Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tuesdays with Morrie

This book is called Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. It's a nonfiction book that tells the story of a life changing journey experienced by the author, Mitch Albom himself. It begins with Mitch telling the story of his time at college at Brandeis University. While attending college, he grew very fond to one professor in particular. His name was Morie Schwartz and he was sociology professor. Mitch had always admired him all through his time at college, and at his graduation, he gives Morie a suitcase as a gift for being such a great professor. Mitch promises that he will keep a close relationship with Morie after graduation, but this never happens. Many years after Mitch's graduation, he is at his home watching television. He notices that Morie is on a news show being interviewed. Mitch learns that Morie has ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. It's a disease that causes the death of nerves and over time can lead to the muscle weakening and the inability to move. After seeing Morie on television, Mitch feels the need to meet him again and get in touch with him after so many years. The first day that they reunited for the first time was a Tuesday, and every Tuesday following that day they met with each other to talk. Each Tuesday they would discuss a different topic that had some significance to the meaning of life and what life really meant to them. Mitch documented all of these conversations on a tape recorder because he planned to eventually write a book to summarize his life-altering discussions with Morie. Each conversation had a high level of significance and these talks helped both Morie and Mitch remember certain events or memories that had a big part in their lives. It made Mitch begin to really appreciate life after hearing what Morie had to say in each one of his story and discussions. The annual Tuesday meetings would also arise strong emotions and feelings about certain subjects. Unfortunately, each Tuesday Mitch would come to visit, he would notice that Morie's health had decreased from the time of their last visit. Mitch would bring food for Morie every week too, and each week, Morie could eat less and less of it because of his condition with the disease. "I [Mitch] put the food I had brought with me into the refrigerator-soup, vegetable cakes, tuna salad. I apologized to Charlotte for bringing it. Morrie hadn't chewed food like this in months, we both knew that, but it had become a small tradition. Sometimes, when you're losing someone, you hang on to whatever you can" (Albom 182). This proved to Mitch how badly the ALS was harming Morrie, but he didn't want to believe it. The fourth Tuesday was Mitch and Morrie's last time together because Morrie passed away later that Saturday. He had died when nobody else was in the room with him. "I [Mitch] believe he [Morrie] died this way on purpose. I believe he wanted no chilling moments, no one to witness his last breath and be haunted by it, the way he had been haunted by his mother's death-notice telegram or by his father's corpse in the city morgue" (Albom 188). Mitch knew that Morrie had a good and accomplished life, and he believed that Morrie had made a huge impact on him and effected his life in the best way possible.

Discussion Questions:
1) Morrie taught Mitch some of the most valuable life lessons he could have ever learned and he effected Mitch's life in such a positive way. If Mitch had never seen Morrie on that late night television show, then he never would have been reunited with his long lost college professor and got to learn everything that he did. Do you think everything happens for a reason and there's a purpose for everything, whether it be small or large?

2) How would you react if you learned that someone close to you had contracted a life-altering disease? (such as Morrie being diagnosed with ALS)

3) Is there a person in your life that has effected you in a significant way? (Just like Morrie impacted Mitch's life)

9 comments:

Alexander C. [13-14] said...

In response to question 1; I like to believe that our architect or supreme being has a the power to control what events occur. The creator does not have the time to delve into each and every one of our lives here on earth, so they choose to make things random in people's lives. Sometimes, these small things a cannot be explained, but don't need to be oftentimes because they are random and cannot be examined for further information.

Jacci L. 11-12 said...

2. if i learned that someone close to me had a life-altering disease i would try to spend as much time as i possibly could with them. I would take care of them, give them everything i had and tried to help them survive in any way i could, even if it was a futile attempt. It would change my life to appreciate those around me because at any moment they could be gone just like that. losing someone close to you changes your life and the way you think and i believe if someone close to me had a disease that had a fer sure end towards their life, my whole perspective on things would change as well as how i treat and think about other people.

allie s 11-12 said...

If i found out that someone close to me had a life-altering disease, i first would cry. But i would try to make their life as happy and spend time with them. I would help as much i could and love them, sometimes that's all you can do :(. And yes there are people in my life that have changed me!!! i think every encounter can change you, in a positive or negative way. But i like the positive ones and what happens... well happens!

Bojana D 11.12 said...

1. I strongly agree with the quote that everything happens for a reason. I think that everything that happens in life, positive or negative, helps you grow as a person or see life differently.

Sarah 5-6 said...

the answer question 2: If someone close to me developed ALS, I don't know how I would react at first. I do know that I would do whatever I could to make that person comfortable and happy before their time came. I would make sure they knew how much they meant to me and how much I will miss them.

Julie S. 5-6 said...

For question number one I would say that everything does happen for a reason. Everything you do and every choice you make affects your life and the lives of people around you.

tyler k 13-14 said...

If someone close to me was diagnosed with a life altering illness, I would use it as a learning expirience. Since everybody lives differently, having a life altering illness wouldn't make you that much more different then you already were from the next person. I would be strongly supportive of them and would show no pity for the fact that they still have their life and dignity, just a different way they have to live.

Kara K. 5/6 said...

I have a family member actually that has obtained a disease, it is not a bad disease, but it will affect her life styles. It is very hard to cope with, because we must pay attention to everything she eats and there is not much she is aloud to eat either. We are constantly talking about what to get her and checking food labels. She is also one of many people in my life that has effected me significantly. My sister even through all her issues has still put forth all her effort to do her best in life. She still strives to get her job she has always wanted as a math or science teacher. She has certainly showed me the way in life and I could not have been successful in my life without her.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

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