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Radio silence from my LOR writer.....what to do?


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Hi all,

I need some advice on the current situation. I'm in the process of contacting my LOR writers. Before I graduated last year, all three, (well, four actually), of them said they would be more than happy to write me letters. Among four of them, I am having trouble contacting one letter writer in particular. Getting a letter from her is very important because she was my supervisor for my honors thesis and I also took two of her classes where I was one of the top performing students so she knows both my research abilities and my characteristics as a student. And I personally think she liked me quite a bit (She gave me a card congratulating me on my completion for thesis and graduation) She indeed confirmed twice last year that she would write me a strong letter and told me to stay in touch. We stayed in contact until September? of last year (I got a reply from her) where we talked about our daily life and my plans. I emailed her several times throughout this whole last couple of months in 2019-until now for updates but I haven't heard back from her in a single email. I figured she was busy with all her responsibilities but now after 5 emails (5 regular life updates and some questions) throughout one year span, I don't know what to do. I sent her another email last week asking how she was doing and if she is still willing to write me a letter for this cycle just to double check but no response. I am now freaking out because the fourth letter writer isn't as strong as this person. Should I call her office or if she subtly saying that she changed her mind?

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This happened to me with one of my letter writers back when I was applying, and it actually turned out she was on maternity leave, therefore not checking her email, and I left her some voicemail messages at her office. She got into contact with me shortly before the deadline and was able to write a letter. Just putting out this experience to help quench some of your fears. Would recommend calling her office number.

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That sounds frustrating. My suggestion is try to contact your uni/ department and ask about her whether she is still active/have some sort of condition that makes her cannot reply emails. Sometimes people change email address, can't check emails, computer system at home not working like at office. You can also ask about her to students you may know or anyone you think can provide that kind of info, like other faculty. Meanwhile, stay positive and start thinking of other people or how the remaining reference can be as strong as you expected. I hope it will work one way or another. 

 

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On 10/6/2020 at 1:08 AM, bubble_psych said:

This happened to me with one of my letter writers back when I was applying, and it actually turned out she was on maternity leave, therefore not checking her email, and I left her some voicemail messages at her office. She got into contact with me shortly before the deadline and was able to write a letter. Just putting out this experience to help quench some of your fears. Would recommend calling her office number.

Hi, thank you so much for sharing you experience. Luckily, my LOR writer just emailed me back. Such a relief!

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On 10/6/2020 at 1:47 AM, Rerun said:

That sounds frustrating. My suggestion is try to contact your uni/ department and ask about her whether she is still active/have some sort of condition that makes her cannot reply emails. Sometimes people change email address, can't check emails, computer system at home not working like at office. You can also ask about her to students you may know or anyone you think can provide that kind of info, like other faculty. Meanwhile, stay positive and start thinking of other people or how the remaining reference can be as strong as you expected. I hope it will work one way or another. 

 

Hi! I was just about to email her with a more direct email subject like "urgent: letter of recommendation" but luckily, she emailed me back saying she will be more than happy to write me one and explaining what was happening, basically preventing her from emailing back. 

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11 hours ago, SheMadeItEventually said:

Hi! I was just about to email her with a more direct email subject like "urgent: letter of recommendation" but luckily, she emailed me back saying she will be more than happy to write me one and explaining what was happening, basically preventing her from emailing back. 

FWIW, after spazzing out and blowing up a professor's comms trying to get an update on a letter of recommendation, I learned a valuable lesson.

The lesson follows. Don't spazz out and blow up a professor's comms trying to get an update on a letter of recommendation. (When I next saw him, I tried a sheepish, preemptive apology. He shot me a smile that would make a shark flinch. "Don't do that again," he said.)

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