* Next year, I will have to start to learn how to write letters for MA students looking for real jobs.Grad schools have mostly gone to electronic submissions (with several Canadian schools still stuck in the past including my present and future employers! aargh!). So, now we profs whine about the different web-based systems:
- Why ask us each time for our mailing address and phone numbers? No one ever calls us for these kinds of recommendations (real jobs, academic jobs sometimes).
- Why email us a password and then make us set up a new password? GWU and Georgetown have the exact same web-based system, but I had to do this twice.
- Menus for the ritual "is this student top 5% or top 10% or whatever for attribute x" are inferior to buttons, which we can zip through.
What do my academic readers think?
My commenters (thanks, Ron!) hate the online systems much more than I do. I hate how they are implemented, but I much, much prefer even these annoying systems to doing it all by paper. Paper gets lost, paper forms may not make into the correct envelope, it means envelops are part of the process, signing the back of envelopes to prove that the letter is mine can be awkward, and one has to write on the form lots of the same stuff that is annoying to type into a web-form. I got into the habit of stapling business cards to the part of the form asking for address, phone number and such. So, yes, we hate the web-forms, but I still prefer them to the old system (which I still have to do, especially when some Canadian schools are involved).