Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

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Chapter 12 Summary

Albom explains in “The Professor” how Morrie’s childhood experiences with death led him to become a professor. “The Professor” is among the saddest chapters in Tuesdays With Morrie for its description of childhood loss and life in poverty.

Morrie’s mother died when he was still young. Morrie was the son of a Russian immigrant who spoke little English, so he had to read a hospital telegram that announced his mother’s death to his father. Furthermore, after Morrie took his younger brother, David, out to scrub porches for nickels, David woke up the next morning unable to move. He had polio, and Morrie naively blamed himself for his brother’s illness. It was a dark time in Morrie’s life, and he spent a great deal of time at the synagogue praying to God to care for his mother and to protect his brother.

Morrie’s father remarried while David was still sick. Eva was a Romanian immigrant who had the energy of two women. She pushed Morrie to do well in school because she saw education as the way out of the poverty they lived in. Eva was kind and caring, though some nights she was only able to serve the family bread for supper. When David had recuperated, Morrie’s father was determined that David should grow up thinking that Eva was his real mother. Consequently, Morrie was not allowed to discuss his mother and only had the telegram announcing her death to remind him of her.

As a teenager, Morrie’s father tried to get work for his son at a fur factory. Albom explains...

(The entire section is 400 words.)