Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Letters of Recommendation

As a high school teacher, I write a lot of letters of recommendation. Today I had the special privilege to write one for my own son:

February 5, 2013

To Whom It May Concern:

Caleb has always been a unique person. He has gone his own way and chosen his own path. Along the journey, he has developed and shown many qualities that I think will both help him in his upcoming adult life and qualify him to become an Eagle Scout.

Caleb has always been a tenderhearted child. He hates to see or hear fighting in his family, so he has always been a peacemaker between his siblings. He has a loving, trusting nature that I have always admired as a mother. He also has a heightened sense of fairness and kindness for the downtrodden and picked on (it may have something to do with his status as the baby in the family). In any case, he is a champion for many rights and causes.

He is a good, loyal, and faithful friend. He has developed some very close friendships in high school, and he and his friends do a lot of things together. Most of them are just normal teenage things such playing video and board games and eating everything in sight. But, they have done some very remarkable things, too. Last year, Caleb and a group of his friends planned, prepared, and worked for a week to put on a Camp Halfblood for the kids in one friend’s neighborhood. The kids had an amazing time, and Caleb and his friends gained valuable experience.

That is not to say he doesn’t have a few traits that drive me crazy. For one thing, he is as stubborn as a rock pile. However, this stubborn streak also makes him willing to keep trying and toiling at things long after many people would have given up and moved on. For example, he has been working on creating his own computer game for years. He’s designed all the backgrounds, characters, and music for it. He’s put it out for comment a few times, and some of the feedback has been less than complimentary. Rather than giving up, he just keeps working on it to make it better.

Caleb is also a bit of a perfectionist. Sometimes he struggles to get things done because the finished product is not quite up to his standards. As we all know, perfectionism can be a blessing and a curse. This is something he has to deal with, and I admire him for the gains he has made (and hopefully will continue to make) in this area.

Caleb is just an ordinary teenage boy. He has areas where he struggles; he is an infamous procrastinator, he occasionally stays up too late; he forgets to do his homework. He is far from being the poster child of ideal behavior. That said, he is a kind, thoughtful, loving son; a sweet and only slightly spoiled brother; a valued and humorous friend; and a motivated student with two years of college under his belt.

As a high school teacher, I write many letters of recommendation. In this case, I can say without reservation that I feel that Caleb has the qualities of and has spent the time and effort necessary to be an Eagle Scout.


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