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.
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)