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Cr Wr Majors

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message 1: by David (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:27PM) (new)

David | 1 comments Hey -- just out of curiosity -- were you all creative writing majors at Oberlin, or did you do something else while you were there? I was in psych, and wrote in my spare time. For the cr wr majors, what did you think of the experience of making writing your academic focus as opposed to doing another major and writing on the side?

message 2: by Steven (new)

Steven | 3 comments I'm a recent alum (OC '05) and majored in philosophy and East Asian Studies with a minor in art history. During my years at Oberlin, I never took an English course, let alone a creative writing course. I never really felt the need to take them since I preferred turning to my friends for discussions about literature and writing. Working at the Review helped with my writing and how I think about writing. Seeing your work and the work of your peers in print and on a record that will outlast your lifetime were strong motivators for learning how to write well and how to (hopefully) develop a personal style. I do regret not taking one or two creative writing courses, though, since I now find myself wanting to write nonfiction (mainly about food and nutrition).

My best friend (and roommate for most of our time there) was the creative writing major. From what he has told me in conversations, he enjoyed creative writing as an academic focus in that it gave him the opportunity to enhance his writing skills further and to build up a body of work. It also gave him a starting point from which he could develop as a writer. But he didn't like his classmates and their overall attitudes toward the classes and in how they approached critiques. Thankfully, his experiences did not deter him from pursuing his goal of becoming a translator of Japanese fiction and poetry; if anything, his time at Oberlin made his resolve stronger because he's now a Japanese studies graduate student. I hope this helps satisfy your curiosity.

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Ultimately, I became a CrWr major because poetry permitted a merger of all my interests. What I really wrote were sculpted, rhythmic essays on wide-ranging topics, especially cosmology and biological systems --the best solution for someone interested in everything. I'm now a professor of English and Art & Design, specializing in new media technologies and experimental outcomes. I've developed a theory of making loosely related to complex systems.

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