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30 Seymour Road
Shanghai, China
21 Sept. 1918

Dearest Dada:

Two of your letters, 46 & 47th came along with
Reno's. If you remember, as far back as last winter, I
told you that I was deteriorating mentally, remember?
Yes, my dear, I know the signs! And so you too
have found that out? I felt and feel that I am going to
pieces, so to speak, - through lack of mental exercise.
I have tried writing; but Gods! I have not succeeded in
turning out anything worth a penny. You, Ted, and Reno are
all so busy busy physically, and how I envy you! As
you know, I am supposed to have an active mind, and
yet since I have returned home, I am surrounded with
every deadening force possible, deadening actively speaking.
You can feel that with every wagon load of hay you are
bringing in, you are doing something definite and
tangible for Uncle Sam, do you not? With me! What
about the various committees I belong to? They are
nihil! They are superficial and the members meet
more to observe each other's clothes than to discuss
means of improvement. The futility of it all!
You will probably suggest that I should try to re-
form them! What a joke!

You short resume of the Oxford book by a Rhodes
scholar is most interesting. Is it not queer that
I have been working on an article about "Criticisms [page break]
on the American College Woman?" But now since al-
ready there has been criticisms by an able man on the
subject, I shall not try to finish my article, for
that would merely be doing something over less
ably. The contrast of good writing and poor attempting
to write would be too pitiable. It is amusing
to note tho that your summary has exactly
the same ideas as incorporated in the article I am
working on, the same arguments only less well ex-
pressed of course. Will you please tell me the
name of the book? I should like to read it.
And if possible buy it for me?

What are your plans for the winter? I
suppose mine will be just going to the same committees
over and over again. You know, I am a living example
of the evils of not having a vitally important work
to do. The result, - the inbility to look at life
with a sane and proportional eye. Catch the idea?
The worst is that I cannot convince my mother
and brother that I am not needed at home!
But I am going to tell you a secret - I am going
to get connected with some active social work,
active in the sense of hard, real, live, amount-
to-something, worthwhile work, some work that
will make me damnably uncomfortable physically,
work that would make me too tired to care
what kind of bed I shall be sleeping on! And [page break]
a work that is not going to have any frills
or limelight attached. In other words, a
sort of work that does not appeal to the
cotton wool type. [Compreny.]
Well, while Mother is asleep, I am off.

With love

P.S. I've committed myself. I have just made an
appointment by phone with one of the Sec. of
the Y.W.C.A. to find me a hard job
without pay. Am awfuly relieved!