Recommender is going to give me a panic attack.

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
thomas85
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Recommender is going to give me a panic attack.

Postby thomas85 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:03 pm

I asked one of my recommenders to write me a letter like three months ago and he seemed pretty happy to do it. I told him that he had a while to complete it and then I emailed him last week to 'encourage' to him to complete it in the coming weeks. I have not heard back from him since. I am worried, I go to a small school and it would be very difficult to track down another recommender in case this guy flakes out. Should I keep sending him polite emails? Am I panicking too soon? Is this a common problem? What is the best way to tactfully handle a situation like this? Its summer time, so he is not on campus very often and I suspect that I might have a hard time tracking him down if he doesn't respond to my emails.

jajacobs
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Re: Recommender is going to give me a panic attack.

Postby jajacobs » Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:47 pm

i feel your pain....one of my letter-writers had a major family illness that is taking her out of town for 2-3 weeks at a time and she's back for a week here and there...i just can't bring myself to ask her again about the letter right now but i know i need to soon.
my solution so far is that i've given myself a sept 15 deadline to ask again and determine if she feels she'll have the time to do it in the following 2 weeks. once i know the answer, i may be forced to use a "backup" letter writer that i'm not excited about, but who will likely get me a letter very quickly (he wrote me a strong LOR for a job and i'm hoping he will just tweak that). LORs are the last thing i need to do, so hopefully i can still get my apps out near oct 1.

a very dis-empowering process....good luck to you!

GoBroncos22!
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Re: Recommender is going to give me a panic attack.

Postby GoBroncos22! » Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:52 pm

jajacobs wrote:a very dis-empowering process....good luck to you!


I could not have said it better. I absolutely hate putting responsibilities into others hands. Especially when its my mother effin law school apps. I asked one about a month ago and still, LSAC has not recieved it. Ill give it one more week then I will ask her what the eff is going on-perhaps more politely though...

ajmanyjah
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Re: Recommender is going to give me a panic attack.

Postby ajmanyjah » Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:36 pm

thomas85 wrote:I asked one of my recommenders to write me a letter like three months ago and he seemed pretty happy to do it. I told him that he had a while to complete it and then I emailed him last week to 'encourage' to him to complete it in the coming weeks. I have not heard back from him since. I am worried, I go to a small school and it would be very difficult to track down another recommender in case this guy flakes out. Should I keep sending him polite emails? Am I panicking too soon? Is this a common problem? What is the best way to tactfully handle a situation like this? Its summer time, so he is not on campus very often and I suspect that I might have a hard time tracking him down if he doesn't respond to my emails.


Call the secratery of the dept to see when he usually shows up. Also unless you applying Sept 1st I think you should be fine...

thomas85
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Re: Recommender is going to give me a panic attack.

Postby thomas85 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:52 pm

ajmanyjah wrote:Call the secratery of the dept to see when he usually shows up. Also unless you applying Sept 1st I think you should be fine...



You think it would be a good idea to ambush this guy at his office?

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Hannibal
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Re: Recommender is going to give me a panic attack.

Postby Hannibal » Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:04 am

I told both my recommenders I'd like them to send in the letter in August, at the latest September. Neither of them are in.

Next time I freak out this will probably be the issue.
Last edited by Hannibal on Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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kazu
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Re: Recommender is going to give me a panic attack.

Postby kazu » Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:10 am

I would ask the "backup LOR writer" now, just in case. Best case scenario you'll have both letters processed. There's no reason you have to wait - you can always choose not to use the other one.

I'd keep sending polite, friendly letters every week or so. No more than once a week unless it's less than a week until it "has" to be sent.

Good luck!

xyzzzzzzzz
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Re: Recommender is going to give me a panic attack.

Postby xyzzzzzzzz » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:18 am

same situation-starting to panic. My recommender said he would send a draft, so I am just telling myself he is super busy and I should be patient. But he hasn't responded to emails and that is starting to make me worry.

Pip
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Re: Recommender is going to give me a panic attack.

Postby Pip » Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:09 am

The reality is some people don't know how to say no when they are asked to do something like write a LOR... their answer is to say yes and then do nothing. Lord knows if they think the letter will write itself of they are just sure that you will find someone else to do it.

If you are going to get a well written and glowing LOR from someone I think you will usually get it from them within a few weeks... the longer it takes beyond that the more you could bet that they are either very bad at writing them and you will suffer or they didn't really want to do it and again you will suffer.

Best option is to find someone else.

shock259
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Re: Recommender is going to give me a panic attack.

Postby shock259 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:03 pm

I had a letter writer just never respond to me. He was a guy I took classes with the year before. There's no way he forgot me. I attached papers I wrote for him and got As on. I saw him on the street like a year later. He still worked there and what not: just didn't want to write my letter. And he was a writing professor. Ha

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acrossthelake
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Re: Recommender is going to give me a panic attack.

Postby acrossthelake » Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:06 pm

Pip wrote:The reality is some people don't know how to say no when they are asked to do something like write a LOR... their answer is to say yes and then do nothing. Lord knows if they think the letter will write itself of they are just sure that you will find someone else to do it.

If you are going to get a well written and glowing LOR from someone I think you will usually get it from them within a few weeks... the longer it takes beyond that the more you could bet that they are either very bad at writing them and you will suffer or they didn't really want to do it and again you will suffer.

Best option is to find someone else.


Not always. I had one professor offer to write me one at the beg. of junior year. Hers still isn't in quite yet, but I think it's more of a procrastination issue.

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123xalady
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Re: Recommender is going to give me a panic attack.

Postby 123xalady » Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:19 pm

Pip wrote:The reality is some people don't know how to say no when they are asked to do something like write a LOR... their answer is to say yes and then do nothing. Lord knows if they think the letter will write itself of they are just sure that you will find someone else to do it.

If you are going to get a well written and glowing LOR from someone I think you will usually get it from them within a few weeks... the longer it takes beyond that the more you could bet that they are either very bad at writing them and you will suffer or they didn't really want to do it and again you will suffer.

Best option is to find someone else.


This is just not true. Profs are busy people, often writing LORs for multiple kids at a time. If they need prompting and reminding its unnecessarily pessimistic to assume it's because they don't want to write the letter.

jarofsoup
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Re: Recommender is going to give me a panic attack.

Postby jarofsoup » Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:25 pm

I would be respesctful. Try to get a phone number. Write an email again. Call the office and see if he is out of country or something.

Start looking for another writer. Regardless of it being a small school, you should try to find someone else just in case this falls through.

Even though it maybe hard, atleast try.

Case2L
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Re: Recommender is going to give me a panic attack.

Postby Case2L » Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:27 pm

thomas85 wrote:
ajmanyjah wrote:Call the secratery of the dept to see when he usually shows up. Also unless you applying Sept 1st I think you should be fine...



You think it would be a good idea to ambush this guy at his office?

Absolutely. Take him hostage and force him to write the letter at gunpoint. Some of the best works are completed under duress.

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maxm2764
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Re: Recommender is going to give me a panic attack.

Postby maxm2764 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:45 pm

I honestly had to go through my post history to make sure I wasn't the OP of this thread. I am literally in the same exact situation as OP, excluding the small school part, and am starting to freak out.

I asked in April and the recommendor seemed like he was going to have it done by August. During the summer I sent him two e-mails and no response. Sent one today and no response.

I don't know what to do. I'm thinking I may ask another professor tomorrow and I guess I need some advice from the wise men/women of TLS. How should I ask? I don't want him to think that he is a default option but I'd like him to do it as soon as possible.

Any advice from someone who may or may not have had a similar experience?

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acrossthelake
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Re: Recommender is going to give me a panic attack.

Postby acrossthelake » Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:53 pm

maxm2764 wrote:I honestly had to go through my post history to make sure I wasn't the OP of this thread. I am literally in the same exact situation as OP, excluding the small school part, and am starting to freak out.

I asked in April and the recommendor seemed like he was going to have it done by August. During the summer I sent him two e-mails and no response. Sent one today and no response.

I don't know what to do. I'm thinking I may ask another professor tomorrow and I guess I need some advice from the wise men/women of TLS. How should I ask? I don't want him to think that he is a default option but I'd like him to do it as soon as possible.

Any advice from someone who may or may not have had a similar experience?


I haven't had the experience personally, but I've seen it happen to other friends. In those situations something came up in the prof's life---sometimes illness--etc. so they start to drop the ball and back out of everything and I had one friend lose her shot at an internship because the prof told her he couldn't write one uh the day before it was due. So, time is of the essence. Ask another professor now and give them until October. Good luck.

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maxm2764
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Re: Recommender is going to give me a panic attack.

Postby maxm2764 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:59 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
I haven't had the experience personally, but I've seen it happen to other friends. In those situations something came up in the prof's life---sometimes illness--etc. so they start to drop the ball and back out of everything and I had one friend lose her shot at an internship because the prof told her he couldn't write one uh the day before it was due. So, time is of the essence. Ask another professor now and give them until October. Good luck.


Thanks for the response Across.

It's weird though, I know that the prof is teaching classes this semester and is around but is not responding back to my e-mails.

Your advice is definitely very useful though. I guess I'm just going to talk to the other professor tomorrow and see if he can manage to finish it by the beginning of October or possibly sooner.

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maxm2764
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Re: Recommender is going to give me a panic attack.

Postby maxm2764 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:04 pm

Oh and by the way ATL, thanks for keeping that other thread going and updated.

It has answered a bunch of my questions so far and the cycle hasn't really even gotten going yet.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Recommender is going to give me a panic attack.

Postby acrossthelake » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:22 pm

maxm2764 wrote:Oh and by the way ATL, thanks for keeping that other thread going and updated.

It has answered a bunch of my questions so far and the cycle hasn't really even gotten going yet.


You're welcome! I'll add a "Help! My LOR failed last minute--what now?" to the OP in light of several threads like this one. I'm rather proud of that thread. :D

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maxm2764
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Re: Recommender is going to give me a panic attack.

Postby maxm2764 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:27 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
maxm2764 wrote:Oh and by the way ATL, thanks for keeping that other thread going and updated.

It has answered a bunch of my questions so far and the cycle hasn't really even gotten going yet.


You're welcome! I'll add a "Help! My LOR failed last minute--what now?" to the OP in light of several threads like this one. I'm rather proud of that thread. :D


Hahaha, not a bad idea it sure as hell would help me. You should be, that thread is great! Every time before I ask some redundant question on here I head over to your thread to make sure you haven't beaten me to the punch.

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kazu
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Re: Recommender is going to give me a panic attack.

Postby kazu » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:50 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
You're welcome! I'll add a "Help! My LOR failed last minute--what now?" to the OP in light of several threads like this one. I'm rather proud of that thread. :D


As you should be :)

GoBroncos22!
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Re: Recommender is going to give me a panic attack.

Postby GoBroncos22! » Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:47 pm

AHHHH Thanks god. LSAC finally says recieved today!!! Atleast I know the process works now. lol. One down, and one is on its way now. I dont know if anyone out there is wondering, I know I sure was, but it took about 2.5 weeks AFTER my writer sent it for lsac to be updated.

xyzzzzzzzz
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Re: Recommender is going to give me a panic attack.

Postby xyzzzzzzzz » Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:47 pm

GoBroncos22! wrote:AHHHH Thanks god. LSAC finally says recieved today!!! Atleast I know the process works now. lol. One down, and one is on its way now. I dont know if anyone out there is wondering, I know I sure was, but it took about 2.5 weeks AFTER my writer sent it for lsac to be updated.


snail mail or fax?

GoBroncos22!
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Re: Recommender is going to give me a panic attack.

Postby GoBroncos22! » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:29 pm

That would be snail mail

escapefrom
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Re: Recommender is going to give me a panic attack.

Postby escapefrom » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:34 pm

I am superpanicking right now. Two of my letter writers are professional writers, and of course they're the ones who are taking FOREVER to send them in. I send polite e-mails, but have heard nothing.




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