Monday, February 8, 2010

conundrum

I was doing some pre-tax cleaning, and I came across an old file of my grad school applications. Along with a couple of copies of my college transcript and some application forms, I found some old recommendations.

Back when I started applying to grad school, I had a particular list of possibilities. For one of these school, I couldn't get ahold of the professors who were doing contaminant/dirt type research. By the time I got all my paperwork together, I'd finally heard back from the professors, and none of them were interested in a master's student.

So I have three signed and sealed recommendations that never got sent out. So here's my question: if you had access to sealed recommendations, would you open them? Call up the recommenders and ask their permission to open them? Toss them? Or just hold onto them unopened, like I did?

4 comments:

Silver Fox said...

I'd open them, especially so much later when they won't really be useful anymore.

Cannibal Panda said...

Oh that would be ever so tempting to know what was being said about oneself... However, I'd probably just hold on to them, seal intact. (If you may need them for something in the future, otherwise I'd just toss 'em in the fire). Even if it were a flattering report on my abilities, I would feel that I somehow compromised my ethics by breaking the seal.

And really, what does it matter what they think? You're doing something you love, and if the recommendation(s) got you into a master's program then it served its purpose. Anything other than that would just be moot.

I think it falls along the lines of the old adage where you never listen to the critics, or read your own reviews. ;)

CJR said...

You certainly don't need to ask permission! I actually admire your restraint - I doubt I could resist.

If you are treating them as a curiosity, it might be interesting to compare yourself now with how people saw you then. If you're looking for an ego boost or validation, that may be a bit dangerous...

Short Geologist said...

2 "open"s and 1 "hold onto". What I actually did was reshuffle them to the back of a pile. Maybe next time I come across them...