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I have just been writing to Helen Louise6, to tell her what a dreary time the last few weeks have been for me, because I had to have two large and useful molar teeth taken away from me by a painful method. These painful separations came fourteen days apart - I didn't have to go through it all at once.
The lovely flowers (daffodils and violets) which you sent me at Christmas time did a great deal to cheer those dreary days. I never knew daffodils (forced in the winter, of course) to look so sturdy and last so long. I had them with me for four days in their full vigor and color. Aren't you awfully pleased that Helen Louise has a sturdy young son7? I do hope I shall be able to go out to see him and her in the spring.
I am awfully sorry that you have to spend your time at a second rate law school, and I have inquired through an old friend of mine at Columbia what the conditions are there. He reported that the situation at the Columbia Law School is hopeless just now; that is, the school has applications far beyond anything that the regents can accommodate without weakening the faculty. I put in my investigation through a very competent and well informed member of the faculty, because it would be lovely for me to have you studying in New York2, and I think I could give you some things that you could not possibly get in a small Western city. However, you must always remember that you have to get for yourself everything that counts in any profession. You have to get it from finding the subject interesting and from putting your whole mind upon it. If you do not find it interesting, you will never be ⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩able to do much with it. If a young man can go into his father's law office and inherit a practice, I suppose he can get along fairly well. But if you are going into the practice of law and expect to succeed, you must have very personal and very strong interest in law itself, and an even stronger interest in human beings. A knowledge of people and an intuition as to their real character and what they are striving for, is certaibly of great importance in the practice of law.
Sometime, when I am feeling much
better and am not just recovering from the damnable effects of "surgical
dentistry", I will write you more clearly as to what I think about this. In
the meantime, try to keep as well as you can and to learn things from people
people - and from being truly
interested in them and their affairs. The more often that you can be admiringly
interested, the better for you. I never
learned anything in all my life except from people and from being interested
in them;- not
about, but as human beings who
appealed to me strongly - whom
I admired very much,
believe those strong personal reactions are the strongest guides we have to
help us in any profession. Sometime I hope we can talk about all this