You ask a professor for a Letter of Rec (“LOR”). She hems and haws and sort of turns the responsibility back to you. “You’ll need to give me your resume, final draft of your personal statement, and I’m going to Timbuktu tomorrow so it’ll be about 6 weeks before I can get to it.” she says.
Your response should be as follows:
1. “Thank you so much for making the time to do this for me when you have so much going on. Unfortunately, I really was hoping to have my applications complete in the next four weeks. Perhaps if I’m waitlisted somewhere I could ask you again in the Spring?”
A lukewarm letter “Iz No Gud” as they said in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” I’d rather see you with 2 great letters (and only 2 letters) than 2 great ones and one that says “Jessica was prompt and attended class regularly and her handwriting was legible on all of her exams.”
And now that I’ve posted 2 days in a row on “who should NOT write your LOR”, I promise to post a list soon of people who should write your LOR. Check back often and feel free to ask questions on this blog. I’m happy to answer them for the benefit of all readers.