The Last Lecture
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"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."
A lot of professors give talks titled "The Last Lecture." Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can't help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?
When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave--"Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams"--wasn't about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because "time is all you have...and you may find one day that you have less than you think"). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.
In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.
Publishers Weekly Review
© Publishers Weekly
Made me cry
This book made me cry.... It gave me more reasons to appreciate everything that I have... And to know how short life is...;
If you saw Randy Pausch out in public on any given day, you wouldn’t think twice about him being any different then you. That’s fine by him. Pausch is a man dying of pancreatic cancer, with a few months to live. He has a wife of eight years, Jai, and three young kids: Dylan age six, Logan age three, and Chloe age one and a half. This story is an incredible story, written by Pausch himself, of his plan to leave his legacy to his kids, so that they can remember him for who he truly was.
The book begins with details about Pausch’s life, his history, and his family. He talks about the last lecture he gave at Carnegie Mellon, which was taped so that his kids could one day see him for who he was. He carries on talking about his childhood dreams, transferring through his life, and eventually talks about how he found happiness, and how others should live their life to fully achieve that personal happiness. One moment that specifically sticks out is when he pours soda into the backseat of his brand new convertible. “While my sister was outlining the rules, I slowly and deliberately opened a can of soda, turned it over, and poured it on the cloth seats in the back of the convertible. My message: People are more important then things” (Pausch 69-70). This is just one of the many lessons that Pausch teaches to others.
Throughout the book, there are many small lessons that Pausch will teach about life, and why one shouldn’t waste it. I can easily say that this is one of the best books I have ever read, and it truly spoke to me, and forced me to think about ideas and qualities of life. I would suggest this book to anyone who is looking for a quick, easy read that still has meaning.
I haven’t read very many books because I don’t think they’ll be very good. With that said, I read this book and it is fantastic. It made me tear up towards the end. Randy is a very good guy.