|TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE
Tuesdays with Morrie is a book authored by Mitch Albom and co-authored by Jeffrey Hatcher. This book talks about a beautiful relationship a student and a teacher can share, a relation that goes beyond the conventions of imparting and receiving knowledge on the pre-specified topics. This book proceeds with thoughts of Morrie that revolve around many abstract topics like life, death, love, marriage etc. that he imparts to Mitch as his teachings.
Mitch Albom was an alumnus of Brandeis University, where Morrie Schwartz was a college professor in philosophy for many years. Mitch and his ‘Coach’ Morrie shared a special relation of good friends in his college years. On completion of his course, Mitch proceeds towards his career and his life, almost forgetting his teacher and friend Morrie.
20 years past his graduation day, Mitch has become a sports newscaster and writer. He and his family live a fast and well-off life and struggling to gain more! One night while watch Nightline, Mitch spots Ted Koppel interviewing Morrie. And Mitch is taken aback to learn that Morrie is dying of ALS, aka Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Morrie’s strong impression on Mitch motivates him to return to his long forgotten teacher. Mitch finally rediscovers Morrie in his last few weeks of his life. Morrie is delighted to hear from Mitch again, and right away invites him to visit. And thus begins a fourteen week, every Tuesday, Mitch’s visit to Morrie in his study, just as they used to do in college days. Mitch very beautifully describes the classes, “The last class of my old professor’s life took place once a week, in his home, by a window in his study where he could watch a small hibiscus plant shed its pink flowers. The class met on Tuesdays. No books were required. The subject was the meaning of life. It was taught from experience.”
Morrie Schwartz viewed life as a reason to learn, to experience, and to teach. He enjoyed the excitement of sharing his ideas with someone. He did not see death as an end, as a farewell. Instead, he viewed it as a new beginning and an opportunity to reflect and realize. The last line of this memoir “the teaching goes on” strikes the right note in speaking this philosophy.
Morrie wished that people continue to learn from him even after he is gone. And thus, Morrie and Mitch start taping the visits on Tuesdays. Mitch rightly describes this book as the ‘Term Paper’ for his last classes with Morrie!! During the visit, they discuss various questions from the unquestioned and abstact concepts of life (What is living, death, love, marriage, a relationship) to the minute ones (what's for lunch, how's your wife, how's your son). Love is the only rational act, Morrie states. Love each other or perish, he warns, quoting Auden. Mitch imbibes well Morrie’s teaching that death ends a life, not a relationship. The never dying love between the old man and the younger one is the evidence.
In the course of these 14 weeks, Mitch realizes the relationship as if it had never been broken. He finds back his old friend, philosopher and guide in Morrie. In the mean time, Morrie utilizes this time to do his favorite thing, to ‘teach’.
Gradually, Morrie’s body continues to deteriorate as he nears the Death or better termed as the ‘beginning’!! But what doesn’t end is his role as a teacher. Mitch remembers all his teachings as the perfect knowledge and the precious most teachings from Morrie, whom he calls rightly in the last line of the book as "A teacher until the end."