Recommender stringing me along (included: TWIST)

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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Recommender stringing me along (included: TWIST)

Postby North » Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:52 pm

Alright, here's why I need this LOR:
    • He is one of the two professors I built something resembling a relationship with because I'm fucking awkward.
    • I'm a splitter, so LORs almost matter in my case.
    • I can't have only one LOR.
    • He actually has things to say that shine a different and valuable light on me than do other parts of my application.
    • It's late in the process.
    • I put a ton of work "grooming" (for lack of a better word) this LOR over the year I knew him before I asked for an LOR.
    • He has never indicated in his tone or otherwise that he was anything other than happy to write this LOR.

Here's why I don't have it yet:
    • I asked for the LOR in early June and have been strung along since then -- he'd go dark for several weeks and then ask for additional information (like rough drafts of my papers that he'd written on, obscure stuff like that, all of which I immediately provided) when I'd send my monthly reminder e-mail.


    • In our most recent exchange, he said that he I hadn't heard anything from him because there had been a death in his family and that he had had to take care of some things. He said that everything was back to normal and that he'd finish the LOR and submit it that night. I sent an e-mail back that said:
    North wrote:Oh [Prof], I'm so sorry. Really, this should be your last priority. Take all the time you need, I'm already incredibly grateful that you agreed to do it at all. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help.

    I'm very sorry for your loss,
    • That was on October first, and I haven't heard anything since. Since then, I've wondered if that e-mail might have made it sound like I was cutting him loose. Does it?
    • I'm 85% sure he was going to use the electronic upload system, so, though I did provide him with a stamped, addressed envelope to LSAC, I don't think it's floating around at the post office somewhere.

Here's what I need help with:
    • October scores are about to drop and I had planned to apply immediately after they came out (provided I didn't totally bomb it). Is there any acceptable way to send another reminder e-mail without sounding like an asshole for prodding someone who had a death in the family a month ago?
    • Should I give him a clear out (Professor, I understand this is a difficult time for you. If writing this LOR is too much trouble, it would be totally fine if you backed out.)?
    • Should I just not send anything?
    • Is he trying to tell me that he doesn't want to write it and that I should ask somebody else (note, however, that there is nobody else)?

I can't decide how to handle this. I typed out a whole e-mail and almost sent it, but decided that it would be smarter to ask you guys first.
Last edited by North on Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Help me handle this increasingly nervewracking LOR situation

Postby nickb285 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:14 pm

This is relevant to my interests. No deaths in the recommenders' families (AFAIK) but both have been jerking me around for months now. I was originally planning to apply at the beginning of this month and have everything except LORs ready to go. I'm going to be kinda pissed if I can't apply before October scores come out. I don't want to be a dick to them (originally this was because I liked them; now it's pretty much just because I don't want to do anything to discourage them from sending letters immediately) but I'm right about to choke someone. I'm a splitter to begin with; I don't need to be late in the admissions cycle on top of that.
Last edited by nickb285 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Help me handle this increasingly nervewracking LOR situation

Postby laxbrah420 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:17 pm

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Re: Help me handle this increasingly nervewracking LOR situation

Postby North » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:33 pm

laxbrah420 wrote:


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Re: Recommender stringing me along (included: TWIST)

Postby vman21 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:52 am

Last edited by vman21 on Sat Feb 09, 2013 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Recommender stringing me along (included: TWIST)

Postby JCFindley » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:10 am

Is there anyone else you could get to write you a good one fairly quickly?

While this may seem like the perfect person to do one, June to October is a LONG time for an LOR. I had several people that were supposedly writing one for me that never did. (I had two though.)

It took LSAC a good couple weeks before my second one was sent so even after he sends it there will be more delay.

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Post removed.

Postby VasaVasori » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:57 am

Post removed.
Last edited by VasaVasori on Sun May 10, 2015 3:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Recommender stringing me along (included: TWIST)

Postby ben4847 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:12 am

I would just ask someone else, and forget about him. He'll either send one or not, and you'll just not assign it to any applications.

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Re: Recommender stringing me along (included: TWIST)

Postby nolabreeze » Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:00 am

[first post, long time reader] I'm in the same situation. I had a professor that was a pretty big influence on my decision to apply and for a lot of other things in my life. I still believe she will write me a really great recommendation because she knows me so well but it has been...4 months since she's agreed to write an LOr for me. I called her a few times, we met once, and I emailed her a couple of times. She's assured me several times she'll have it ready and I'll be fine. Her status on my LOR tab on LSAC is "awknowledged", which means she at least signed up for LSAC to electronically turn it in. I'm probably going to call her this weekend to see what's up and give her a deadline of Nov 1 (UT's early non binding decision deadline). In the meantime I've emailed/going to call another professor that I think might be able to write an LOR on short notice.

the wait and uncertainty is painful though :(

p.s. i'd call over email. it's easy to skip over emails, at least on the phone you know you have that person's attention for a second.

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