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I need to do this first: uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Okay, I am feeling slightly better. So, I have these two wonderful LoR writers that have already written letters for my nine schools along with two fellowships. However, my third LoR writer is starting to cause me to stress out. A LOT.

Just to set-up everything, I told all three of my writers about my applications in mid-September. I gave them them a packet with all the schools and fellowships I a,m applying to, their due dates, any instructions or recommendations for the LoR writers, the programs I am applying to, the websites for those programs, and a visual timeline for the due dates.

The first letter was due late-October. I sent my third letter writer about three reminder emails and a reminder text before she submitted her letter a minute before it was due. That was a roller coaster, but I was happy she got it done. Next, another letter was due last night. I sent her about two reminder emails (one about two weeks ago and one a few days ago) and resent the links twice (one about a week ago and one yesterday) as well. She ended up not doing it at all. It didn't bug her as much about this one because this application only needed two LoRs, but they prefer three. I am fuming because I gave her a lot of time and reminded her multiple times.

When I first asked her if she could be my letter writer back in September, she said that she was willing to do all the applications, which makes me even more frustrated. She is testing my trust and that's scary because I have nine more applications that she needs to write LoRs for. I honestly don't know how to handle this. I am not sure if I should even mention the letter she forgot to write and just move on with my life. I am not sure if I should get a different letter writer or just try to trust that she will get the other ones done. I know she has a very busy job, but I don't want to have to keep reminding her every time there is a deadline due, especially since I feel like she should be able to manage her time after being a professional for so long.

Maybe I am being too harsh. I hate feeling this way about someone, but I really don't want to worry and question about something someone promised they would do. I would be immensely grateful if anyone could provide any advice on how to handle this. Thanks in advance.

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I think that you are alienating this professor (if you've not already done so) by attempting to micromanage her. I think that if your tone in the OP reflects the way you are thinking when you communicate with her, she's receiving from you a message that is contrary to your best interests. Can you think of ways to dial down the frequency and intensity of your communications with all of those who are doing you a courtesy by writing you LORs? (FWIW, I once overdid it sending reminders to a professor. The next time he saw me, I grinned sheepishly and apologized. He glared.)

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@Sigaba You might be right. I just getting very panicky when I have to rely on someone. I guess one could say that I have trust issues, which is something I have been working on. But anywho, I thank you for your input. I'll try to let things play out and hope for the best since I am probably just overreacting.

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Whether we like it or not, our relationship with our letter-writers is one-sided: We are completely dependent on their generosity. I think the best option here is for you to find strategies to manage your own worries, as well as the logistics of your applications.

I'm assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that this prof is writing the same letter for all of your programs and just changing out the program info for each one. If this is the case, can all of the letters just be submitted now rather than doing each program by their individual deadlines? Maybe you could have a conversation with the prof and say something like, "I've decided I'd like to have everything submitted by November 30th. Will that work for you?" Give yourself a little breathing room (don't put her deadline at the actual application deadline). Then you can leave her alone, assuming she'll submit by the deadline you give her, and just follow up after that date if there are any issues.

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On 11/13/2018 at 3:41 PM, p287 said:

Maybe you could have a conversation with the prof and say something like, "I've decided I'd like to have everything submitted by November 30th. Will that work for you?" Give yourself a little breathing room (don't put her deadline at the actual application deadline). Then you can leave her alone, assuming she'll submit by the deadline you give her, and just follow up after that date if there are any issues.

2

I do not recommend using this tactic. Applicants to graduate programs are not professors' managers and, therefore, should not address professors as if they're subordinates.

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@p287@Sigaba Thank you both for your advice. She ended up turning the LOR I was freaking out about in the original posting a day late, but the fellowship still accepted somehow. I got lucky this time, but I am suspecting other applications won't be so kind. I still thanked her for doing it anyway, and didn't mention that it was a day late. I apologized for bugging her with multiple reminders. I only plan on reminding her two days or so before a deadline and again on the day of the deadline, if she hasn't gotten it done yet. I haven't contacted her since the "fiasco" of the last application, and have been giving her space. Hopefully this will help. I have learned a lot from this experience.

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of my 3 LOR writers, only one has submitted them all. 1 got back not long from a trip overseas and now her whole family is down with some bug (they suspect dengue) and my other 1 just let me know he knows the deadline is dec 1st. adrenal glands? what are those?

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19 hours ago, loffire said:

of my 3 LOR writers, only one has submitted them all. 1 got back not long from a trip overseas and now her whole family is down with some bug (they suspect dengue) and my other 1 just let me know he knows the deadline is dec 1st. adrenal glands? what are those?

trust them! And it is not uncommon for schools to accept LORs a bit after the deadline because well, it's out of your control and referees suck sometimes lol

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On 11/30/2018 at 1:20 AM, loffire said:

of my 3 LOR writers, only one has submitted them all. 1 got back not long from a trip overseas and now her whole family is down with some bug (they suspect dengue) and my other 1 just let me know he knows the deadline is dec 1st. adrenal glands? what are those?

Same situation here. I've 2 out of 3 LoRs for every programme I've applied to (and in some cases the deadline was on Friday and Saturday)...and the third is missing. He said he was going to upload them on Friday, but he just disappeared. I've sent him an email on Saturday and one today, but still no answer. I'm not the type who sends every day an email, but I'm really starting to panic here. I really hope schools will accept letters in the next few days (given he ever answers). 

Edited by FedeHikari

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2 minutes ago, FedeHikari said:

Same situation here. I've 2 out of 3 LoRs for every programme I've applied to (and in some cases the deadline was on Friday and Saturday)...and the third is missing. He said he was going to upload them on Friday, but he just disappeared. I've sent him an email on Saturday and one today, but still no answer. I'm not the type who sends every day an email, but I'm really starting to panic here. I really hope schools will accept letters in the next few days (given he ever answers). 

sending you good vibes man. Hope your LoR writer comes through! Thankfully I had my last one on FB and i just FB msged him checking in. He submitted all my letters in time

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11 minutes ago, loffire said:

sending you good vibes man. Hope your LoR writer comes through! Thankfully I had my last one on FB and i just FB msged him checking in. He submitted all my letters in time

He just texted me that he was going to upload everything today and tomorrow (for the less compelling ones)...I will pray all day XD

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On 12/3/2018 at 1:39 PM, FedeHikari said:

He just texted me that he was going to upload everything today and tomorrow (for the less compelling ones)...I will pray all day XD

I hope he submits them! Good luck!

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9 hours ago, Moods said:

I hope he submits them! Good luck!

Just one missing (but he promised he would submit it today, so I'm trying to relax)...I totally share your sense of helplessness. I don't think I stressed too much my recommenders, but they are in such a bad period that every reminder I sent was probably the last drop. I can understand your problems with relying on others (me too!). Anyhow, good luck to everyone ❤️ this is the worst period because we just have to wait (again, powerless!), but Christmas time is such a panacea for me. :) 

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I feel this thread in my soul! I don't understand some professors who agree to write students recommendations and then get annoyed about being reminded. I understand procrastination, believe me, I do, but if someone asked me to do something this important (that could shape their future for years to come) I would a) not say yes unless I felt I could actually do so in a timely manner and b) understand if they got a bit ancy, as long as they weren't rude about it. Like, your life is in their hands, pretty much! Idk. I understand that professors are busy, especially at this time of year, but it upsets me that some of them treat students with so little compassion.

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On 11/15/2018 at 9:13 PM, Sigaba said:

I do not recommend using this tactic. Applicants to graduate programs are not professors' managers and, therefore, should not address professors as if they're subordinates.

Like I get this BUT ALSO THEY ARE JUST PEOPLE WITH THE PREFIX DR. IN FRONT OF THEIR NAMES. I understand that being polite to the point of obsequiousness is sometimes in your best interest, but that doesn't mean I enjoy it.

Edited by doctormelody

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