The one week intensive course at U of T ended today with a bang – a series of student readings in the Faculty Club dining room, as we all ate our last meal together. The joke in my group was that I had made almost everyone cry at least once. No, not by my harsh commentary on their work – in fact, with one student it was the reverse, I had to ban her from denigrating her own work as “shit” or “my little piece.” But instead, somehow, I drew tears by touching a nerve about the importance of the story they were telling. That’s how I know it’s working – when the writing is going that deep and matters that much. Amazing how well you get to know someone when you bare your soul in a small room for hours a day.