Tuesday, December 1, 2015

November 2, 1940: Oh Yeah, School

Original Letter from Kathleen Hanstein of AFSC to Opa


Mr. Thomas Doeppner
McPherson College
McPherson, Kansas

Dear Mr Doeppner:

I want to acknowledge your letter in regard to your plans for next year although I have not yet had the chance to look into the possibility at the college you mentioned and shall, therefore, have to write you in greater detail later on I think that it would be wise for you to discuss the whole situation with the dean at McPherson, or with your faculty advisor and the on the basis of their advice to see what the scholarship possibilities might be in any of the colleges in that vicinity which have satisfactory engineering courses. We shall, at the same time, be keeping you in mind for a possible scholarship elsewhere as we do sometimes have scholarships available in colleges with engineering courses and we can, of course, understand that your final years of college work you should be in a college giving the type of professional training that you wish to secure.

Sincerely yours,

Kathleen Hanstein
Associate Counsellor

P.S. I had dictated this letter before your letter arrived describing your visa difficulties. I turned your letter over to Mrs. Schauffer and trust you have heard from her by this time.

I'm impressed that in the midst of figuring out the whole visa fiasco - Opa has the ability to make plans for furthering his college career. I have this weird image of Opa on a train- slowly making its way to the destination, but flocks of birds are dive-bombing the windows, cows are standing in the tracks, other trains are going in front, people are debating whether to continue to allow the train to go forward- and in all this Opa squints to the future- noticing that he'd like to make sure that if he gets there- it has an engineering degree to offer.

For Opa the education is more than just a vehicle to get to the United States- it is a vehicle to stay there, to get a job there, and to hopefully maybe bring his mother there on his own hard-earned dime. That destination is a strategic choice and he has to keep his eye on it.

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