You can say I’m a “writer.” Or you can just call me a hack. There’s one thing I know I can write, and write well, and that’s letters of recommendation.
I like writing them because I’m being asked to describe all the positive qualities I know about this person I care about and respect. I have to prove to some unknown (presumably banal) entity that this person is deserving of employment. I would do anything for my friends. Nope, that’s a lie! I want to do anything and/or everything for my friends. Most of the time I can’t. Sometimes I just don’t. Other times, for some inexplicable reason, I won’t. I wish I am ubiquitous. Quietly slipping through the dimensional background to help them along getting back to Heaven. But I, like so many others, digress…
Letters of recommendation allow me to be completely honest about this person. It’s like I am presenting his/her true self. That pure, undiluted soul in all its peremptory glory. Sure, they have flaws, maybe a spotty history which led them to be unemployed. Heck, maybe I’m assuming too much and they’re not really right for the job.
Most letters of recommendation can be short and to the point. If you’ve made it this far, dear readers, you know you by now that’s not exactly how I roll. My words are a red carpet that takes so long to unroll that by the time it hits the stage the audience has left. And I’m like, WTF, nah’mean?
I don’t know. I just like writing letters of recommendation. So if you need one, ask me. If I know you well enough, it’s free. If I don’t and I have to make a lot of shit up, it’s gonna cost ‘ya.
The secret to a letter of recommendation is balance. But you don’t have to stay on the even line. Sometimes you gotta hype it up a bit. Sometimes you gotta tone it down. As always, depends on the audience. Or the audience in your head. Same difference I suppose.
The letter of recommendation below is the only original thing I’ve written since probably the last HACK. Oh, wait, I never published that one.
Stephanie Gasco is a co-writer on this blog of ours, and um, I hate to admit this, the only one of the four or five of us who has consistently put out a weekly piece since coming on board. So she deserves credit for that but she also deserves admission to this institution. So when Stephanie asked me to write her a recommendation of course I said yes.
Plus, this one was fun because it’s a bit unorthodox…
December 10, 2012
To Whom It May Concern:
It is with great enthusiasm that I recommend Stephanie Gasco for scholarship admission into the American Institute of Holistic Theology. I have extensively explored your website to familiarize myself with your school’s mission philosophy. I am confident that Stephanie would be an invaluable addition to your student body.
First I would like to provide some context. I am certified classroom teacher with 12 years of experience working in public and charter school education. I currently teach —– at —– in —-. I previously worked as a behavioral assistant, conducting in-home family therapy with at-risk youth who’ve dealt with a variety of domestic, emotional and spiritual issues. Despite my professional career, my prime directive throughout life is the pursuit of metaphysical awareness, spiritual evolution and the nature of consciousness. My experience has ranged from a simple Catholic school background to a Philosophy major at —– in —. Since then I have transcended and included historical philosophy into my thought, while continuing to explore the infinite dimensions of consciousness. I am acutely aware of potential coming earth changes and the subsequent role we as individuals must play to help raise the entire planet to a new dimensional awareness.
It is difficult to find others who can conceive of the above ideas let alone entertain them without feeling threatened. Like-minded souls are precious to me, the ones who continue to believe that humanity can become more than materialism, more than money, or more than ego separation. I met Stephanie Gasco online in 2009. Soon after we met in person and thus was born one of those rare, close friendships that manifested instantly. Stephanie is in my top 10 most wonderful human beings of all time. That may seem hyperbole; I assure you it is not. I can literally count on one hand the number of human beings I have met who have such spiritual flexibility as Stephanie.
Being born deaf contained the dualistic blessing/curse for Stephanie. It meant that the hearing world would always be a mystery. Yet, it seems to me that the blessings offer much more. It means that Stephanie has instinctive access to the mysterious world we often ignore, the world before sound, before language. When we would walk together along the beach, Stephanie would notice so many occurrences before I did, yet I could hear everything. I was pleasantly surprised when I first saw her bookcase, containing the wisdom of Ekhart Tolle, Osho, Alan Watts, Sri Aurobindo, and too many more to mention. Stephanie is not only spiritually aligned, she is spiritually educated. She not only has a working knowledge of philosophies and religions, she knows how to integrate the ideas into her everyday world. She attempts to live in constant awareness that she is (to borrow a phrase) a spiritual being having a human experience.
Stephanie has a completely unique perspective on reality. This is evident foremost in her art. I use “art” as a broad category here. She infuses her creativity into painting, photography and writing. ALL OF IT is utterly genuine, purely original, and spiritually relevant. I urge you to explore the spectrum of Stephanie’s work so that you can appreciate what I’m trying to convey.
Stephanie is a co-writer for a blog created my friends and I. We asked Stephanie to join a few months ago. Since then she has consistently brought us quality writing. All of her articles deal with personal spiritual issues. Stephanie has a way of relating her own experience in such a way that the reader feels personally connected to a universal theme or truth. When I read Stephanie’s writing it’s like I’m receiving spiritual advice. She is literally helping others evolve as she works through her own process of spiritual growth. Feel free to read her writings and view her photography at: http://itsthecrew.com/category/my-substantial-affair-with-life/
You will find in Stephanie a woman of great enthusiasm for learning. She is completely dedicated to her subjects. She is able to communicate easily with hearing persons and has a friendly, comfortable way of making herself understood by others. She thrives on discussion and others will find themselves naturally “lifted” by participating with her in or out of class. Stephanie has that necessary sense of responsibility and studiousness. She is dependable and capable of completing all required assignments to the best of her ability.
It is my understanding that Stephanie wishes to pursue the healing arts. I think this is a perfect decision and I’m eager to see her potential realized. This is what Stephanie Gasco has brought into my life: spiritual healing. I am eternally grateful that we can know each other in this lifetime.
If you who are reading this understand the power of synchronicity, then please heed my words: I believe there is a reason I met Stephanie, I believe there is a reason she found out about your school, and I believe that I am meant to write this recommendation for her.
Unfortunately, Stephanie has had to put her life path on hold to raise her two wonderful children, Autumn and Chisos. She raised them as a single mother on disability. Having taught hundreds of children all these years, it is refreshing to see just how good of a job Stephanie has done raising her own. Quite frankly it is astounding how intelligent and autonomous her children are. Now they are older and Stephanie is more than ready to pursue her career. All she needs is a chance. If your school offers the opportunity to learn and grow spiritually, I can’t think of anyone more deserving than Stephanie Gasco.
I am writing this on a weeknight after a long day of teaching. Yet I feel I could continue on for pages trying to convince you to accept Stephanie into your school at a level she can afford. I believe in Stephanie completely.
Thank you for allowing me to write what may be an unorthodox recommendation letter. I would love the opportunity to speak directly to you so that I can clarify or elaborate on any point raised here. If there any practical questions that I haven’t answered, I urge you to contact me to aid in your decision-making process.
My cell is ————. Best times to reach me are —-. You can also contact me via e-mail: ———-. Thank you for reading this letter and considering Stephanie for admission.
Towel Boy is a pseudonym for the person who signed this letter with a real name.