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148
Sunday 12:30 P.M.
September 21, 1919

Dear Esther,

I received your second chapter Saturday A.M. just as I had to go out to drill at eleven. So you see I had something to look forward to at the end of the drill period, and after dinner also. You see, here at Purdue we have school on Saturday forenoon, and drill five times per week. You wrote a very delightful and interesting letter; and I am anxious to see what your next one contains.

I wrote you the truth anyway, but you still doubt my statements. I should think you would be tired of hearing me always assuring you and giving you complimentary views. I am very glad to do it if it pleases you, so just ask all the questions you wish.

On Sunday, at Purdue, we have dinner at one o'clock, so I guess it will be necessary for me to finishing writing this letter later in the afternoon. I am not going to do anything else then or this evening for that matter. Mr. Stafford (yes), my room-mate, went home yesterday so I am here alone. He lives only twenty-five miles away. his aunt is dangerously ill also, and a day or two ago he got a telegram summoning he and his sister home. Stafford is a nice fellow and promised to bring back some cookies to eat. Ha, ha! He is going to take me along out home with him sometime too. Well, I must get ready to go.

Back from dinner! We had chicken, two kinds of potatoes, beans, lettuce salad, gravy, cranberry sauce, iced tea, ice-cream and coke. I think I told you I boarded at miss Baker's, an "old maid", for the regular sum of six hundred cents per week. Where do you eat? You said once that you thought you could eat there at your house. That is very handy, indeed. I believe Luella said she was eating at the cafeteria, which was so crowded. I am objectionable to any waiting in line for my meals like that, for it is very much like army style. They have three cafeterias here and the boys (girls too) sometimes line up clear out into the street in order to get to eat at noon. I ate up town there for a while but only until they got an opening for me at a club. It costs me very much to board at a restaurant too. Ha!

You asked me whether I liked Purdue better than Indiana. I.U. has a friendlier school spirit or rather social air, while that at Purdue is very snappy and business-like. There is lots of difference between the two schools in regard to college atmosphere in general, and it would naturally be expected when one considers the purpose of each school. An acquaintance is not easily made here. This is too large a place and there is too much to do. Yet, I met an old friend from I.U. last evening upon the streets of LaFayette who said that Indiana has about twenty-five hundred students this year. This fellow is Heimlich and he is working from for the LaFayette paper. Says he is going back to I.U. next year if possible, because, although he does not attend school here he does not like it near so well as your school. It is very lonesome here in some respects, but I like the place very well despite all the trouble I have had. Just yesterday I had to get another new schedule made out. And by the way, an Ag. course is just as hard or harder than any course that old I.U. puts out. That is there is so much more work to do, in the same amount of time. For myself I prefer Purdue. But it all depends to a great extent which course one likes to pursue. I have an interesting one, and perhaps one that will broaden a man more than any other one here.

There are two hundred eighty-two women at Purdue. One hundred five are freshmen, the majority taking Science. Four girls are taking ag. Last year the first woman Ag. student graduated from the school. You never thought of doing that did you. Anyway I do not see that it is the proper thing for a girl to take. As a school for girls, if they wish to take science I believe it would do all right; but for some reason many people think this place is bad enough for boys let alone girls. These people however do not know exactly what they are talking about perhaps. If a man or woman wishes to lower himself or herself to any phase of bad living they will do it regardless of conditions and environments. Influences and circumstances have a powerful effect upon people just the same, but they are to blame also for certain things. The school itself, whether it be of science, technology or agriculture, is perfectly fine and efficient, holding a higher standard of scholarship and moral than I.U. It is the life outside that has the bad effect and the college is not to blame. Some of the fraternities and sororities are not ranked very highly. A person is all right and almost free from any influence whatsoever if he is with a good bunch. The social rules here are absent when one compares them with those of Indiana. Dates are free anytime and all that, but the girls have to get by with their work or get kicked out of the school. So there you have a little sketch of my idea of Purdue, the "gold and black".

If you were here you could have a date anytime you wished if, for there are enough boys, it is true. The dean of women (Shumaker [Ernestine Shoemaker]) is a very nice old lady. "I do not see what it is that they can see" but I suppose that I could get in on a few dates here if I chose to do so. a fellow wanted to get me a co-ed for Thursday night in order to go along with he and his girl to a social.

The girls do not interest me very much at Purdue to tell the truth. Alot of them have kind gentle appearances however, but they are as a rule not blessed with an over supply of good looks. I may be a pessimist though, or in a rut fallen. Ha!

I did not mean to say you could see Miss Wood in person. It would never do, but you can see her picture. I found the film at last. Ha, ha! She is teaching at her home somewhere, I guess. I don't know what has become of her and she has my last and best regards of course.

I do not wish to take up too much of your time so I suppose I cannot tell you very much about the Red Lantern. Nayimova, a Chinese woman, was the star and the place was in the orient during the Boxer uprising. It was thrilling, dramatic and tragical, for she drank poison in the end.

A lot depends upon you whether we meet before Christmas. I would like to come to Bloomington very much sometime. I can make five connections but it costs six fifty-four. May be I'll drop in some day anyway to see you and all the others that I know. Please do not get homesick. The beginning is always bad, but it soon gets better. Keep smiling and go on. How od you suppose I feel?

Who is your French prof? I hope my sisters are treating you fine. Will have to write some later.

Sincerely,
Richard.

P.S. Please don't you forget the next installment to that last letter.


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