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The Last Lecture - Book Review

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by Rebecca A. Kerr (subscribe)
I am a 28yo freelance writer/photographer living in Perth, Western Australia. Check out my blog: introgeek.wordpress.com
Published December 25th 2012
A book that may just change the way you see yourself
If you where a parent with three young, beautiful children, with a loving partner who was your soul mate and then told by a doctor that you had terminal cancer, what would you do? If you know about pancreatic cancer, you are not given long at all and there is not really anything that doctors can do.

For one man, Randy Pausch who was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, he wanted to leave something behind, a legacy, especially for his children. Because he wasn't going to be there to watch his children grow up, to teach them the life lessons that he had learned, he wanted to give them something to help their journey through life. After all, this was who he was; A teacher.

It started with a lecture at his university; a special talk that was known as 'The Last Lecture'. This was usually performed by top academics who presented a hypothetical "Final Talk", filled with something that deeply mattered to them that they would share with others. They had once concluded this special event, but had brought it back especially for Randy. His lecture was titled "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams".

It was from this lecture that he, along with the help of a friend, decided to publish a book. This way a part of him will always be with his family. His book is "The Last Lecture". This is a book that I will always recommend to people. It is filled with positive life lessons, some of which will make you smile, some will make you cry while others can change the way you look at life.

The Last Lecture Book
The Last Lecture - Written by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow


One of his lessons in particular changed one of the views I have on life. He tells the story of when he was shopping and tried out the self service checkout. The machine ended up swallowing his change. Randy thought for a moment, do I call over the service attendant and take up 20 minutes of my time to get back the small amount of money that had been swallowed. Or is my time worth more to me? A quote from his book states - "The key question to keep asking is, are you spending your time on the right things? Because time is all you have. "

Being in retail I have met many people who have stressed about such small amounts of money, even demanding to the see the manager. Now I am not talking about dollars here, let's face it I'm a student $2 is a lot of money to me. It's a bottle of milk. But that would then justify me spending the 20mins to get that $2 back. But I have had a customer once complain over 2c. They owned a business, so they had more money than a low income earner. So really, is all that time and energy worth complaining to get 2c? There are times when I have walked away from money. Thinking about the process to get said money back: Drive to shopping centre, find parking spot, fight through the crowds, line up, wait, talk to someone... I think you get the idea.

Sadly Randy Pausch died in 2008, two years after receiving his diagnosis. He is survived by his wife, Jai, and three children, Dylan, Logan, and Chloe.

This is a book that I recommend to everyone first and foremost. It has helped shaped my views on life and showed me that you should never give up on your dreams no matter what others may tell you, because you never know, that opportunity may just present itself one day.
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Why? To help get a knew view on things.
Cost: $10 - $20 or free from your library.
Your Comment
This book looks like an interesting read. I might have to get a copy.
by Ms. Samantha (score: 2|362) 2118 days ago
Always on the look out for a good book. This one sounds worthy of my time!
by Oxford Explorer (score: 2|655) 2116 days ago
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