Each fall, some kids ask me for college recommendation letters. This is, more or less, this year's edition.
Dear Dean of Admissions,
It is with pleasure I write to you on behalf of ____ ____. Although your university is her safety school, I assume she would eventually adjust and be a wonderful asset to your campus if it comes down to that.
I have known of ___'s existence since her birth announcement arrived in my mailbox after being forwarded from my previous six addresses. Right then, I knew___ was the kind of dogged, college-bound overachiever who would one day hit me up for a letter such as this one so I held off on a baby gift.
___'s father, a college chum with whom I've steadily avoided contact over the years, recently emerged from the woodwork to assure me his daughter has "both feet on the floor" and a "good head on her shoulders." Then one of ____'s ex-stepmothers called to say she has "a good heart." So at worst, ____ is anatomically fit for your university.
As one who takes recommendation letters seriously, I called ___ to get to know her better. I reached her while she was gathering AP credits at a Portishead concert. During an especially bleak encore, ___ told me that her goal for the next four years is to overcome the nervous disorders caused by the college "app process." She added that a recommendation from someone who worked on a tv show that won its time slot would be "awesome because admish to [your college] is like, crazy competitive."
I found that odd: When my friend Tim applied to your school in 1975, in lieu of a personal statement, he enclosed the lyrics to "Ooh Baby Baby" and was accepted on early admission.
But let's assume a radical overhaul in your academic standards. While ____ refused to tell me her test scores or GPA, she assured me that she could pass for a member of an ethnic group against whom the SATs are culturally biased. In addition, she explained that No Child Left Behind all but quarantined her high school, so quibbling over her GPA would be pointless.
At this point, it's worth mentioning that ____'s dad, since being indicted, has seen his 401K plummet to a 201K, so ___ will need financial aid from your university. Rest assured, she is "cool with" a future of crushing debt and hence, ____ has no plans to major in any field that truly interests her.
As previously noted,___ applied to several schools more appealing than yours. Between us, short of getting a recommendation letter from Nelson Mandela, her only shot is your college. Please know that your acceptance would not only enrich ___'s life but mine too, as this letter would fulfill my lifetime obligations to ____ and free me to look away when she graduates and asks to live in my guest room until I get her a job in the mordant television industry.
In closing, I am confident ____ has an outside shot at someday amounting to something. Know that your university would be a fine place for her to pursue her potential and meet the kind of people who will haunt her for the rest of her life.