YES EDIT A TEACHER REC! 4 too many recs?

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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: November 2003 Archive: YES EDIT A TEACHER REC! 4 too many recs?
By Tlo (Tlo) on Saturday, November 01, 2003 - 05:57 pm: Edit

My AP Calculus BC teacher has really cool policy where he shows you his recommendation and allows you to change whatever you want... Do you think I should include this, and what changes should I make? I am already having a harvard finance professor, a AP economics teacher, and a AP US history writing me a rec, along with a guidance counselor rec. Would it be too much to include this recommendation?

To Whom It May Concern: October 29, 2003

Tyson K. Lo is a very focused young man with an impressive future in the field of his choice. As his Advanced Placement Calculus (BC Level) teacher this year, I can see that he is a very good student in general. When he sees the underlying purpose of what he is studying, he becomes an excellent student. He has a GPA of 4.167 (14th in his class, honors courses are weighted higher), and his SAT I scores are high enough to indicate good aptitude. However, when one factors in his motivation to succeed in business and his outgoing personality, one can see that he is destined to go far. He is socially adept and has an air of competence and confidence. He is able to be flexible and can adjust to new circumstances. He has shown that he can do all the work required for AP Calculus to date in a timely manner and has shown flashes of very good understanding. His scores of “5” in AP Microeconomics and AP Human Geography and “4”’s in AP Macroeconomics and AP US History coupled with 790 in SAT II US History demonstrate what he can do when he puts his mind to a task. I have coached Tyson on the Math Team the past two years, and he is one of the highest on his team. We have six math teams with over one hundred members. We won the State Championship for all schools in Maine for five consecutive years, finished fourth last year, and are currently second out of 115 teams.
The words that come to mind to describe Tyson are out-going, intense, confident, ambitious, congenial, and focused. His classmates have elected him to Class Council (9, 10-Pres.,11,12) and Students Council (9, 10, 12-V. Pres.) on a regular basis. His other extracurricular involvement include Winter Track (9-11), Yearbook, National Honor Society (11, 12), Amnesty International (11,12), Sidekicks (BHS version of Big Brother – 11,12), the Rotary Leader’s Club, and the YMCA Leader’s School. He speaks Cantonese quite fluently with his family, and he has studied Spanish in school. He also has performed as a stand-up comedian at our annual Talent Show. He averages about ten hours per month in service activities to the above.
Tyson has earned more than $50,000 as a website owner/operator involving management and advertisement of several e-commerce and web portals. He has spent a fair amount of time managing his own and his father’s stock portfolios and studying to improve his skills in this area. At Harvard’s Summer School, he studied Website Development and Capital Markets and Investments, earning a B+ in both. He has applied what he learned there and in his Economics courses to help with marketing and price setting in his family’s very successful restaurant, the Oriental Jade, by employing quality control analysis and cost-benefit analysis. He is inexorably drawn to business, finance and investment and so the Wharton School is a perfect match for him.
In summary, Tyson is a motivated, academically talented young man with good interpersonal abilities. He is intrigued by a wide variety of learning disciplines, enjoys difficult work, and will flourish in a college setting. He will be an outstanding credit to any college as an undergraduate and as an alumnus. He is deserving of a high recommendation.

Stephen G.----
Mathematics Department Chairman

By Selesiana (Selesiana) on Saturday, November 01, 2003 - 06:03 pm: Edit

Don't make any changes. That would be dishonest and completely unfair to those applicants who don't try to forge a recommendation.

Four recommendations is too much anyway. Admissions officers don't want to be bothered with that many. They probably won't even read any after the first two.

By Matlm (Matlm) on Saturday, November 01, 2003 - 06:15 pm: Edit

dude, show me your webpage.

By Fiza (Fiza) on Saturday, November 01, 2003 - 08:24 pm: Edit

Dont have him list what will already be in another part of the application. Also the whole confidence thing makes u sound a bit pretentious in my opinion.Theres nothing about u having an open and friendly personality.

Ps im not picking on u, im trying to help u.

By Neo (Neo) on Saturday, November 01, 2003 - 08:27 pm: Edit

It looks like a freakin' resume. There's nothing in there that I couldn't have written about you if I was given a. your transcript, b. your list of ECs, c. your list of h.s.awards.

Ask him to personalize it -- it doesn't seem human; it gives the impression that your teacher is a benevolent robot. Benevolent, but still a robot.

By Ebt (Ebt) on Sunday, November 02, 2003 - 03:02 am: Edit

your rec should include things about your personal qualities and include *examples* of how you have succeeded. almost all this information is on the rest of your app. maybe talk about how you solved a difficult problem by being resourceful???

btw, what is your website?

By Oops (Oops) on Sunday, November 02, 2003 - 03:30 am: Edit

First of all, I would agree about the not-editing the teacher's rec part. It is definitely wrong, and you should check, since there is probably a rule against it.

I agree that the rec should not just list what you did that will be on your transcript anyway. If you can get the teacher to give concrete examples (like something you did in class that was really special) that shows what kind of student you are, instead of just brief desciptions and one-word adjectives to just state what kind of student you are, then the rec would be much better. Also, the sentence "When he sees the underlying purpose of what he is studying, he becomes an excellent student" would worry me because it makes you seem like you would become a great student only "if" you see the purpose of what you are studying, as in it gives the connotation that you are not a very good student if you don't think what you're studying is useful. This doesn't make you seem too intellectually curious. (No, don't delete it, it's wrong.)

Your teacher seem to like you and think that you are a great student, but he doesn't seem like the best recommendation writer. If you already have 4 other recs, and know they are good, then I wouldn't want to send this one in. If you need to send in a rec, this one probably will not hurt you, but I don't see it helping you either.

By Tlo (Tlo) on Sunday, November 02, 2003 - 11:13 pm: Edit

well, he lets you suggest changes... not really change it yourself and send it in

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