEECH LIKE A BAD A**, WE'RE AT GEORGIA TECH! YOU CAN DO THAT! I AM DOING THAT!!"
Talk about a "Ramblin' Wreck."
The video was posted on Youtube, and as of this writing it had more than 1 million hits. Mashable writes, "In sum, if you want to put it all on the line and deliver a speech so rousing that it makes you an Internet hero, you can do that! NICHOLAS SELBY IS DOING THAT!"
SB Nation has dubbed Selby a "motivational nerd-god."
He is clearly a man with skills beyond engineering. Selby may just be the best motivational speaker since Chris Farley warned kids they'd better straighten up or they'd end up, "eating a steady diet of government cheese, thrice divorced, and living in a van down by the river."
So here's to you, Nicolas Selby. Build a better mouse trap. YOU CAN DO THAT! Solve Obamacare. YOU CAN DO THAT! Help the Cubs win the World Series. YOU CAN DO THAT! Well, maybe.
Inspire me to write a blog about you that makes people laugh and momentarily forget the worries of the day. YOU CAN DO THAT! I AM DOING THAT!!!
—By CNBC's Jane Wells; Follow her on Twitter: @janewells