Margo Rabb’s “How to Tell a Story.”
Even though it’s not possible that Margo and I were in the same MFA program, this story feels so true to my experience (right down to the sentiment/sentimentality lecture) that I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out that she was sitting right next to me all that time.
I discovered the story years ago, just before my third year in the program. I thought it was so dead on that I sent copies to classmates with the subject line, “OMG! Is she talking about us?!” In the years since, it has served as a reminder that I’m not the only person who had an F’ed up MFA experience. There are plenty more of us out there, and God Bless us all for surviving it.