Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Jesuit: the Conservative stronghold!

For days I have been wondering why Jesuit High School does not have a creative writing course. ASnd today I had a converstaion with one of the instructors here at Jesuit on theis particular topic. Why don't we have a creative writing course is it because creative writing is not as valued in our society as analytical essays. The closest thing we have to a creative writing cource is Cantos which has declined in popularity in it's past two years. I had a converstion with Christopher Bakke today following my converstation with the instructor (who will remain anyonymous for later reasons) and he said following the disadster in the previous year he was unable to restart the once popular and fun published writing. The teacher I spoke with said, "God forbid we should change the way we do things, because we do it so well." Because Jesuit has earned the prestige of a college prepitory school do we not want to risk that image with something so simple as another academic cource. An A in a creative writing class is just as much an A as in regular English. Wouldn't colleges want someone with a personality and a creative style to add to their community or has society shaped our culture so much that the only acceptable people are those that abhear to the strictest rules and educational standards. Are we so blind to not see that creative writing is just as much of a artistic form as art and poetry. As Chris Bakke said to me today, so far the majority of submissions to Cantos have been poetry and art, no writing--which is the thing that Cantos was originaly created for.

31 comments:

Dave said...

I don't think any educated adult would consider an English course and a creative writing course equivolent. I definatly think that having a culture whose members adhere to rules. As for educational standards, you're right, we don't want that, it would be a terrible thing if the whole country were educated because the job market couldn't support that many people competing at the same level.
And cantos has lost popularity for two reasons, because a) no one wants to read the shit students call creative writing and b) because no one wants their name attatched to such a work when it enters the public domain. If a few people want to, and thats fine, they should submit it to the newspaper instead of sucking up funds to put out an unpopular publication. Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

i agree with dave. I love creative writing...its very fun. And maybe if there was enough popularity...jesuit could start a creative writing ELECTIVE. Of cource they already have journalisim...which is sort of creative writing. But how do you teach creative writing? There is only so much a teacher can teach...creative writing is just very personal and either you can or can't. Creative Writing is one part of English... And English is full of many different types of writing styles. Mr. Benware did a lot with creative writing...but also did thesis papers. Its a balence. Jesuit is not a conservative stronghold btw...that was an exstreamly stupid comment.

Ken said...

I just think it's a little odd that you'd say that creative writing could be "another academic cource" and that "An A in a creative writing class is just as much an A as in regular English," and then say that "creative writing is just as much of a artistic form as art and poetry."

So which should it be? An English credit or an art credit? You have to make up your mind if you want to call yourself a college prepitory school.

Adrianna said...

Playwriting is the closest Jesuit will ever get to a creative writing class. It's a fine art credit. Yeah.

Ken said...

By the way, does anyone else get the weird feeling like Alex wrote both the post and the anonymous comment?

Shinekaze said...

I dont think that Alex had Benware though.

Scott said...

Playwriting is totally creative writing. You don't just sit around and write plays all day. That's just kinda the umbrella for all this other random writing. Best class ever.

Xan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Xan said...

P.S.

I have added two more creative writing posts on my blog. they are Bio #5, and Bio #6. Enjoy.

http://likeapuma.blogspot.com

Doug said...

Good writing is not creative. Commerical writing is creative. And there is always plenty of incentive to write for a profit. Good writing, or literature is an examination of humanity, and that is learned through life expierences, philosophy, theology, and analytical english classes.

And as far as reading goes, I have found that reading is much more enjoyable because we have to do it; class discussions add life to often seemingly dead tomes.

Dave said...

good points Doug!

Scott said...

First...Doug, you're in AP English. We Earthlings find most reading assignments way boring. Especially poetry. Poetry blows. And (for me) when a book comes along that's good, no one in the class says a damn thing. Why should we? If we cared, we'd be in AP.

And Alex...if you'd taken Playwriting, you'd know there's more to it than just writing from a Playwright's perspective. The daily writing assignments alone give you more freedom than most creative writing courses (yeah, I've taken some).

Ken said...

"Good writing is not creative"?

What the hell? How could it not be? And do you really think that the great literateurs of our time learned their craft from analytical english classes? (Also, I challenge you to find one author who just gave away his masterpiece because he wasn't writing "for profit.")

And assigned reading SUCKS. Class discussions are fun, but if people don't like the reading they're assigned, the discussion will involve only those who did happen to like it. Often, this is a small group. If you're into that sort of thing, you can form a book group, but requiring a specific work is a really bad idea, in my opinion. (It's different if you have choices.)

I don't agree with Alex, but I don't agree with you either, Doug.

And Scott--yes. Poetry is bunk.

Dave said...

thats not what he meant... he meant that a creative writing course wouldn't be an effective means of generating creative writing, because creative writing isn't something you can learn in a class, otherwise you'd end up with literature as uniform as analytical writing. C.W. is something composed by an author who has an understanding of human nature, generally guided from life experiences. I think thats what he was going for.

Scott said...

"Good writing, or literature is an examination of humanity, and that is learned through...analytical english classes."

I don't agree with that part at all. You don't need to take Super English to appreciate, understand, and analyze good literature. I know this may come as a shock to some, but you can do that on your own. There's a reason many great authors never went or spent very little time/energy at college.

And creative writing courses (like Playwriting) are effective because, although you cannot teach someone how to write, there are methods to open up a person's mind, expand creativity, et cetera. Saying a creative writing course is ineffective is like saying art class in ineffective. After all, writing IS art.

Ken said...

Dave, Doug said, "Creative writing is not good writing. The only writers who can be called good have taken philosophy and theology and english classes."

Defend that, I dare you.

And if creative writing courses are ineffective, why do famous authors attend them? Dave, creative writing is written by creative writers. If you're not a creative writer, you wouldn't take a creative writing class. If you are, and you took the class, you'd get feedback on your work, and you'd improve it. Like Scott said, it's an art.

Doug, is this true? "Good art is not creative. Commercial art is creative. Good art is an examination of humanity. You have to be very well-educated to produce it."

Dave said...
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Dave said...

Creative writers take creative writing classes for the same reason famous composers would attend other symphonies (or... whatever they're called), because they enjoy being around it and improving themselves, but that isn't where their talent (though possibly their inspiration) comes from...

As for that last paragraph, well, I'll give it a shot... Considering: "Like Scott said, its an art" and "If you're not a creative writer, you wouldn't take a creative writing class." Ok, so its an art, like, say, drawing. Well, I've taken classes to try to learn to draw, but I'm still no better than when I began... the class wouldn't generate an ability to do anything more than reproduce or enhanse whats already out there, just like I couldn't do an origional art piece to save my life. Thats why it would be ineffective.

Xan said...
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Xan said...

well sure, If the teacher sucks and doesn't know haw to teach the class, yes the class would be pointless, but what is the chance of Jesuit hiring someone who doesn't know how to teach. (wait, don't answer that.) and I agree with ken on doug's comment. how can good writing not be creative. good writing is the product of originality, however having a creative writing class would not create a uniform literature like dave said. Scott is 101% correct on that one, a creative writing course opens people up to an aproach. Yes, you need a basic foundation, if that foundation is not there, you still can become a creative writer but it will take much longer and much more work then normally. For creative writing this foundation is basic english, that is why the english class taught here at jesuit are so important, but we need to make the next step. Writing is a kind of Art (like scott said) just like drawing, drama, sports, and speach is an art. And dave in your case, it is apparent that you simply did not have the artistic foundation to grow from, you needed to start from the beginning. (in art that means child drawing= circles, lines, basic conspts we take for granted [at least that's what I think] I also did not have the basic knowledge and experience, yes I drew as a child, but never really stuck with it or was addicted to it. In my experience, the reason I enjoy creative wrinting so much is because I wrote at a young age I was always wrinting. I kept journals, nothing cosistant, but they were more of an outlet for my anger and frustration (another topic)this led to more writing and then with the introduction of English classes at jesuit I was able to learn how to write. Yes Analytical essays are important--AS A FOUNDATION-- but the real argument here is that that next step must be taken.

Xan said...
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Xan said...

oh and ken how do you not agree with me? it seems you are arguing my point.

Dave said...

Its true though that a creative writing class would have its virtues... in the way that sports practice helps. So lets call Middle School P.E. the "foundation" and the Varsity team the goal (i.e. being a good writer). You can practice all you want and work out 24/7, and you will most defiantly get better, but if you don't have talent, you'll never be great.

However, I dont think its a good point when you say "it is apparent that you simply did not have the artistic foundation to grow from, you needed to start from the beginning."
You're assuming that anyone with foundational writing skills has the potential to be a creative writer... that simply isn't so... I hold likeapuma as an example (it defines telling not showing). I don't think someone telling you that (like, in a class setting) will make you a better writer... see my point?

Cynda said...

well I don't know about creative writing but this is for for Dave's comment about not being able to learn art. You would be surprised how far people in my (former) art class have come over the last three years. Many would think that artists can only be good because they are born with talent. Classes give artists the means, and knowledge to make artwork. Anyone can make beautiful things once they have that knowledge, becuase art comes from imagination, just like creative writing. You have to learn the basics and then you can do anything with that. Now some people are more talented than others and may have to work less at something ie: Ken at creative writing and Nancy at art, but anyone can make beautiful work if they wanted to.

Xan said...

Yes Everyone does have the potential to become a great writer , just as everyone has the potential to be a mass murderer, it depends on your upbringing and what you are exposed to at a young age.

And yes david that was a little insulting, like you mentioned. I still don't understand what you meant by showing vs. telling, that I tell more then I show. Well of course I tell, that I is the only way to tell a story that lasts over 200 billion years and all the events have happened in the past. You must realize that my Blog, (likeapuma.blogspot.com) is the prequle to my actual story, OMEGA. It is the background information behind explaining the history of the Oglamari before they overtake Earth. How else am I to give you the story other then telling it. I have created a slide show of the stories, comprised completly of pictures off google and other sourcees, so that if people are interested what that looks like they can simply aske me and I can SHOW them. But right now I can only tell you the story. As for my actual story that I think is more what you like (david) It is more of a personal view of the events because the events are consolidated over the course of a few years. That is why I think people seem to dislike my blog the story is too long, and drawn out, there is no personal connection with characters, one of the principle points of literature.

Dave said...

Well, ok then, I guess I'll wait for the full story... but I still don't buy the 'anyone can be a good writer' or the 'creative writing isn't just a class for fifth graders' agruments, maybe I don't give people enough credit.

Xan said...

Well you're in luck because I have submitted a large section of my story to Cantos, I took the majority of the stuff I have set in Iraq and edited it so it makes sense without the other sections. I also submitted the Bios that are on my blog (likeapuma.blogspot.com) and edited them alot.
they are quite different from the ones I have posted but are basicly the same story. If you want to submit, you should probably do it soon the cut off date is soon. talk to Chris Bakke if you want to.

Xan said...

oh no! I wrote my blog address! Am I going to be punished again!?

Xan said...

Hey if anyone still reads this I have just added two more Bios to Omega. ENJOY

Xan said...

Hey I just added two more bios, no this is not a repeat post, I acctually have added two more bios. #9 and #10 I think I should come up with some more original names then just "Oglamari Bio: Part _: The ___ Kajj War".

Hope you enjoy these too Ben.

P.S. If you hadn't noticed I went through all my previous posts and goten rid of all the inconsistancies and spelling errors (or at least most of them) that is why these latest Bios have come out so late. Sorry for the dead zone for a while. ENJOY!

Xan said...

No new Bios to report however there is a new thing that I'm trying. Check out the Blog as of March 30th and you will notice that I have a number of other bloogs linked as "related information"
What are these? You may ask, the answer my friend is these are more background information. The only one I have got to is the Kennedy one. but they will all be filled out in good time my friend.
I noticed that there is alot in my profile that (although is explained in "Omega" the real story) is not explained on the Blog. I took the liberty of creating a story.

dont worry not all these will look like the Kennedy one. I am trying different looks for each one.

Hope you enjoy it.