tuesday with morrie - Mitch Albom Tuesdays with Morrie an...

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Mitch Albom Tuesdays with Morrie: an old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lesson Tuesdays with Morrie: an old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lesson by Mitch Albom Acknowledgments I would like to acknowledge the enormous help given to me in creating this book. For their memories, their patience, and their guidance, I wish to thank Charlotte, Rob, and Jonathan Schwartz,
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Maurie Stein, Charlie Derber, Gordie Fellman, David Schwartz, Rabbi Al Axelrad, and the multitude of Morrie’s friends and colleagues. Also, special thanks to Bill Thomas, my editor, for handling this project with just the right touch. And, as always, my appreciation to David Black, who often believes in me more than I do myself. Mostly, my thanks to Morrie, for wanting to do this last thesis together. Have you ever had a teacher like this? The Curriculum The last class of my old professor’s life took place once a week in his house, by a window in the study where he could watch a small hibiscus plant shed its pink leaves. The class met on Tuesdays. It began after breakfast. The subject was The Meaning of Life. It was taught from experience. No grades were given, but there were oral exams each week. You were expected to respond to questions, and you were expected to pose questions of your own. You were also required to perform physical tasks now and then, such as lifting the professor’s head to a comfortable spot on the pillow or placing his glasses on the bridge of his nose. Kissing him good-bye earned you extra credit. No books were required, yet many topics were covered, including love, work, community, family, aging, forgiveness, and, finally, death. The last lecture was brief, only a few words. A funeral was held in lieu of graduation. Although no final exam was given, you were expected to produce one long paper on what was learned. That paper is presented here. The last class of my old professor’s life had only one student. I was the student. It is the late spring of 1979, a hot, sticky Saturday afternoon. Hundreds of us sit together, side by side, in rows of wooden folding chairs on the main campus lawn. We wear blue nylon robes. We listen impatiently to long speeches. When the ceremony is over, we throw our caps in the air, and we are officially graduated from college, the senior class of Brandeis University in the city of Waltham, Massachusetts. For many of us, the curtain has just come down on childhood. Afterward, I find Morrie Schwartz, my favorite professor, and introduce him to my parents. He is a small man who takes small steps, as if a strong wind could, at any time, whisk him up into the clouds. In his graduation day robe, he looks like a cross between a biblical prophet and a Christmas elf He has sparkling blue green eyes, thinning silver hair that spills onto his forehead, big ears, a triangular nose, and tufts of graying eyebrows.
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