Tuesdays with Morrie Chapter 4 Summary

In "The Third Tuesday: We Talk about Regrets," Mitch decides to bring a tape recorded to their meeting. He wants to remember what Morrie has said after he's gone. Morrie was pleased with it because he wants people to hear his story. Morrie said that society doesn't encourage people to think about death. People don't often step back to evaluate whether they are happy with what they have accomplished or whether there is something missing in their lives, but they should. Morrie pointed out that many people could use a teacher to push them in that direction. Mitch decided to become a good student to Morrie and make lists of all the things he wanted to talk to him about.

In the next flashback, Mitch is starting his senior year and needs a few more credits, so Morrie suggests he write a thesis. Morrie asks Mitch about what he might be interested in writing. With Morrie's help, Mitch ends up writing a 112-page paper. Morrie is impressed and suggests that Mitch may want to consider graduate school. Mitch feels the tension of opposites: He is scared to leave school, but he desperately wants to go.

"The Audiovisual: Part Two" describes the follow-up story that Nightline did on Morrie. Ted Koppel returned to Morrie's house where Morrie admitted that he sometimes became depressed. He did not look forward to losing use of his hands or not being able to speak. Morrie said at that point, he would answer yes or no questions from people and hold their hands. Morrie read Koppel one of the letters he had received from a teacher who taught a class with only students who had suffered the death of a parent. Morrie explained that he wrote her back and said that he too lost one of his parents when he was young, and he wished he had a class like that where he could have talked about it. Seventy years later and it still makes Morrie cry to talk about it.

"The Professor" is a flashback in Morrie's life. It recalls when he was eight years old and learned by telegram that his mother had died. Morrie's mother had run a candy store until she became sick. They lived in a small apartment behind the candy store. After she died, Morrie and his younger brother David were sent to the Connecticut woods. His brother David contracted polio and had to wear braces on his legs to walk. Morrie felt it was his fault because they had played in the rain the day before. He occasionally went to synagogue by himself. He would sell magazines to make extra money. He longed for affection from his father, but they rarely spoke. When his father remarried a woman named Eva, Morrie was happy to have a mother again. She encouraged him to learn to escape the poverty they were living in. Morrie was told to never talk about his mother; he held onto the telegram announcing her death for the rest of his life. In his teenage years, his father tried to get Morrie a job at a fur factory, but because it was the Depression, they didn't have any available. He didn't want to work there anyway. When Eva asked him what he wanted to do, it was by process of elimination that he decided to become a teacher.

Albom then inserts a quote by Henry Adams about the power of teachers.

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