By Spencer Johnson, M.D.
A Review and Essay
By David Cox,
Instructional Technology Facilitator
Tioga Junior High School and Tioga High School
At a time when Rapides Parish schools are once again facing huge financial deficits with resultant changes at almost every level, teachers must deal with mostly unwanted changes. Being a twenty-six year classroom veteran, I have had to change as well in many ways. In my internal search for ways to deal with change, I have recently read a book which has given me some new ways to think about change. I hope that this review might lead you to this book and help you to see how changes, even when first seen as negative and hurtful, are not necessarily a bad thing.
Dr. Spencer Johnson has written a book which gives me some real ways to think about and deal with change. This small book, Who Moved My Cheese, is a fast and easy read but one which can enlighten even a cynical person to some ways to adapt to the inevitable changes of life in its many shifting forms and challenges. Like Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, the story is told as a story within a story of several old friends at a high school reunion told by one of the friends.
The story centers around four characters who live in a Maze and the changes with which they must wrangle. The characters are two mice, Sniff and Scurry, and two so-called Littlepeople (creatures the size of mice but who look and act like people today) named Hem and Haw. The plot is pretty simple. The four characters find a large cache of cheese and can live their lives without much variation: get up, go to the cheese, eat, go home, and start over the next day. This works out okay until one day the cheese is gone. Then the characters must deal with the new situation.
The mice, taken aback at first, are first to take action since they are creatures of almost entirely instinct: they set out looking for more cheese. On the other hand, Hem and Haw, creatures of reason...