03 December 2009

Why you should want me to write you a recommendation...

This is what I crafted last night. It's short but sweet...

Dear Search Committee Chair,

It is my pleasure to be writing you today in support of Rachel _____'s candidacy for the position of Assistant Professor in American Indian Studies. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to study Anthropology of American Indians under Rachel while enrolled at L’Université Lumière in the Spring of 2008. 

Given my experience with professors and graduate students at both the University of Pennsylvania and L’Universié Lumière, I can confidently say that Rachel is one of the most promising educators I’ve known. From a purely technical standpoint, she leads lessons with a clearly delineated path, presents points with clarity and precision, and projects a palpable confidence in her material.

As any academic will admit, however, being an educator is about much more than technique, organization, and poise. What Rachel added to the classroom came from her charisma, rapport with students, desire to share, and most of all passion for the subject. It would have been impossible for me to miss how much she loved sharing her studies and original research with students, particularly her anecdotes about her fieldwork, nor could I help but find that some of her excitement had rubbed off on me. Given that the majority of my lectures in France consisted of a dull recitation of lesson plans, Rachel’s enthusiasm and willingness to interact with students in and outside of the classroom was always a refreshing addition to my day. I spent every class engaged – taking my studies beyond mere copying of notes and regurgitation of facts. In Rachel I was able to see the burgeoning qualities of a professor that I had been sorely missing during my time away from Penn.

I hope that I have been able to convey just how much of a joy it was to learn from Rachel. I have no doubt that she would be an asset to your institution through both her research and her work in the classroom. Please do not hesitate to contact me if there is any need for elaboration.


Katharine ________

Okay... seriously... isn't that a freakin' awesome letter??? Especially since our only sort of bonding was over the fact that she couldn't spell at all when it came to writing words in English, and I think she chose me because I come from Penn and am the only student in that course that spoke English as a first language. Lol. Imagine what I could do if I actually knew you!!!


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