The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture Chapter 41 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Despite Randy’s love of efficiency, he believes that thank-you notes should still be done with pen and paper. Randy says admissions officers see lots of great resumés with activities and fantastic grades, but they rarely see hand-written thank-you notes, and “because handwritten notes have gotten so rare, they will remember you.” His advice isn’t about being a calculating schemer, but more that there are respectful and considerate things you can do in life that will be appreciated by the recipient.
Taking the time to do positive, little things that show other people you appreciate them (like writing thank you notes) can make the world treat you more positively in turn.
Themes
Attitude and Positive Behavior Theme Icon
Entitlement vs. Earning Theme Icon
For example, a young woman applies to the Entertainment Technology Center, and, though her application is good, it’s not quite good enough to get her in. Randy is about to reject her when he notices a handwritten thank-you note, not to Randy or Don Marinelli, but to a non-faculty support staffer who had helped her with arrangements. The staff member has no sway over the application, and Randy decides that the note tells him more about this girl than anything else in her application. She was accepted, got a master’s degree, and is now a Disney Imagineer.
This applicant’s hand-written thank you note helps make her dream of becoming a Disney Imagineer a reality, as it is the deciding factor in Randy admitting her into the ETC. This girl’s proactive, positive behavior earned her a spot in a program—if she’d felt entitled to the staffer’s help instead of grateful enough to write a note then she wouldn’t have gotten in.
Themes
Dreams in Reality Theme Icon
Attitude and Positive Behavior Theme Icon
Entitlement vs. Earning Theme Icon