Monday, March 22, 2010

Take a Letter, Maria

Rebel Girl can no longer remember just how it came up but in the days immediately preceding Spring break, talk in the A-200 building turned to letters of recommendation.

To be more specific, letters of recommendation for the IVC Foundation Scholarship program.

You know, those handy email notifications that arrive in our virtual mailboxes with cheerful hot links and helpful reminders as the the deadline approaches. She likes the system. It works.

Rebel Girl writes about a dozen letters a year. She's happy to do so. She was a scholarship student herself and knows what kind of difference a few bucks can make. She's happy to advocate for those who may not be able to make their best case themselves -and perhaps add a bit of sobering assessment of others who might, ahem, exaggerate their own charms and abilities. You know.

She attends the scholarship program so she can see her students get big checks and meet their families and congratulate them. (Though no, for the record, she does not bow her head and pray. Never has.)

This year, she had no requests.

She thought it might be due to the fact she was on sabbatical in the fall and perhaps all her former students simply forgot about her. She is pretty forgettable. Out of sight, out of mind. Not like some.

But then she asked around. An informal survey revealed that no one she spoke to in the halls in A-200 had been asked to write a single letter. Not a one. (Check out our poll on the sidebar.)

Maybe all our students are losers, someone quipped.

We groaned. Not likely.

Something else then.

But what?

A change in policy? Letters of Rec no longer required? Or needed?

But wouldn't that undermine the integrity of the process that facilitates the dispersal of thousands of dollars to deserving students? But wouldn't we be informed of such a change in policy?


Who knows?

We certainly don't.

Stay tuned.



Anonymous said...

Enjoy the reprieve. Stop complaining. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Don't bother to ask Al Tello, everyone (except Glenn of course) knows he is totally clueless!

Anonymous said...

I always thought that the guy in the song certainly "recovers" from his hearbreak rather quickly!

Anonymous said...

At least on Saddleback's application, there was no requirement or request for a letter. Instead, students were asked to list a "reference" such as an employer or current or former instructor.

Anonymous said...

I think the process - like so many - has simply been "streamlined" - too bad they didn't see fit to tell us or consult with us. No shock there though.

Anonymous said...

The absence of letters does underline the integrity of the process - how is the cmte. supposed to make decisions - based entirely on what the students provide and if they happen to know any of them?

Anonymous said...

"send a copy to my lawyer..."

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

I heard that personal interviews were being required.

Anonymous said...

I think they have one of those big spinning wheels with the arrow like at the fair.

Anonymous said...

One of my students told me that letters are no longer required for standard scholarships.

Anonymous said...

How does the cmte. make the decisions then?

Anonymous said...

Someone MESSED UP BIG TIME. But it wasn't the good people who run the thing.

As usual, no one says nothing.

Anonymous said...

IF the policy has changed and letters are no longer required (I say IF because, per usual, not a word from the Powers That Be) - who are the handful of the people in the poll declaring that they have, indeed, written letters this year?

Anonymous said...

I think donors to the scholarship program should be concerned about this change - and the deafening silence that has accompanied it.

Anonymous said...

the story behind the change in the scholarship system is an interesting one... probably more interesting than one would expect.

the trick is to ask the right questions... and ask the right people. The staff know what's up... but it would be better to ask them after the ceremony in May. They're a little busy now.

Anonymous said...

I must have missed the memo Glen sent out announcing this change.

Anonymous said...

Wheel! Of! Fortune!

Anonymous said...

I've been thnking about this one.

When I write letters, I know which students have applied and why - I feel like I am part of the process.

When they give me the good news - as so often happens (they share it because I have helped) - I then feel more motivated to attend the ceremony, congratulate them, meet their families, thank the donors, etc. It's a nice picture, ain't it?

That's how it works. Or did.

Now? Who knows?