Thursday, March 19, 2009

Next Up...Breakfast with Mitch Albom

If all the excitement of Saturday's author panel wasn't enough, Sunday brought a breakfast and presentation by Mitch Albom, the author of Tuesdays With Morrie, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, and For One More Day.

The topic of Mitch's speech was how he got to the point where he was speaking in front of the NACS members, and the theme was affecting those around you. While I knew WHO Mitch Albom was, I didn't know a lot about him, so I found the presentation fascinating. He spoke about having a t-shirt company at one time. He sold t-shirts to college stores as a matter of fact. He spoke a little about his sports journalism, but he focused mostly on the three books he wrote and how someone in his life, someone who had a special influence on him, was the impetus for each book. Obviously, Morrie, his college professor who died of Lou Gerig's disease, was the motivating factor for Tuesday's With Morrie. Mitch's uncle was the motivation for him to write The Five People You Meet in Heaven, and For One More Day came to fruition because of his mother. Mitch's mother and father both happened to be in the audience with us, so Mitch felt compelled to inform us that the rotten fathers in his books in no way reflect his own father. But each of these three people have impacted Mitch Albom's life, and his message was don't spend your time worrying about things that don't matter - if you spend all your time working out in a gym and you have a buff body but no relationships with others, you're going to end up in the ground...just like the fat person you're buried next to. But if you build those relationships with others, you continue to exist in their minds, thoughts, dreams etc., long after your physical body has ceased to exist. Very inspirational.

HOWEVER, he wasn't just solumn and inspirational. He was also quite funny. I enjoyed his stories, especially when he told of his experience on the Oprah Winfrey Show. He described her furniture as being Gulliver's furniture. When they "threw" him in his seat at the desk, his feet...did not...touch...the floor. I turned to my supervisor, Candace, and said, "I know that feeling!"

Mitch Albom's presentation was an outstanding way for me to wrap up my first CAMEX experience. Ah, but don't despair. I'm not finished yet! Tomorrow I have my last fun experience in SoCal to share with you. This one doesn't involve interaction with an author, but rather a setting from one of my very favorite books by one of my very favorite authors. Stay tuned!


Serena March 19, 2009 at 10:37 AM  

what a great shot Jen. Looks like you were having a great time!

Corey Wilde March 19, 2009 at 11:54 AM  

I haven't read any of his books, but I enjoy Albom's comments on the weekly show (can't recall the name just now) on ESPN. I don't always agree with him, but usually his comments have some logic and reason behind them and he isn't just mimicking whatever the sports consensus of the day is.

le0pard13 March 19, 2009 at 3:26 PM  

I, too, haven't read his books. But, I've read/heard others mention similar experiences when they meet him. When I catch him on ESPN, he seems like a straightforward kind of guy--and doesn't come off as some on-air talking heads. Way to go, Jen.

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