The Last Lecture-Chapters 16-19 Summary & Analysis

Randy Pausch

The Last Lecture

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The Last Lecture-Chapters 16-19 Summary & Analysis

Chapters 16 – 17

This section of the book provides the back-story of Randy’s early relationship with Jai. Even though he believed he “was always pretty adept at charging through the brick walls in academic and professional life” (73), the same sort of tenacity didn’t work out exactly as planned with Jai. He was known as a bit of a “player who’d never settle down” (75). They hit it off, but being in a long-distance relationship would turn out to be too difficult. After a budding romance, Randy asked her to move to Pittsburgh so they could be together. At the last minute, Jai backed out saying she didn’t love Randy. To Randy, this meant was like hitting a brick wall and not knowing what to do. His parents told him to give Jai the space she wanted and to support her, as they assumed she was very scared. They were right, and as a result of Randy giving her that space, Jai came around on her own time and they were married.

The fairy tale relationship they had built blossomed into Randy’s and Jai’s small but special wedding. Their wedding day getaway involved lifting off in a hot air balloon, but several things made it difficult – hitting tree branches, leaving later than scheduled, and the wind shifting. Landing the balloon became very dangerous, and it seemed likely they would land too near a train where the envelope of the balloon would get caught on the speeding train. Luckily they missed the train, although the landing wasn’t smooth.

Chapters 18-19

Chapter 18 tells a humorous story about the time “Jai Managed to Achieve the One-Driver, Two-Car Collision”. In order to soften her bad news, Jai made a wonderful meal and was extra sweet to Randy when he got home. However, Randy wasn’t really concerned about the damages. The cars still worked and so they continued on with their evening as if nothing had happened. Jai was surprised at Randy’s nonchalant reaction. The chapter ends with the lesson: “Not everything needs to be fixed” (87).

When Jai was 7 months pregnant there were…

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