Writing Your World

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Writing Your World
Humanities Course
Course CodeWRT3
Year Opened1980
Sites OfferedJHU, LAN, LOS, SAR
Previously OfferedAMH, ASU, CAR, GVA, NOR, RED
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Course Description

Students in this course explore the literary devices and story-telling skills of creative writers and apply them to the crafting of fact-based narrative.

Beginning with memoir and personal essays and moving to essays about the world around them, students learn to tell true stories using the traditional tools of fiction and poetry, with particular attention to evocative imagery and the beauty of language. By reading the work of accomplished creative nonfiction writers such as David Foster Wallace, James Baldwin, and Joan Didion, students learn about the interplay of personal experience and journalistic reporting and consider how a writer’s voice and experiences shape a text. Students assess the freedoms and constraints of creative nonfiction by reading and discussing the work of writers who experiment with the boundaries of the genre.

In addition to daily reading and writing exercises, students complete several major writing projects. They experiment with literary elements, techniques for organizing essays, creating meaningful transitions, and beginning and ending their works effectively. Students leave the course with a clearer sense of audience and their own authorial voices, as well as a deeper understanding of the strategies and practices of strong nonfiction writing.


Class History

Carlisle 06.1-06.2

Taught by Tim Ross

Carlisle 10.1-10.2

Crafting the Essay was taught by Michael Horton, with TA Jessica

Johns Hopkins 06.1

Taught by Dona, Crafting was taught by Angela Balcita. Angela taught the course through four different types of essays: Memoir, Personal Essay, Place Essay, and Lyric Essay. The students all wrote through pen names. The class examined many genres of essays, from deMontaigne to medical memoirs.

Johns Hopkins 12.1

Creative Nonfiction A was taught by Willie McLafferty and TA'd by Adam Rudebusch

Johns Hopkins 14.1

Creative Nonfiction B at JHU 14.1 was taught by Jessica Young and TA'd by Lindsey Puvel. The class focused on writing memoirs, descriptive essays and on conceptual/thematic approaches to writing. Many drafts of many essays and poems were written, and at the end of the course, Lindsey let the boys do what will never be spoken of (because she would never ever ever let us jump into the fountain).

Johns Hopkins 15.2

Creative Nonfiction A at JHU 15.2 was taught by Patrick Foran and TA'd by Angela Gasca. Very decent. Obama loves memes.

Johns Hopkins 16.1

Creative Nonfiction B at JHU 16.1 was taught by Michael Heiss and TA'd by Mary Kate Turner.

Lancaster 03.1-06.2

Taught by Ross Markonish

Lancaster 15.1

Creative Nonfiction at LAN 15.1 was taught by Dereck Gray and TA'd by Kelsey Hagarman. It was a small class of 12, but one girl went home sick. The small class consisted of only four girls and seven boys, with a variety of interesting personalities from moody and childish to conspiracy-obsessed. The class played one of the wretched games: Molly and Ned. During the trip to the farmers market, one boy bought rootbeer and constantly drank it in class. One of the girls (the moody and childish one) said it looked like he was an alcoholic and would not stop cracking up until she was laughing so hard she fell to the floor along with her desk. The class wrote memoirs, second-person narratives, and three narratives. (TBH: we didnt rlly learn anything so ya) Breaks were fun because the illuminati was confirmed beyond counting. Yeah...... it was fuuuuuuun.

Lancaster 18.1

Creative Nonfiction at LAN 18.1 was taught by Derek Gray and TA'd by Mary Kamitaki. It was the class of the students who had the legendary RAs Yeon Cho and Cayla.

Loyola Marmount 07.1-07.2

Taught by Veronica Guttierez and Danielle Roderick

Loyola Marmount 08.1-09.2

The class was taught by Danielle Roderick and TAed by Granger Abuhoff. (In 09 they taught/TAed the B class). Danielle was wonderful as always, and Granger was... well, Granger. Any alum of the class now know far too many Granger jokes.

Loyola Marmount 11.1-??.?

In the NEW CTY course list, Crafting the Essay is gone :( It's been replaced by another course.. Another course, Creative Nonfiction, took its place. It was, for a short while, renamed Crafting the Essay, but the name returned to Creative Nonfiction for unknown reasons. Taught by Veronica Guttierez (CN a) and Danielle Roderick (CN b).

Loyola Marmount 14.1

Creative Nonfiction B was taught by Kim Woltmann and TA'd by Mariah Young. The class wrote a memoir essay, a descriptive essay about a location/object, and a hermit crab essay about a relationship. The final anthology essay was a revision/amalgamation of the previous ones. There were 6 boys and 5 girls in the class, except one of the boys got sick and had to leave camp. This was regarded as a complete tragedy and resulted in the building of a shrine in the middle of the classroom.

Skidmore 06.1-06.2

Taught by Eric Song

Skidmore 09.1-09.2

Taught by Chris McVey, who was absolutely brilliant

Skidmore 13.1-13.2

Creative Non-Fiction was taught by the brilliant Laurence Ross and TA'd by Tides Author Betsy Cornwell.

Skidmore 14.1

Creative Nonfiction at Skidmore 14.1 was taught by Laurence Ross. The class analyzed music videos by Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, and Adam Lambert in addition to writing and analyzing personal essays. The class grew very close over the course of the session, and was generally a good class.

Skidmore 19.1

Writing Your World was taught by Laurence Ross, and TA'd by Rowan Baccheta (it is some infernal Italian last name). Students were Hans (from Northeastern Ohio), Logan (it's not lit, please stop, we're all very worried for your well-being), Andrew (Of course he balls), Charles (basically a fetus), Andres (can draw a map of Europe from scratch (he’s pretty freaking good at it too) and he can speak like 50 different European languages, and loves Alternate History), Toby (I can't remember what sport he did, I think it started with an r, rugby was it?)(wow...it was rowing), [from here on please add your own stuff I'm like the least social person in this group] Juliette, Anna, Anne, Sophie, Renee, Camia, Lynn, Athena, and Clara. Laurence turned out to be a hand-raving master, and could also read tarot. The triangles speak to me. Watched some really emo shit. Never forget Phillip Lopate and the möglichkeitsmenschen (pronounced moh-glik-ites-mens-chen). We also wrote some personal essays about stuff, but I mean who cares right? And watched songs by: Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, and Adam Lambert. Also, the short documentary that made the Where’s Waldo books a very dark story about Waldo being on the run from some bearded dude.