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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7661
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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Problem with professor

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I am having a problem with a professor. I am in the school's Master's program, and this is the year I have to apply for the Ph.d. I want all recommendations from classes in which I received A's, and the other two professors were happy to help out. Now in this one class, I did very well: my class participation was great, all the written commentaries I did every week were all As, and my class presentation and final paper were As as well. I need this professor's recommendation, especially considering Ph.d. admissions are so very competitive, I need professors who can attest to my very best work, and he is one of them. Problem is, I e-mailed him two weeks ago, and he (rudely) never got back to me. Now I spoke to my advisor, and he said that he thought this professor had previously been out of the country at a conference, but that's not really the explanation, because this professor checks his e-mails even when he is away or abroad, and besides, he has been back for the past week and a half. I e-mailed him again a few days ago, and still no response. I am really so insulted and disgusted. I know that professors at "good" schools are pretentious egomaniacs that generally do not care about graduate students, but it is literally part of their job description to write recommendation letters for good students, and plus, the applications are due in three and a half months, so it's not like he doesn't have enough time to fit in writing a letter and submitting it electronically. I meet with my advisor about unrelated matters in three days. What should I do? I really need his recommendation.

Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 7 months ago.
Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear friend,

Having taught college myself I understand how pressed for time a professor can be, and how many obligations may be pulling at him at the same time.

I am by no means trying to defend him, but this is a most important recommendation for him and you still want to get it on the best terms possible.

If he is nearby, I recommend making an appointment with him. If this is not possible, then I would compose another kind letter, not even mentioning that you had written to him before (he won't like the pressure or your assuption that he forgot or ignored you, even if it is true).

Enclose the letter inside of a thank you card, a beautifl and expsensive one to catch his attention. The letter should state your thanks for being a wonderful teacher and helping him further his career with a great classroom experience.

You will not be pressuring him but he will take notice and sned you that recommendation. Make sure to include a self-addressed stamped envelope.

When you speak to your advisor, you can tell him or her that you have sent this card and note, and ask if he or she could intervene if you have not heard back soon.

Incidentally, I ALWAYS gave the highest praise to my good students, and perhaps this professor will do the same. As you have learned, being erudite an in a high position does not bestow kindess or consideration on a person, and some attain their position because they are uncaring narcissists. I am not saying that this professor is one, but he must be handled with kid gloves and shown great esteem. That may be his motivating force.

I wish you great success.

Warm regards,

Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7661
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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