Mike Adams

Dear Stan:

You may be wondering why I'm writing you a short e-mail with a letter of recommendation attached to the bottom. After all, you have not requested such a letter. Nonetheless, I occasionally like to send letters of recommendation to students who have not requested them. The reason I do this is to let them know how they are doing and what kind of impression they are making on at least one of their professors. You are one of my advisees, and it is likely that in the future a prospective employer will specifically ask for a recommendation letter from me. If such a request were to be made of me today, this is what the letter would look like.

To Whom It May Concern:

Stanley Galbraith is one of my advisees. He has informed me that you are considering hiring him for a full-time position. He has also informed me that you require a letter from his academic adviser. I am pleased to provide such a letter.

Stanley is the rare student who takes a substantial portion of what he learns in the classroom and applies it to his everyday life. His professors are overwhelmingly liberal, and he seems to listen to them and apply their ideas on a regular basis. Let me provide a few examples.

*In addition to advising Stanley, I taught him once in an upper-level night class. The class was full when he tried to sign up, but I made extra room for him because he had missed his advising appointments and therefore needed to get into several classes lest his financial aid be canceled. I also agreed to serve as his new adviser after he upset his previous adviser by failing to keep advising appointments. She berated him, and that upset him. I took him on because I thought he could learn from the experience of being advised by the only Republican in the department. Dealing with his liberal victim mindset has been a challenge, to say the least. To date, he has never kept one of his advising appointments. That is why he never gets the classes he desires. In short, Stanley seems to believe that rules are mandatory in reference to others and discretionary in reference to Stanley.

Mike Adams

Mike Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and author of Letters to a Young Progressive: How To Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things You Don't Understand.