Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to C.Y. Sun, Tientsin May 21, 1929

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Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to C.Y. Sun, Tientsin May 21, 1929


Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to C.Y. Sun, Tientsin May 21, 1929


My dear Mr. Sun:

I have read with keen interest your letter of April 23, received this morning.

We have all felt most anxious for you here as we have heard from time to time of your ill health, but have dared hope, and thought that I was justified in believing, that in recent weeks you had been recovering steadily your old-time strength and vigor. I do trust that I am not mistaken in believing that this is so. You have my own and the best wishes of your other good American friends for such a happy outcome.

While it may be wise for Charlie to complete some more advanced study in this country, I am perfectly sure that in the boy’s present frame of mind it would be most unfortunate if he were not allowed to have at least two or three months at home after the close of his college course this June. The boy has worked hard and most conscientiously and has seemed to me, as I have had occasion to meet him, definitely fagged. I do not believe that he can get the needed freshening up in any other way than in carrying out his cherished hope of returning to China for the coming summer. Further, I am confident that he can plan much more wisely for the future after talking over his problems with you in person, for I do not think that at present he has a clear idea as to just what he should study if he were to continue his higher work at once. I hope very much, therefore, that you will give your full sanction to the trip home, for I am confident that Charlie himself would never feel really happy about it unless you did. He is too conscientious for that.

As for Mary, I am growing increasingly optimistic, as I have already written you. Naturally I have read with keen interest the copy of the letter which one of her patients wrote you, and it does not surprise me at all. As you know, Miss Clemons, who [illegible] Mary for several years at closest range in my home, always maintained that Mary had a natural gift for nursing and that she would be successful in that line if she ever attempted it. Where Mary has failed thus far has been in her unwillingness or inability to handle satisfactorily the studies demanded at the Nurses Training School and which naturally, have required real intellectual effort, for nursing today is a real profession and those who practice it are required to do some hard studying, in the sciences, especially, in order to fit themselves for their tasks. I don't think that Mary has ever fully realized the importance of this ground work, though she has always taken hold with enthusiasm and efficiency of the practical side of nursing. What has given me special ground for increasing optimism has been the latest reports which seem to indicate that in her studies Mary has shown some definite improvement in recent months.

Again thanking you for your letter, and wishing you and early and complete return to your old time health and vigor, believe me

Very sincerely yours,


Alfred E. Stearns


Phillips Academy


May 21, 1929


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