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__________



Dec 3, 2008, 6:36 PM

Post #201 of 333 (7626 views)
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Re: [HopperFu] A sticky situation [In reply to] Can't Post

Superstar Adam Haslett was rejected a few times from Iowa...and reports he's glad to have stuck with it.

On a smaller scale, my next round of apps will mark my third go of it -- because I am super-neurotic about where I might end up. It kind of feels like dating did in high school; You're like, Yes! Someone likes me! ...followed by Wait -- do I really want to spend my time with this person, or do I just like them because they like me? Decisions! Decisions!


six five four three two one 0 ->


aiyamei

e-mail user

Dec 3, 2008, 6:55 PM

Post #202 of 333 (7605 views)
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Re: [Junior Maas] A sticky situation [In reply to] Can't Post

I dig your new avatar, Junior.


__________



Dec 3, 2008, 7:04 PM

Post #203 of 333 (7595 views)
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Re: [aiyamei] A sticky situation [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks. Someone was mourning furlough the cat, so...


six five four three two one 0 ->


jlgwriter
Jeanne Lyet Gassman
e-mail user

Dec 3, 2008, 7:10 PM

Post #204 of 333 (7589 views)
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Re: [Junior Maas] A sticky situation [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Quote
Thanks. Someone was mourning furlough the cat, so...


Ah, that was me. I like your cat, though. Very cute! :)

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



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


HappyCianci



Dec 3, 2008, 8:07 PM

Post #205 of 333 (7567 views)
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Re: [silkentent] A sticky situation [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
OK, what really intrigues me in the MFA application threads is all the references to "last year I did this" but "this year I did this." Is being an MFA applicant a lifestyle???


I applied to seven schools last year and I'm applying to fourteen this year.

Last year, I got into Notre Dame but decided not to go. You only get to do your MFA once- in my opinion, it's totally worth waiting another year for the chance to find the right match.


(This post was edited by HappyCianci on Dec 3, 2008, 8:10 PM)


germericanqt


Dec 3, 2008, 8:10 PM

Post #206 of 333 (7563 views)
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Re: [HappyCianci] A sticky situation [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, I only applied to four schools last year, all of them with less than 3% acceptance rates. With twelve apps out there this year, I'm pretty sure my lifestyle as an MFA applicant will soon be over. If nothing else, I can't really afford to go through this process again.


Raysen


Dec 3, 2008, 9:38 PM

Post #207 of 333 (7538 views)
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Re: [HappyCianci] A sticky situation [In reply to] Can't Post

Call me petty but I hate Notre Dame football with such passion that I don't know if I can muster the energy and enthusiasm to apply there. I know, it's stupid. But it's a mental block I can't quite get over.


bighark


Dec 3, 2008, 9:41 PM

Post #208 of 333 (7535 views)
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Re: [Raysen] A sticky situation [In reply to] Can't Post

I hate Notre Dame football right now, too, but for a different reason.

Bighark, ND class of 98


unsaid78


Dec 4, 2008, 3:38 PM

Post #209 of 333 (7458 views)
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Some good news on the thread! [In reply to] Can't Post

I decided to add some good news on this thread lol. My recommendation woes are over as my final recommender just contacted me to say she's working on the letters right now and will finish them today. I am so ready to gift her and go on my way lol. I don't feel like being creative so she's getting a Barnes & Noble gift card. YAY!


www.mfachronicles.blogspot.com - Follow us as we begin our 1st years in MFA programs!


v1ctorya


Dec 4, 2008, 3:43 PM

Post #210 of 333 (7454 views)
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Re: [HappyCianci] A sticky situation [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Quote
OK, what really intrigues me in the MFA application threads is all the references to "last year I did this" but "this year I did this." Is being an MFA applicant a lifestyle???


I applied to seven schools last year and I'm applying to fourteen this year.

Last year, I got into Notre Dame but decided not to go. You only get to do your MFA once- in my opinion, it's totally worth waiting another year for the chance to find the right match.



I'm with ya! I applied 2 years ago, got into Alabama, and decided I'd take a year to write more and then figure it out.

I hope I figured it out this year :)

Also, still waiting on 1 rec. who said he mailed them. I had 4 people who said they'd do it, one backed out, but without telling me she did, but that's why I asked 6, and had 4 say yes.


NickMcRae
Nick McRae

e-mail user

Dec 4, 2008, 6:23 PM

Post #211 of 333 (7413 views)
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Re: [v1ctorya] A sticky situation [In reply to] Can't Post

One of my recommenders is in India right now on a Fulbright. Travel restrictions caused by the recent terrorist attack in Mumbai plus her computer burning out randomly does not bode well for rec letters. Obviously I'm more concerned about her safety, but I am a little nervous about the letters nonetheless. So I can commiserate. Yikes.

NM


"You got a song, man, sing it. / You got a bell, man, ring it." - Robert Creeley

Nick McRae
nmcrae1@gmail.com
http://nickmcrae.com/


bpattersonweber



Dec 7, 2008, 7:18 PM

Post #212 of 333 (7294 views)
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where oh where do I find recommenders? [In reply to] Can't Post

One thing I'm excellent at is worrying. Right now, I'm getting worked up about finding recommenders for the applications I intend to send out next fall for 2010 admission. I've been out of college for quite some time and haven't maintained any ties with professors (I moved 3000 miles away and started a career in a field completely unrelated to my degree in linguistics). I just have people I know from the last couple of jobs I've had in the last ten years, but I don't think I can come up with three who are capable of writing a recommendation letter (let alone the 10 I'll need for applications). What do I do? I'm living in a new country now and I'm not confident that I can befriend someone here who could potentially be a recommender (and wouldn't that be kind of, I don't know, sleazy of me?). Also, I can't ask anyone I currently work with because I would probably lose my job or at least have my job made very difficult for me once word got out that I don't intend to work there forever. Yay, cut-throat corporations!

What do I do? I don't want the fact that I've been moving all over the place since college to hurt my chances of getting into an MFA program.

Britt


bighark


Dec 7, 2008, 9:27 PM

Post #213 of 333 (7267 views)
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Re: [bpattersonweber] where oh where do I find recommenders? [In reply to] Can't Post

Brit,

I had similar LOR issues when I was applying. I ended up using one former professor, one fellow writer, and one coworker who I trusted.

Because I hadn't spoken with the professor in over ten years, I was careful to re-introduce myself when I contacted him to request the LOR. Basically, I provided him with a brief summary of our relationship ("I took such and such classes with you at Big U between year and year and earned grade and grade") and explained what I had been up to since we last spoke. Also, since I knew that writing LORs was something this professor regularly does as part of his job (for students who he feels are qualified, of course), I explained why I wanted an MFA and why I was considering the programs that I was applying to (I spoke in general terms, mostly. I didn't outline each of the more than 12 schools).

The writer was a playwright I happen to know. We were never particularly close or anything. I had asked him to read a story I once wrote, and I occasionally see his new plays. I mention him because our relationship is maybe a notch above the acquantaince category. We barely know eachother apart from our writing. Anyway, I didn't feel like I needed to provide him with any additonal instruction after I asked for the LOR.

Because the coworker was not an academic or fiction writer or editor, I asked him to focus his letter on the things he could comment on in a professional sense. He spoke about my work ethic, my creativity, and my ability to work constructively in a group.

I wouldn't stress out too much about getting these LORs. You have plenty of time between now and next year's application deadlines.

Start by contacting your former professors, and don't be afraid to use a colleague or former boss.

Good luck!


writerteacher


Dec 7, 2008, 10:23 PM

Post #214 of 333 (7253 views)
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Re: [bpattersonweber] where oh where do I find recommenders? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey, Britt --

Everything bighark said, yes.

Also, it's not sleazy to seek out other writers with the aim of giving you feedback on your work; that's pretty much what an MFA is all about!

One of the advantages of being a worrier (I prefer to think of myself as a planner) is that you're leaving yourself plenty of time to figure this out. I know you're in a new country, but perhaps there's a writer's group you could join, so you can get some of your application pieces workshopped and make contacts. Check with libraries, bookstores, and colleges or universities near you.

You can also find online workshops where you can meet, read, and get your work critiqued by top-notch writers. I met one of my recommenders (and a best friend) this way. Try the Virtual Studios at www.zoetrope.com for a start.

Good luck,
WT


bpattersonweber



Dec 7, 2008, 10:56 PM

Post #215 of 333 (7241 views)
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Re: [writerteacher] where oh where do I find recommenders? [In reply to] Can't Post

WT & Bighark,

Thank you for your speedy advice! It helps. I'm just terrible at asking people for things, so I've been choosing not to think about that option...plus the one professor I would go to wrote a great grad school LOR for me when I was an undergrad -- I got into the school and was offered a fellowship, but I chose not to go, so for whatever reason, I feel weird about going back to him. As for reaching out and making local connections now, I don't know how feasible that is -- I live on a tiny Caribbean island without any universities, only two bookstores, and no artist community to speak of (everything here is catered to tourists and bankers). I try -- I work 60 hours a week but hang out at the bookstore as often as I can.

Thank you again!

Britt


havana5am



Dec 11, 2008, 12:26 AM

Post #216 of 333 (7152 views)
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Question about # of Recommendation Letters [In reply to] Can't Post

Three professors are willing to write letters for me. Some of the schools I'm applying to require only two. Can I send three instead of two or will they get annoyed?


"Let them think what they liked, but I didn't mean to drown myself. I meant to swim till I sank - but that's not the same thing." -- Joseph Conrad


jaywalke


Dec 11, 2008, 2:02 AM

Post #217 of 333 (7133 views)
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Re: [havana5am] Question about # of Recommendation Letters [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Three professors are willing to write letters for me. Some of the schools I'm applying to require only two. Can I send three instead of two or will they get annoyed?


Would you accept someone who appears to be unable to count?


jaywalke


Dec 11, 2008, 7:25 AM

Post #218 of 333 (7117 views)
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Re: [jaywalke] Question about # of Recommendation Letters [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Would you accept someone who appears to be unable to count?


Let me expand on my knee-jerk (emphasis on jerk) reaction.

A lot of the questions on here seem to be along the lines of "I know the instructions say X, but does that really apply to little old me?"

The answer is yes. Someone wrote those directions for a reason.

I administer some internal research money at a U. I don't make the decisions on who gets it, but I help write the application directions, collect the apps, send them to the panel of scientists who make the call on who gets funded, set up accounts, etc. It's a sweet little program, and we've given out half a mil just this year for some real gee-whiz stuff.

Inevitably, applicants fail to read the instructions. If I know them and like them, I occasionally will cover for them. I don't change any wording, of course, but if the directions say "do not include letters of support" and they include 11 of them, I might trim the fat. Sometimes I don't have the time or inclination to do that, and I pass along the incorrect app to the panel.

The panel knows what the instructions say, and they get a bit torqued when supposedly smart people can't follow simple guidelines. They are even more torqued when they have to read extra pages. The apps that are incorrect don't get funded.

The moral of my story is: follow the directions. They apply to everyone.


(This post was edited by jaywalke on Dec 11, 2008, 7:34 AM)


germericanqt


Dec 11, 2008, 1:11 PM

Post #219 of 333 (7079 views)
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Re: [jaywalke] Question about # of Recommendation Letters [In reply to] Can't Post

Yikes... that seems harsh. Most schools require 3 letters, not 2. If your school is one of the oddballs that require only 2 letters, why should you be annoyed that you got 3 instead? It's an easy mistake to make, especially for those of us who are applying to 10+ different schools and up to our necks in a billion different instructions on everything from personal statements to manuscript lengths to deadlines. I'm worried now because I think one of the 12 I applied to did ask for 2, not 3... and I sent 3 everywhere. I was paying much more attention to the exact specifications on manuscripts and statements of purpose.


HopperFu


Dec 11, 2008, 1:29 PM

Post #220 of 333 (7075 views)
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Re: [germericanqt] Question about # of Recommendation Letters [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't imagine that sending three letters instead of two will be a problem (unless the third one calls you a cat-eating squirrel-hater or some other such slur).


havana5am



Dec 11, 2008, 1:43 PM

Post #221 of 333 (7073 views)
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Re: [jaywalke] Question about # of Recommendation Letters [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
Would you accept someone who appears to be unable to count?


Let me expand on my knee-jerk (emphasis on jerk) reaction.

A lot of the questions on here seem to be along the lines of "I know the instructions say X, but does that really apply to little old me?"

The answer is yes. Someone wrote those directions for a reason.

I administer some internal research money at a U. I don't make the decisions on who gets it, but I help write the application directions, collect the apps, send them to the panel of scientists who make the call on who gets funded, set up accounts, etc. It's a sweet little program, and we've given out half a mil just this year for some real gee-whiz stuff.

Inevitably, applicants fail to read the instructions. If I know them and like them, I occasionally will cover for them. I don't change any wording, of course, but if the directions say "do not include letters of support" and they include 11 of them, I might trim the fat. Sometimes I don't have the time or inclination to do that, and I pass along the incorrect app to the panel.

The panel knows what the instructions say, and they get a bit torqued when supposedly smart people can't follow simple guidelines. They are even more torqued when they have to read extra pages. The apps that are incorrect don't get funded.

The moral of my story is: follow the directions. They apply to everyone.



Your answer didn't apply to me, but thanks anyway. I think I'll go ahead and send all three. It's only one extra (not 11) and some schools even say "at least" two.


"Let them think what they liked, but I didn't mean to drown myself. I meant to swim till I sank - but that's not the same thing." -- Joseph Conrad


libbyagain


Dec 12, 2008, 11:48 AM

Post #222 of 333 (7001 views)
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Re: [havana5am] Question about # of Recommendation Letters [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been on screening committees, though not re. this venue, and the number of letters makes a difference when the competition is close. Thing is, usually not all letters are equally positive. Invariably, committee members favoring X candidate with Wrong Number of letters look hard at the BEST letters. Committee members NOT favoring X candidate look hard at the letters NOT-so-good. Then, the issue must be argued in committee. "These letters are STRONG!" "Yes, but this one isn't AS much!" "Yes--but s/he has MORE letters than the minimum! That's good!" "No it's not! It's bad!" Then, someone always says, "Aw what the fuck--does it MATTER how many letters there are?" causing others who are more heated to get whooped up and also to feel very officious, which NO one likes to feel, and hard words ensue.

This has happened twice on committees I've served on. I'd say, it's best to send out the number they ask for not because of being rejected for not knowing how to count, but for the above reasons.


taraberyl



Jun 22, 2009, 3:48 PM

Post #223 of 333 (6805 views)
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Re: [joysan] Recommendations and reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

Okay I am going to revive this thread with a question.

It seems like more and more schools just want me to provide them with my recommenders' contact information - chiefly, their email address. Then what happens? Are they prompted, via email, to fill out some form on a link?

It all seems very annoying and invasive for them. Especially because many professors are not so technologically deft.
I miss the good old days when you gave them a package of stamped and addressed envelopes and all they had to do was stuff it. Some schools still do it that way, which is doubly annoying since that means recommenders will have to follow two sets of instructions.

Can anyone enlighten me as to the process our recommenders have to go through for those schools that require the recommendation be sent online?


moomoocow42


Jun 22, 2009, 5:11 PM

Post #224 of 333 (6793 views)
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Re: [taraberyl] Recommendations and reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi taraberyl, because I'm rather neurotic, I did all of the recommendation letters by hand rather than electronically last fall. It was a ton of work, but worth it, in my personal opinion for peace of mind. Like you, my primary fear doing everything via email was the technological requirements needed by the recommendors, as well as general worries about spam filters, etc. I recall reading one warning on the email recommendation link for one of the schools I applied to last year telling me that some email accounts may place the automated email in a spam folder, so the user would have to do some techno thingamajiggery to get it to work. That made me crazy with fear. Not to mention what you said about recommendors potentially having to fill out two different kinds of recommendations for the dozen schools you apply to -- by hand and by email. So I kept it simple (for my recommendors) did everything by hand. I included stamped envelopes for my recommendors to seal, all the forms required for each school, with as much obvious information filled out as possible. I basically tried to do as much as I could so all they would have to do is print out their letter, and put it in the right envelope. I also included a big SASE so they could mail me back the materials when they were done, so I could mail the sealed recommendations myself to the schools.

But in defense of email recommendations, there are a lot of people, including recommendors themselves, who swear by the electronic method. And, let's be honest, my method was a ton of work. But if you really want to do it the hard way for peace of mind, I'd say you should definitely go for it. And every school will allow you to send the hard copy of the letter, even if they say they want it electronically. There was one school that requested that on my list last year, and I basically disregarded it, and didn't have any problems. Good luck!


My MFA Blog -- Watch me slowly lose my sanity.


alamana
Jennifer Brown


Jun 25, 2009, 11:25 AM

Post #225 of 333 (6735 views)
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Re: [moomoocow42] Recommendations and reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

I did exactly what moomoocow did. So that makes two of us who clung to the old ways. . .


Be regular and orderly in your life, that you may be violent and original in your work. -- Flaubert

http://www.jenniferkirkpatrickbrown.com

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