When I first applied to travel abroad in my junior year I needed to get a letter of recommendation from two of my previous professors, one from each of my majors.
The first I chose was my ‘Intro to philosophy’ professor who I became friends with and who really inspired my to start studying philosophy and writing about things like this.
The second was my ‘Intro – Poetry’ professor who taught me how to second and third draft through numerous difficult essays. He was hilousriously observant and so excited about the meanings beyond the meanings and emotions in words.
My application passed the first stage and I had to go in for an interview where I discussed my reasons for going abroad and general studies.
My interviewer was one of my professors whom everyone knew to be a little off the wall, in a no-mental-filter sort of way.
The interview started out fine and we discussed his class, going abroad and during that conversation he took out two opened envelopes. He said that my reccomendations were very good and that ‘Professor Mulrooney’s (the Poetry professor) was exactly right about you and described you perfectly.’
I swear to you those were his exact words and he just passed through them. I mean he just made the most mysterious and ominous statement I have ever, and most likley will ever, hear directed towards me.
He trailed on about the interviews just being this thing to double check and make sure the student was stable and sane enough to go abroad for a year.
That one sentence and one envolope, I have wondered what was in that letter so many times, that if I had a dollar for every time I did, I would have invested enough money into time travel research to speed the process to a point of breakthrough allowing me to sneak into the room where the letter was kept and read it, ending my existential madness.
Yes, I do need to find a hobby to occupy my mind. This one has only caused me to write about a letter from almost 5 years go now. But how can I not think about it?
Is not the thought of being presented an amazing description of yourself in both a personal and academic sense by a man who you believe to be intelligent and respectable, if albeit a little crazy incredibly intriguing? In addition the person who wrote this letter may give you the most creatively analytic critique of yourself you have ever read.
What makes it more interesting is that the more time the passes, the further I am from that version of myself. A fleeting notion of my previous, sophomoric self.
This letter though, could contain the answer to an amazing riddle or present me with an even greater question. At that point in my life I would have believed anything and taken it critically even if it was positive.
Sometimes it is nice to think that the letter still exists somewhere; that one true description of my former self exists still floating around.