Religion: Mitch’s List

Mitch made a list of things to talk to Morrie about, his list included: Fear, Society and Forgiveness.


 Fear is a natural feeling for humans to have. Fear is a sudden feeling of anxiety that you experience while doing something. It’s an important and necessary feeling in the human body. If humans didn’t feel fear, they wouldn’t be able to protect themselves from threats. Fear stops you from putting yourself in dangerous situations which could results in your death. However fear can become a problem if you give it too much control. For example, it’s not necessary to be scared of trying new things or going for an interview. It’s natural to feel nervous before doing new things but if you let these nerves control you, you let yourself fear everything, which is a problem.


Society is a constructed group of people, it is a community of people. Society shows what they think is right and what they think is wrong. Many people don’t like to go against what society thinks is right. Society can be a positive thing, it sets up an imaginary sense of security. Society is generally a negative thing. People don’t want to speak out against it, this can result in things like developing anxiety because you don’t feel like you fit into what’s right. People can develop eating disorders because they don’t fit into what society says is ‘thin’. In my opinion, society’s unrealistic views are the main cause of bullying, depression and suicide.


Forgivesness is an important thing in our lives. If nobody ever accepted an apology then we would be living our lives in bitterness. Everybody will do something that they will regret and be sorry for at least once a day. Accepting someone’s apology can help bond people together to become even closer.


Religion: Auden’s Poem

In the movie ‘Tuesdays With Morrie’, Morrie quotes Auden’s poem ‘we must love one another or die’. This quote comes from Auden’s poem ‘September 1, 1939’. The theme of this poem is War. Auden wrote this poem during the outbreak of World War 2.

The poem purposely echoes the stanza form of W.B Yeats’s “Easter 1916”, which is another poem about an important historical event. Like Yeats’ poem, Auden’s moves from a description of historical failures to a possible transformation in the present or future.

Until the two final stanzas, the poem briefly describes the social and personal reasons that has brought about the outbreak of war.

The final two stanzas shift radically in tone and content, turning to the truth that the poet can tell, “We must love one another or die.”

Religion: The Lindy/The Tango

In the movie ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’, Morrie used to dance the lindy and the tango.

The Lindy:

The Lindy hop is an American dance that evolved in New York City in the 20s and 30s. It originally evolved with jazz music at that time. It was very popular during the Swing dancing era in the late 30s and early 40s. It was a fusion of many dances that were popular  during its development but is mainly based on jazz and tap, it is a member of the swing dance family. The Lindy was most famous in the 40s. It revived in the late 80s but died again in the mid 90s. 

The Tango:

The Tango is a partner dance that originated in the 1880s along the River Plate, the border between Argentina and Uruguay, it soon spread to the rest of the world. The early tango was known as tango criollo. Today, there are many forms of the tango. Popularly and among tango dancing circles, the authentic tango is considered to be the one closest to the form originally danced in Argentina and Uruguay. It has been suggested that tango makes people feel more relaxed and less depressed. The tango has yet to die. 

Religion: A Famous Teacher

Anne Sullivan: 

Anne Sullivan was born on April 14th, 1866. Sullivan was an American teacher, she is best known for being the instructor and lifelong companion of Helen Keller. At the age of five, Sullivan contracted trachoma, which is a highly contagious eye disease. This left her blind and without reading or writing skills. She received her education at the Perkins School for the Blind, when she graduated, she became a teacher to Helen Keller, she was 20.

The summer after Sullivan graduated, the principal of the Perkins Institution, Michael Anagnos, was contacted by Arthur Keller. He was in search of a teacher for his 7-year-old blind and deaf daughter, Helen. Anagnos recommended Sullivan for this position, she began her work on March 3, 1887 at the Kellers’ home in Alabama. When she arrived at the Keller household, she argued with Helen’s parents about the Civil War and over the fact that they used to own slaves. However, she quickly connected with Helen. This was the beginning of a 49-year relationship. 

Sullivan’s curriculum involved a strict schedule with constant introduction of new vocabulary words. After Sullivan realised these did not suit Keller, she quickly changed her way of teaching. Instead, she began to teach her vocabulary based on her own interests, where she spelled each word out into Keller’s palm; within six months this method proved to be working when Keller had learned 575 words, some multiplication tables, as well as the Braille system. Sullivan strongly encouraged Helen’s parents to send her to the Perkins School where she could have an appropriate education. When they agreed, Sullivan took Keller to Boston in 1888 and stayed with her there. Sullivan continued to teach Keller, who soon became famous for her remarkable progress. With the help of Anagnos, Keller became a public symbol for the school, helping to increase its funding and donations and making it the most famous school for the blind in the country. However, an accusation of plagiarism against Keller greatly upset Sullivan: she left and never returned. Sullivan remained a close friend to Keller and continued to assist in her education, which ultimately included a degree from Radcliffe College. 

Sullivan was seriously visually impaired for almost all of her life, by 1935 she was completely blind in both eyes. On October 15, 1936, she suffered a coronary thrombosis, fell into a coma, and died five days later on October 20,at age 70. Sullivan died with Keller holding her hand. 

Religion Project: ALS

In the movie ‘Tuesdays With Morrie’, Mitches old professor Morrie has been diagnosed with ALS.

What is ALS?

ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive disease that affects in your brain and spinal cord. This disease is always fatal. ALS usually strikes people in between the ages of 40 and 60 years old.

  • Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their demise.
  • When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, people may lose the ability to speak, eat, move and breathe. The motor nerves that are affected when you have ALS are the motor neurons that provide voluntary movements and muscle control.

Facts You Should Know About ALS

  • ALS is not contagious.
  • Riluzole, the drug approved for ALS, was approved by the FDA in late 1995. This drug was shown scientifically to prolong the life of persons with ALS by at least a few months. More recent studies show Riluzole slows the progress of ALS, allowing the patient more time in the higher functioning states when their function is less affected by ALS.
  • ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial and ethnic boundaries and can affect anyone.
  • Once ALS starts, it almost always progresses. It eventually takes the ability of walking, dressing, writing, speaking, swallowing and breathing. It also shortens the lifespan. The average survival rate after being diagnosed is 3 years. 20% of people who have ALS live 5 years, 10% will live 10 years and about 5% will live 20 years or more.
  • Progression is not always a straight line in an individual either. It is not uncommon to have periods lasting weeks to months where there is very little or no loss of function. Less than 1% of patients with ALS will have significant improvement in function lasting 12 months or more
  • Military veterans are approximately twice as likely to develop ALS.
  • The onset of ALS often involves muscle weakness or stiffness as early symptoms. Progression of weakness, wasting and paralysis of the muscles of the limbs and trunk as well as those that control vital functions such as speech, swallowing and later breathing generally follows.
  • With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.


  • The initial symptoms of ALS vary from different people. Some people could have trouble lifting a pen or a cup of coffee, others could experience a change in pitch while speaking. ALS is typically a disease that involves a gradual onset.
  • Gradual onset, painless, progressive muscle weakness is the most common initial symptom in ALS. Other early symptoms vary but can include tripping, dropping things, abnormal fatigue of the arms and/or legs, slurred speech, muscle cramps and twitches, and/or uncontrollable periods of laughing or crying.
  • When the breathing muscles become affected, people with ALS will need permanent ventilator support to assist with breathing.
  • Since ALS attacks only motor neurons, the sense of sight, touch, hearing, taste and smell are not affected.


  • ALS is a difficult disease to diagnose. There is no one procedure that diagnosis this disease. You must undergo a series of clinical examinations to rule out the possibility of diseases that mimic ALS. A diagnostic workup includes most, if not all, the following procedures:
  • Blood and urine studies
  • Spinal tap
  • X-rays, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Myelogram of cervical spine
  • Muscle and/or nerve biopsy
  • A thorough neurological examination

Forms of ALS

There are two main classifications of ALS:

  1. Sporadic – the most common form of ALS  – 90 to 95% of all cases.
  2. Familial – occurring more than once in a family lineage (genetic dominant inheritance) – 5 to 10% of all cases.

The most common form of ALS is “sporadic” ALS. It may affect anyone, anywhere. “Familial” ALS means the disease is inherited. Only about 5 to 10% of all ALS patients appear to have genetic or inherited form of ALS. In those families, there is a 50% chance each offspring will inherit the gene mutation and may develop the disease.

Religion: Another Culture

Death in Ancient Rome

Life expectancy for the people of Rome was low. Babies often caught diseases that the Romans did not have cures to. Children were not named till the eighth or ninth day due in part to the high mortality rate of infants. Most poor romans were cremated and their ashes were placed into urns. These urns were kept in a building on tomb street. On special occasions, the family of the deceased would put wine into the urns so the deceased would know they were never forgotten.

Rich people were buried on tomb street, they were buried with coins in their mouths. The Romans thought that their soul would go underground to the river Styx. The soul had to cross the river. A coin was placed in the mouth of the deceased to pay Charon, who was the boatman of the underworld. If the body was not buried properly, without the coin, the soul was forced to stay there for 100 years before it could cross the river Styx. After someone died, the family would make a wax sculpture of their head. At weddings and other special occasions, these ‘imagines’ were brought out to honor the dead. This showed the deceased they were not forgotten.