Letter of Rec Probs

Phile98

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I'm planning on applying next cycle ('22) but I wanted to get some letter of recs in order just because of how unpredictable this whole pandemic will be. I emailed a professor (who I had in 2017) back in May. I have kept contact with him every semester since I took the class. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten a response yet. Should I be worried? He usually responds to my emails within a day.
Obviously I don't have to get the letter till next June (and I told him that in the email) but I'm kinda disappointed he hasn't responded. Should I be worried or am I just being neurotic lol.
 

HouseJC

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As a pre-med as well, I somewhat empathize with you. However, since is the summer (even though he usually responds quickly), your professor might be on vacation. Either way, it is WAY too early to ask for a recommendation letter. I would have continued maintaining a good relationship with him and asked him later in the year, as now, it may be inferred that you are maintaining contact in order to get a LoR.
 
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Phile98

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As a pre-med as well, I somewhat empathize with you. However, since is the summer (even though he usually responds quickly), your professor might be on vacation. Either way, it is WAY too early to ask for a recommendation letter. I would have continued maintaining a good relationship with him and asked him later in the year, as now, it may be inferred that you are maintaining contact in order to get a LoR.
Thanks for your response. I just graduated this May so I thought I'd let him know I graduated while also asking him for a letter. I hope he doesn't think I was being ingenuine lol.
I'm guessing I should kiss this LOR goodbye?
 
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Kpw101

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No don't! Professors can miss emails sometimes. Re-emailing for a follow-up is fine, especially if you think it'll be a good letter. The worst thing that can happen is he says no or continues to ignore you.
 
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Phile98

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No don't! Professors can miss emails sometimes. Re-emailing for a follow-up is fine, especially if you think it'll be a good letter. The worst thing that can happen is he says no or continues to ignore you.
Would you suggest waiting until the fall to follow up again? We have a good relationship (eaten out together, discussed topics for hours). I wanted to write a lit review paper with him, but we never got to it.
 

Kpw101

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Would you suggest waiting until the fall to follow up again? We have a good relationship (eaten out together, discussed topics for hours). I wanted to write a lit review paper with him, but we never got to it.

I think it's reasonable to wait until the fall especially w/ the current pandemic and the fact that he might be on vacation. You don't apply until the '22 cycle so you'll have plenty of time to invite him for a bite to eat and catch-up come Fall. There's also no issue in sending in a follow-up email and wishing him a happy summer. Best of luck!
 
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Thanks for your response. I just graduated this May so I thought I'd let him know I graduated while also asking him for a letter. I hope he doesn't think I was being ingenuine lol.
I'm guessing I should kiss this LOR goodbye?

For non-urgent things, I recommend following up after about 2 weeks.

FWIW, I disagree with @HouseJC. While I won't start writing your letter, if you let me know now that you will want one in the future, it lets me start a file for you and put anything I think would be helpful in there. A lot of my students let me know around graduation, even when they aren't applying that year. Given the huge number of students most of us have, being able to jot down a few experiences/thoughts I can go back to for that students future LoR is really useful.

It may be less impactful now since you haven't had them since 2017, but it sounds like you'd generally been keeping up with them over that time, and out-of-class experiences are something I tend to rely on a lot in letters, since the in class performance is largely recorded in the transcript.

Summer is a dodgy time to get in touch with most faculty- many of us aren't "paid" for summer months and are focusing on other things. This summer in particular is especially chaotic- most faculty are in the middle of dealing with pandemic-induced chaos for planning their fall semester, research in disarray due to closures, and probably in the middle of writing letters for students who need them now. I wouldn't assume anything from no response- I'd just follow up in a few weeks, and then a few weeks after that. Despite my best intentions, I definitely completely lose track of student emails I meant to respond to.
 
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HouseJC

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Sorry for causing the confusion! Please do not kiss the LoR goodbye. Good LoRs are hard to find and since you have a good working relationship with the professor, please try to maintain it in the future. Since it is not urgent, as other posters have said, rule of thumb is 2 weeks (so you are on their radar, and not a pain in their rear). You can continue to touch base with him throughout the summer, so he is aware of your career plans.

I respect @eigen's perspective too and definitely do not want to suggest that poohbear7 is just keeping in touch with the professor ONLY because of the LoR. Apologies if I came across like that. I always feel that the best LoRs are ones that are organic and come from a professional relationship where both sides benefit (i.e. you participate in a work-study position with him. You get a stipend and good work/research experience. He/she gets a trustworthy student to help with the task). Throughout the time, you will definitely mention about future steps, so that's when the LoR request will be more natural.
 
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