How might I go about com[posing a polite "reminder" email for a... forgetful recommendation-letter writer?
I'm in the process of applying to grad schools, and the deadlines are fast-approaching. About a month ago, I made my requests to three of my undergrad professors, and all three agreed without hesitation. Since then, two of my letter-writers have written their recommendations, let me know that they'd done so, and mailed them off. I've heard nothing from the third.
One of my deadlines was Saturday, and I received an automated email from the school informing me that the letter from this third character had not been received. I'd been meaning to write him a reminder note since at least a couple weeks ago, after not hearing back from him (I acknowledge that I'm partly in a bind of my own making), but I'm incredibly skittish about email (and equally so with phone calls--I'm basically just shy to a pathological degree), and I was doubly concerned about "nagging" him about the status of his letter, when he was, after all, doing me a favor.
Well, in any case, now I know for a fact that he hasn't sent it off, as promised, and one deadline has already passed, potentially jeopardizing my application. I need to get in touch with him pronto to make sure that letters get to the remaining four schools in time.
Any guidance on wording, style, tone, etc. would be much appreciated. As would, to be honest, a sample email, outright. I need something that is both exceedingly polite, deferent, flattering, etc., but also, at this stage in the game, pretty firm. This whole mess is making me incredibly anxious, and without a little guidance, I'm just going to go further into a self-perpetuating spiral of second-guessing, and nothing will ever get done.
For context: this is a professor whose class (a twelve-hour, once-a-week, one-semester painting class) I took in the spring of 2005. We were on good terms, and we always have a friendly conversation if we run into one another. He's pretty busy, and maybe a bit high-strung (that is to say, "touchy"), however, and he's located out of Baltimore, while I'm currently living in Florida.