January xx, 200x
Anonymous Agency/Graduate School
123 Second Ave.
Large Metropolis, USA, zipcode
Dear Mr. Admissionsperson:
I am writing you a letter for Candidate X. She is brilliant. She consistently earns As in the classes she has taken with me. I suspect, from all that I have heard, that she earns As in the classes she takes with other professors as well.
She will excel in your program.
She will also, however, make everyone's lives a living, seething hell.
She has a smallness of spirit that clings about her like a bad smell. She enjoys breaking the curve. She gloats when others in the class do badly. She complains when essay exams aren't graded within 48 hours. Then she will email to ask that her grade be sent to her as soon as her exam is graded, along with detailed typed-out comments explaining where and why she lost points. She raises her hand so often during class discussion that the rest of the students roll their eyes. Even audible sighs of exasperation from the others do not discourage her. When another student answers incorrectly in class she makes a slight click with her tongue to indicate disgust at their error. She grubs for points. She has argued that the mid-A she earned on a paper should be a higher A. She comes up at the end of the first lecture of the term to ask if she can be excused from group work and do a separate project because she doesn't want to have to 'carry' anyone. She doesn't think the others are up to her level of performance.
And she is right. They aren't. But good lord. Doesn't our field already have enough self-congratulatory cutthroat obsessives?
Save yourselves. Thank you for your time.