In my reading of Chapter 8 in “Can it Really be taught” by Stephanie Vanderslice and Kelly Ritter, I noticed how Bizzaro and McClanahan stuck to the truth of the matter: an author realizing the truth of the matter “themselves,” (V & R 84). Bizzaro mentions that he has mixed reviews about “academic creative writing” (i.e. creative writing meant for publishing in an academic setting) and also that there are those as well as others who believe writers are born into writing and possess that “writer” gene, (V & R 84). But are we really born into being creative writers? Where do we have to draw the line in our academics vs that of our passion to writer? McClanahan refutes my question by saying that it’s all about lifestyle, “Writing a way of life, a style of being often defined more by the questions we ask than by the answers we provide,” (V & R 89). If we all remembered that it’s just something we do to make ourselves happy then maybe we wouldn’t be fretting about finding a job that pay better than the one we really wanted to have where we could pursue our writing. But we should know better as writers than to be driven into the black hole of worrying about where to go next and what word will come next. I am one of those writers who knows what I want to do with my degree and what I want to write aside from it. There are no easy answers in the history of writing, which it’s story will tell you more about it. Writing has been a struggle for any and everyone. If we knew all the answers then we might never discover something new about ourselves and about our abilities to write. It’s all academic but in some ways more than one it’s personal.
7 Things You Need to Know about Digital Story Telling November 1, 2011
1. I love the inclusion of the story about David and the Buddy Guy presentation. It opened my mind into the world of digital storytelling and how it begins on a novice level of experience. This introduction brought me into the piece and allowed me to concentrate on DIGITAL STORYTELLING.
2. The reference to building the gap between nontechnical disciplines and technical disciplines in order to develop a coherent narrative is an excellent definition of the complications and benefits of digital storytelling. I loved relating to this and allowing myself to see how digital storytelling enhances one’s perspective on telling stories as well as building their information literacy as well.
3. The sectioning of the article is effective in that it breaks down the article into parts to where the reader is able to comprehend the article in way that they are taught about storytelling. How so? They are exposed to the meaning of the article and will be able to apply it to their lives as students and as writers. We, as students, need to learn how to write a narrative through digital storytelling in order for us to gain perspective into the other aspects of writing and how it works outside of the pen and paper. (Sorry, it got kind of hard to explain)
4. The section ‘Who’s Doing It’ is informative about the spread of digital storytelling. I loved knowing where it is applied around the world especially at Universities that supply a Creative Writing/Writing program. It makes me want to research it further and see where this Digital Storytelling can eventually lead.
5. The Facts in “Why is it Significant” are remarkable. In that we are taught how to cater our writing to a specific audience through digital media and we are restrained to a certain topic and framework. This allows us to center our pieces to our own individual template and also allows us to develop a sense of original in “owning” our own creations (much like it is referenced in “Why is it Significant”
1. The Center for Digital Storytelling provides great insight into the world of digital literacy and how we need to communicate through it in order to give way to our different perspectives of the world around us. As well as how we tell these perspectives to our audience through digital media.
2. It’s true about the frame working of your story through digital storytelling. Digital Storytelling allows an author to craft their narrative through an extension of technology in that they can map out their stories on a template and be able to factor their story around that.
3. The idea of sharing stories through a group online (chatroom, online forum, etc) is a great idea but in some ways, the author is opening themselves up to criticism. I’ve had negative experience in sharing my stories online and maybe if I opened myself up to it and gained insight into it, I would feel more at ease with the idea of sharing my stories online.
4. The fourth point is put very elegantly. “Creative Activity is Human Activity,” this really speaks to me as an author and a reader, I believe that through creative expression we are able to relate one another on a deeper level than the initial surface of human contact. The fifth point adds to this in explaining that technology is an essential tool of creativity, however it is cut out when there are people who are not tech “savvy” as the article suggests. In my opinion, I think these two points are shifted and brought into prospective when someone learns to use these media applications in a creative manner.
5. Listening, Do we listen to everything around us? The people, the world, the nature and most of all ourselves. We fail to listen to anything around us when we really need to. When we, as creative persons, fail to listen we open ourselves up to failure to communicate. However, when we do listen we open ourselves up to the story at hand as well as the author and the reader. This process brings us to the heart of the story (Like the second point mentions).
Letting them be October 18, 2011
In our second reading of the 10/18/11 class, we are reading Chapter Fifteen of Dianne Donnelly’s “Does the Writing Workshop Still Work?” In this chapter, Donnelly focuses on the workshop from the student’s point of view. In that, students are sometimes restricted in a teacher-student relationship in which the student depends on the grade from the teacher in their writing. Donnelly suggests we, as future teachers, should let go of the coddling and allow the students to write. Meaning we allow our students to be critiqued on the basis of a workshop setting where the teacher allows the students to discuss one another’s writing. Why? Because we subtract ourselves from the process of editing and see how the work is taken from various perspectives in the setting of a “full class workshop” where we as teachers need to let go and let our students roam on their own. In addition to this suggestion of ejecting ourselves from these workshops, Donnelly includes tips about workshops (especially large groups) and what we should do in the situation of a class of 15 or more. A good suggestion Donnelly mentions is an anonymous workshop as well as workshops sectioned out. I really like this idea in that I’ve had these type of workshops and they worked for me, they allowed me write creatively. There are a lot good points in this article but none ring as true as the suggestion to let students write freely in a writing workshop environment.
In our first of two readings for our 10/18/11 class, we read from Chapter Six of Dianne Donnelly’s “Does the Writing Workshop Still Work?” In reading this chapter, I noticed a lot of hangups that I currently face in my writing workshops. The lack of focus on audience, losing the audience in your writing. Donnelly quotes Walter J. Ong in saying that “There is no need for a novelist to feel his ‘audience’ in this way at all, meaning that we shouldn’t envision an audience before us as we write. As I writer, I have this stipulation to my writing. I went from writing in a classroom setting with structures and rules about how to write to a Creative Writing class where I was supposed to write “freely.” But do we ever write freely anymore? In regards to being a Creative Writing majors in a department focused on our success as writers in a “writing world.” Donnelly uses Ede and Lunsford’s to say that her assignments, at first glance (Donnelly 101), focus on the addressing of the audience rather than the invoking of them. Meaning that as Creative Writing teachers we must teach our students to write as if they were the reader and envision the story as that. We shouldn’t write competitively like many classes in Creative Writing do. We should write as if we were the reader of that very story. In the conclusion of this chapter, Donnelly suggests something many of us don’t think about, writing our stories as if they were to appear in publication. Basically, allowing ourselves an opportunity to feel that type of story developing in our heads, as if it were to appear on the glossy pages of the New Yorker or even the Writer’s Chronicle…..
What it takes to be a Creative Writing teacher in today’s world October 10, 2011
For a six chapter response on Stephanie Vanderslice and Kelly Ritter’s “Teaching Creative Writing to Undergraduates,” I decided to highlight some important themes in a blended response.
I remember my first Introduction to Creative Writing course, it was the Fall of 2009 and I had Robin Becker. I remember how it was being introduced to a class that was taught through a multi-genre curriculum. In Chapter one of Teaching Creative Writing to the Undergraduate, V & R show the novice Creative Writing teacher that they are not there to make EVERYONE a writer but rather to instruct students on the path to becoming a creative writing. Meaning? Demystifying the world of Creative Writing and putting to rest the high expectations that an older and more experienced teacher has. Chapter two is basically an outline of terms in creative writing whether it is for a poetry course or a prose course, it is showing a future teacher terms that are commonly found within most classes and what terms a student must be either introduced to or reminded of. In short, the first three chapters of V & R’s “Teaching Creative Writing to Undergraduates” is an open ended “instructional” instruction book for future Creative Writing Teachers. All three chapters are dedicated to showing us the methods and manners we must focus on when developing our syllabus’ and class structure. We must let the hesitation fall to waist side and see it for what it really is, a class on the art of Creative Writing and how to write creatively rather than a class only for certain people, a class that disconnects others from what is to be learned which is what V & R empathize in the beginning chapters of their book.
Within the middle chapters, we see a focus on the revision/editing process and how a beginning teacher must facilitate it in a manner that is both objective and accepting. Many beginning students have a problem when beginning a writing course (whether it’s creative writing or not), learning how to read their work as well as other’s through the scope of a critic and not becoming offended when other’s responses are not what they expected. V & R, on page 61 introduce the term “self-critic,” as a way of explaining how your talk to other’s about their stories effectively and constructively as well as taking their responses with a grain of salt rather than jumping to conclusions about minor grammatical or personal responses. In the end of this chapter, we are shown resources that focus on how to teach certain genres and what these resources are and how they will help us in the future as creative writing teachers. But how do we grade these courses? Without interjecting our personal beliefs into the responses? It’s not about the perfect story, it’s about teaching a student on how they must go about writing and revising their work in order to gain perspective on themselves as writers. It’s not about the grade the student receives but rather what they themselves gain from the class. It is shown in the end of chapter 5 , by the response from Anne Leahy, that a grade is representative not comprehensive meaning that it’s an individual effort toward becoming a writer rather just a grade. Lastly, we must focus our attention on the individuality of our students. Why? Because as teachers, we must keep our eyes open for situations that may arise, meaning be prepared for the unexpected. There are many different types of students, the sensitive one, the troubled one, the ignorant one and if we don’t pay attention we might miss something vitally important. Each class in college is going to have issues with personal opinions but if we’re not prepared, we find ourselves in hot water. Each teacher, no matter the subject must be able to troubleshoot effectively and objectively without getting personally involved.
Lucky me! September 25, 2011
So, I didn’t think I’d be this enthralled about working for Hancock Fabrics. I love my job more than anything! I am now the only associate handling the set director of a new movie being filmed in Arkansas. I can’t say what on here but if you ask I’ll tell you. I am a lucky girl because I get to help a movie set be made into an amazing creation. I get to talk one on one to a Hollywood set director whenever they come in! YAY! I get to run to other stores and get the stuff and frankly have the best time of my life doing so! When a Hollywood set director wants your personal phone number, you give it to them! 🙂
Films and their Influence September 20, 2011
In “Can It Really Be Taught” by Stephanie Vanderslice and Kelly Ritter, we read “Box Office Poison,” an article by Wendy Bishop and Stephen Armstrong. This article really spoke to me because like the ‘novice’ writers they depicted, I too have been influenced by a lot of movies that depicted writers at work or the process of writing. Unlike other writers, I have learned to separate myself from the depiction and the real world of writing. Bishop and Armstrong reiterate that a lot of the depictions center on the dramatic elements and not the writing process which is reasonable but what do we learn from it? Is it the actions on the screen that make us want to be writers or is it the thought of writing that makes us want to write? I enjoyed Bishop and Armstrong including the movies that have influenced student-writers and have even seen many of them and that’s what made this article really easy to read and very fun to read. Like the authors, I wished that we could focus more on the process of writing in movies or rather depict it more truthfully rather than adding a stigmatic image of the writing process. Not every writer is self loathing and an alcoholic, not that I know of…
Bishop on Evaluating Writing September 13, 2011
In Bishop’s Released into Language, we read both the 7th and 8th chapter for our reading on September 13, 2011. In my last blog post, I focused on the workshop and the journal and in this blog I am focusing on the evaluation of the class and the subject of Creative Writing itself. On page 158, Bishop states that writing evaluation is a social construction – ranging from artistic types to athletes. However, there is a drawback to evaluation in that there is a certain negativity (Bishop 159) due to the fact that no student will write and revise if there is a high # of criticizing workshop comments or even negative criticism from the teacher which leads to an apathetic opinion on Creative Writing. Bishop says that we must respond with questions in revisions rather than judgement (Bishop 160) because we won’t write if we are badgered (forced) into it. Writing mustn’t be graded traditionally due to the fact that is a working process rather than a set in stone “that’s how it’s done” subject. Bishop includes Peter Elbow’s con list on the revision process and emphasizes the “contract grade” (Bishop 161) and how you must concentrate on the amounts of work rather than quality because like I said before it’s a process. This process is then transformed into the portfolio where a student can focus on the development of their work. On 165, Bishop mentions how the portfolio helps novice writers develop into practicing writers but she also includes that before turning in a final portfolio, student’s need to exchange portfolios and get a fair share of opinion amongst their peers and revise their work, as needed (Bishop 167). What’s really inspiring about this chapter is that Bishop includes her own graded portfolio sheets. It shows how she didn’t just focus on the quality of their work but rather how their quality improved from the initial class in the beginning of the semester. This really shows how we , as student-teacher’s, must focus on the work at hand rather than focusing on the standard “norm” in the traditional classroom, because the creative writing isn’t traditional, it’s ever evolving and changing everyday.
In our reading for 9/13/2011, we also read chapter 7 in Wendy Bishop’s Released into Language. Throughout the chapter, Bishop focuses on the importance of the workshop and the journal and how each pushes the student head first into writing, while also exposing them to self knowledge and transactional writing (effective writing). On page 142, Bishop stated that the traditional workshop should be praised because of it’s developing a writer’s community among students in the classroom. It’s very important to see that Bishop believes in effective learning happening within each student in the classroom despite their different backgrounds and learning styles. However, not every group is the same, they shift every time but what is most important is peer response (Bishop 145) because it gives students ability to develop their own ideas. This idea is emphasized on page 148 when their is mention of revision and how it is most effective with a group/partner because it’s more meaningful and gives a student insight into their work as well as others (this is called a cloze type stucture where students learning about artistic possibilities and coherance (Bishop 148). I like her list of revision processes for prose and poetry because it shows me how one must teach and how one must learn the ways of revising each subject. In the last pages of this chapter (151-156) Bishop includes examples of writing workshops and her individual responses to the students, these responses shelter her main focus in how workshops work for the student, they allow a student to see outside of the page and into what a story can be, not just what it is then.