The Last Lecture
Randy Pausch, Jeffrey Zaslow
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
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.
"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." --Randy Pausch
happy in his own thoughts. Robbee found herself thinking: “Wow, this is the epitome of a person appreciating this day and this moment.” The convertible eventually turned the corner, and that’s The Man in the Convertible 6 5 when Robbee got a look at the man’s full face. “Oh my God,” she said to herself. “It’s Randy Pausch!” She was so struck by the sight of me. She knew that my cancer diagnosis was grim. And yet, as she wrote in her email, she was moved by how contented I seemed. In this
normal and our marriage has decades to go. We discuss, we get frustrated, we get mad, we make up. Jai says she’s still figuring out how to deal with me, but she’s making headway. “You’re always the scientist, Randy,” she says. “You want science? I’ll give you science.” She used to tell me she had “a gut feeling” about something. Now, instead, she brings me data. For instance, we were going to visit my side of the family over this past Christmas, but they all had the flu. Jai didn’t want to
sabbatical at Electronic Arts, the video-game maker where Steve is an executive. We’d become as close as brothers. Steve and I embraced, hired a rental car, and drove off together, trading gallows humor. Steve said he’d just been to the dentist, and I bragged that I didn’t need to go to the dentist anymore. We pulled into a local diner to eat, and I put my laptop on the table. I flashed quickly through my slides, now trimmed to 280. “It’s still way too long,” Steve told me. “Everyone will be
me more than anything else in her file,” I said to Don. I read through her materials again. I thought about her. Impressed by her note, I decided she was worth taking a chance on, and Don agreed. She came to the ETC, got her master’s degree, and is now a Disney Imagineer. I’ve told her this story, and now she tells it to others. Despite all that is now going on in my life and with my medical care, I still try to handwrite notes when it’s important to do so. It’s just the nice thing to do. And
his pre-school teachers raving about him, telling us: “When you’re with Dylan you find yourself thinking: I want to see what kind of adult this kid turns into.” Dylan is also the king of curiosity. Wherever he is, he’s looking somewhere else and thinking, “Hey, there’s something over there! Let’s go look at it or touch it or take it apart.” If there’s a white picket fence, some kids will take a stick to it and walk along listening to the “thwack, thwack, thwack!” Dylan would go one better. He’d