letter-X

i was terrified of doing this in undergrad, and now that i’m asked to write them fairly often, i am fondly exasperated when my students don’t know how to ask for them. obviously there’s no single way, but here’s the way i usually do it.

THE FIRST EMAIL

  • should be short & should mainly be asking whether they’re willing to write you the letter
  • should provide only the basics - what the professor absolutely needs to know.
    • the position you’re applying for
    • when the letter would be due
    • optional: if you’re afraid they won’t remember you, a quick line identifying yourself & your relation to them
  • i like to provide an “out,” in case they don’t want to or are unable to write the letter

SAMPLE
Dear Professor X,
I’m applying for a job as an English tutor at the University Student Resource Center, and was wondering if you’d be willing to write me a letter of recommendation for the position. [optional identification: I really enjoyed taking English 300 with you in Winter 2016, and I’m hoping to develop and pass on those skills to other students through this job.] The letter would be due by September 1st - I know you’re very busy, so I completely understand if you’re not able to write one. 
All best,
Your Name

THE SECOND EMAIL

  • they said yes!! amazing.
  • this one can provide a little more information – a link to the job posting, if there is one, or you can write a quick summary of the position, plus a sentence or two about why you’re excited/interested in the job.
  • also tell them where to send the letter!! 
    • directly to the recruiter for the job
    • to you, to add to your application packet
    • upload to an online LoR service or to an application website
  • 99% of the time folks are fine with receiving electronic copies, but if they need to mail a hard copy, let them know up front.

SAMPLE:
Dear Professor X,
Thank you so much! I really appreciate it. Here’s the link to the job listing; the letter should be sent as a .pdf file to the email address at the bottom of the page, anytime before 9/1. Thanks again – I’m hoping that this job will provide me with some teaching experience and the opportunity to work on my own writing. Please let me know if you need any more information!
Best, 
Your Name

WHEN TO SEND A FOLLOW-UP

  • these stress me out real bad but here’s the deal: most professors have a very shaky relationship to deadlines (especially when they have half a dozen more important ones than your piddly LoR). 
  • the upshot: do not be afraid to nudge them. 
  • often they need the nudge and are appreciative of it.
  • when that nudge happens is up to you and how much room you’ve given them before the deadline, and it’ll look different depending on your relationship with that professor.

GRAD SCHOOL LETTERS

  • i offered to send my professors essays that i had written for their classes, especially if i had taken those classes more than a year before asking them to write the letter, just so they could refamiliarize themselves with my work. you can also offer to send them your writing sample, if you haven’t already asked them to look it over for you.
  • honestly i’d recommend asking for these in person bc it’ll give you a chance to talk to them about their grad school experience and your own hopes & aspirations, which will help them write a more personal, fleshed-out letter.
  • one important note: if this letter is intended for use in grad school applications, do not stress out if it’s a little late. most programs do not care, and pretty much all of them accept late letters without a problem. your professor’s ability to meet deadlines does not reflect on you, and professors are intimately familiar with running late on LoRs. they really honestly don’t care. as long as it gets there before too long, you’ll be fine.
  • thank-yous are up to you! keep in mind that many departments have policies about gift-giving. i did give thank-yous to my three major letter writers, but they were handwritten cards & homemade cookies, nothing store-bought or expensive.

Hey guys! I just found out that Flying Tiger/Tiger (here it’s called Flying Tiger, but I’ve seen some people call it Tiger? Not sure lol) sells some really cheap Traveler’s Notebooks and other cute stuff! So if you maybe wanted to try out a traveler’s notebook for bullet journaling, I would definitely recommend checking them out, it’s a great system for bullet journaling in my opinion :)

Here are the links of some awesome things I found on the website:

  • Traveler’s Notebook (x)
  • Pencil case (x)
  • Notebooks (these are so pretty omg, maybe they even fit in the traveler’s notebook?) (x)
  • Jumbo markers (these might be great for some brush lettering) (x)
  • Magic markers (x)
  • Colour pens (maybe even better for brush lettering) (x)
K LAST ONE FOR NOW
  • Goldie:*staring at math homework that he has for some reason*
  • Homework question:Find X.
  • Goldie:Hmm.
  • Goldie:*circles the letter X in the question*
  • Goldie:There it is that cheeky fucking bastard.
i. you are a locked attic in the haunted house of my heart. i thought i’d thrown out anything living but sometimes i still hear your ghost rattling our old picture frames.
 
ii. i dream up a thousand universes in which you are here. when i wake, i write down what you said to me and call it poetry. but no matter how many pretty metaphors i bleed, i can never get your voice quite right.
 
iii. fact: there is nothing worse than aloneness. what i mean to say is you were my island and now i’m trying to swim. what i mean to say is our song is still the only one i hear on the radio, even when i change the station.
 
iv. i once looked up the meaning of heartache, trying to put it into words i could understand. the dictionary definition was only your name.
—  DEAR YOU | love letters unsent #6 | check out my chapbook UNMYTHOLOGIZE!

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Why is letter X the great Unknown?

Why is letter X the great Unknown?

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Have you ever stopped to think why on earth do we assign the letter X to anything and everything we are not familiar with? Mutants, files, factors, numbers, rays, and many other persons, animals, objects or entities of unclear description are classified as X.

Why?

Well, according to Terry Moore, director of the Radius Foundation, you can blame it all on the old Spanish scholars who attempted to…

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Both of us having sassy mutant reptilian children was too oddly specific for me to ignore.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY EMILY! Heibol (left) and Delaney (right) probably couldn’t even make a cake together without getting on each other’s nerves though.  Too much sass.

Everyone should also go read Acanthity while they’re at it!  Delaney does more than bake cakes. 

XX, XY

X-rays reveal ribs in a

xylophone line and

you are the musician. 

Xeroxed hearts,

xiphoid fingers snapping out.

Xanadu is my home, my final

resting place, where the skies

take on a different shade,

the stars dance along the horizon,

exuding the breath of the gods.

Xylidine imprints, brushing across

the faces of our ancestors.

Extra credit for understanding,

extracting the greater meaning

from these words.

X-rays reveal ribs in a

xylophone line and you

are the musician.

Don’t break them.