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Letter to her mother describing photographing the Crew team, plans to go out with Lee and Don, her thoughts on an article Ted wrote and a poem and advice her gave to her, and her frustration with Ralph.
[stationary heading] News from Wellesley College WELLESLEY COLLEGE PRESS BOARD Wellesley, Massachusetts Release Oct. 26, 1934 [handwritten] Hello Mums darling - [typed] And again, seated at the ‘writer, in the midst of the morning, “hello!” And how did the flower market go? Thought of you this morning in Education class when they were discussing the painting of Primary grades, and my knowledge of what the little brats would be apt to do was most astounding. And what am I about to do, and what have I done? Oh, this use of the 9th letter! Well, yesterday I took pictures of Crew in its various positions, because the day was so perfectly glorious I couldn’ help it. Hoped to take more today, but it’s gone and fogged, so will have to wait. Mostly what I’ve been doing is working on my play, and being busy. Pictures for Legenda were taken yesterday too. And it was so grand to stand up there with the first crew, holding my oar aloft, and know that our sweet faces would go down to posterity for the senior crew of 1935! We’re pretty good, too, by heck. The race is the 1st of November, though, so better stave off that commendation till after the event. We have a horribly fast stroke, but it gets us there, I think. Be prepared to hear that little Ginger has caught a crab though, and that the finish line was too far away for the Wellesley huskies. However, it has been fun, most fun, and we’ll just hope for the odds. Oh yes, I did take time out to write to Ralph, but it was more in the nature of a catalogue of events, than a real letter, I’m [Page 2] afraid. My letter writing has simply gone to the dogs. I just don’t seem to do what I should with it, and I am truly sorry. I have no patience with people who say they just haven’t time for something. Everyone has time. It’s only a question of management, and I’m quite disgusted with myself. I didn’t even get you off a card yesterday. And I do feel conscience stricken about Ralph, cause I know his contacts with the “outside world” aren’t too many, and my letters are a little different from Ithaca College and its football, but it coms [mis-spelling: comes] down to spreading oneself pretty thin, but I never did like fat people. They’re lazy. I could easily be, if I didn’t have so much to do!!! Taking time off Saturday night though, as I said. And I think, on my recommendation, we’re going to see “Count of Monto Christo”, instead of just staying there at his house. We’ll come back there afterwards, and enjoy ourselves, but have a bit of entertainment2 before. Lee and I have been invited in to supper before too, so it will be quite an evening. Thought first we might go dancing, but Don doesn’t have enough money this week. I won’t know how to dance, anyway. We’re having a house dance the weekend of Fall Formals, the first week in December, which is the week Ted may come up. Oh, I thought you might be interested in the poem he inclosed with his letter. He said at the bottom, (This is just the product of yours truly’s wandering [deletion: illegible] thoughts during lectures at school. May it please you.) Contrasts The portrait of a lady On porcelain and framed in gold, Unreal reality A miniature of life, but cold. A woman’s silhouette, Against a twilight, windswept sky Simplicity, and yet A dream like charm awakes the eye. [Page 3] By firelight your face Glows with strange warmth, whose subtle wile No portraiture could trace Or silhouette reveal…..your smile. And that boy is going to be a minister! He’ll be a sensitive one, don’t you think? He said he had sent an article on “Protestantism in the Nazi State” to the “Atlantic Monthly”, but they had returned it, not being able to include his “excellent account of a very grave and terrible situation” that time. However, he is still trying to get it into some interested magazine, and I hope he does. I suppose they have to know the author though, before they would risk publishing such an article. Ted included a very nice young thesis of an article on my studying too, approving of the extracurricular things, but saying, “Don’t try to learn everything but know where you can find more to learn. Then you will have found out how to study. Never think of studying as memory work, that makes it too limited, but think of it as a knowledge of sources from which you can draw more information. Combine this with a reasonable imagination, that sees useful possibilities in bare facts, and you can beat out the average Phi Bete with ease. I don’t want to bd [mis-spelling: be] didactic, but I would like to see V.V. have the finest kind of senior year. So why shouldn’t I load off some of my experience onto your respective mind?” Somehow it warms the heart to know that someone is enough [Page 4] Interested in someone else but himself, [deletion: illegible] to bother to think of what that other person is doing, and to think individually and constructively. It’s the sort of thing that is alive really not just philosophically or trying to be philosophical. Ralph even got philosophical about getting a job, if he couldn’t get one right away, there was always the idea that education for the sake of better living etc. All right in its place, but it somehow didn’t ring true and down to earth. I don’t know what the boy is thinking, what he has in the back of his mind, or whether he really does have any sort of plans. He said that if he was going to coach a big football team, he would have to spend years in a coaching school, and anyway he couldn’t see himself at 40 just teaching someone to play football. But he can’t go on and study medicine without any money, and he’s just avoiding the issue again. He doesn’t think straight about things, it seems to me, and he doesn’t put all the cards out on the table and look them over, then select the one most in accordance with what is actually there, and what is most likely to get somewhere else. But I can’t do anything for him there. He’s got to see for himself what he wants most. If it’s medicine, he’ll have to go his own way as far as I can see, because he never would get anywhere with any sort of strings tied behind his studies. Besides, I think it’s another case of not straight thinking, that he doesn’t know what he wants. Oh well, the bell has rung, so I must go and give my little speech from “Hedda Gabler”. I shall be with you anon...meanwhile…..bye from Press Board office…. [handwritten] And from home My love Ginger
Wellesley, Massachusetts; Schenectady, New York
Athletics and Physical Education; Personal Relationships; Student Life
Rowing; Men; Photography
Westervelt, Virginia Veeder and Wellesley College Archives, "Letter from Virginia Veeder Westervelt, Wellesley, Massachusetts, to Mrs. Millicent Veeder, Schenectady, New York, 1934 October 26" (1934). Virginia Veeder Westervelt letters (6C/1935). 19.