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(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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Tyr
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Postby Tyr » Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:13 am

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(Edited for the instructor's privacy)

*Thanks for the heads-up!
Last edited by Tyr on Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Cicero76
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Re: Would You Accept a Letter of Rec from...

Postby Cicero76 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:18 am

If you're applying to Yale, then full professor (emeritus or not) = yes and grad student = no. Especially a full professor with some kind of familiarity with Yale who can say you'd fit in/ excel there.

If you're applying to not-Yale (or HS), then who cares? A trained monkey is probably a sufficient LOR, so long as it taught you in an academic setting.

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Tyr
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Re: Would You Accept a Letter of Rec from...

Postby Tyr » Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:22 am

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Last edited by Tyr on Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Would You Accept a Letter of Rec from...

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:55 am

Well, it sounds like you already asked him. So get the letter, but if you get anything you think is better next semester, just don't use this one.

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Cicero76
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Re: Would You Accept a Letter of Rec from..

Postby Cicero76 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:15 pm

Tyr wrote:
Cicero76 wrote:If you're applying to Yale, then full professor (emeritus or not) = yes and grad student = no. Especially a full professor with some kind of familiarity with Yale who can say you'd fit in/ excel there.

If you're applying to not-Yale (or HS), then who cares? A trained monkey is probably a sufficient LOR, so long as it taught you in an academic setting.


I probably won't apply to Yale because I don't have incredible nationally noteworthy softs (HS I would like to apply to though). Also, I'm not concerned about him being a grad student. I'm concerned about him being an inconsistent drunk. Not sure how that could influence his LoR quality.


You don't need incredible nationally noteworthy softs to apply to Yale, FYI

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Tyr
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Re: Would You Accept a Letter of Rec from..

Postby Tyr » Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:46 pm

Cicero76 wrote:You don't need incredible nationally noteworthy softs to apply to Yale, FYI


Interesting. Thanks for the info. I obviously need to do more homework on Yale.

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Well, it sounds like you already asked him. So get the letter, but if you get anything you think is better next semester, just don't use this one.


Got it. Thanks!

owlofminerva
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Re: Would You Accept a Letter of Rec from...

Postby owlofminerva » Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:46 pm

I agree that I would definitely look for other options other than the grad student.

One thing to note and that I often tell people is to make sure your letters represent different aspects of who you are. Pick a trait or two that you want each letter to focus and let your recommender know the focus you want them to if they are willing. In my case, I wanted a letter focused on smarts/academic ability, another on my leadership experiences, and another on my character and work ethic. Of course, there was some overlap but I wanted to ensure my letters each presented something unique about me that the others didn't.

To some degree, I disagree also with the notion that letters are not important. I had a great UGPA but a fairly low LSAT (by HLS standards) and managed to get in there probably because of my softs and things like letters and personal statement. They can help but you have to make sure you have the right people writing the right things.

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midwest17
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Re: Would You Accept a Letter of Rec from...

Postby midwest17 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:55 pm

I'd disagree about the graduate student. Obviously, a full professor who could say the same things about you as the grad student would be preferable, but if the grad student knows you better and can say more specific things, that's going to count for more than the title. (Especially if the graduate student was actually teaching the course, and wasn't a TA).

So, I'd ask for both of the letters. If you can get another from a full prof who knows you well before you apply, then you just don't have to use the grad student's letter.

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wealtheow
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Re: Would You Accept a Letter of Rec from...

Postby wealtheow » Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:46 pm

Tyr wrote:
The second professor (actually not a professor yet, he's a grad student that taught my course) is where I have some question. He was enthusiastic about being willing the write a letter, but he seems less than consistent. There's strong reason to believe he is an alcoholic and he's incredibly unreliable. For example, agreeing to meet at a certain time, then forgetting it was you he agreed to meet with and then he shows up an hour late.


if you think that he would write only great things about you, and if you can actually get him to write and submit the letter on time, i hardly think him being only a TA in addition to a hot mess matters.

i WILL say... that if you have concerns about his professionalism or mental state, i would be very wary. there are people i have come to know from whom i would NEVER accept an LOR, despite their enthusiasm, because i am afraid they would say things that appear... well, nuts or inappropriate, to be honest. i'm not saying all tardy alcoholics are mentally unstable to that degree, but you seem to have some concerns, so this is why i mention this. one way to check on that is to see if they have any online presence, or get a hold of articles/papers/other writings, if they have any out there. you will be able to tell if crazy.

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wowhio
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Re: Would You Accept a Letter of Rec from...

Postby wowhio » Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:11 am

Tyr wrote:He was enthusiastic about being willing the write a letter, but he seems less than consistent. There's strong reason to believe he is an alcoholic and he's incredibly unreliable. For example, agreeing to meet at a certain time, then forgetting it was you he agreed to meet with and then he shows up an hour late.


Okay... I don't mean to offend by saying this... But... You should ask whoever you think can write the best LOR to write one, and at the same time you should probably not post stuff like this on TLS about someone who has been kind enough to agree to write you a flattering letter to advance your career goals. I mean... Even if you're right and even if it's not identifiable, it's a little uncool.




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