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Last Lecture

Last Lecture
by

Sean Malloy

on 27 May 2011

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Transcript of Last Lecture

The Last Lecture
(Chapters 1-10) Chapter 1 Summary: an injured lion still wants to roar

Summary:despite his short time to live pausch wants to
give a last lecture for the people who will
be seeing him for the last time. his wife, Jai,
wants him to stay home on the scheduled day of his lecture for her birthday but randy feels obligated to leave his mark. he tells jai that his last lecture is for his own dignity and for his kids to know just what their father was like so that he may impart wisdom on them. At the end of this chapter Pausch announces to the congregation that he has come up with the name, " really achieving your childhood dreams".

Application to Literature: Beowulf
In Beowulf, Beowulf is also striving to leave his mark on history by becoming a tale of the bards. he, unlike Pausch, defeats monsters and demons so that he may be forever remembered. Pausch does not fight notorious villians but he composes his speech to seal his place in history. Both Beowulf and Pausch become a story that is told again and again. Chapter 6: Getting to Zero G

Summary: When Randy was younger, unlike the other kids he did not want to be an astronaut. He just wanted to float. His team of students at Carnegie Mellon proposed a project using virtual reality which helped make his dream possible. He and his students were invited to travel to Houston and ride on a plane that simulates zero gravity at the Johnson space center, but there was one catch: Randy wasn't going to be allowed to ride with his students. He did figure out a way to achieve his dream though. Instead of going as the faculty advisor, he asked if he was able to go as a journalist. NASA agreed and Randy was able to experience zero gravity.

Application to Literature: Macbeth
Randy is a lot like Macbeth from Shakespeare’s play Macbeth in the way he chases after his dreams. They are both very determined to get what they want. Randy has wanted to experience zero gravity since he was a child, and when he found out that advisors were not going to be able to ride with their students, he was going to do everything he could to find a way around it. Macbeth on the other hand, is greedy and craves power. He kills Duncan to gain access to the throne, and then continues to kill anyone he views as a threat. Although they went about it in different ways, they both showed strong determination to fulfill their dreams. Chapter 3: The elephant in the room

Summary:
beforehis speech Randy is nervous about giving the lecture. Pausch eases the tension of the audiience by stating the obious. he worehis disney imagineering polo to the speech to pay tribute to one of his many childhood dreams. A giant picture of his tumors were projected and pausch explained that he was the odd one out in the room. He answered questions that he knew would be lingering in the air and calmed the atmosphere of the room. After explaining that he had moved out of state so that Jai could have more family support he proved to the audience his health by dropping to the floor and doing pushups. Pausch commented "it was almost as if i could hear everyone collectively exhaling their anxiety. It wasn't just some dying man. It was just me. I could begin."

Connection to Literature: Macbeth
The connection is that Macbeth is nervous about killing Duncan but Lady Macbeth persuades Macbeth to go through with it so he can become king. In a similar way Randy Pausch's family must have encouraged him to finish his last lecture for his kids. Chapter Four: The Parent Lottery
Summary:
Randy talks about his parents, comparing them to a winning lottery ticket. Randy’s mom was an English teacher and his father was a World War II medic. His father was very wise, and Randy said that he quotes him daily. His mother was also intelligent and was always sure to keep his arrogance to a minimum. His parents were charitable, insuring a dorm in Thailand that helps girls stay in school. Before his father died of leukemia, he made sure to give enough money to the dorm in Thailand to continue for at least six more years and donated his body to research. He talks about how grateful he is for both of his parents, and then begins to think of his own children. He talks about how his children will have a loving mother, but they won’t have a father. He concludes on a positive note stating that he doesn’t have to be alive to let his children know he loves them.

Application to literature: Randy's parents were kind hearted and charitable people, the complete opposite of Grendel's mother in Beowulf. While Randy's parents were caring and generous, Grendel's mother is fueled by vengeance. She retrieves the arm of her son after he had been defeated and intends on killing Beowulf. If Grendel had won the parent lottery like Randy had, he would most likely have grown up in a completely different environment and most likely would not have been as monstrous, if even a monster at all. Chapter Five: The Elevator in the Ranch House
Summary:
Randy’s father always encouraged creativity, so when Randy was in high school and asked his father to paint his walls, it didn’t take much to convince him. For two days, with the help of his sister and his friend, Randy painted things such as the quadratic formula, a rocket ship, chess pieces, a submarine, and an elevator door all around his room. The only editing his mom did was paint over the word ‘sucks’ on the ‘disco sucks’ that was painted above his door. His mom wasn’t thrilled, but it was often times the focal point of the house and guests thought she was cool for allowing it.

Application to literature: The First Knight
Randy’s parents are similar to Arthur in The First Knight. While most parent’s wouldn’t allow their children to paint all over their bedroom walls, without being aware of what they are painting until they are finished, Randy’s parents didn’t find a problem with it. When Arthur is dying and Lancelot helps save Camelot, Arthur tells Lancelot that he should take Arthur’s place and rule. Most knights would not do this because Lancelot betrayed Arthur and had an affair with Guinevere. Arthur decided to do what he felt was best for Camelot regardless of what others thought of the situation, just like Randy’s parents decided to allow him to paint all over his walls without fear of the value of their house decreasing, because it allowed Randy to express his creativity and benefited him in a positive way. Chapter 7: I Never Made it to the NFL

In this chapter Pausch talks about his dreams of becoming a big shot football player
and how even though he did not reach his goal, football made him the man that he is today. He tells the audience of his coaches and how they used motivation and enthusiasm to push him. One life lesson that Pausch learned in this chapter was from his coach who taught him that people digging in to you isn't necessarily bad, it just means they are trying to help you. This whole chapter is about how football gave Pausch the hard work and fundamentals that he still has today. He also explains the concept of how he was "head faked" into learning things during his childhood.

Connection to Literature: Robin Hood
In this chapter Randy talks about never reaching his childhood dreams of making it to the NFL, but the morales that he carried on helping him to become the man he is today. It seems to me that Pausch has always reached out for his goals, which are usually not based on morales or ethics. Robin Hood on the other hand has based all of his goals on his own morales and ethics. His life consisted of helping the poor even though he himself could have lived a life of luxury. The two seem to think completely different. Chapter 8: You'll Find Me Under "V"

This chapter is all about Randy's dream to become
a contributor to the World Book Encyclopedia. He starts
off by explaining to us how his parents had always bought the
yearly volume for him and his sister. As all of his dreams had, this one
came right back to him through the field of virtual reality. The World Book
called and asked for him to submit an entry on virtual reality for them to use.
He agreed instantaneously and took pride in what little room he had to showcase
his knowledge in the one book he had once dreamt of adding his thoughts to.

Connection to Literature: Beowulf

Just like Pausch, Beowulf seeks to make his mark on something that is forever passed on. Beowulf wants his story to be told from generation to generation and therefore he fought his way through toil and trouble to be remembered just as any great warrior would want. Pausch's dreams are reached much differently that Beowulf's, but in the end both of them achieve the same goal of recognition. Both worked hard to achieve something bigger than themselves. Chapter 9: A Skill Set Called Leadership

Pausch has always looked up to Captain Kirk, in the first few paragraphs he describes him as a greek god. He explains that ever since his childhood he has always idolized Kirk for his leadership. His dream in this chapter is to meet Captain Kirk. One day, Pausch is contacted by Chip Walter, an author. He is writing a book about Shatner (Kirk) and tells him that Kirk would like to visit his Virtual Reality Lab. The visit from Kirk was a dream come true to Pausch. The concluding paragraph tells of how Kirk sent his picture signed, " I don't beleive in a no-win scenario".

Connection to Literature: Macbeth

In this chapter Pausch's idol is the beloved leader fo the Enterprise. Unlike Macbeth, Kirk is a born leader who is looked up to by his followers. Kirk leads his crew through impossible situations and scenarios which creates a strong trusting bond between the leader and his people. On the other hand, Macbeth is a horrible leader. He is a power-hungry ruler who keeps no relationship with the people he has power over. There is no trust between Macbeth and his people, and Macbeth is so untrusting that he kills all who he suspects may oppose him. It seems to me that Macbeth is exactly the type of person that Kirk would be "vaporizing". Chapter 10: Winning Big

In this chapter Randy talks about the joy of winning big at carnivals. He stresses how much of a confidence boost it is to be the person walking around with the biggest prize. Pausch reminisces of the many times he would do anything just to win a larger prize than his dad. It had become a competition in his family to obtain the largest beast in the stuffed animal kingdom. He goes on to argue his case that even though he has won the biggest of the big, he has never cheated. In the end Pausch gives his stuffed animals to the audience so that the house is not cluttered when he passes.

Connection to Literature: Beowulf
This chapter seems to be all about being the best, Pausch is always looking to win himself a stuffed animal to become the coolest guy at the carnival. In a way Pausch is like Beowulf, who is always looking to be the bravest and best. Beowulf tries to slay the biggest and baddest monsters around to leave his own impression on the bards just as Pausch looked to impress carnival goers. Chapter 2: My life in a Laptop

Pausch is torn between helping Jai unpack boxes and settle in to their new house and perfecting his last lecture. He realizes that he needs her to be with him when he delivers his lecture even though it is unfair to her. He is so nervous before his lecture that he ahs to lie down in his office, proving that he really needs here for support.

Connection to Literature: Macbeth
Like Pausch, Fleance is torn between staying to help his father, banquo, after they are attacked by murderers, and fleeing to get himself out of harm's way and insuring he gets away alive. Unfortunately Pausch will not get away alive. Follow Up Questions

1. If Randy Pausch had one more day to live what do you think he would do?

2. What lesson in chapters 1-10 has had the most impact on you? Draw or write something that you would put on your wall if you could.
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