When he is given another story to edit, this student complains about the assignment but, as he begins to read the diary entry, he realizes that this story about abortion makes him feel more connected to his girlfriend, who also had to undergo an abortion. He feels depressed by the details that the girl relates, and wonders if his girlfriend had the support she needed to help her through that experience.
This student soon realizes that the editing process is not a mere stylistic exercise but, rather, one that can impact him on a deeply personal level, allowing him to gain access to a particular experience he will never be able to experience himself. It makes him more compassionate and aware of what other people besides him have gone through.
He wishes that his girlfriend had shared with him the details of her experience, instead of getting an abortion before he even knew she was pregnant. If he had known beforehand, he would have accompanied her through this process. When he finishes reading the story, he feels less alone, and writes the person a note to say that he feels her pain.
In addition to making him feel more empathetic toward his girlfriend, this story has also allowed him to connect to another student in the class—which, perhaps, might benefit both the author and the reader, who can each draw comfort from this experience.