I was interested to read on Female Science Professor this rant on letters of recommendation which hit home for me. I've been feeling guilty about all the crazy requests for letters I have to put in (as I commented on before). Now I'm starting to see things from the other side. I was asked to write one letter last year for a summer student, and this year I have an undergraduate doing research with me who asked me to write letters for several summer programs.
Now as I thought, most of the time was spent writing the initial letter, but then I spent some time for each place figuring out where to send it (he provided me with a very nice list of instructions), putting them in envelopes or sending the emails, and in one case filling in an online form of the kind FSP seems to hate so much! I'm not sure if this experience makes me worry more or less about asking for "one more" letter for my job search. But I am worried now that my novice letters for this very good student will impact his chances on getting the summer job he wants. I hope not!