Wall Street Journal columnist Jeffrey Zaslow gave a presentation to Downingtown Area School District guidance counselors and guests at East Ward Elementary School earlier this month.Guidance Counselor Celeste Alfieri, a family friend of Zaslow, invited him to speak at the elementary school. He is the co-author of "The Last Lecture" with Randy Pausch.

Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon professor, was asked to participate in the university's "final talk" program in 2007.

"The program asked top academics to think deeply about what matters to them, and give a hypothetical 'final talk' that consisted of wisdom you would try to impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance," Pat McGlone, spokeswoman for DASD, said in a news release. "Pausch choose as his last lecture 'Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,' knowing that he had three to six months of good health left due to terminal pancreatic cancer."

Zaslow covered Pausch's speech for the Wall Street Journal.

"Pausch's goal was to spend as much time as he had left with his family, so when Zaslow approached him to turn the last lecture into a book, Pausch at first refused," McGlone said.

"But he realized that he was about to leave his family forever, and although that both frightened and angered him, he knew that he needed to 'sew a few nets that will help them in the future.'"

Pausch eventually agreed to Zaslow's book request and it was written in 53 days.

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