Dear Mitch,

Thank you for sharing your friendship, your relationship, with Morrie. I have often described this book to others by comparing it to a roller coaster, because the first time  I read it I felt as if I was laughing one moment, then crying the next. I so loved this small powerful book that I wanted to share it with my students, high school boys who are temporarily placed in a residential substance abuse facility.  They can be a tough audience to engage, boys who come from difficult backgrounds, most have been in the juvenile justice system, and they are not generally the touchy-feely type. However, Morrie still gets to them. I think they identify with the journey you and Morrie shared, and are encouraged to forge better relationships in their lives.

I am getting older; my dad died three years ago, and , everytime I read this book  I miss him and think of all he gave to me. He was the best father anyone could ever hope to have. Many of my students, however, have not been so fortunate, and they need  adults for  inspiration and advice. I use this book to teach reading, but it is so much more; it is about connecting with wise and caring adults, and all adolescents need to connect, especially those who are abusing drugs.

I’ve had the opportunity to share it numerous times, and I must confess, I enjoy it more each time. The lessons about being human: dying, living, and being open to yourself and others; this never get old. The Henry Adams quote, “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops,” is true. Morrie lives on. He keeps breaking and my students and me down, layer by layer.

Thank you.

Keith Miller

Institution: Arlington Public Schools/Phoenix House, Arlington, VA
Class name: Substance Abuse
Grade: High School Boys