To Whom It May Concern,

I recommend Rick Stoeckel for admission to your university due to his strong academic caliber. As his mother, I am proud to say that, out of his homeschool class, Ricky finished as valedictorian. His little brother actually has a higher GPA, but since the level of work is different, we felt it fair to say he is the top in his grade level in our house. I am also impressed by his good looks and charm.

Ricky is a natural test-taker. It seems he can pass a test without really studying. This is sort of troubling, because it makes me wonder what he is actually capable of if he really applied himself. When he was young, he was a perfect little angel. I admit that, now, Ricky could improve on his focus and diligence toward his work. For example, sometimes when he should be reading an assignment I’ve given him, he instead argues with his little brother about what movie they will watch. Ricky likes action. His brother likes horror. He doesn’t work well in compromise situations.

Ricky scored very high on his math and verbal in his SATs. However, Ricky did not mow the yard last week, even though his father asked him to several times. Instead, he thought it more productive to watch reruns of Saved by the Bell. I think Ricky fancies himself a Zack Morris type, always scheming his way to the top. Well, mark my words, he will be mowing the yard this weekend as well as trimming the hedges. Ricky taped over his brother’s Varsity Blues tape, and then, when his brother got mad, Ricky threw a temper tantrum, stormed into his room, locked the door, and shouted things at us. His father tried to break down the door. After a half-hour, my husband got the picklock and snuck his way inside the room to give Ricky a well-deserved spanking. We found out later that Ricky taped some nudie film and couldn’t very well give his brother back Varsity Blues. We punished him for two weeks.

Book work has always been something that Ricky excelled at. However, my husband and I wonder where Ricky’s common sense is sometimes. Like the time he locked his keys in his car and then called us, crying, and when we got to the parking lot he had peed his pants. Literally, we took only five minutes to get to him. In that short time, he seemed to have lost all hope.

There was a time when Ricky spent all his money on baseball cards. He would bring pack after pack home like some dirty little addict. Ricky then switched to a magical card game, and kept company with dorky little friends, casting magical spells in competitions. Finally, Ricky gained an interest in sports, and his father coached him in wrestling for a short time, until Ricky claimed he hurt his finger. There was no evidence to support his claim. When we asked him to show us where it hurt, sometimes he held up the other hand, sometimes he claimed it was his foot and not his hand, that we had remembered wrong. Until, finally, he quit the wrestling team, and Ricky’s father was left with no one to coach. It was embarrassing.

It is unclear whether Ricky can multitask, as he gets good grades but is unable to make his bed, keep his room anywhere near an acceptable level of clean, or cook in any way for himself. He is a good babysitter for his younger sister, although at times he agrees to baby-sit somewhat begrudgingly, after we promise to pay him.

I had hoped Ricky would apply to my newly created homeschool university. We had already purchased enough supplies and teaching materials to give him a fine liberal-arts education. I even planned to make his room feel like a dormitory by putting in a minifridge. But Ricky pouted, “I want to go to a real university.” Well, good luck to whichever university has to deal with you, I told him. But, of course, I want my son to be happy.

When I asked Ricky’s father for a comment to include in this recommendation, he stated, “Ricky’s all right.” If you knew Ricky’s father, you would realize what a great accolade that is. I second that notion. For all his faults and imperfections and disappointments and failures, our Ricky is all right.

If you have any questions regarding Ricky’s worthiness or character, please feel free to contact me. I am available anytime except Saturday mornings, when I go grocery shopping, and Monday nights, when Ricky’s father and I hold our own PTA meetings: just the two of us. Thank you.

Rick’s Mom