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October 17, 1960

Dearest “K,”

My roommate and I have spent the last hour looking up names. Really. In a book (2 vols.) devoted to the noble families of Europe. I rate. On my mother’s side anyway. Descended from a noble family of Hamburg. My coat of arms is a blue shield with a silver bar across it, accented to the left, with a star on the left and a circle on the right sides al in gold.

(Right and left refer to the bearers.)

Garsh! I’m noble. You rate, too. There are several noble K___ families. We choose the Prussian one. Seemed most logical. Anyway, the Prussian K__ family were nobles of the Holy Roman Empire and they have a gold shield with a blue star in the center, the rays of the stars being made to look as if they stood out.

 With small silver crowns on the rays. Correction, it is a six-pointed star in relief.

Addition to mine: There is a helmet above the shield, with a blue mantel coming down from the helmet, Wings coming straight up from the helmet and facing front with a gold ring between the wings.

Interesting anyway. We’re both noble. All this reference work provided a somewhat pleasant diversion from the rotten mood I have been in the past few days. I alternate between periods of depression and happiness. My cheerfulness stems from the fact that when I write to you I think about you and that cheers me up somewhat. However, thinking about you makes me want to see you, and since I can’t, this often gives me a somewhat pessimistic outlook on life in general. Confliction of emotion. Results in what might be called a cheerful pessimism, or maybe an optimistic pessimism. Such a thing is possible. I hate the world and find little of value in it and have no faith in people, but I never give up hope.

Russ suffers from the human condition!

Always hoping for a better deal. Never get it though.

Russ is an (upper?) middle class guy in college in 1960. His generation will enjoy some of the greatest prosperity human beings have ever known with cheap housing, decent wages, exceptional benefits, etc. And he doesn’t have racial, sexual or gender issues to contend with. He’s literally one of the luckiest humans to have ever been born. And he’s probably too old for Vietnam. Of course, he doesn’t know any of that (yet?).

St. Xav’s courses don’t sound so difficult as they are tedious. Tons of “homework” is out of character in college-level work. It is generally accepted in college or university that the student is a student and is interested in learning and knowledge for their own merit, rather than their results on a homework paper. I have no written homework whatsoever with the exception of about 20-30 chem. problems (probably less) throughout the entire semester.

Have I mentioned Russ is the luckiest human and has NO clue?

My lecturers supply references which may or may not be consulted depending on whether the student wishes to devote his time to these references and on the student’s knowledge of the material. Studying I’ve always got to do. Never can do too much of that.

Incidentally, I got a 49 (out of 100) on my chem. hourly. The average was 34, nine points higher than last year’s average for the first hourly. Nothin’ like a few nice hourlies to keep things rolling along.

Didn’t get any Physics done this evening. Worked on preparing for Chem. lab all evening. No sleep this week. I’ve got a procedure to make up for chem lab tomorrow night and much physics to study. I’ve also got an 8 o’clock class Wednesday morning. This ought to be real great. And when I get through with Physics and ROTC Thursday I can start on Math and try to get caught up. I should hibernate until Oct. 28. Fortunately, everything should be in order by then. However, the next week and a half looks pretty black.

College has gotten way less rigorous, I think? I mean, I don’t remember it being that time consuming. My 20s were mostly waiting tables and drunken shenanigans. Of course, I majored in film studies and library science. Ha! 

Tonight I’ve got to get some sleep. I’ve got classes tomorrow. Fortunately, only P.E., Math, and ROTC theory. Maybe I can get some work done.

Well, sweetheart, good night, sweet dreams, and cheer up, better days are coming, ——somewhere. I still love you.

Love and kisses,

Ad infinitum,

Russ

Don’t worry! There’s plenty more where this letter came from, though even Monty is starting to judge how I spend my spare time. Brutal. 

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