Review: The Last Lecture (Free Give-away #17)

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

Release date: 2008 / 4 1/2 hours (Audio CD)

Synopsis (from back cover): “A lot of professors give talks titled ‘The Last Lecture.’ While they speak, audiences can’t help but mull the question: What would we want as our legacy. …the lecture [Randy Pausch] gave — ‘Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams — wasn’t about dying. It was about overcoming obstacles, enabling the dreams of others, and seizing every moment. It was about living.”

As you know, we recently returned from a trek across the plains of the Midwest and Colorado — and a drive of this magnitude required three books on CD, two of which I am happy to pass along to my readers!  (The third was a library book and will be reviewed this Sunday).

So, the first of two Great Colorado Give-aways is Randy Pauch’s The Last Lecture.  If you happened to catch Oprah yesterday, or are a You-Tube fan, you are most likely aware of the premise behind this lecture.  Pausch was a professor at Carnegie-Mellon who specialized in virtual reality.  Upon learning that he had pancreatic cancer, he decided to write a “Last Lecture” for his three children. 

I was a bit worried about listening to this while driving — we both wiped a few tears when we listened to Marley and Me and this was bound to be worse.  However, Pausch never becomes maudlin or melodramatic and really focuses on the lessons he’s learned and wants to impart. I was actually glad that I listened to this rather than read it, and the panoramic vistas before me were the perfect meditative backdrop.

If you’ve seen his lecture, this CD set is a nice companion that provides context for how he made the decision to publicize the lecture and how he went about writing it, in addition to interesting biographical information.  It does seem a little long and rambles at times, but this is to be expected when trying to impart a life’s worth of lessons to three children who are so young they may not even remember you.

As seen on Oprah yesterday, Pausch’s lecture had an immeasurable impact on countless people and is inspirational in many respects.  So, if you are looking to be inspired or are curious about what influenced Randy Pausch, simply leave me a comment!  I’ll choose a winner tomorrow afternoon…  As always, thanks for reading!  Oh, and if you haven’t yet seen it, here’s a link to Randy Pausch’s last lecture.

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4 Responses to Review: The Last Lecture (Free Give-away #17)

  1. Nicole Marie says:

    I think his attitude alone is inspirational. I read an article about him not too long ago, and there was a picture of him with his young family. He had the biggest smile on his face, and he seemed focused on enjoying every day he had left. I think he’s quite remarkable.

  2. Linda says:

    I had an oppportunity to see one of Pausch’s last appearances before he died. He remained upbeat and inspirational, showing remarkable courage about what he knew was the inevitable. May his wife find solace in the fact that he touched so many lives in his final months and may his young children be reminded through his legacy of well-spoken words that they were well-loved and that he had a vision for their futures.

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