Well, I'm home again, and scrambling to deal with an overflowing stack of work and home stuff. So this note will be brief.
1. I will get back to talking about the College Essay Torture Chamber. To this point, all of my prompts have involved working to balance the boy's concrete/abstract, fact/feeling impulses. We are entering the narrative stage now, but are still wrestling with self-revelation. Style has not reared its head, but it will, it will. Coaching a teenager into writing a personal essay is like trying to knead bread with a twig.
2. Tu Fu readers: The comments on poems XI and XII are fascinating, so keep them coming. In the meantime, move on to reading poems XIII through XVII. In a day or so, I'll give you a writing assignment. Yes, you read that correctly: your poems are next.