What is the message in chapter 7 of The Last Lecture?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The main message that emerges from Chapter 7 of The Last Lecture is that our life experiences contain lessons that can stay with us for quite a while. 

Randy would agree that the "will to win" is just as, if not more, important than actually winning.  In Chapter 7,  Randy talks about how one of his childhood dreams was to play "tackle football" and he never accomplished it. However, Randy acknowledges the influence that Coach Graham had on his life. Coach Graham specialized in teaching life lessons to the boys on Randy's football team.  He stressed "fundamentals," hard work, and dedication.  

While he was never able to succeed as a football player, Randy realized that Coach Graham's lessons were profound because they were beyond football. The lesson that Randy takes from this is that while we might not accomplish all of our dreams, we will be more successful if we can display the desire to do so. Randy's experiences in football were preparations for his success in life. Randy talks about how this was the first time that he learned about "the head fake:"

What we really want them to learn is far more important: teamwork, perseverance, sportsmanship, the value of hard work, an ability to deal with adversity. This kind of indirect learning is what some of us like to call a 'head fake."

In Chapter 7, Randy's message is that life's "head fakes" possess a great deal of instructional merit.  The lessons he learned from Coach Graham transcended the field of athletics. Randy's main message in this chapter is to appreciate the head fakes in life and the lessons they teach us, an idea that plays a vital role in the construction of Randy's narrative.

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