"So that student over there, the one who arrived from San Francisco, is now working as a research assistant with Jonathan Franzen. (…) And there is A. working for Toni Morrison, and V. working with Salman Rushdie. And C. who went to work with Richard Price and found him a psychic and a haunted house on the Lower East Side. E. researched for Siri Hustvedt. G. worked with Patrick McGrath and collected information on spinal injuries for the book he is now just finishing. The list of mentors goes on and on."What I wonder is: Why aren't these acclaimed writers doing their own research? What do they have to do other than research and write, write and research? They don't have day jobs to worry about. It's not like they have to pull lobster shifts proofreading at law firms. They may teach creative writing, but honestly, how much of their time can it possibly consume? Reaserching actually is part of the writing process, and getting Cliffs Notes from MFA students can't be the same as immersing yourself into a topic. As for the MFA students themselves, they should use the $60,000 in tuition to travel, live, read—above all, read—instead of learning how to craft innocuous prose in windowless college rooms.