Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Advice from someone who knows

So we've started reading Tuesdays with Morrie in the one class I teach. If you haven't read it, I will write here that I truly did find it inspiring and believe that if we could all live a little more like Morrie Schwartz did, we'd all have much happier lives. Honestly, I found myself disliking Mitch Albom, the author, a lot, but loved Morrie. If you find this sort of stuff treacly and sappy, well, maybe you're just not ready to let in the life lessons? I don't know. I enjoyed it.

Here's what my students have to write about tonight:

On p. 42 Mitch considers again Morrie's statement that "The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say, if the culture doesn't work, don't buy it." Look not only at that quote but what Albom writes immediately before and after it. [he writes about how everyone was so wrapped up in the three-ring circus of the O.J. Simpson trial and how he writes stories about athletes and their celebrity... and who actually CARES about what house Andre Agassi just bought? Why does that matter?]

Do you agree with Morrie's statement? How easy is it to not give in to our culture? How does the media influence us to care about superficial things instead of what might be more meaningful? Any other comments based on Morrie's original are welcome.

So what do you think? I wrote a response about how our culture really doesn't make us feel good about ourselves a lot of the time...we should look a certain way, buy certain things, always look young, make tons of money.... How many of us know more about Lindsay Lohan's latest arrest and how many know about the fact that Chilean miners were rescued today after two months underground? How often does news start with a story that truly isn't newsworthy but is entertainment? We have become so used to being entertained and instantly gratified that I think we (well, I) lose perspective sometimes.

I had a wonderful time with T on Saturday just getting the yard raked and mowed, and winterizing the porch. I didn't want to do it, but I got outside, I accomplished something, and I felt grateful for the fact that I have a lovely, large backyard and a house to winterize. I think Morrie got me thinking about that. Went out dancing with the girls Saturday night--such fun. Then I had a rotten morning on Sunday and had a lovely afternoon with my dear friend M who took me out for comfort soup and shoe shopping because she knew I needed it. That's what's important, not an NCIS Columbus Day marathon or what some reality show star (now, there's an oxymoron) is doing.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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