February 12, 1899

February, 12-1899

Dear Mamma,
Haven’t had such a good time this week as I expected to. Thought I would have time to do lots of lovely things since I had only one paper and one exam on my hands. But I had to work all the time. I never had such a time writing a paper. Spent three whole days on it before I at last finished it. You see, it was not the mere writing which troubled me: that went all right after I once understood what I was reading about. The subject was a new theory concerning solutions and it was so dense. But I think I managed to get the right idea after a while. But the way that thing hung over me. I’ll never get an extension of time on anything again. Then had to study up for my exam in Economics. I studied a good deal as I thought it would be so senseless not to do well in the only exam I took. But I afterword’s wished I hadn’t studied so much as it was a very easy examination. We do not as yet know our standing in our lessons but I am reasonably sure that I passed everything and think I passed everything with credit with the exception of Literature 13. I imagine I shall get a non-credit in that but it is only a one hour course so that I shall probably be passing with credit 14 out of 15 hours. Twill be the best I have done yet. But my work next semester will be ever so much harder. This is the first year that I have taken any semester courses but I shall have three new teachers next semester. You know I am taking a year’s work in Economics. That is Economics I – Elements of Economics conducted by Miss Balch and Economics II – Industrial History of U.S. by Professor Coman. She is perfectly splendid as a teacher. I am delighted that I am to have her but the work is much harder. Then Theoretical Chemistry a Semester course so that I am going to take Organic Chemistry with Associate Professor Bragg instead of Professor Roberts. Organic Chemistry is considered the hardest branch of the subject and this course will be awfully stiff. Miss Bragg is awfully nice & I shall be glad to have her but I hate to give up Dr. Roberts. But then I ought not to complain as I shall still have her in Chemistry 4. Then Associate Professor Jewett will conduct Literature 13 in place of Ass. [ociate] Prof. Sherwood. This semester then I shall have Economics II, Miss Coman; Chemistry 4, Dr. Roberts; Chem. 3, Miss Bragg; Mathematics, Professor Hayes; Literature, Miss Jewett; & German, Fraulein Habermeyer. But these changes upset my nice schedule which will hereafter be as follows:

Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat
9:00 Logic German
9:55 Math Math Math
11:45 Chem 4 Econ II Chem 4
1:30 Chem 3 Econ II Chem 3 Chem 3
2:25 Econ 2
3:20 Lit 13

There isn’t much to complain of in that schedule except that dreadful Friday! Economics is conducted so that we have two lectures & one quiz a week. Of course the lectures come on my easy days making the quiz come Friday – the fifth thing for which I have to prepare as none of those other things are lectures. They all require a lot of work. Now of course this economics quiz is the important lesson but of course I can’t do as well in it as I might if it only came some other time. I am especially sorry about this as I wanted to do particularly well with Miss Coman as she is a member of the Agora and I like her muchly. Had the pleasure of sitting with her going in to Boston yesterday as the train was crowded. Got enough about lessons?
You know I told you that yesterday was a holiday for us and about the whole college went in town, at least those who didn’t go home and nearly everyone went to see Mansfield in “Cyrano de Bergerac.” Yours truly went with this crowd and had a glorious time. I never saw so many people on the stage together. There were for instance 67 speaking parts – though some of them had only a word or so to say – to say nothing of hosts of other people. I tried to count those present at one time & there must have been about 90. Mansfield was simply grand.
Have not been doing much today. Lounged around, read Margaret Ogilsby and wrote some letters which should have been written long ago. The College is so deserted – only about a third of the girls are here. The rest have all gone or are away visiting. Midyears is just the time for visiting if your exams come all right and even those who had exams the last day Friday could go away until Monday night.
Agatha is all well again and feels O.K. She got over it pretty quick & she was quite sick.
Monday afternoon went to an At Home given by the Shakespeare Society in their new chapter house. It is just grand there. Everything is so cozy and pretty. I hope Agora can have its house for many years.
Agnes Ketcham starts for home tomorrow – not being well enough to stay any longer.
I would suggest that you send me some quinine as my stock is almost gone – not that I need them but an ounce of “prevention” you know. I should also be greatly obliged if you would send some soap – one cake of Star soap & several of toilet soap – and a bottle of Vaseline.
Now remember I am not expecting much for my birthday so don’t trouble but please send me some money for my bills.

Best of love to you all
Mabel L. Bishop

Did those things I sent do any good for Mrs. Neal? Did Mrs. Joe favor you people with an invite? Tell about it – who was there. Tell about the homes & the stalls. Do you put 11 one & call it 2 as well as Ellen? Did you ever see anything as the way it has snowed this year?

Letters were made available courtesy of Wellesley College Archives.
Transcribed by Heddy Panik