Monday Apr. 22'1918
My Dear Lorene:
It is possible this note may land in Toronto about May 16th and I want to wish you many happy returns of the day. May the coming year, to you, be full of happiness and success and contain all the good things one could possibly wish you.
This last year will always be one remembered by you as probably your last in High School and I sincerely hope it may be your last at Oakwood. June I feel will see you successful at your matric and then you will be at perfect freedom to do what you like. Have you thought over what you would care to do in the coming years? There are so many things of interest for a girl to take up now-a-days that I am sure it may be almost as hard for you to decide as it was for me before entering medicine. Of course you always have the alternative which a boy never has and that is of staying home to help mother and be a companion to her. But as well there are so many short courses arranged in institutions about Toronto that you can do them almost as a side line, or have you concluded that once you get your matric you have done enough studying?
I know exactly how you feel about studying now. I felt the same when I was at Oakwood. They honestly make you work too hard but they have a good motive behind it all. Oakwood is a new High School and they are out to make a name for themselves. To do this they are trying to establish a record for matriculation results. And to establish this record they are making the pupils work. And to make the pupils work they have formed a habit of making them think the matriculation is as hard as the standard they set by their marking and examinations. Now don't be frightened or discouraged with them, Lorene. They can't pluck twenty-five percent of the matriculants or the universities would have no attendants and just now they need them worse than ever because of so many boys being overseas. They still retain their professors and they must have the fees to pay for them. I remember how discouraged I used to get at Oakwood. They would probably give me "10" for Latin and "-6" for spelling. I would manage about "40" for composition and probably squeeze "10" more for Literature. Still I got my matric and so will you. Don't let them worry you too much. They want you to work and next July you will be glad you have.
Now Lorene you are too young not to take advantage of your matriculation - studying in any other place but high school is child's play compared to what you are having now. You don't need to study much, you simply have a good time and learn something as a side-line. I think it would be a shame if you didn't take up music for instance and go oat it to learn. Get your voice at it as well. Study only under the best professors. It means economy in the long run for one quarter from a good man is worth four times from a poor one. Suppose I had taken from a good stern teacher instead of Miss Heoslip. I would probably have paid him twice as much or even more per quarter but still I would have learned something. He would have made me. While taking as I did has been a complete failure - I know nothing.
Another very fine and most interesting institution for girls in Toronto is Lillian Massey. Somehow I would like to see you get out and mix with more girls and get to know people. You do so around a university institution like that and you meet the very best. The courses there used to vary from 3 mos., 6 mos., 1 yr and 4 years. Norma Emery used to go there and I know the course was something every girl should have. She spent one year at it and is now dietitian at a Red Cross hospital in France. There are hundreds of similar things and I know you would say "I have had enough" by June for this is the stage where the worst is passed, you have accepted and passed the initiation into a different field of different people where everything also is different and decidedly plain sailing. Don't be satisfied to loose what you have gained, to sit still and worry about dress, matinees and some afternoon tea but become broader minded. You can do so and have a good time as well. You have a large field to choose from. Education is a marvellous thing but half an education is not much better than none. Don't be like the enduring run of girls be something better. You can do it. (Learn to do as many things as Maryon and you will be alright)
I didn't start out to make this a lecture and I don't mean you to take this as such. I want to tell you above all to not let this worry you at Oakwood. You have worked hard and deserve your matric and I know that the candid opinion of all the teachers in Oakwood is that you are going to get it but they don't want to say so in case you would be inclined to feel self satisfied and stop studying. They prefer to have you happy in August instead of in May and after all they are right.
A birthday is the one day of the year when a person should hesitate and look back also resolve for the future. Your past year has been full of hard work which is bringing success which you will need to apply in the future ones. Don't waste what opportunities you have accepted in the past by sitting still and watch the world go round in the future.
Tonight we are again moving back from the extreme base where we unloaded this afternoon. By the way did I ever mention I received the Laura Secords last week? Thanks very much they are better than fine.
Again I wish you the best possible for your birthday and the future.
Your loving brother,