Later that day, Connie and Mitch watch the O.J. Simpson murder trial verdict on television. Simpson is found not guilty, and Connie is appalled. Mitch notes the racial division in the response to the verdict: blacks celebrate, whites mourn.

Mitch flashes back to a basketball game held in the Brandeis University gymnasium in 1979. The team is doing well and chants, "We're number one!" Morrie stands and shouts, "What's wrong with being number two?" The students fall silent.

Analysis

Since his second visit, Mitch has brought Morrie delicious food to eat each time he arrives, as he remember's his professor's passion for food. Mitch had brought the food because he believed it was the only thing he could give to Morrie that would ameliorate his pain. Now that Morrie can no longer eat solid food, Mitch again feels helpless as he did when his favorite uncle died, as he is powerless against Morrie's disease and powerless to stop him from dying. Now, he feels he cannot even bring him happiness by buying him food each week. However, on his eleventh Tuesday with Morrie, Mitch begins to understand how he can provide for Morrie, even without the gift of good food. It is on this Tuesday that Mitch sheds his embarrassment at Morrie's physical shortcomings, and instead of simply watching Morrie's aides help him with his routine, as he usually does, Mitch offers to involve himself, and does, taking lessons from Morrie's physical therapist on how to free the deadly poison from his professor's lungs.

But the gift that Mitch gives to Morrie is intangible. The gift Mitch gives to Morrie is his friendship and his time. Morrie appreciates Mitch not because he brings him good food to eat each week, but because he sits with him, listening for hours to his life stories and soaking up the lessons he teaches to him. The greatest gift Mitch gives to Morrie is the book itself, what they refer to as their 'last thesis' together. Morrie wants Mitch to relay his story and his lessons to the largest audience possible, and Mitch concedes, tape recording every meeting and listening intently to all Morrie has to teach him.

Mitch also provides Morrie with the gift of physical comfort, which Morrie now needs as much as a small baby would from its mother. Morrie thrives on physical affection in part because he was so deprived of it as a boy, but namely because in losing his independence, he has gradually metamorphosed into a child. He is saddened by popular culture's dismissal of physical affection as a form of nurturing that is necessary only during childhood because he knows from experience that it is necessary throughout all stages of life, for children, for adults, and for the elderly.

This idea that Morrie is growing younger as his condition worsens supports his belief in an ever-changing self. Morrie believes that every individual, regardless of age, undergoes infinite transformation, and is aware of the mental, spiritual, and physical changes he has experienced since learning of his illness. Mitch, too, is gradually becoming more aware of the changes he is making in his own life. When Janine agrees to speak with Morrie, who she has never spoken with before, Mitch realizes that, unlike his wife, he would have refused such a call from a stranger, and seems to reassess his behavior, given the easy conversation between Janine and Morrie. Mitch is indeed in a heightened state of self-reassessment and transition, instilled and encouraged by Morrie.