Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ruh-Roh, Shaggy

To understand my most recent dilema I think I need to be a little more specific about what Teach teaches. When I first wrote the post calling him teach I didn't really understand his job, I just knew he works for a fancy schmancy private school and teaches classes.

He does teach, but he teaches gym. One class. It's rotated between him and someone else. When he first tried to explain it to me, I was confused. I went to public school, our gym teachers were very um... lame?

"So, you teach kids how to bounce balls? One class period, every other day? And they pay you?"

Then he went into this whole thing about sports medicine, he's a Certified Athletic Trainer, something, something. Then I pictured him as one of those guys at Golds Gym that cheer you on while you're lifting weights.

But no, apparently he's not one of those either.

I didn't really get it until we were watching football. One of the guys went down and all these guys with towels ran out onto the field. He said "see, that's what I do. When one of our athletes gets hurt, I'm the one that deals with them first."

Ohhh. I kinda get it now. I guess at private schools they take their athletics a little more seriously than they do at public school because I don't recall us ever having one specific 'injury guy' at my school. Our athletic department was made entirely of teachers. Our football coach was my history teacher, English teacher coached soccer, etc.

So that's what he does. He doesn't really teach anything, and it's a good thing too. He's not a very academic guy. If it's not sports related, he's not interested.

So here's my dilemma. He has to write a letter of recommendation for one of his student athletic trainers. He asked me if I'd look over it after he was done. He admitted that writing is not one of his strong points. He sent it to me and his dad, asking to check mistakes and grammar issues.

I told him I'd look it over, but I would be absolutely no help with the grammar, but I'd let him know if I saw anything wrong.

So I looked it over. It was awful. Just awful. Grammar is the least of his problem. It was too long. It pointed out things that he didn't like about his student. But he followed up with, "he has matured and doesn't do them anymore". I know he had good intentions, and I may be wrong, but a recommendation letter is supposed to be fluffy and point out things that are good about someone. That is why you recommend them, duh.

So, I took a few minutes, pulled out all the good things, reworded most of it and threw together a much better letter. Basically completely gutting the whole thing. I also ran my version by my bestest who is an English major. I sent him back my version, with this little note...

"Hey babe!! Your letter was great! A little long though, maybe? I condensed it down a little and added a few suggestions. Read mine over and let me know what you think."

Now thinking about it, I hope he doesn't get offended. He hasn't responded yet. Did I overdue it a little?


Kez said...

Well, he asked you for help and I think that the note you wrote was great. Really tactful.
I think that if he chooses to be offended, it's really his own ego to blame.
Not everyone can be super letter writers!

Raychelle said...

I don't think he'll be offended. That was really nice of you to help him with a rewrite! I'm sure he'll be very appreciative :)

Anonymous said...

He might be a bit embarrassed but I don't think he will be annoyed!

Deutlich said...

It's really hard sometimes to do what we think is right without stepping on toes. I hope he takes it well.

littlesack said...

That's a toughie..I hope it works out for you. Thanks for the comment on my blog. Fortunately, Cheeto has been fixed--so "the birds and the bees" talk won't mean much! Maybe I'll have a --make sure you open her cat nip packet first-- talk. Ps- Saw that pic of your bunny- is he a nice bunny? I had a bunny two years ago, Maggie, and she was adorable but REALLY unfriendly and mean.

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