A Lesson From Mike
Julie is surprised by her feelings when a student she barely knows dies a tragic death.
On a typical day in the hallways of Odyssey Middle School, Heather tells her friend Julie that Mike Fulton, a kid in the grade below them, died the day before. He fell off the train trestle at Miller's Ravine. Julie is aghast, but realizes that she didn’t really know Mike. The girls talk to Whit the next day at Whit’s End and Whit mentions how quiet Mike was.
In a box of keepsakes, Julie finds a letter written to her by Mike in the third grade. She starts to find how much they had in common as she asks his teachers about him and then stops by to visit his mother. They both even liked jazz music! Julie begins to wonder if Mike wouldn’t have died if he had more friends…or even just one friend.
Heather is worried about Julie because she seems to be missing out on her "real life" to learn about someone who is dead. Julie goes to Mike’s funeral with Whit and Mike’s mother. They talk about how Mike loved the same things that Julie loved at Camp What-A-Nut and Mike’s mother mentions how she wishes that Mike could have gotten to know Julie better.
Finally, on the next day at school, Julie sits in Mike’s lonely spot at the cafeteria. Heather comes over to talk to her, apologizing for the way she was acting and the two of them see another girl sitting all by herself. Julie invites the girl to sit with them.
- This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »
- What ways did Julie find that Mike was similar to her?
- Why did you think Julie was so interested in finding out about Mike?
- When Heather said that Mike was probably a nice guy, Julie said, "He didn't deserve better because he was nice. He deserved it because he was a person." What did she mean by that?
- Are there any Mike Fulton's in your life?
- What do you think Julie's advice would be to you?
|Mrs. Foulton||Mary Kay Bergman|
|Heather Acuff||Krista Muscare|
|Mr. Jarvis||Al Janssen|
|John Whittaker||Paul Herlinger|
|Julie Zeeke||Tracy Bassett|
VERSION DIFFERENCE: [view] The broadcast version of this episode features a longer theme, and thus, one more line in the previews.
- The original name of this program was "The Significance of the Insignificant," but it wouldn't fit on the cassette.
- The second episode to encounter this problem was #426: “The Buck Starts Here”; also written by Marshal Younger.
- This episode's music is taken mostly from #320: “Where Is Thy Sting?”, another episode with death as its theme.
- This episode was included on Odyssey DVD 1: Baby Daze.
- Whit said Mike had checked out The Silver Chair, and says that he remembered Mike and his mother going through The Chronicles of Narnia.
- See main article: List of The Chronicles of Narnia references
- Julie mentions Mike drawing a comic strip involving a character who was a cross between the President of the United States and a professional wrestler. While he wasn't running for President, this episode aired roughly two weeks before former wrestler Jesse Ventura was the surprise winner of the 1998 Minnesota gubernatorial election.
- Listen carefully: Tracy Bassett seems to have been suffering from a cold during the recording of this episode.
Heather: He was probably a nice guy.
Julie Zeeke: He didn't deserve better because he was nice. He deserved it because he was a person.
Heather: Well there's nothing we can do about it now.
Julie Zeeke: Yes, there is.