second hand words

I’ve just written my first recommendation for a student. She’s a wonderful student, so it’s a pleasure, and it’s just to the faculty so she’ll get a bit of funding to go to a conference she’s impressively enough had a paper accepted at – but I’ve never written a letter of recommendation before! I ran down the corridor searching for colleagues to help me, but they were all teaching – until I found one of my old literature professors, who smilingly dictated the first two formulaic lines of a letter of recommendation: Stud. philol. NN har henvendt seg til meg… Jeg kan med dette bekrefte at jeg er veileder for kandidaten og kjenner henne som en…. I ran back to my office so I could type them in before I forgot them. They sound stiff and unfamiliar, but until I find my own words for such purposes, I’m glad to have hand-me-downs. And who knows, perhaps the faculty would be shocked if I used my own words?

29. October 2003 by Jill

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