Question About LORs and Basket Weaving.

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Fish127
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Question About LORs and Basket Weaving.

Postby Fish127 » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:44 pm

Okay so two main questions.

First, I recently secured a letter of recommendation from a state senator. Would it be a bad idea to use this as one of my LORs? For example, the senator in question is a republican, would there be any danger of staunchly liberal admissions official disliking me over this? Also would such a recommendation carry more or less weight than a professor? Finally, when they say send two LORs, does that mean only two, or at least two?

Second question. I'm thinking about taking a class called "Zombies in Popular Culture" over the winter session break. I'd mostly be taking it for fun and to log a history credit for my minor, but I'm concerned that a joke class like that appearing on my transcript might hurt me at T14 admissions. Anybody have some perspective they can offer?

Thank you in advance to anyone that takes the time to answer these. My apologies if its a pair of silly questions.

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Kratos
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Re: Question About LORs and Basket Weaving.

Postby Kratos » Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:08 pm

Neither the class or the political preference of the recommender matters. What might matter is if the LOR is generic due to said person not knowing you well enough. It means at least two.

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Cpt Zapp Brannigan
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Re: Question About LORs and Basket Weaving.

Postby Cpt Zapp Brannigan » Tue Nov 18, 2014 3:48 am

+1 for Mr. Kratos.

And take the class if you want. A 1 credit winter class with an odd title never hurt anybody. I went to school in New England. All the colleges there have stuff like this. It's trendy in the northeast as schoolz are tryin to keep students and profs happy over brutally cold J term.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Question About LORs and Basket Weaving.

Postby worldtraveler » Tue Nov 18, 2014 5:25 am

Does the senator actually know you well? If not, pick someone else.

Fish127
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Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:03 pm

Re: Question About LORs and Basket Weaving.

Postby Fish127 » Tue Nov 18, 2014 5:02 pm

Well the person working for the senator who is probably going to wind up writing it knows me pretty well. If it's not very personalized though, couldn't I just send it along with the strong letters I've already gotten from professors, or should I only send the strong ones?

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Kratos
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Re: Question About LORs and Basket Weaving.

Postby Kratos » Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:28 pm

Fish127 wrote:Well the person working for the senator who is probably going to wind up writing it knows me pretty well. If it's not very personalized though, couldn't I just send it along with the strong letters I've already gotten from professors, or should I only send the strong ones?

If you have multiple strong ones as well probably doesn't matter.

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Question About LORs and Basket Weaving.

Postby iamgeorgebush » Mon Jan 12, 2015 3:29 pm

I don't think the political affiliation of the senator will hurt you. It should be fine as long as the person writing it can write a strong, personalized rec; this is the important part.

I did a similar thing in high school, where I interned for a state senator and her aide wrote me a rec with the senator signing it. I didn't read the rec, but it was apparently so strong that the school college counselor showed it to the Head of School, and I did get into an undergrad that you wouldn't expect me to get into based solely on my numbers (although this was certainly attributable to other factors as well). I don't think LS admissions is any different from undergrad admissions in this way.

One thing I'd suggest is asking the aide with whom you worked most closely, not the senator, to write the rec. That's what I did, and I think it was a wise decision. It flattered the aide, and she ultimately offered to write it in the senator's name without me prompting. Also, this goes for all recs, but it's best to ask something like, "Would you be comfortable writing me a recommendation?" or "Do you think you'd be able to write me a strong recommendation?" That way, you give them an out if they don't feel they could do you justice.

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bretby
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Re: Question About LORs and Basket Weaving.

Postby bretby » Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:28 pm

FWIW regarding LORs:

http://blogs.law.yale.edu/blogs/admissi ... ation.aspx

Also, political affiliation shouldn't matter. That being said, none of us really knows if it does. But I echo everyone else on here in saying, if they can write you a recommendation that is actually about you and your skills, it might be worth soliciting, even if you don't end up using it.




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