Letter to the Editor

By Letters from Readers

Rejection letters

To Dan Gilbert: I read your recent Viewpoints article (“A Policy of Rejecting Rejection Letters,” 5/18/04) with a mix of wonder and pity. Unless this is the response you were going for, I suggest you choose your next topic more wisely.Readers expect staff writers to write on other people’s lives and not their own. Even so, your personal anecdote could have been edifying if it weren’t so graceless. You “felt a great anger well up” in response to one more generic rejection letter? Your anger “comes from the fact that no one has recognized [your] achievements, and that no one is supporting [you] in your daring proposal?” Please!  I agree that a generic reply makes rejection feel worse, but form rejection letters are hardly “unfair to students.” Consider the number of proposals any committee has to go through. If you had to write three proposals, they have to review hundreds. And while I personally wish you luck in your indigenous Peruvian village of choice this summer, don’t bother waiting for the Academy to beg your forgiveness or to sing your praise.  How sickening, our generation’s sense of entitlement truly becomes clear as soon as we consider the real problems of real people. Please take a clue from the Viewpoints article just above yours (“America Must Apologize for Abu Ghraib”) on what does or does not merit an apology.

Abdur-Rahman Syed

MAPSS Student, 2004-2005