The Last Lecture by Randy Paush Marisa Helf
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Big Russ and Me

Big Russ and Me | The Last Lecture by Randy Paush Marisa Helf | Scoop.it
NBC-TVUs senior vice Washington bureau chief and host of "Meet the Press" offers an intensely personal and charming memoir of American li...
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        Big Russ & Me is a book written by a son about his father and the lessons he taught him. This book outlines the father's (Big Russ) passion for sporta, religion, his country, and most importantly life. While offering a peek into the relationship Tim Russert (the author) had with his father, this book also provides a charming memior of American life and values in the 1950's. 

         This book is similar to The Last Lecture because both offer life lessons to help a person live a more fulfilling life. Also, both books offer information about life was back in earlier decades with Randy describing how he used to read the encylcopedia as a child and how he later was able to fulfill his childhood dream of writing a section in one. Hoeever, these books most strongly connect through through the way both Randy and Tim learn these life lessons- their fathers. While Tim states that some of his lessons came from daily obligations, Randy recalls an important lesson on humility from a momentous discovery after his father's death. While looking through his father's belongings Randy discovered a bronze medal of honor his father won during the war but failed to ever mention to anyone. This taught Randy not to flaunt his accomplishments- a lessons that he recalls over and over again in his book. These two books are related in many way but most strongly by the lessons taught by each author's father.

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Randy Pausch ABC Special about the "Last Lecture", April 2008

Randy Pausch ABC Special interview about his "The Last Lecture" and his book, April 2008. For more information about Randy's book, see http://www.cs.virginia...
Marisa Helf's insight:

As Dianne Sawyer mentions, there is a runnning joke in the Pausch household that Randy "is a doctor but not the kind who helps people", but Pausch uses this lecture to prove otherwise. In this interview Sawyer talks to Randy and his wife to get their input on their relationship, their children, and his last lecture. While Randy seems to be holding everything together fairly well, his wife appears to be on the verge of tears for most of the interview serving as a reminder that Randy really is dying. However, on a more uplifting note, Sawyer tells the stories of families that Randy's lecture helped to change for the better- an uxexpected side effect of his lecture. She also takes him to a football feild to help him accomplish one of his childhood dreams of being in the NFL (as he mentions in his lecture). Seeing Randy talk outside of his lecture is a really moving experience and goes to show that he really is a good person- not just some guy who can give a good speech.

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The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture | The Last Lecture by Randy Paush Marisa Helf | Scoop.it
"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 Le...
Marisa Helf's insight:

         The Last Lecture is comprised of a list of Randy Pausch's experiences regarding his road to writing his last lecture, stories of people that influened his life choices, and experiences that taught him life lessons. There is no singluar plot to the story other than the fact that Randy is dying of terminal cancer and using this last lecture as a way to communicate with his children in the fututre. However, his detailed recollections of his life have small, individual plots that help reteach life lessons he has already learned and wishes to pass on.

        Randy Pausch had many roles ion his life. He was a loving husband, a dedicated fahter, a quirky uncle, a genius computer scientist, and an inspirational profesor. But most importantly Randy Pausch was a man trying to fulfill his childhood dreams- and helping others do the same. He wanted to "be in zero gravity, play in the NFL,be a Disney Imagineer", and many other things; and while many of these things never became reality, the experience he gained trying was most important. Randy Paush was a man of great character and did a great job of trying to improve the character of others throghout his life.

        There are several themes in the last lecture such as "brick walls are put in front of you to show you how bad you want it", and "expience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted". But most importantly, the main theme of his last lecture is to figure out the things that really matter in your life and to live every moment to the fullest becase "Time is all you have. And you may find one day you have less than you think." Because Randy is dying of cancer, he writes this book as a memoir dedicated to his children so they have advice on how to dela wioth their problemsas they grow up. Therefore all themes in this book revolve around life itself. 

        There is no ideal reader for this book. The lecture is filled with so many sotries and lessons that there is truy a story that everyone can connect to. While you know that Randy is dying- he talks openly about his struggles with death- this is still an uplifting book becuase it speaks to the love that a person should have for life and is very uplifting. This book apeals to al men, women, boys, and girls becuase it is never to late for any person to start really living their life.

        I loved this book because I tend to get stuck thinking about little, insignificant things in life and this book served as a good reminder tolive life with all you have because you never know when it will end. I have even tried using some of Randy's specific lessons in my own life after reading this book. Randy tells the story of how, while at the self chockout at Wal Mart, he was accidentally charged twice but chose not to deal with it because it would only waste the precious time he had left and would be no fun for anyone involved. I experienced this same problem while shopping recently and instead of complaining I simply said a little prayer for Randy and his family and left the store happy. The Last Lecture is one of the most influential books I have ever read and I enjoyed every word of it.

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Michelle's comment, May 28, 2013 10:08 AM
Great summary!! I totally agree this book was amazing and it is for everyone.
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87037-1035x360.jpg (1035x360 pixels)

87037-1035x360.jpg (1035x360 pixels) | The Last Lecture by Randy Paush Marisa Helf | Scoop.it
Marisa Helf's insight:

As a panorama of Randy Pausch's childhood bedroom, this picture shows all of the artwork Randy was allowed to paint on his walls as a teenager.He praises his parents for allowing him "express his ctreativity in unconventional ways" and while later reflecting on the experience he expresses his gratitude for the opportunity. Pausch painted "things that mattered" to him such as the quadratic formula because "the highest power of an unknown quantity is a sqaure" and he thought that was worth celebrating. He painted large, silver elevator door even though he lived in a ranch style home with one floor. The elevator had six floors and the button for the third flor was illuminated. When relfecting on this Pausch wondered, "Why didn't I paint eighty or ninety floors? If I was such a big shot dreamer, why did my elevator stop at three?" He then copncluded that "may it was a symbol of the balance in my life between aspiration and pragmatism." This memory lived with Randy becuase it reminded him how lucky he was to have parents that cared more about his creativity than the resale value of their house. He expresses this gratitude in a section of his lecture entitled, "The Elevator in the Ranch House".

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Michelle's comment, May 28, 2013 10:03 AM
This is such a cool picture and really helps us to visualize his room. You also explained throughly how it connected to the book using quotes. Love it!!
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The "Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch

See Randy's book about this "Last Lecture" at http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~robins/Randy_Book.html Randy reprised this talk on the Oprah Show in Oct 2007 (see ...
Marisa Helf's insight:

In Randy Pausch's The Last Lecture, he provides excerpts from his actual lecture linked above and the inspirational moments that helped him with writing. Randy describes his struggles with a terminal diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and it is easy to think that this would make his book and lecture overwhelmingly sad because it is literally the last lecture he will be able to give; however, the book is incredibly uplifting becuase Randy instead talks about the joys in his life and all the lessons he learned such as the imprtance of fulfilling your childhood dreams, being able to work with others, and getting over the "brick walls" in your life.You can hear the audience laughing every few seconds during his lecture becuase Randy does an excellent job of not focusing on his death but instead his life. At one point he brought out the giant carnival stuffed animals he'd won (one of his childhood dreams invloved being thecool guy with the huge stuffed animals) to prove that point that he'd fulfilled that dream and then offered the audience to come up and take them home when the lecture was over. In his book he describes what happened at the end of his lecture- a girl whith cancer came up and talked to him and ironically took the elephant stuffed animal because cancer was the "elephant in the room" as he has earlier described. Watching Randy give the lecture bring a whole new light to his book because you can see him using his hands to talk and you can hear the audience laughing at his jokes just when you did while reading. Both the book and lecture are surprisingly uplifting because they eal with life instead of death.

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Michelle's comment, May 28, 2013 10:07 AM
So cool how we can actually watch his "last lecture" and not just read about it. It gives you the feeling as if you were really there and helps visualize the book better.