Mitch relates in Chapter 3 that his favorite uncle died at a young age of pancreatic cancer. Mitch lived downstairs from him and watched his uncle die. Before this point, Mitch was invested in trying to become a musician but was meeting with little success. After this point, he changed his mind about his career and felt that time was a precious commodity. He went to graduate school for journalism and took a job as a sports reporter. He also decided to stop renting an apartment and to buy property, and he threw himself into his work with a passion. He describes himself as constantly operating in "fifth gear," and he even exercised like a "demon." He also decided to get married, but he was so busy dedicating himself to work that he did not have children. Busy trying to rack up accomplishments, he threw away mail that came from his alma mater, Brandeis University, so he did not realize his former beloved professor, Morrie, was sick until later.