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My friends, by the time you read this post, I’m be well on my way to the next destination in my life.
I figure somehow writing something for this book is the right way to wrap up my summer this year ‘coz it might be now or never.
It’d be perfect if I posted this review on a Tuesday, just to go with the book’s title better. To me regret, I should have done this right after I initiated this account. Nonetheless, either in the beginning or in the end.
For your information, Poetry is postponed till some day next week, if you were anticipating. Please pardon me for doing this because I wanted to catch the very tail of August.
Now, this review is to cover these parts: synopsis of the book, my encounter with the book, excerpts and notes and after reading(which includes a remark on my summer.)
I think the sentence on the cover of the book pretty much does it: an old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lesson.
The lesson took place once a week with a duration of 14 weeks. The class met on Tuesdays. It was between a sagacious sociology professor and his former student.
It was based on a real story.
Now just for those who haven’t read the book itself—
Tuesdays with Morrie is a memoir by American author Mitch Albom about a series of visits Albom made to his former sociology professor Morrie Schwartz, as Schwartz gradually loses his life to ALS.
My encounter with Tuesdays With Morrie
I got to read the book in Chinese way before I did in the original.
It was my first year in high school when one day it so happened that I caught sight of its title in the bookstore. The trigger? I guess it was a Tuesday.
Why not come here on Tuesdays to read it? I decided on a whim.
So then I managed to go there after lunch on Tuesdays, making it a point to read a couple of chapters each time, till that Tuesday when I finished it, tears in eyes.
I didn’t intend to buy the book which was why I read it there. In retrospect, it felt so romantic.
Later in Year 2, I began to seriously read English books. This book just popped up in my mind. It may be easier since I’ve read it in Chinese. I thought to myself then. In time, it wasn’t all that tricky to read through because the ideas got across to you naturally.
I did most of my reading in bed after light-out at that time. But I remember it was a weekend when I was on the bus home that I finished reading it in the original for the first time. I remember trying really hard to suppress my crying.
A few months later, I read the English version again.
To my surprise, I found this book wasn’t much known to Chinese readers, at least those around me. But this book is truly worth it. I love it.
Therefore, I decided to do something about it.
Excerpts and Notes
Tuesdays With Morrie is mainly made up of 14 topics concerning the grand subject, the meaning of life. Those topics vary from the world, feeling sorry for yourself, regrets, death, family, emotions, fear of aging, money, how love goes on, marriage, our culture, forgiveness, the perfect day to the final goodbye.
Meanwhile, besides the one-on-one classes, a bunch of flashbacks are threaded in between.
Morrie called those of his words aphorisms. So here come some of his aphorisms that stir me up and that may hopefully pique your interest in this book.
“Life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one thing, but you are bound to do something else. Something hurts you, yet you know it shouldn’t. you take certain things for granted, even when you know you should never take anything for granted.
A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. And most of us live somewhere in the middle.”
Notes: That happens to me a lot. I guess that’s why I always find myself on the fence. However, to read this kind of feeling written down is a bit different. Albom added afterwards that it sounded like a wrestling match and asked which side won at last. That’s where Morrie answered in a smile, “Love wins. Love always wins.”
About our culture关于文化的反省
"Well, for one thing, the culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. We're teaching the wrong things. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn't work, don't buy it. Create your own. Most people can't do it. They're more unhappy than me-even in my current condition.”
Notes: Those words really came as a shock. I guess the American dream concept had been hyped so much here and there that I used to think American culture was supposedly as cheerful. But I discovered it was all the same in the end. Something does transcend tangible boundaries.
I felt resonated as well, probably because at the time, I was going against instead of with the flow at school, trying a field that no one ever did there. I couldn’t find my tribe there. But I shouldn’t stop just because of that.
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A little story about waves那两朵浪花的故事
The story is about a little wave, bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. He's enjoying the wind and the fresh air-until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore.
" `My God, this is terrible,' the wave says. `Look what's going to happen to me!'
"Then along comes another wave. It sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him, `Why do you look so sad?'
"The first wave says, `You don't understand! We're all going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn't it terrible?'
"The second wave says, `No, you don't understand. You're not a wave, you're part of the ocean.' "
Notes: I still like this story very much. It’s full of wisdom. The idea behind it is so profound, yet the story itself is simple to read. It’s about the whole picture. One human being in front of all human beings as a race. So, the ocean must be inclusive and tolerant enough to hold all kinds of waves, right?
“There are a few rules I know to be true about love and marriage: If you don't respect the other person, you're gonna have a lot of trouble. If you don't know how to compromise, you're gonna have a lot of trouble. If you can't talk openly about what goes on between you, you're gonna have a lot of trouble. And if you don't have a common set of values in life, you're gonna have a lot of trouble. Your values must be alike.”
"And the biggest one of those values, Mitch?"'
"Your belief in the importance of your marriage."
Notes: Personally, I don’t have much of a say in this topic, but it’d serve as a reference and guidance. Moreover, Morrie did exactly what he believed was true. He respected his wife, Charlotte, all his life.
About how Morrie saw his death 关于自己即将死去的事实
"People see me as a bridge. I'm not as alive as I used to be, but I'm not yet dead. I'm sort of . . . in-between."
He coughed, then regained his smile. "I'm on the last great journey here-and people want me to tell them what to pack."
Notes: I really appreciate how Morrie interpreted his death. He sounded very much far-sighted and detached. He himself confessed there were times when he woke up mourning for this but he adjusted in time and got over that. It must have taken plenty of courage.
To a great extent, I was edified by this brilliant book, given the time I first read it. In a state of self-searching and ignorance, it offered me some directions and philosophies of life. I was practically fortunate to read this book this early.
The winter vacation before I entered my senior year in high school saw me and a group of friends completing the audio book of this book, in the name of a gift for Wayne.
That was a lovely experience, indeed. I mean, gathering all the folks and arranging for the studio stuff took time and energy. I’m pleased it turned out to be something special and helpful.
Then in my last year in high school, I gave the Chinese version I’d bought at the bookstore two years earlier to a respectable teacher who did me a lot of favors and that helped me when I was in a daze. I wanted to pass down those ideas to people who I think matter.
Time elapses like smoke through a keyhole. I mean, this sounds cornier than time flies but expresses exactly what I’m feeling right now.
This summer, I didn’t go anywhere. I took up a couple of part-time jobs, gaining working experience as well as some street smart. Got a primary taste of real world.
The highlight is that I got my first ever paycheck, though that from the teaching wasn’t proportional to what I put in.
As I’ve declared on a couple of occasions, I feel I turned the best summer holiday into a gap year of sorts. I won’t say this is the best way to spend this summer, but to me it was good enough.
I’m glad to say that I did catch up on reading and movies a little bit, finally, after those entertainment-free months before the Gaokao. As you can check out here on this account and a few more that I haven’t been able to put pen to paper.
This official account, or you may call it my blog, was a labor of love. It may not be meant to please you, even though there are columns that cater to fragmentary reading.
I’m proud I gave it a shot anyway, even though the number of followers isn’t .
What I do have regret about is that I realized last morning, that I didn’t even binge watch anything! Well, I watched movies but I didn’t binge watch any TV series. I mean, that is super time-consuming but also allows me to recharge my battery as I don’t think when doing that.
This Is Us was on my to-watch list I made before summer began, but I only had time for a couple of episodes. Shame on me.
On the whole, I was pretty content with how I made use of my summer. Though it was not as versatile as all the subjects in high school with mostly English dominating it, it was productive and memorable.
In our lives, we may cross paths with a lot of people who we might never do in the future. People come, people go. C'est la vie.
Sarah E., if you’re reading this now, I want you to know that you are the teacher who inspired my heart in the domain of English. It was that one-on-one class we had in L over three years ago that activated the trigger in me. I am so thankful for that. I can’t believe that you witnessed my growth over the last four years, supporting me with intimacy and sincerity, for which I cannot be more grateful. I wish you all the best.
Now to the old gang. We can’t turn back the clock to the day we first met, but it was my pleasure to have gotten to know such nice souls as you all. Thank you for pulling off the audio book with me. Mostly, thank you for the memories.
To whoever I ever got to know in my life, may you have a bright bright future ahead. Go for it!
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Have a good one! 祝好！
Wow this review if you liked it! 相约星期二读后感