W4539 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his sister Ruby
Feb 6 1902 Thursday, [date estimated in Calendar] 1
To: [Rev.] Calvin McQuesten Montreal, Quebec
From: Ottawa Ladies' College
My dearest Cal,
It really seems ages since I've written or heard from you but time does go tho' certainly this January has seemed to me a very long month.
Last week and this week I have been busy making up for the week before when my work got ahead of me, and setting exam papers & examining papers afterwards. But the papers are nearly all done & this afternoon & evening we'll tackle reports which will be given out to-morrow. And then hurrah! Another term's work done! But just think one half of the school year is over now. It is hard to realize it. I'll have been here ten years before I know it.2
Though I have been busy about every minute during the day yet I've had my evenings for fun. Last week on the Monday was our Chinese Social. I can't say it was a great success, had known nothing of the plans & there was very little social part about it--except the tea--no games etc. They had a graphophone3 which produced its usual tedious sounds which I hope the Chinamen enjoyed tho' they didn't look edified--the only decent member was a good cat fight which took me back in delightful memory of the cats on Fuller's roof--Home, sweet home--sweet, sweet home.4
And then they had some views--good at first showing, Fuzzy Wuzzy in all the glory of his hay-rick head of hair but getting worse until positively they showed the most awful comic picture I'd ever seen. Miss Curry & I were quite disgusted & adjourned to look after tea table.
Then on Tuesday night we went to hear a lecture on 'Whale Hunting' & 'Bees' but the whale man had been called away & so the evening was devoted to Bees, Queen Bees, drones, & workers, it was very interesting if we didn't have 'a whale of a time.' Really tho' I had great sympathy for the lazy drones--doing nothing but eat honey & taking the air all their short lives--I'm afraid I tho't I'd like to be a drone.
Then on Wed. I had corrected papers till six so for fresh air went to an open rink in the evening with Leslie MacLaren. He's a great youngster 'Lollie.'
On Thursday we had our teachers' meeting & in the evening went to the Opera to hear the Choral Society. It was good but we didn't enjoy it as much as the Oratorio of Hiawatha rendered last year.
On Friday evening had a lecture & views by Dr. Ami on 'Life of past ages'--those tremendous creatures of time long ago.
On Sat. worked in the Art Room all morning & in the afternoon skated on our little rink & went out for tea with Miss Curry.
On Sunday we had two splendid sermons from Prof. Gordon & I went twice as usual to my Chinamen. Of course we had plenty of snow, Sat. Sunday & Monday but it seems to have stopped at last.
Then this week I have really been good and stayed at home & done my work & been in bed by ten o'clock every night. I decided I was getting too nervous & would be good to myself & take it easy & feel a good deal better.
I saw Miss Sutherland--Mrs. Hays' sister & I expect to go out on Friday with her to Mrs. Hays' & stay over night which will be quite jolly.
I hope you're still having some snow-shoeing--it will do you good. I was wondering whether snow shoes would be cheaper in Montreal. If you get a chance sometime would you mind pricing them. I have moccasins & tho't of buying myself snow-shoes.
Is Ken on his travels now? He hasn't travelled here so far.5
I'm awfully glad Ida Welker is to live in Montreal--it will be nice for you.6
And now my dear boy my time is up. Write me soon how you're getting along.
With very much love
Your affec'ate sister
1 This letter was dated on the basis of Ruby's letter of February 12, 1902, (W4546) in which she replies to Calvin's offer of his snow-shoes, and she again mentions the visit to Mrs. Hays. See also W4559.
2 This letter is very faint and it is difficult to tell if this is "two" or "ten" years. According to our records, Ruby began teaching at the College in 1899 (Minnes 1). This comment may be hyperbole or Ruby may be anticipating a long career at the college. She finally had to leave because of illness in June of 1907, and soon after took treatment for Consumption and died in 1911 of Tuberculosis. For more on Ruby and her illness, click on "Family" on the Home Page and then on her picture.
3 The word "Graphophone" is a simple transposition of the word "Phonograph," and is intended to convey the same meaning.
4 Ruby often comments on being homesick at the college.
5 Ken is likely Ken Trigge who lives in Calvin's boarding house in Montreal. He proposed to Hilda McQuesten in 1902, and was finally rejected because of his use of alcoholic beverages, see W4635.
6 For more on Ida Welker, see W4521.