By Sarah Fader
Published February 13, 2012
At the last possible minute, an idea occurred to me. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. I was thinking about my recommendations for graduate school, and suddenly it occurred to me, the perfect person to ask; the principal of the elementary school I’ve been substitute teaching for! I’ve been subbing for three years now, since Ari was nearly a year old. I’ve had a great relationship with this school. Why not ask the principal for a recommendation for graduate school. So I did it. I emailed her, and said:
“Hi Anna, I was wondering if you might be interested in writing me a recommendation for the graduate speech pathology program. I am looking to apply for the Department of Education scholarship.”
She wrote back within the hour with three words:
“Of course. – Anna.”
She is a woman of few words via email, so I was thrilled beyond belief. Those three words made my day.
I sent her the electronic paperwork for the recommendation, and I waited. I waited anxiously to get the email back saying “your recommendation has been received.
I got another email from Anna saying:
“When is the deadline for this?”
I had a minor panic attack. The truth was, I had already gone ahead and submitted my entire application, and asking her for a recommendation was most certainly an afterthought. Don’t get me wrong I was beyond excited that she agreed to write my recommendation, but I knew that the clock was ticking, and the admissions committee was waiting to receive the one remaining document in my application.
I thought carefully about how I would respond to Anna. I wanted to be gracious in my response, considering that she was doing a big favor for me and at the last minute no less. So I replied:
“As soon as possible. Would this Friday be doable? Thank you so much.”
Twn minutes went by. Then I received another three word reply.
“Should be fine.” She wrote back.
A day went by. Then I received another communication from the principal:
“In order to complete your recommendation I need some more information. Can you please send me your resume and application essay? I need to get a sense of why you want to pursue speech pathology.”
At the time I received the email, the kids, my husband and I were down in Texas visiting my in-laws. So while the kids played outside in the yard with their relatives while I searched my computer for my essay and resume. I sent Anna my essay and my resume hoping that they had no typos. I felt anxious about the admissions committee getting my application. Another day went by, and I got another email from the principal. It was longer than usual:
“Is Monday okay? I want to do this over the weekend.” Of course I knew I had to say yes. Once again, she was doing me a giant favor. But I was nervous that the admissions committee would be reviewing my application any day now, and they would find that there was a recommendation missing.
“Monday is great! Thanks so much!” I replied.
On Sunday night, I received the email:
“Your recommendation has been successfully received.” I knew for certain that my application was complete. I have no idea what the principal said about me, but I hoped it was positive.
Now it was time to sit and wait for an answer.
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