Saturday 26 February 2011

Book Review: The Last Lecture

Book Title: The Last Lecture
Author: Randy Pausch
Publisher: Hyperion
Format: Hardcover
Cost: $12.75
Pages: 206
How I got it: Borrowed from Library
My Rating:★★★★★
Erotica Rating:N/A
"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." — Randy Pausch 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!!

My Review:
This book is a companion to the lecture that can be found on Youtube. I'm going to add it in here as well.  Be aware it's long but it's worth it.
As part of my Death & Dying class as a nurse I had to read this book & watch the lecture. I had heard of him, I missed the Oprah show he was on, but I heard about it, but hadn't watched it or paid any real attention to it.  For this class I sat down one weekend to read & watch and I have to say it was very transformative & inspiring.

When randy found out he was dying he created this last lecture. I personally loved that he wrote this for his children so they would know who he was, beyond just being a figure in the pictures.  During my Gerontology class we had to write a thanatology (the study of death & dying) paper based on the book. to say it was a scary paper to write is beyond words. I cried buckets watching the video & reading the book, and even more thinking of what life would be like without me in it. To say it rearranged some priorities would be saying it lightly.

Reading this book & doing that paper made us face our own imminent death & our feelings towards it.  We had to plan our funerals, everything we wanted to happen & then we had to condense it down to three pages.  it's scary facing this information & what you want from life, we have the belief that we are invincible & we will die only when we are old, but this book shows how to live your life with even the worse diagnosis bearing down on you.  It's an amazing book & I believe it should be recommended for everyone.  it's one of those that will stick with you.
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