College Education

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HeadOfState
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College Education

Postby HeadOfState » Wed Oct 19, 2005 7:59 pm

I was just wondering what creative writing courses everyone had
taken if they went to college, and how you feel about the effects of not taking any at all.

I guess I just feel a little out of my league because I only
took a few english classes in college, and neither one of them were
creative writing. At the time I was busy trying to finish my psychology
degree on time, and since I had already fulfilled my English requirements,
I didn't take anymore.

Now I'm trying to take writing a little more seriously and I'm wondering
how much I missed out on in college. Not that you have to go to college
to be a good writer, of course. I just....agh. *bites nails*
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Anblick
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Postby Anblick » Wed Oct 19, 2005 8:03 pm

I haven't taken any, but want to take some...
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xcheck24
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Postby xcheck24 » Wed Oct 19, 2005 9:01 pm

i was a print journalism major and i'm now a journalism grad student ;)

but i did take two classes. . .one in an overall creative writing and one in poetry. i felt like i was surrounded by snobs, so as a whole I didnt think it was too benefitial to me.
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Postby TheMudge » Wed Oct 19, 2005 9:03 pm

Read a lot. That's a better education than anything I learned in college--in terms of writing, anyway.
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Anblick
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Postby Anblick » Wed Oct 19, 2005 9:06 pm

I kind of figure once I DO take those classes the same will be true, but ther might be some assignments (esp. in the creative writing class) that might benefit me! X, did you not have any Creative Writing assignments that benefitted you as a writer? I'm extremely curious as a writer that might shell out big bucks to attend a class that might not benefit me!
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Postby funkywriter3 » Wed Oct 19, 2005 9:47 pm

Head of State I noticed that your studying Psychololgy, do you like it? This is kind of off topic but I want to double major in English and History, but have a profession in Psychology or in Law.

I also think you don't have to take Creative Writing classes to benefit you in the writing world, but seeing as I am really new at this it'd be better for you to not to listen to me.
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HeadOfState
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Postby HeadOfState » Wed Oct 19, 2005 11:47 pm

funkywriter3 wrote:Head of State I noticed that your studying Psychololgy, do you like it?


I didn't. A little bit into it, I realized that we were all discussing what
is going on inside people's brains, but that we haven't really
developed a reliable way to observe the brain and its relation to behavior.

Also, for my capstone class I did an independent study and came up
with absolutely no results. It was a pointless study. But, after my teacher
came over to my computer and worked with me on my stats for a while,
and she said that "if you run a test on just this set of numbers..."
about ten times in as many minutes, and suddenly I had "statistically
significant" results. Then, a few weeks later, I had to give a presentation
in front of my class and pretend like I had done great work that actually
meant something.

Then again, if I weren't quite so cynical in nature and if I would have done
a better, legitimate, study for my capstone class, I probably would have
gotten more out of it. ;)
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funkywriter3
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Postby funkywriter3 » Wed Oct 19, 2005 11:52 pm

I've heard a lot about how independent studies hasn't helped people in the way they thought it would.

But you have gotten something from it, the conclusion to write. So I'd say you'e doing fine. :wink:
" The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself."- Albert Camus



"Writers will happen in the best of families."

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" Do not ask a poet to explain himself, he cannot." - Plato
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Postby CycoMerlin14 » Thu Oct 20, 2005 12:47 am

For some reason I'm reminded of the movie Orange County...just wanted to bring that up in case anyone has seen it...
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Postby Catana » Thu Oct 20, 2005 8:07 am

A lot of professional writers have expressed the opinion that creative writing classes aren't really very useful. The important stuff is reading--lots and lots of it. And writing--lots and lots of it. Study genres and writing styles and look at your own writing with a critical eye.
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ksuprincess97
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Postby ksuprincess97 » Thu Oct 20, 2005 8:34 am

Perhaps you could see if any local colleges in your area have any continuing education creative writing classes. I majored in fashion design so I only took the basic required english classes. Then, a few years later, when I became more interested in writing I took a few continuing ed classes that were pretty good. A lot of colleges will also let you sit in and audit some of their classes, so I've been thinking of doing that also for some fiction writing classes.
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Postby bfsooner » Thu Oct 20, 2005 8:36 am

HOS, I took a creative writing class through a local community college. I found it beneficial because I was expected to write a certain amount very week for a grade. This was an incentive I needed, because I need the motivation at times. I got a lot out of it, because I put a lot into it...which is more than I can say for some of my classmates. I can tell you that we read John Gardner's book on novel writing, and some novels to see different styles of writing. Hope this helps...
Rebecca

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LostCoastArtist
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Postby LostCoastArtist » Thu Oct 20, 2005 10:29 pm

I've taken two creative writing classes, one of which I am enrolled in right now. I think the first thing to remember about them is that the teacher and how the class is structured can make a huge difference in your experience. The students and their interests/attitudes can also make a difference in what you get out of a class. Both those things are true of most classes in general though, not just writing. Those things being said, I feel...

1. What they try to teach in class isn't really so useful as getting input from others on your writing. You can get this in other places besides a class though, like writing groups in person or here on WordTrip.

2, As someone else said, having a class forces you to write, so if you have problems with procrastination then a writing class will help give you more motivation.

3. Writing classes are useful for finding out about local writing workshops, competitions, groups, etc.

4. It's a good way to meet people. Better yet, it's a good way to meet other people who do the same kind of writing you're interested in.

So, from my experience, a writing class comes down to two things. Motivation and networking. If you can get those somewhere else, you're probably not going to get much out of a writing class. If you need a little extra shove, want some input from other writers, or to get some info on groups and opportunities, you might get something out of a class.

(It might be helpful to note that I am not an English major and that aside from the two creative writing classes, I have taken only the minimum amount of classes to meet the general ed requirements.)
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xcheck24
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Postby xcheck24 » Fri Oct 21, 2005 9:15 am

i would suggest a writers group because i have learned more about my writing from them (both in person and here on WT) than I ever did in my creative writing classes. You just have to make sure you're in the right writing group where you can learn something.
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hyperfine
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Postby hyperfine » Mon Oct 24, 2005 6:22 pm

I never took any English at all after high school. I hated it with a passion and didn't learn anything (possibly because I spent the whole time thinking about what a waste of time it was)
Me fail English? That's unpossible!
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Postby LindaF » Mon Oct 24, 2005 10:48 pm

I've been freelancing full-time for eight years, and my MA was in Slavic Linguistics! I also never took English classes in college (I was too busy studying foreign languages). My husband has been freelancing for maybe six years, and his major was math...again, no English or writing classes. So I wouldn't worry about it!

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