The Consequence of Denying a Letter of Recommendation

25 Sep

Way back in high school (which really wasn’t TERRIBLY long ago), I was applying for a full-ride scholarship. I made it quite far in the application process for this prestigious scholarship, but I needed to get letters of recommendation.

Unfortunately, a person I thought would support me and my endeavors as far as I sought to take them denied my request for a letter of recommendation. I was appalled. The reason? Apparently, I spread myself too thin.

Six years later, I still believe with all of my being that had I gotten that letter of recommendation, I would have been awarded that scholarship. I could have focused on my studies instead of having to work. I wouldn’t be smothered in overwhelming debt. And all of those things I did in high school were to help others out and to make my high school a place people actually wanted to attend.

I sit here today, writing this, and while I could never do anything like thank this person, I can sit here and say that yes, she had it right.

But that is who I am. I live for multi-tasking and projects…I thrive on being versatile. Right now at work I’m working on so many things that aren’t exactly my job because I want to boost morale. I want departments to work together. I want people to enjoy coming to work and feel like it doesn’t haven’t to be so cookie-cutter monotonous. I want to reward staff. I have so many skills and so many ideas that the exact reason I got denied my letter of recommendation is the exact reason I should have gotten that scholarship.

While the big picture is important, the details make up that picture. I’m a woman with a lot of ideas, and as long as I have the ability to nurse and foster those ideas, I’m going to run with them. I’ve never done more than I can handle, and I’ve never done more than I want to. And if I decide that my big ideas aren’t worth stressing over, and aren’t worth putting the time toward…I won’t.

Do you have someone who shocked you with their views about you, but in the end were exactly right and just didn’t make the proper interpretation? 

2 Responses to “The Consequence of Denying a Letter of Recommendation”

  1. fadingsunlight at 6:42 am #

    “Apparently, I spread myself too thin. … I could have focused on my studies instead of having to work.” You do to much…have fun working and going to school! *head desk*

    I just find it interesting that people will focus on my snarky comments about whatever stupid thing the neighbors did this week or a frustrated rant, but are really quick to forget the nice things I’ve done. Those are the views that I tend to hear about. :-/

  2. L at 11:52 am #

    Been there, done that.

    When I teach beginning bell handling I’ve run a lot of people off because people think I’m highly abrasive. Well, I definitely can be, and they’re right, but it’s for reasons other than personal beefs or irritation. Learning to handle a tower bell is a somewhat dangerous process and the only time I really yell is when my students are doing something that will get themselves injured and it needs to be stomped out immediately before it becomes ingrained within their muscle memory and thus becoming a bad habit. I’ve seen someone break his finger on a little tiny bell due to a bad habit that wasn’t rectified early on. That’s why I’m so adamant about proper technique and have zero tolerance for anything less. So yes, I’m abrasive and intolerant, but it’s because I have their own personal safety in mind.

    Concerning letters of recommendation, when I was in the teaching business I did deny one letter of recommendation. I was teaching college at the time and my student asked me for a recommendation for admission into a graduate program in mathematical biology. Just one problem: said person was a young-earth creationist. Mathematical biology mainly deals with evolutionary patterns and modeling them using differential equations, linear algebra, etc., and as such I could not in good conscience recommend that person when he outright rejected the theory of evolution. I took some heat for that, but ultimately I know in my mind it was the right decision.

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