– “This is wonderfully absurdist!” said one teacher, about a story that was supposed to be fairly realistic.
– Lots of people thought two of my characters were gay. That was never my intention, but, since they all read it in, I decided to have one of them harbouring an unrequited crush on the other.
– One person recently thought I was making a distasteful joke about rape. That was a little upsetting, both because I’d hate for my work to appear that way and because it makes me sad to think that this person would imagine me making rape jokes.
– I have one character who is supposed to be particularly pathetic and obsessive; somebody thought I had based him on myself!
– Somebody suggested that every piece I write has an air of sexual tension to it. I didn’t intentionally include anything like that, so, I don’t know if it says more about me or them.
– I was told I should make the evil villain of a story turn out to be God. I decided not to heed this advice.
– One time a teacher thought the hero and the villain of a story were secretly the same person. This was a wonderful idea and, while it isn’t what I planned, I decided to have fun sneaking in some clues that pointed to that false conclusion. (Although, technically, this was just before I started the course).
– Finally, and this is the most unusual reading of a piece: after reading a story about a clown on a sinking ship, one of my friends was sure it was my coded way of telling them that I no longer valued my life and was feeling suicidal. While this certainly was not the case, I was touched by their concern!
I hope it was entertaining to read those pieces of feedback. I certainly enjoyed receiving them, but then again, it is my work, so I might be much more inclined to enjoy it than you. It’s a shame that I’ll have left in a couple of months, I’ve had so much fun for the past three years and I’ll miss it terribly when it’s over.