The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture Chapter 55 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
On Randy’s dad’s last trip to Disney World, Randy, his dad, and Dylan were waiting for the monorail, and Dylan wanted to sit in the vehicle’s front-car with the driver. Randy’s dad thought that would be a lot of fun too, and Randy said he learned a trick while working at Disney for how to sit up front. When they got on the monorail, Randy simply asked an employee if they could sit up front next to the conductor, and the employee happily moved them into that car. “Sometimes,” Randy says, “all you have to do is ask.”
Being positive and taking direct actions to improve your situation is exactly how Randy is able to move his family into the front-most car of the Disney monorail—he simply asks for what he wants, and the people are happy to assist.
Themes
Attitude and Positive Behavior Theme Icon
For example, Randy once got up the courage to contact Fred Brooks Jr., one of the most highly regarded computer scientists in the world. In his twenties, Randy emailed Brooks Jr. to ask if Randy could drive to North Carolina and have thirty minutes to talk. Brooks Jr. responded that he’d give him more if he drove all the way down there, and they spoke for an hour and a half. Years later, Brooks Jr. was the one who invited Randy to do the guest lecture during which he met Jai. Now that Randy is sick, he always asks if he can get his medical results as fast as possible, often leading him to receive them within hours rather than waiting days. Randy urges readers to “Ask those questions” because “more often than you’d suspect, the answer you’ll get is, ‘Sure.’”
Randy is able to meet one of his idols, Fred Brooks Jr., simply by asking Fred for a half-hour of his time. Fred is kind enough to grant Randy an hour and a half, and, through their conversation Randy and Fred strike up a relationship. Many years later, Randy’s relationship with Fred affords him the opportunity of meeting Jai, which leads to him accomplishing his dream of having a family.
Themes
Dreams in Reality Theme Icon
Attitude and Positive Behavior Theme Icon