The Novels

Economics 101, a Novel (Rough Draft) -- My first sustained attempt at a novel, two-thirds finished in rough draft, and heading a little too far south.
What would you do if you and your study partner, with whom you had been seriously discussing marriage, suddenly found yourselves all alone together on a desert island? Study economics?
Sociology 500, a Romance (Second Draft) -- The first book in the Economics 101 Trilogy.(On hold.)
Karel and Dan, former American football teammates and now graduate students, meet fellow graduate students Kristie and Bobbie, and the four form a steady study group.

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Sociology 500, a Romance, ch 1 pt 1 -- Introducing Bobbie

TOC Well, let's meet Roberta Whitmer. Bobbie entered the anthropology department office and looked around. Near the receptionis...

Friday, February 10, 2017

Sociology 500, a Novel, ch 2 pt 5 -- Letters Home


I thought I'd let you read their letters home after the events of the last chapter.

Dear Mom,

(and Dad and the rest of you guys, too, of course.)

I'm getting settled in, my class schedule is arranged, and I'm getting started with classes.
The part time job at the hospital is going to work out okay for this semester, at least. I've told them I can't let it interfere with studies, and they seem to understand as much as management can. The bank is set up okay, there's a decent store within walking distance, and I've got room in my budget for a little socializing.

I told you about my roommate Kristie already. She's going to be a good friend, just as I thought she would be. She's in my education topics class.

The rest of my roommates are okay, too. I can understand them, and they seem to understand me. Some of them talk too much about the guys, but I think Kristie and I can deal with that.

Do you remember, Mom, reading about Karel Pratt in a newspaper article you showed me a few weeks back -- the former football player working on his doctorate? That's the good looking guy I met in the department office back in January. He's in my education topics class, and a couple of others.

He seems a bit of a klutz, but not really. And he's sweet. It looks like he knows how to take care of his responsibilities, and how to watch out for other people, too.

And he has a friend, Dan Claymount, who is also a really nice guy. A bit more socially forward, and a real gallant. They were teammates on the football squad here about five years ago. I like his looks, too, for what that counts. And he's in the education topics class with us, too. Fun things happening, huh?

For some reason, Dan and Karel don't room together.

The four of us went to Dan's stake's dance Friday night. It was a lot of fun. Both Dan and Karel dance really well. I was thinking it would be fun to take a modern dance class together. But Dan suggested we all sign up for a ballroom dance class, and it looks like that's what we'll do. This is going to be fun.

We also started a study group that grew a little bit. The four of us will be studying together. A lot.

Dad, guys, don't read what follows. Only Mom. It's girl stuff. (I know you'll all read it anyway, but I take no responsibility for anything you misunderstand about it.)

Mom, I'm a little bit confused. I like both Dan and Karel. A lot. Kristie does, too. She's had this crush on Karel forever, since Dan and Karel were on the football team. He was her White Knight once when she was a damsel-in-distress.

Karel's my age, and Dan is just a little older than Kristie, not that age counts for much.

It just feels comfortable being with them. Well, it's a lot like being with you guys. Near as I can tell, they feel the same.

I'm glad we're going to be studying together so much.

I think I'm going to have to trust God on this one, because I'm getting no clues.

Love to both of you, and Rick and Gary, you two, too.


Mother, Father,

I'm really excited about classes and school this semester. It is all coming together quite nicely.

I know you wanted me to do the Master's degree closer to home, and I know you're worried about me finding good companionship among these E-P-ists. I don't think there's anything to worry about. I've made three special friends who don't care at all about any kind of social standing -- they've been members of the Church all their lives, and they know I'm a convert, and they treat me as one of their own.

We will be studying together quite a bit this semester, including taking ballroom dance together. I'm sure you will both approve.

Roberta is my roommate. She's a bit older, but she's steady. She's a nurse and a student of dance, and she is doing PhD work in anthropology. She's also been what the Church calls a service missionary -- She spent three years in an island country, teaching about health, hygiene, and Jesus, and being a nurse where they needed nurses. She's already teaching me a lot.

Daniel is a football player. He's just a little older than I. He was on the team here five years ago, and he played professionally after college. But he's a good E-P-ist boy, no drinking, no womanizing, responsible about his money. And he cares about people.

I will admit, he didn't particularly hide his appreciation of my appearance when we met, but he no longer makes an issue of it. He really knows how to behave himself like a gentleman. He is as much of a gentleman as any of the men you have arranged for me to meet in the past, far more than some.

Karel is a bit of a riddle. He's about five years older than I am, about the same age as Roberta. He is also a former football player -- Daniel and he were teammates, and they remain friends.

I met Karel once, a long time ago. Maybe you remember me mentioning him, Mother? He stepped in when a group of boys were misbehaving towards me.

He is not aggressive, but he is no less a gentleman than Daniel, and no less solid, I think, even more responsible than Daniel.

I'm talking a lot about my new friends. It's really nice to have friends I can just be myself with.

I have met my professors and arranged to meet with them regularly to discuss my academic progress. The department head has agreed to report to you, should I fall behind in my classes, per your requests.

I have full confidence you will be pleased with my continuing work here.

Your faithful daughter,


Hey, guys, it's me!

I'm here safely. Karel is on campus, for some reason. So we're not roomies. But we are hanging out together. And some. Blame it on Karel, but we've met the two most wonderful women in the world. Besides Mom and Shel and Debs, of course. We're studying together and taking a ballroom dance class together and, just maybe, Karel has met someone as cool as you, Sheliah. Maybe me, too. I'll let you know.

love you guys,


PS -- They're names are Bobbie and Kristie. Debs, Shel, you may have doubts because they are beautiful. But they are really cool. Inner beauty, to match, so, there. Nanners. And they understand the Gospel.


Just letting you know that the semester has had a good start.

Not much to report, except that Dan and I have made friends with two of the nicest women we've ever met. Bobbie, Roberta, that is, is in the pre-PhD track in anthropology with me, working in island culture. The professors are encouraging us to work together, but we've managed not to let that cause problems. Kristine, who goes by Kristie, is her roommate, and working on a Master's in education, like Dan.

They are both returned missionaries, and we can talk about the doctrines of the Gospel with them.

We have classes together, and we have arranged to study together.

The car is running fine, Dad. I don't yet have any place to tear it down, but the way it's running, I won't need to.

The dorm laundry and cafeteria are just fine, too, Mom.

The dorm phone number is (elided).

Dad, the next time I see you, I want a father's blessing. I'm foreseeing some difficult, but wonderful choices that I'll want God to give me special help with.

Love you all,


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