Sunday, June 22, 2008

Book Review Brief: The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

(Above: Randy Pausch with his three children.)
I finished The Last Lecture a couple of weeks ago and I was really moved by it. As a father of four children, I appreciated his thoughtful reflections on life that he lays out for his children to appreciate. It definitely made me think about how I want my own kids to think of me. What kind of person do they think I am? If I died today, what would they remember of their old man? It pushes me on to be a better person.

Another aspect that I liked was that he gives some pretty common sense advice that has been lost, particularly on many from your generation (high schoolers). I see some kids that come through my classes that are respectful, thankful, kind. I see others who think the sun rises and sets at their command. Some students are irresponsible, unthankful, dishonest and their parents support and enable those disgusting attitudes. I experienced this first-hand recently when meeting with a parent and student. Pausch reminds us that being kind and compassionate, thankful and responsible will make life more enjoyable, more meaningful, and make our relationships more stable and powerful.

He talks about how he has worked to fulfill his dreams in some form or another. He also talks about helping other fulfill their dreams and how satisfying that is. That's something I'd love my students to grasp as well: when you've been blessed, don't just hold on to that, pass on your blessing to someone else.

The book was an easy read. I got through the entire thing in about 3 hours or so. It reads like a conversation and I would definitely recommend it to anyone. Inspiring.


Anonymous said...

will there be more book club meetings and are we starting another book? I'm looking for some good reading while i'm in Roatan.


Fong said...

first of all kaylee k., it's an honor to hear from you. second, not many high schoolers get to make return trips to honduras so consider yourself blessed. third, i enjoyed having you in my class this year. fourth, i'm not sure that i'll have another book club meeting this summer, but i may sometime this fall. if you have any book suggestions, let me know. when will you be in honduras? take lots of pics and bring em by.

Fong said...

btw kaylee, one book my wife finished last week was Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. She really liked it and it might be a good book to take with you to Honduras. it was a pretty quick read for her too (though my wife is pretty much a genius). i'm guessing it's available at Barnes and Noble and Borders because it was a pretty popular book. it's definitely at Amazon too.