A few years after I got my Ph.D., students asked me to start writing them recommendation letters.
This was a new and novel thing for me, and it made me feel like a “real” professor. But recommendation letters are a strange and quirky thing. Students often ask for them months before they’re due, and they quickly fall to the bottom of a long list of tasks. At the time, busy as I was teaching multiple courses, doing a lot of church work and juggling an absurd commute, it was a relief to say “yes” to doing something and realize that I didn’t have to worry about it immediately.
One morning in spring, though, I woke up and – in the middle of the morning – had the sense that I was forgetting something. I couldn’t remember for the life of me what it was until it a sickening realization hit…
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