Wednesday, February 24, 2016

1986 MV Letter -Feb.25

February 25, 1986
Dear Mom and Dad,

After our discussion over dinner on Sunday night, I have put more thought into whether I really want to graduate in June or December.  I have made a decision that I feel comfortable with and I hope you can respect.

A senior recital takes a tremendous amount of preparation – usually four years of private lessons.  In case you don't remember, I didn't start my private voice lessons until last summer, which means that very little repertoire has been built up.  The usual amount of literature learned in one quarter of voice lessons (memorized) is two pieces.  12 pieces is tremendous amount of literature to learn in such a short time, let alone trying to do work for 8 other classes in addition.

Every time I'd think about trying to get done by June, I feel terribly overwhelmed; the same feelings I had when I was supposed to go to State Youth Fair Youth Choir and "couldn't"; the same feelings I had when I was a Sophomore and only completed 17 hours in two quarters; I can't explain it, other than I feel so depressed (for lack of a better word).  When I feel that way, I can't concentrate or get anything done -- all I want to do is sleep, which doesn't do any good and accomplishes nothing.

I do not consider having to come back in the fall as something hanging over my head.  What great plans do I have for this fall?  I was under the impression that I was simply going to take a year off to get some money for graduate school and basically take life easy.  I would need the time to recuperate from burn out.  But if I would take a lighter load in the Spring and a light load in the fall, I really don't feel that I would have that much burn out, if any.  I want College to have been a good experience.  I need to do more than sit in my room and study; I don't mind studying, but I also want to be able to experience life to the fullest and enjoy it.  Is that a crime?

I respect the fact that the two of you like to travel, but I will tell you one more time that I don't share that interest.  That is what makes me an individual – I cannot and will not be a carbon copy of you.  I love you and I see nothing wrong in having some of the same interests, but I also need a separate life.

I have decided to stay the extra quarter (semester).  I hope you can respect my decision.  If not, I am prepared to find some other way to finance my final semester.  I hope this has not been a "bomb", but it was something that I needed to express my feelings and make my own decision.  I'm ready to stand by that decision.  Have a good trip to Florida.

Mary Va.

[Transcription note: minor typos and spacing errors have been corrected, others may have been made in the process!  Please excuse both the writer and the transcriber.]

1 comment:

Mary Crowson said...

Gee, I guess I should remember the conversation and/or writing the letter but in the 30 years since my memory has more and more holes in it! Hindsight is 20/20 and I realize that some of that commentary was admitting there was depression which is the first step to getting help. I do remember vividly not doing well two consecutive semesters and being on academic probation. At the time I wasn't sure I would make it through college at all....then again, I think that was the time I was pre-law or music education major (I was both but not at the same time) and realized eventually that I didn't want to do either one as a life long career.

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