Monday, June 23, 2008

About Randy Pausch...

It is noon, and my son has finally fallen asleep for his morning nap a few hours and a cup of coffee late for me to join him in the quest for a more rested state of being. Unfortunately for me, lucky for you, because now I have some time to kill and a caffeine rush that is causing me to be able to type fast enough to keep up with the thoughts racing through my mind.

I thought this might be a good time to explain the two links I recently added to my side bar. (See side bar...they are the two links below everyones names and above my daily comic strip kick.) For my birthday this year I was given the gift of choosing my own gifts, both from my parents and from my husband. Naturally, I gravitated to the bookstore where my eye was caught by this little book under the best sellers and listed for 30% off. As a good Dutch girl, how could I resist such a deal, and for some reason I decided to go for it. This book was called The Last Lecture and was written by Randy Pausch.

To give you a brief overview, Randy Pausch is a computer science university professor in his late 40's who was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer in September 2006. Last August 2007 he was given 3-6 months of good health. In September he gave a "Last Lecture" at the university where he used to teach as a way to leave behind a legacy for his 3 young children. The book is written with the help of a journalist Jeffrey Zaslow and is based upon this lecture. It was finished in January 2008, published in April, and is now already a best seller, thanks to a huge following that grew up after the university lecture made its way to the internet. If you would like more info than that, feel free to check out the sites that I've linked. The first is to a blog that Randy has set up that updates his health status and various other life activities, and the second is to the webpage for the book. If anyone wants to read the book, I of course own it, and you may borrow it, as long as you promise to return it. :)

I'm not completely certain what it is about this book that has so struck me. Honestly, while I was reading it I couldn't put it down, not entirely a shocker for me, but since I generally am not hugely into non-fiction, also not completely normal. (It's taking me weeks to get through a couple C.S. Lewis books I've got here in the house, and I happen to LOVE C.S. Lewis...figure that one out...) But there was something in both the style of writing and the story itself that has touched me. It is the kind of book I wish that I could write...except that I don't have nearly the inspiration, wisdom, or life experience to drive it. The story is heart-breaking...a man not even 50 struck with cancer, aching to find a way to tell his children how much he loved them, children who are so young they will probably barely remember him, probably one of the biggest reason he has so desired to find a way to leave them this legacy. His oldest is 6, the youngest is not quite 2.

My caffeine jolt is fading, so I'll just say this, to a certain extent a lot of hype happens when you hear of such sensational stories as this. Is the book really so good to deserve it all? I don't know. But I do know one thing: this man who is going through so much is able to do so with astounding optimism, and I believe it is that optimism in the face of such despairing circumstances that has sparked the interest of so many. If you read the book, you'll have to tell me what you think...

5 comments:

plainmama said...

I have seen clips of him on Oprah and he is truly inspirational. I would love to be able to read his book, but I know it would spark a bit too much emotion for me, so close to my own mother's death. I will add it to my, plan to read, list.

Katie said...

Don't you love it when you find a book that inspires you to be a better writer yourself? I find authors like this to be so inspirational - not only in the story that they tell (be it fiction or not), but in the way that they tell it. I agree with you, I would love to write like that some day, but I have no idea how I would go about it.

I'm going to check this out - thanks Marleah!

Eric and Emily B. said...

RYC: I know, it would awesome so live closer and get to know you more!!

Eric and Emily B. said...

We have a new site, we aren't using our blogger any more. You can read about it on my protected post on xanga.com

Allie said...

I loved his lecture. I have seen it I haven't read it yet. It was so sad when he died recently but I walked away with a lot of new thought patterns as to how we have a choice on viewing things that happen in life.
With his kids it was so heartwarming and breaking at the same time. So many good ideas though.

Post a Comment