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Letter, February 7, 1919

[Letter on plain stationery. Received February 27, 1919.]

Feb. 7- 1919

Ettelbruck Lux.

My dear old Pal-

I received your letter of Jan 12 - in yesterdays mail. I am sorry to hear of your feeling so bum and your discouragement with the studies. Do you put your mind on your work and think of it during your leisure moments, and the points that are hard give them your spare time - If you dont do this, I expect that is the reason for you not making a better show on the test you mention. If the only time you think of your work is when you sit down for an alloted time of study and then let your mind drift on to things of no importance when your study period is over, you will find your studies will not stay with you. Studying at home as you & I have had to do is much harder and requires more keeping your mind on your work than when going to school, for at home you have so many things to take your mind - while at school the very atmosphere around you is of a nature to keep your mind on your school work. that is the reason I would like a little school work when I get back. You have access to libraries and with the things I've picked up over here I could easily carry on farther and learn in one year what would take me probly 2 or 3 years to accomplish at home. Don't let your mind dwell on things that don't concern your work, such as boys and too much shows. I don't know if you do this, but I'll admit I let my mind become occupied with thots of the fair sex much more than I had any business of doing. When I have passed thru my school period and have some what succeeded in placing myself in a fair way for business, then I think there will be plenty time to think of the fair sex and I can then think seriously of them and with the intention of having a home of my own. That was one of my troubles and you may have one equally as bad only on some other subject. Of course we need a certain ammount of pleasure & recreation and that is up to each individual to decide just how much time you can afford to devote to pleasure. Its just a matter of work while you work & play while you play. I don't advise the early to bed & early to rise adage - for you have to stay up pretty late some nites and study bloody hard to get fixed in your mind some of the things you just know & remember. I've often sit and tried hard to study and my mind on something - not concerning my work in the least - probly study all evening on something I should get in an hour & find in the morning I don't remember any of the hard parts at all. Its a hard proposition and you have to learn how to study the same as you learn to do any other kind of work. I am hoping you will not find it so difficult from now on as you have found it up until now. For you are working against odds when you study with a feeling of discouragement.

It is very seldom I read a story of entertainment any more. For when you have finished you know absolutely no more than you did before you read it and connot discuss it or show any manner of improvement for having read it. While if you pick up something bearing on a question of national importance or any criticism, you can benifit by some one else's thots & studies of the question: and you will soon acquire a taste for such literature, if you haven't one to begin with. Instead of some light fiction - take up some classics - like Scotts or Kingsleys or any number of others. Good stories, based on certain periods of the worlds history and seems to make you acquainted with the people that lived before you and then you can see why they did the things they did, for you are made acquainted with the circumstance & conditions that led up to it. It's very fascinating after you once start reading them. Read slow - make notes and references & when you get thru you will easily see where you have really benifited by having read it, while an ordinary story, you have nothing real to talk of and as you say - it is seldom real life goes that way, which I've found quite true.

I guess I mentioned rec. a card from Rose Levin while we were on our 200 kilo march. but I suppose she did not intend for me to acknowlidge it as she left her address off. I run across many cards of historical places & like to send them with a word of greeting to friends, but if she does not care to have me drop her a line occasionally I wont be dissapointed as I have already a gods plenty to write to. And its a fact I don't write as much as I should.

Who are all the soldiers in Danville now? I have not heard any thing yet of Bat A going home. They are still on the Rine & Us in Luxemburg - but we will be moving very soon. I have no idea in which direction tho.

One of our band fellows is playing in our Div. show orchestra & they are going to Paris next week.

Well I sure was glad to hear that mother was able to take down one of her service stars & here is hoping for a speedy removal of the remaining one. That little act will be one of significance in my history.

Well Cecil am I putting this paper to the use you intended for it? I did not know what else to do with it so I immediately got busy & am sending it back to you. Its rather classy paper for me to be writing on - some surprise to this old pen of mine that has now seen service in six countries. Hoping for your success - with love to all - I remain your old Pal -

Paul B Hendrickson Hdq. Co. 129 Inf. A.E.F.

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February 1919