In this second installment of the “Things You Don’t Learn in Bible College,” I’d like to turn my attention to something much more practical. When I was applying for college, jobs, and scholarships, I had to ask others for recommendation letters. Basically, this is a letter, usually written by a mentor or boss, that does exactly what you think it would.
While I sought out many of these letters during my time in Bible College, I was never taught how to write one. I remember one of the first times a high school student came to me and asked me to write one. I was very honored, but I was also very nervous. I ended up going back to some of the letters I had on file for myself, and I basically adapted it for this student. I’m sure it was all right, but it would have been much better if I had written it entirely on my own.
Another time, I remember writing up a recommendation letter for a student, who told me later that she had never participated in some of the things I said she did. I guess I had gotten her confused with someone else or something like that. She didn’t have the heart to tell me until about a year later. However, she did get the thing I was writing the letter for, but part of me feels bad, because I feel as if I lied. Sure, it wasn’t on purpose, but still.
Something that goes along with recommendation letters is applications. Recently, some colleges are requiring more than just a letter. They ask applicants to have a mentor fill out a recommendation form or application. Some of these are just as long as the college application, themselves. I felt as if I was applying to the school, instead of just recommending someone.
Maybe some of you were taught this in Bible College, but it was not in my curriculum. Sure, I could look it up online, and educate myself, which I have done. In fact, I highly recommend that others do this as well. In fact, keeping letters that were written on your behalf is also recommended, so you can have some models and examples. However, I think it would be nice to learn this in Bible College.
This is just the second post of this new blog series. I’ve got a small list of things to talk about, as of now. I’m still trying to figure out if this should be merely a rant-style or if I should actually “teach” what I am talking about. So… What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.