It’s that time of the year when everyone starts hunting for letters of recommendation. Thankfully I’ve only been asked by people I really feel I can write strong letters to support their scholarship applications, at least so far. However, I do wonder if some students really take the time to consider who they are having write their letters of recommendation. Generally, I don’t feel well-equipped to write a letter of recommendation for a student unless I’ve actually had them in class, and even then I might be hesitant depending on the purpose of the letter and the caliber of the student. If we’ve only met once just to discuss enrollment, I’m not going to be able (or willing) to write you a good letter. “Sarah represents the epitome of a… somewhat punctual student. She has a clear vision for her future as evidenced by her, er, um… let’s see… her ability to pick from a list of general education courses. Yeah, she’s punctual and good at pointing at a list. So if you have a scholarship for someone like that, hey, why not consider good, old whats-her-face?”
And if by some odd chance someone who asked me to write a letter of recommendation is reading this, please don’t have a heart attack. I really am writing you a good letter.