Sevcik's Blog

A year in Cairo Egypt

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Writing a Letter of Recommendation--for grad student!

I have been sitting in front of the computer for a good hour now writing a recommendation letter for one of my teachers. This past week when she approached me to write such a letter, I responded with, “Sure, no problem!” Then I realized this isn’t a simple recommendation letter, but part of an application for a master’s degree in the Teaching English as a Foreign Language graduate program at the American University of Cairo. As I am filling out an AUC form and typing the letter, it occurred to me that most people who write these letters are professors from creditable universities.

In fact, on the form in the section “for the evaluator” is states that my “evaluation of the student’s academic performance, research capabilities, and overall ability at the graduate level based on past performance is a critical element of our selection process…” and “Please be as candid as possible, since it is often impossible for AUC to interview its potential graduate students.” Yikes! So, here I am, a young adult writing a very important letter to a very prestigious school and holding myself somewhat accountable for another woman’s dreams. Needless to say, I am making every effort to write the best recommendation I can, because the teacher definitely has the knowledge, ability, and motivation to succeed in the graduate program. I’ve heard AUC’s graduate program is a tough one to get into as well as a tough one to get through, but I know this teacher would succeed. Now let’s pray the school sees it too!

It’s ironic, though, to be on this side of the coin; that is, having the same responsibilities as people with much more education and experience. In a year’s time, I’ll be back on the other side of the coin, one day praying that the man or woman who fills out such a recommendation spends as much effort writing a good recommendation for me. Just another day of life in Cairo, eh?

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