Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Letters From Dad

Yesterday's morning walk to see all of the yawning animals was pretty fantastic, I must say, but today I woke up to the sound of pouring down rain hitting the roof of the zoo building (dome) that we are currently staying in; so, no morning walk. Today I'm going to write a little bit about sending our baby off to college.

Dad and I at a college football game circa 2007-ish
When I went to Notre Dame back in 1989, we lived in Simi Valley, Calif., a "suburb" of Los Angeles in Ventura County. I hadn't seen Notre Dame since I was nine years old, so I headed off to South Bend, Ind., to attend Notre Dame on the blind faith that if my dad had liked it, I would like it, too. Seeing as I was so far from home, and long distance phone calls were expensive in 1989, my dad got into the habit of writing me a letter every week. Each one was dated and numbered, and each one was filled with dad  words of wisdom to help me cope with the rigors of Notre Dame and the homesickness that accompanied being so far away from home. 

As we got closer and closer to taking my daughter to college last week, I decided to write her a letter as well. I hope she enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed the letters from my dad And then, as I was packing boxes for the move, and going through stuff in the basement, I came across a box labeled: "letters from dad," and sure enough there they all were in their numbered glory.

Today I'm going to share with you the first letter my dad sent to me at Notre Dame. Dad wisdom ... straight ahead! 



September 7, 1989

Letters from Dad - #1

Hi Lisa !!!!!

Yesterday was the first day of school in Simi Valley and as usual the temperature broke 100 degrees. Hot stuff, huh?! Well at least at night the temperature drops into the mid 50's so we can get some decent sleep. We don't have air-conditioning like some other people I know.

By now I'm sure you are really getting into your courses, sizing up your professors, realizing how hard the work is at the college level, and wondering what you got yourself into. To be sure, you're not alone, if that's any consolation. I remember my first nights at Notre Dame, lying awake wondering if I was going to make the grade, worrying about my first tests, and trying to adjust to living away from home. But a funny thing happened after a few weeks. After a while it seems like you've lived there all your life, you become comfortable and secure in your surroundings, and life becomes a little more bearable each day as you struggle to stay up with your studies. And believe me, everybody who is studying Engineering or Science will be struggling, that's just par for the courses. But remember, it's a long semester, it will be full of ups and downs (I failed my fair share of tests), you just have to keep picking yourself up and marching forward. 

Don't forget to take a break once in a while, the old "all work and no play" thing. I think that's why they make you take the type of physical education they require during the freshman year. It not only introduces you to the recreational facilities at the University, but forces you to do something physical and get away for a little while from the strenuous mental efforts you will have to make to succeed. 

Well so much for fatherly philosophy. I haven't started reading the "Killer Angels" yet, I'm in the middle of reading three other books right now, but it certainly looks like you're going to learn in great detail about the battle of Gettysburg. There is a computer simulation of this battle that I intend to buy, and what's interesting is that you can command either side yourself or you can assign different Southern Generals to see if one of them might have done better than Robert E. Lee. I'll let you know if I find one.

I'm going to install an updated version of Kindwords this weekend. It has automatic hyphenation and a thesaurus which can check 40,000 word and provide 470,000 synonyms. Not too bad for a little home computer. 

Keep the Faith kid and get enough rest for those weary brain cells. Next letter, next week. 

Love you,



No comments:

Post a Comment