From: Donald D. Smythe
Professor of Geology
Peiyang University
Department of Geology
Tientsin, China

To: William R. Smythe

December 9, 1923

Dear Ralph:-
Am just able to take a breathing spell and write a few letters. I arrived here a month after school started. Various numbers of the faculty had taken over parts of my work and as they used no notes I did not know what they had done. There was no outline of the work or lecture notes so I have been writing notes for six courses as I go along. I have a total of 20 hours this term. To add to the confusion was the fact that all the crystal models (about 1700) were jumbled together in 20 drawers. I had to sort them out. All my minerals and rocks were mixed together in about 100 drawers and all without labels. I haven't finished sorting them yet. Also the museum collections has been arranged without a catalogue, many of the specimens incorrectly labeled and no way to check them.

Besides this I had to open an establishment, buy furniture and hire servants. As we are about six miles from the concessions this complicated matters. I have now reached the point where I am about one jump ahead. Probably won't get things into shape until next year. Hope to have things arranged so that Erma will come out next summer. She has left Pagosa Junction I think and is now at Grass Valley, Oregon with her sister.

The school here is a Chinese Gov't school, supposed to be the best engineering school in China. The course is two years preparatory with four years of either Mining, Metallurgical or Civil engineering. About 900 students. The faculty is mainly foreign, 11 Americans, 1 Englishman, but the president and a few others are Chinese. Things are not bad though and I think I will like it when I am all straightened out.

Have been expecting to hear from you but evidently you were doing the same, the deeds I sent you and will send a draft for the stamps and cigars in a few days.

The weather here is quite like Colorado Springs but with less snow. Have been skating once so far. The only thing I don't like is the dust storms. Haven't had a really bad one yet. Then the whole Gobi desert comes south.

It is nearly time for Tiffin so must close.

Como siempre
Su hermano

| menu |