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July 2009: The Last Lecture

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message 1: by Misono (new)

Misono | 11 comments I went ahead and read The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch because it seemed like that was what we were leaning towards in the email thread about our July book.

I thought the book was very inspiring, and although in some respects, Randy Pausch seemed like an ordinary man, his positive attitude and mindset opened the way for him to live a fulfilling life, one that was unfortunately cut short but will be remembered by many. His outlook on life is something that we can all benefit from -- every anecdote that was included in the book reinforced the importance of putting forth your best effort, believing in your dreams, and treating others with respect and consideration. It really shows that much of life's most important lessons are not learned inside the classroom, and yet Pausch found a way to integrate them into his last lecture, leaving behind an invaluable legacy. Of course, it was really heartbreaking to imagine him leaving behind his beloved wife and three children, but I was astounded by how he was able to make the best of his grim situation and really do everything he could to help prepare them for what would come after his death. His resolution to make the best of every moment he had left in his life is something that we can all learn from - regardless of whether we are confronted with death or not, that is how we should be living our lives, with no regrets.

Thank you Stephanie for choosing a really uplifting book. I appreciated that it was a quick read, and I'm hoping that I'll find some time soon to actually watch his last lecture.

message 2: by Mimi (new)

Mimi (mimichen) | 30 comments With his stories about the First Penguin Award, Alice Project, and Thin Mints, readers can see that Randy Pausch was a pretty cool professor and colleague. I echo Misono's sentiment that his great outlook on life is something we can all learn from. His admissions of failure and vulnerability was a great strength to his book because his honesty about his own foibles allowed the reader to trust him. In contrast to Eve Enseler and Aaron Burroughs, The Last Lecture seemed more personal with the direct dialogue he had with his wife about difficult topics like what she meant to him when they were dating and how he wanted to spend his remaining time. Some of the sections are brief, but since the book is adapted from his presentation and he had a lot of important lessons he wanted to impart, I can see why. The photographs of his family, giant stuffed animals, and William Shatner were an added bonus.

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