So, recently I just purchased a book out-of-the-blue without really consulting my parents beforehand. You see, usually when I buy books I ask for their permission first. Yes, I know that some people may think that that is funny, after all, I’m already quite capable of deciding whether to buy something or not on my own. So the question stands: ‘Why do you still seek your parents’ permission?’
The answer to that oh-so-predictable question is as simple as breathing.
Because I want to.
Because I think that it’s only right, after all, the money that I would be spending originally came from them as my allowance. Therefore, it is only right to ask for their permission first.
So, what’s so different this time around? Well, because my parents weren’t with me at the bookstore when I suddenly found myself drawn to a particular book.
When I first glanced at the book, I was only mesmerized at how the cover looks like. I know what they say about judging the book not by its cover but this particular book’s cover looked like it was taken out of some fantasy game and into the bookstore to be sold. The book’s title was ‘The Last Lecture’.
When I read the title, I was curious. It was something quite ordinary for me to be curious at a book which has captured my attention and so I did what typically anyone would have done under such circumstance. I read the backprint — the summary.
And it blew me away.
This was not your typical book that I have so frequently found myself reading. No, it wasn’t a fantasy, sci-fi, or even an adventure book. It was certainly not a romance novel or a mystery novel. It cannot even be called a novel to begin with.
It wasn’t the thickest book that I would have liked (for I usually prefer the thicker books as it would take me longer time to read them since reading those books with medium-sized prints only takes me about a day and a half to finish — that is, if I’m not reading it the whole time). The font size was not even small enough to my liking. That book, in a way, could have easily swayed me into NOT buying it.
But soon, I found myself asking for my sister (who was my sole company at that bookstore at that time) to lend me some money to pay for the book and me and my sister were already in the cashier with me anxiously waiting for the book to be paid and for us to go home already just so I can read it.
The book was written by a Computer Science Professor. It was certainly the right book for me — that’s what I thought when I read the summary of the book. After all, we may share common interests as we are both in the same field. I could never have been more right about it.
That book was definitely right for me. Now that I think back after having finished reading it, I can’t help but think if some divine intervention allowed me to see the book, be mesmerized by its cover, and allowed my sister to lend me money. It was right in a sense that that book taught me a lot of things and made me realize how important time is.
You see, that book tells the story of Randy Pausch. A professor diagnosed with pancriatic cancer who has (at the time of the book’s publishing) only months to live. He had, in a way, everything he wanted in his life prior to the diagnosis. He had every right to feel sorry for himself and even be angry at God. But he didn’t.
Despite his sickness, he kept a positive attitude in life. The book was something that came out during the time when the school he was a professor at asked him to give his ‘Last Lecture’ — a tradition at that institution where the professor contemplates in front of the students, faculty and other people, about his carreer and his life. I really am clueless as to what exactly happens during a last lecture since I have yet to attend one myself (my school doesn’t have that sort of thing) but I am not dumb not to figure out what.
For Mr. Paush, this really was his last lecture, I guess that added to the reason why so many people attended his lecture. So many listened. And so many left that room anew. Enlightened.
I won’t go into specifics as to what the book said. I don’t want to be someone who spoils things for those who end up becoming curious as to what the book states. I want people to read it for themselves and be enlightened in a way that I have been enlighted by it myself.
Reading about who this Randy Pausch is really made me think about how his students, and those people whom he touched, must feel like he is their ‘Morrie’ (hint- Tuesdays with Morrie, read it. It’s one of the best stories out there). And I can’t help but feel how fortunate they must all be meeting him in person, talking with him, and experiencing life with him.
I can’t help but wish that I would meet a person just like this Randy Pausch and just like Morrie, who can also make such an impact in my life — in a positive sense. I could not help but wish that teachers, instructors, professors, would hold such high regard for knowledge, self-esteem, morality, integrity, and life as those two people did. I could not help but wish to have met such a professor during my learning years in elementary, highschool, and college.
They live their lives in a surreal manner but in a manner that would make people who knew them proud. That would make the Lord proud.
If you want to read something that is worthwhile. Something that can, and hopefully will, change your life. Something that, if you are an instructor, would enlighten you as to what teaching should be all about. Then I will tell you to read this book because it may be one of the best things that would happen in your life.