I have applied to five grad schools in the united states. It is proving to be a frustrating experience, predominantly because of the difficulty of extracting references from professors. It's not that they haven't written them, or are unwilling to do so, but rather that several universities require that the letters do not pass through my hands, but are submitted directly by referees. That is where the difficulty lies. For starters, several of my referees are utterly computer illiterate, and unable to navigate the online submission processes. And all of them are rushed off their feet, and not able to get letters sent by mail out. I am getting desparate. I don't want to seem like a whiney, conceited student who thinks her issues are more important that the myriad issues of running a music department, but I also don't want my opportunities jeapordized.
On the other hand, I have had some letters submitted almost immediately they were requested, and two that I have read are lovely.
So wish me her luck. Grad-school, here I come (God willing).