For Students seeking
ENROLLMENT PERMISSION (PTE),
letters of recommendation,
(Thank you to Professor Tim Tangherlini who provided much of what follows, in intent and in form).
UCLA Classes/Permission to Enroll (PTE) Requests
If you are a student writing in regards to any class that I teach at UCLA, please note that your only options for enrollment are the official waitlists offered through the UCLA Registrar. Only those students on the official waitlist and who attend the first day of class will be considered for possible openings in Week One. Students' positions on the waitlist will shift over the Summer. If you're not in the top three slots for any section by week zero of the quarter, you do not have a good chance of enrolling in the class.
W51 "Aliens, Psychics, and Ghosts" Specifics: All students will be required to attend the sections for which they are officially enrolled; no exceptions. Because the class is "impacted," If you do not attend the quarter's first lecture AND first discussion section, you are dropped from the class. Additionally, no "adds" will be allowed after the second day of lecture.
No PTE numbers will be issued for ANY reason to students I have not already approved. If you are already formally a WAC major (not simply applying or hoping to be), then you are guaranteed a PTE number, which will be sent out in August. Please do not attempt to call, reach me via social media, or email me at my private practice regarding UCLA matters, including PTE requests. I am self-conscious about writing the following (but I am forced to due to the high number of emails I receive): Please understand that I get dozens and dozens of emails from students either "needing W51" to graduate (no you don't), waiting years to take the course, having seen UFO's and ghosts, or being psychic. In that latter case, you already know whether you'll be in the course.
Letters of Recommendation
General Information Concerning Letters of Recommendation
If you are reading this, you may be considering asking me to write you a letter of recommendation. I am happy to comply with these requests, but only if you meet a series of conditions. These conditions insure that I am an appropriate person to write a letter of recommendation. Letters of recommendation take a considerable amount of time to compose if they are to have any weight at all.
Accordingly, if you do not meet these conditions, you should probably find someone else to write a letter of recommendation for you.
Along with the conditions, there are several requirements with which you must comply if you want me to write you a letter of recommendation. I will consider your requests for letters of recommendation between September 15th and June 1st. Often, students (current and former) ask me for letters with unrealistically short deadlines. I can no longer entertain these requests. Please make sure that your request fits the parameters of my requirements before asking me for a letter of recommendation. The conditions and requirements vary slightly depending on your status. I have one set of conditions and requirements for undergraduates, and one set of conditions and requirements for graduate students.
Please follow the instructions in the appropriate area (undergraduate or graduate) below. I will not write letters of recommendation for requests that do not comply with these requirements.
Conditions and Requirements for Undergraduate Student Letters of Recommendation
There are several conditions you must meet for me to write you a letter of recommendation.
1. You must have taken two classes with me, and received a grade of "A" or higher in one of those classes OR
2. You have taken at least one class with me, received an "A" or higher, and are a major in World Arts and Cultures.
3. The program or fellowship for which you are applying has a deadline at least fourteen (14) days from the date of your request
If you do not meet these conditions, STOP. I cannot write you a letter of recommendation.
The requirements for a letter of recommendation are fairly straight forward. Along with your request for a letter of recommendation, you must furnish me with:
1. Your final, proof-read, personal essay or "statement of purpose". If you do not have this, you are not ready to ask me for a LOR.
2. A copy of your resume or CV (curriculum vitae).
3. A copy of your final paper for our classes together.
4. A short statement to me about why you are applying for the opportunity under consideration, specifying any aspect of your application you would like me to highlight in my letter.
5. If a hard-copy letter is required, you must leave a stamped/addressed envelope for me to pick up in the front office of World Arts and Cultures/Dance. This requirement is not dependent upon whether you are local or not, so please make the necessary arrangements.
6. You must release your rights to view the letters of recommendation. You make this choice with your letter service or with whom you are applying.
Conditions and Requirements for Graduate Student Letters of Recommendation
As a graduate student, you should have a good idea of whether or not I am an appropriate person to ask for a letter of recommendation. Although my conditions are not as strict as they are for undergraduates, for me to be an appropriate recommender, at least one of the following conditions must apply:
1. I have served in some capacity on you MA and/or PhD exam committee
2. I have served in some capacity on your PhD dissertation committee
3. You have taken one or more seminars or classes with me, and grades of "A" or higher
4. You have worked with me in some capacity on a funded research project
5. You have done independent study work with me
6. You have been a graduate research assistant and/or teaching assistant at least twice
If any of these conditions apply, then I am probably able to write you a letter of recommendation. You must comply with the following requirements.
1. For those of you applying to multiple positions/grants in any given year, provide me with an Excel spreadsheet of the letters that you are requesting that includes the columns, from left to right:
Deadline/Place/URL/Form/Addressee/Specifics to Address
If any of the fields are not relevant for the specific position, program or fellowship, leave them blank.
2. For any hard-copy letters, you must provide me with addressed, stamped envelopes with a yellow sticky note indicating the due date on each envelope.
3. Please give me three weeks (21 days) advanced notice for any requests. I will most likely not be able to help you out without at least two weeks (14 days).
4. You may request up to a total of twenty (20) letters in any academic year. If this seems limiting, then I strongly urge you to have my letter placed on file at the UCLA career service.
5. a current curriculum vita (résumé)
6. a copy of your final application letter, statement of purpose, or proposal
7. a copy of the final draft of any original work that you are submitting such as a writing sample (if required)
8. a copy of any papers or assignments you may have completed in our classes together which highlight skills you would like me to address. If you have a paper from another course which you think might help me contextualize your letter, feel free to send that to me as well. If you are applying for jobs after completing your graduate degree, this item can be excused unless you are sending a writing sample. Then, in that case, send me that writing sample.
I am happy to entertain independent study projects from both undergraduate and graduate students. Before approaching me with a request for an independent study class, please prepare a short paragraph describing the proposed study projects. In your description, include a short justification for why you believe the independent study course would be a worthwhile pursuit.
Please note that I am only able to help with two to three Independent studies per quarter. Often, students have asked me upwards of a year in advance to reserve a particular quarter.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are applying to UCLA in any program/department, please be aware that they are not aware of my outstanding commitments and up-coming teaching schedule.
If you are not yet a student at UCLA, please note that I do not meet with people considering applying to our department until after they have been accepted. Please consider reading the guide I wrote for applying to graduate programs. Note that I am currently not accepting students in the area of Indigenous Studies who are not actively learning or fluent in the appropriate indigenous languages. Those applicants should be conversing, reading, or at least studying the linguistic components of their projects. The linguistic and/or language component should be central to the project, not simply a tangential matter about the researcher.
In next year's application cycle, I will be giving preference to graduate students working in paranormal studies, the history of the sciences, writing technologies, healing, or some combination of these.
If you are currently a student at UCLA, please consider taking a course or two with me before asking me to sit on any committees. Doing so will provide an appropriate means to get to know each other's research interests.