Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dear future Dr. Self,

Remember that when people ask you for recommendation letters, they are asking you to advocate for them during a process in which they are extremely invested. Therefore, when your grad student asks you to write recommendation letters for her PhD applications, 6 weeks in advance, then reminds you and sends you e-mails and a Facebook message and also the online links to the applications, you will do her the common courtesy of a response. This will be important, especially if you have flaked out on her letters twice before, costing her a grant and an internship. No, Dr. Self, you will not put anyone through this the day before their applications are due. You will promptly send in recommendation letters, or in the very least, let all implicated parties know that really, you're on it, even if you are intending on submitting them at 11:58 pm the day they are due.


Feminist Military Spouse said...

Wow. I have never had those problems, but then if I don't get a positive response right away indicating they are on it, I usually take it as a sign, nix them and get my backup person on it.
Don't ever let someone else get in the way of what you want or need.

S. said...

I had my back-ups' number out, 6 digits dialed:) I think next time I'm going to incorporate the back-up from the get-go. Then I'll be sure to have at least 3 letters, if not 4. One of my recommenders submitted his 2 weeks early, before Christmas. I heart him. It takes a lot of pressure off when you don't have to worry about everyone coming through. It's definately something I'm going to shoot for when I'm in that position someday.