Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
Audio Book Review
Narrated by Erik Singer & Randy Pausch
4 hrs and 39 mins

Randy Pausch was a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon when he was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.  He was married with 3 children and was looking forward to a long life of watching his children grow up.  As he neared the end of his fight with cancer, Randy decided to give his "last lecture" at Carnegie Mellon on "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams".

The Last Lecture series is a right of passage for professors who imagine the end of their life and the lessons they want to impart to a large audience, except for Randy didn't need to imagine coming to the end of his life.  He was already there.

These are Randy's childhood dreams:
*Being in zero gravity
*Playing in the NFL
*Authoring an article in the World Book Encyclopedia
*Being Captain Kirk
*Winning stuffed animals
*Being a Disney Imagineer

The Last Lecture is not about dying although it does figure into the book.  The Last Lecture is about truly living and following your dreams.  Randy's lecture is heart-warming and inspirational.  As a teacher, I learned some things to try in my classroom.  Randy really had me thinking a lot about my life and how to live it to the fullest degree and actually achieve my own childhood dreams.

This was a fabulous audio book.  I loved it.  The Last Lecture is meant to be auditory and listened to as a speech (or a lecture). The narrator was great and I felt like I was sitting in the audience at Carnegie Mellon.  You will laugh and you will cry and you will walk away from this book a better person for having listened to it.  I think I may need to listen to this every year.

The only difference I can see between the book and the audio version is that the book contains pictures of Randy with his family.

Randy Pausch died on July 25th, 2008.