Everything you need to know before reading Tuesdays with Morrie
Mentor, role-model, inspiration • Tuesdays with Morrie is a loving tribute to the author’s former professor, Morrie Schwartz. • On your handout, write down the name of someone you know who has had an impact on your life. • This person can be a teacher, instructor, or coach. • Sorry, family members CANNOT be used for this. • Next, explain how this person has made a difference in your life. • Be specific! We will come back to this.
Fiction & Nonfiction Fiction Nonfiction • Focuses on the imagined world • Prose, poetry, drama • Movies, except for documentaries, are considered fiction • Focuses on the real world • Articles, editorials, legal documents, personal accounts, biography & autobiography • Claims to describe reality, even when fabricated
Mitch Albom • Author of Tuesdays with Morrie • Also wrote The Five People You Meet in Heaven, For One More Day, & Have a Little Faith • Born in NJ in 1958 • Graduated from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts in 1979 with a B.A. • Here is where he met his favorite professor, Morrie Schwartz • Graduated from Columbia University in 1982 with Master’s Degree • Failed as a boxer & nightclub musician • Begins writing for sports: finds successful job at the Detroit Free Press and stars in his on sports radio show “Monday Sports Albom.” • Reconnects with his mentor, Morrie, in 1995 and begins visits that will become the basis for the book
Morrie Schwartz • Born in 1916 • Began teaching sociology in 1959 at Brandeis University • Retires in 1995 when his illness becomes too much of an interference to his work • Suffers from ALS, terminally paralyzing disease • Gains fame for resolution to make the most of life during his last days • Interviewed by Ted Koppel for ABC’s Nightline • Reconnects with former student, Mitch, after Mitch sees Morrie on TV
ALS • Full name: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis • Also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease • Affects neurological system • Gradual loss of control • Paralysis • No known cure • Terminal
Tied to the ‘90s • Book takes place in the mid-1990s • Cell phones were just coming into regular use • No texting, games, or music yet • Walkman was the way to make music portable • People still used pagers • Computers hooked up to the internet through modems • Years before AOL, Yahoo, and Google • A decade before Facebook or Twitter • O.J. Simpson Trial: trial of the decade • More on the next slide!
“If it does not fit, you must acquit…” • O.J. Simpson • Former NFL player & actor accused of murdering his ex-wife & her boyfriend • Trial shown on live T.V. • Nation was obsessed with following it • Those involved with trial become celebrities in their own right • Think Anna Nicole Smith trial, Lindsay Lohan trial, Casey Anthony trial • Novel uses trial as a backdrop for values of popular culture in America
“Because we’re Tuesday people.” • Mitch & Morrie meet on Tuesdays, the day when Morrie used to hold his office hours at Brandeis. • Story structured as though it is a college course. • Motif: a recuring subject, theme, or idea in a literary work. • Book is divided up into Tuesday visits
The Syllabus • The 1st Tuesday: We Talk About World • The 2nd Tuesday: We Talk About Feeling Sorry for Yourself • The 3rd Tuesday: We Talk About Regrets • The 4th Tuesday: We Talk About Death • The 5th Tuesday: We Talk About Family • The 6th Tuesday: We Talk About Emotions • The 7th Tuesday: We Talk About the Fear of Aging • The 8th Tuesday: We Talk About Money • The 9th Tuesday: We Talk About How Love Goes On • The 10th Tuesday: We Talk About Marriage • The 11th Tuesday: We Talk About Our Culture • The 12th Tuesday: We Talk About Forgiveness • The 13th Tuesday: We Talk About the Perfect Day • The 14th Tuesday: We Say Good-bye