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#2772: Willa Cather to Charles E. Cather, November 21, 1945

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My dear Charles1:

I was so glad to hear from you, and to know that you are comfortably situated and think well of the climate. Remember, that you can not trifle with mathematics5. The old proverb was, "In mathematics as in war, leave nothing unconquered behind." If you do not understand a point, hire a coach and peg away with him until you get it. You are not naturally mathematical any more than I am. You will have to get it by dogged hard work. But it is necessary in the career you want to follow, and you will have to put in the time on it. Even I, who was so dumb in mathematics, was passed and I shall always remember what the fat and very jolly (rather young) professor wrote on my final examination paper: "You are faithful and persevering even in those studies which are very difficult for you. Sucess to you.!" I never saw him after those final examinations, his name was Hodgson6 and he died young, but to this day I am grateful to him.

Mathematics are serious business with you now, Charles. When you do not understand a point perfectly, you must find a good coach who will pound it into you. If you slide over a single point, it will trip you up in the end. God won't be good to you and give you a moment of inspiration, but a faithful coach can make it clear to you if you give him enough time and money, and you must not be stingy of either.

You can't make many members of our family understand this, because very few of them ever wanted desperately to do a difficult thing and struggle desperately to achieve it. Not everybody is built that way. If you are, this is your chance to prove it.

Blanchard7 has been the big name in the Notre Dame and Pennsylvania games, I notice.

With much love to you and every confidence in you, Your Aunt Willie
Mr. Charles E. Cather1 Monticello Hotel Boulder, Colorado3 NEW YORK, N. Y. STA. Y2 NOV 24 1945 1230 PM FROM CATHER 570 PARK AVE.4, NEW YORK CITY2