The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture

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Chris is Tammy’s son and Randy’s nephew. Randy relishes the opportunity to help shape Chris’s, and his sister Laura’s, lives. After Randy finds out that he is dying, he asks Chris and Laura to do the same thing for Randy’s kids that Randy has done for them, taking them on excursions and adventures.

Chris Quotes in The Last Lecture

The The Last Lecture quotes below are all either spoken by Chris or refer to Chris. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Dreams in Reality Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Hyperion edition of The Last Lecture published in 2008.
Chapter 15 Quotes

While my sister was outlining the rules, I slowly and deliberately opened a can of soda, turned it over, and poured it on the cloth seats in the back of the convertible. My message: People are more important than things. A car, even a pristine gem like my new convertible, was just a thing.

Related Characters: Randy Pausch (speaker), Tammy, Chris, Laura
Page Number: 69-70
Explanation and Analysis:

This quote occurs after Randy explains that, as a bachelor in his twenties and thirties, he would often take his sister’s kids, Chris and Laura, on trips and adventures. One day, Randy showed up to pick his niece and nephew up in a brand-new convertible and Tammy (Randy’s sister) lectured her kids about not spilling or making a mess in Randy’s new car. During this lecture, Randy poured an entire can of coke all over the back seats to teach his niece and nephew a lesson they would never forget (that people are more important than things). Randy’s visual example was effective in shifting Chris and Laura’s attitude towards material things: when Chris got sick in the convertible later in the weekend, he didn’t feel bad about it since he knew from Randy’s lesson that he was more important to Randy than the car. Randy notes later that he hopes Chris and Laura will pass this lesson on to Randy’s own kids after Randy has passed away.

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Chris Character Timeline in The Last Lecture

The timeline below shows where the character Chris appears in The Last Lecture. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 15: Pouring Soda in the Backseat
Teaching, Learning, and Feedback Loops Theme Icon
Attitude and Positive Behavior Theme Icon
...his twenties and thirties, Randy had no kids, so his niece and nephew, Laura and Chris, became the objects of his affection. Randy spoiled them, but that’s not all he tried... (full context)
Attitude and Positive Behavior Theme Icon
...every excursion into a “pirate adventure” so that “even the mundane could feel magical.” Randy, Chris and Laura liked making pancakes, but Randy’s dad had always asked, “why do pancakes need... (full context)
Teaching, Learning, and Feedback Loops Theme Icon
Attitude and Positive Behavior Theme Icon
...able to watch his kids grow up in the same way. Recently, Randy asked both Chris and Laura to do him a favor—after he’s gone, Randy wants them to take his... (full context)