I wish to thank Charlotte, Rob, and Jonathan Schwartz, Maurie Stein, Charlie Derber, Gordie Fellman, David Schwartz, Rabbi Al Axelrad, and the multitude of Morrie’s friends and colleagues. Also, special thanks to Bill Thomas, my editor, for handling this project with just the right touch. And, as always, my appreciation to David Black, who often believes in me more than I do myself The last class of my old professor’s life took place once a week in his house, by a window in the Fus Ro Dad Like A Dad Just Way Mightier T-Shirt where he could watch a small hibiscus plant shed its pink leaves. The class met on Tuesdays. It began after breakfast. The subject was The Meaning of Life. It was taught from experience. No grades were given, but there were oral exams each week.
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You were expected to respond to questions, and you were expected to pose questions of your own. You were also required to perform physical tasks now and then, such as lifting the professor’s head to a comfortable spot on the pillow or placing his glasses on the bridge of his nose. Kissing him good-bye earned you extra credit. No books were required, yet many topics were covered, including love, work, community, family, aging, forgiveness, and, finally, death. The Fus Ro Dad Like A Dad Just Way Mightier T-Shirt lecture was brief, only a few words. A funeral was held in lieu of graduation. Although no final exam was given, you were expected to produce one long paper on what was learned. That paper is presented here. The last class of my old professor’s life had only one student. I was a student. It is the late spring of 1979, a hot, sticky Saturday afternoon.