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__________



Oct 15, 2007, 9:55 PM

Post #126 of 333 (7828 views)
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Re: [edwriter] recommendations (resource) [In reply to] Can't Post

Dilemma 914:

I'm applying to fiction programs. My best recommendation would have come from an outstanding poet who likes my stuff, who knows my work/revision ethic. I've taken his workshop twice. But. The last time, I had a big family crisis, didn't turn in a final portfolio, skipped town, made a 'C'. Was so embarrassed I haven't talked to him since. And now, of course, I'm really hard up for rec letters.

Do I even ask?


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HopperFu


Oct 16, 2007, 8:06 AM

Post #127 of 333 (7801 views)
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Re: [Junior Maas] recommendations (resource) [In reply to] Can't Post

Uh, my immediate reaction is 'no,' but I guess that depends. Will he answer you honestly if you ask him if he can write a good rec for you? Some profs will not write recs unless they can give a very good rec, but others will write letters that make it clear they are only half-hearted about their endorsement. There's a whole coded speech in rec letters.
I guess you can ask him if - despite what happened - if he can write you a letter that is supportive and helpful.

The thing is, though, is that LOR are mostly used to make sure that you are not crazy or a fuck up. I suppose it would be helpful if Thomas Pynchon wrote you a letter, but other than that, I'm not sure if who writes you a letter is as important as that they know you and can essentially vouch for your work ethic, etc. By the time a committee has read your LOR they have already made a decision on your talent.


__________



Oct 16, 2007, 5:12 PM

Post #128 of 333 (7770 views)
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Re: [HopperFu] recommendations (resource) [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks, AZ.

I feel like I should be paying you by now.


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mr.shankly


Nov 6, 2007, 12:58 PM

Post #129 of 333 (7692 views)
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Indiana, U Mass Amherst, UC Irvine [In reply to] Can't Post

Two questions.

Does anyone know the specifics for the LORs for Indiana and U Mass Amherst? The websites only indicate that letters should be sent, but they do not state whether or not the recommenders need to send them directly or submit online, etc. I know 3 are needed for Indiana, 2 for U Mass. That's about it.


To which address should I be sending letters to Irvine? I think the following is right but want to make sure.

Graduate Program Administrator
MFA Programs in Writing
Univ. of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697


Thanks.


mpagan


Nov 6, 2007, 2:32 PM

Post #130 of 333 (7675 views)
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Re: [mr.shankly] Indiana, U Mass Amherst, UC Irvine [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm applying to Indiana as well - They want the letters sent to the program directly - or uploaded through the online application process.

Since I am sending mine via mail - the address is

Creative Writing
Ballantine Hall 442A
1020 Kirkwood Ave
Bloomington Indiana 47405

Also - you can find the rec form when you download or view the application - print this out and send to the address above - I called and that's what they confirmed


(This post was edited by mpagan on Nov 6, 2007, 2:36 PM)


forthedogs


Nov 6, 2007, 5:24 PM

Post #131 of 333 (7646 views)
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Re: [mr.shankly] Indiana, U Mass Amherst, UC Irvine [In reply to] Can't Post

according to my files (the big crazy mess of spreadsheets i have about this stuff) UMass wants letters mailed directly from the letter writers to the grad school.

but: i just went to check and i can't seem to find anything on their website either. maybe it's just late and i'm blinded by my neurosis.

but again: ok, in the app itself it says to fill out this form (http://www.umass.edu/...endation%20Form.html) give it to you LORWs and have them use it as a cover letter. they return it directly to the grad school. here's the address:
Graduate Admissions Office
530 Goodell Building
University of Massachusetts
140
Hicks Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9333



mr.shankly


Nov 6, 2007, 9:05 PM

Post #132 of 333 (7615 views)
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Re: [JWhelan] Indiana, U Mass Amherst, UC Irvine [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks. I have no idea where you found that information. I'm still a bit unsure of where they need to be mailing the letters, because on the website it says, "Please be sure to send your Writing Program application along with your other MFA application materials directly to the MFA Program, address above." The address given is for the MFA program, not the overall grad school, but the form you sent a link to has the grad school address. Looks as if I need to just make a call in the morning. I'll let you know what I find out.


forthedogs


Nov 7, 2007, 2:28 AM

Post #133 of 333 (7580 views)
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Re: [mr.shankly] Indiana, U Mass Amherst, UC Irvine [In reply to] Can't Post

yeah, see, now i'm unsure too. i found the stuff about letters in the actual online app which you access by following the link on the grad school site via the mfa site.

please do let me know what you find out. i've thoroughly confused myself.

i remember having trouble finding this out when i was making my lists, but i guess for some reason i thought i had resolved it. now i can't seem to find anything that confirms what i have.

let me know.


mr.shankly


Nov 7, 2007, 11:46 AM

Post #134 of 333 (7540 views)
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Re: [JWhelan] Indiana, U Mass Amherst, UC Irvine [In reply to] Can't Post

You were right, they need to be sent to the admission office first and from there will be forwarded to the MFA program. The address you've got is correct. The lady on the phone said it doesn't matter if the letters come with your full package or separate, but since the site says the other materials should go to the MFA program, I'll have my professors send them separately. Good luck!

For anyone out there with similar questions as mine concerning UC Irivine -- the letters can be sent with the package (signed on the flap and sealed) with the form (download it off their site).

Here's the address:

435 Humanities Instructional Building
Irvine, CA 92697-2650
Attn: MFA Program


forthedogs


Nov 7, 2007, 12:13 PM

Post #135 of 333 (7536 views)
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Re: [mr.shankly] Indiana, U Mass Amherst, UC Irvine [In reply to] Can't Post

thanks, mr. shankly. i have no idea how i got that right. anyway, i'm doing like you, i think. letters to the program office.

thanks for calling.

j


mpagan


Nov 7, 2007, 4:31 PM

Post #136 of 333 (7502 views)
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Re: Letters getting there before apps [In reply to] Can't Post

Is it bad or confusing if your letters of recommendation arrive at the school your applying to before your application does?

I contacted my references early and one of them just informed me they sent out the letters today - but I don't plan to file the application until next week - when I am finally done writing personal statements.

Will this cause any problems - or will the department just file them somewhere until the app comes through?


HopperFu


Nov 7, 2007, 4:36 PM

Post #137 of 333 (7498 views)
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Re: [mpagan] Letters getting there before apps [In reply to] Can't Post

don't worry. they'll start a file for you.


jlgwriter
Jeanne Lyet Gassman
e-mail user

Nov 7, 2007, 5:08 PM

Post #138 of 333 (7492 views)
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Re: [mpagan] Letters getting there before apps [In reply to] Can't Post

It shouldn't be a problem. Admissions departments are accustomed to receiving things out of order. As Alexi said, they'll just start a file for you.

Jeanne


http://www.jeannelyetgassman.com
http://jeannelyetgassman.blogspot.com


Zash
Zachary Ash

Nov 7, 2007, 7:22 PM

Post #139 of 333 (7481 views)
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Re: [jlgwriter] Letters getting there before apps [In reply to] Can't Post

What's the deal with Minnesota? I can't fathom how they want the letters. And it looks like they just changed - for the worse - their MFA info page, the one that outlines the application process. This is quite confusing and somewhat alarming. Hope the content's the same.


(This post was edited by Zash on Nov 7, 2007, 7:24 PM)


ajholtz


Nov 12, 2007, 11:57 AM

Post #140 of 333 (7392 views)
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Re: [Zash] Letters getting there before apps [In reply to] Can't Post

totally agree about minnesota, i'm from there and can't imagine why they need to act like they've got a big stick up their bum all the time...good program...but it's not the program ordained by god or anything. that page is the most confusing convoluted thing i've come across.
i'm struggling to figure out if schools want 6 recommendations - i wasn't worried about it before, but now i'm going back to all the pages and they're making it sound like you submit three with the online app, and three to the mfa program - is this right? or am i hyperventilating without reason?
the ones i'm talking about will be mn, oregon, montana, indiana
has anyone else had this problem? or is it in my head?


forthedogs


Nov 12, 2007, 12:07 PM

Post #141 of 333 (7387 views)
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Re: [ajholtz] Letters getting there before apps [In reply to] Can't Post

i agree that it's confusing. i encounter some reason to freak out almost everyday! i think for the most part, though, in fact, i think like 99% of the time, schools want one or the other. online or in the mail. I haven't run across a school that wants the letters online and in the mail. They don't want 6 copies either. Just three letters. (Actually, I think Notre Dame wants 2 copies of each letter, which would be 6, but that seems to be the exception rather than the rule.)

montana and minnesota want letters mailed to them via post. oregon does too. don't know about indiana.

i don't know off the top of my head where they want them sent, to the grad school or the program or whatever, or who sends them you in your packet or your LORWs.

anyway, i keep just telling myself it's soon over. i'm almost to the point where i want to get in just so i don't hav to go through the application process again.


Zash
Zachary Ash

Nov 12, 2007, 4:56 PM

Post #142 of 333 (7353 views)
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Re: [JWhelan] Letters getting there before apps [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks guys. I guess we're turning into the home stretch, with a month left, a mad dash to the wire. Hope I don't pull up lame. What I hate is writing about myself in a direct and persuasive manner, so the statement of purpose is torture. I've never been good at spin or self-promotion. All I want to do is write stories.


__________



Nov 13, 2007, 1:18 PM

Post #143 of 333 (7305 views)
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Re: [Zash] Letters getting there before apps [In reply to] Can't Post

What do you guys think about an LOR from a student I've tutored? Too risky? (Others: one lit professor, one creative writing instructor).


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bennyprof


Nov 13, 2007, 1:32 PM

Post #144 of 333 (7298 views)
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Re: [Junior Maas] Letters getting there before apps [In reply to] Can't Post

Not sure I'd take a chance on that, personally. (Though I can see the potential upside from a TA app standpoint.) Seems the whole point of the LORs is to gather opinions on the applicant's potential, ideally from someone who's been around the block, seen a lot of up-and-comers and knows what to look for. They might view the opinion of a student as less legitimate than that of a professor, based solely on his or her knowledge and experience. Not many other (if any) applicants will be taking this approach, so it'll likely make you stand out somewhat. The question, of course, is whether it'll make you stand out in a positive or negative way.


(This post was edited by bennyprof on Nov 13, 2007, 1:34 PM)


jlgwriter
Jeanne Lyet Gassman
e-mail user

Nov 13, 2007, 1:45 PM

Post #145 of 333 (7291 views)
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Re: [Junior Maas] Letters getting there before apps [In reply to] Can't Post

Mmm...I'd be a little "iffy" on that idea. Do you have any critique partners, friends in writing workshops (online or in person), former employers (who might have made use of your leadership/writing skills)? Since I was so long out of school, I used critique partners and an editor for my references. That seemed to work fine.


http://www.jeannelyetgassman.com
http://jeannelyetgassman.blogspot.com


mr.shankly


Nov 13, 2007, 9:12 PM

Post #146 of 333 (7249 views)
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Re: [mpagan] Indiana, U Mass Amherst, UC Irvine [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought I'd come back to you to ask this, since you've already been in touch with Indiana. (Their website has been the least helpful so far.) Do they want transcripts sent directly to the program as well? I'm assuming so, since there is no other info on the site. Thanks.


This question is for anyone who can answer -- Most places say to send official transcripts from ALL universities. I took one Calculus class at a Community College in my home town while I was still in high school. The remainder of my credits came from one university. So, do I need to request transcripts from the community college? Or will the one from my university be fine?


Zash
Zachary Ash

Nov 14, 2007, 1:14 AM

Post #147 of 333 (7226 views)
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Re: [mr.shankly] Indiana, U Mass Amherst, UC Irvine [In reply to] Can't Post

Transcripts are only required, I think, if you earned more than 3 units (one class). That's what I read somewhere.


HopperFu


Nov 14, 2007, 9:21 AM

Post #148 of 333 (7198 views)
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Re: [Junior Maas] Letters getting there before apps [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
What do you guys think about an LOR from a student I've tutored? Too risky? (Others: one lit professor, one creative writing instructor).


I think it's a horrible idea. Someone who is your teacher, boss, etc., can say 'no,' but a student can't really.


mpagan


Nov 14, 2007, 12:08 PM

Post #149 of 333 (7174 views)
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Re: [mr.shankly] Indiana, U Mass Amherst, UC Irvine [In reply to] Can't Post

That is correct - send the transcripts - and your writing samples to the program. If you are mailing recs - send them to the program. Otherwise - application and personal statements (including teaching statement) online.


MissEsquire



Dec 6, 2007, 5:24 PM

Post #150 of 333 (7063 views)
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A sticky situation [In reply to] Can't Post

Dear speakeasy posters,

Help! I really need some advice on a sticky situation:

What do you do if your recommender(s) are very slow in getting things done? Two of my three recommenders finished their letters months ago, and one still hasn't completed hers. My first application is due in less than ten days. I emailed her with a friendly deadline reminder, and she emailed me back saying she'd try to get it done by the beginning of the week. That was last week. It's the end of the week now; should I email her again? How can I do that without pestering her? Needless to say, I'm getting nervous about this, especially after putting so much work into my applications. I also don't want to upset this professor before she writes my letter. What would you do?

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