Letter from Thomas Sun, New Haven, Conn., to Alfred E. Stearns, April 23, 1931


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Letter from Thomas Sun, New Haven, Conn., to Alfred E. Stearns, April 23, 1931


Letter from Thomas Sun, New Haven, Conn., to Alfred E. Stearns, April 23, 1931


1294 Yale Station
Office of the Headmaster Phillips Academy Andover, Mass.
My dear Dr. Stearns,
New Haven, Conn. April 23, 1931

To make a rather long story short, I received a letter from home yesterday containing the crisp statement:--"Since you have been away for such a long time. But you have already entered Yale University. It will be a great pity to stop your work at this time------why can’t you spend another------? I hope you will be patient for another year time flies like an arrow------- ."

It is unnecessary for me to fill out the blank spaces, for their meanings are apparent. Thus ends another story brought about by almost a whole year’s planning and hoping. Like other Oriental sons, I shall obey the Fatherly orders without complaint, but regret in some form can not be helped but creep in the outcome in some way or another.

As I remained awake in bed during the small hours of the morning, thoughts of all nature and sorts came into my mind. Among the most prominent is "Who am I?" Born a Chinese and brought up an American! Indeed, a sad state of affairs. I still owe my allegiance to my country, but what, where, and how is my country? From that, the thought of re-adjustment comes into the mind in the most logical and potent way. To describe my feelings would require a ten-volume masterpiece. Since I am not capable of such interpretation, I shall leave it to your free imagination.

No meditation is complete without the sentamental [sic] side. I have been away from "home" for eleven years. These eleven years are those which I should spend with my "people" in order to learn to be one of them. But--that was not so. In all the letters which I receive from home, I notice the strained attempt of happiness. One can not be so brainless so as not to realize that Mother is unhappy without seeing one of her OWN CREATION with her own blood. I am not so selfish or narrow sighted so that I do not realize such things. One can not be so ignorant and heartless. In plain words, I am homesick.

Then there is another aspect which must come into consideration, and that is my nature. You probably know that I am not exactly the studying kind so as to enjoy to sit in the room and read Rouseau [sic], Karl Marx, or the like. If I do have to admit it, I am the hustling kind, never satisfied with doing the same thing all the time. I like to get out and work--that, at least, is something different from what I have been doing for the past eleven years. I appreciate the value of a scholarly education, but I think I prefer the kind of education which one receives by living and trying to get the next meal, -- adventure, romance, and the thrill of responsibility. That is what I want. I want to look after something. Now the only thing I have to look after are the books.

Do not think for a moment that I am defying Father’s orders. On the contrary, I think his advice is sound and well-planned for most people, myself included. I am just lamenting the fact that my vagabond life is being prolonged—vagabonding alone with only the illusion that I may arrive at the desired pedestal, and then face it with a possible empty heart. Ah, what a situation for a poet.

I am making plans accordingly and will go ahead without a murmur of complaint of dissatisfaction.

Very sincerely yours,


Thomas Sun


Phillips Academy


April 23, 1931


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