2010-11 Catalog

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Offering Description

Cutting Through the Clamor: Writing for Change

Fall and Winter quarters

Faculty: Suzanne Simons Writing, Journalism, Sociology, Nancy Parkes creative writing, sustainability, public policy

Fields of Study: communications and writing

Fall: CRN (Credit) Level 10225 (8) So - Sr; 10226 (12) So - Sr  

Winter: Enrollment Accepting New Students  CRN (Credit) Level 20158 (8); 20159 (12)  

Credits: 8, 12(F); 8, 12(W)

Class Standing: Freshmen - Senior

Offered During: Evening and Weekend

Prerequisites: 1 year college-level writing


As writers, we search for opportunities to create the space needed to nurture our creativity and create forms of expression. We also insert our creations into a noisy world crowded with blaring messages competing for our attention. How do we craft our creative work effectively to cut through the clamor?

In this program, students will select a theme they are passionate about and explore that theme through multiple genres including journalism, personal essay, oral history, readers theater, and poetry. Examples of themes might include food sovereignty, workers rights, immigration, identity, religion/spirituality, community organizing for a specific cause, or a specific environmental/sustainability movement.

We will also explore how being awash in the information age affects us in body, mind, and spirit. Absorbing and producing vast quantities of information doesn't necessarily make us smarter or more engaging, effective writers. By examining fields such as media theory, brain development, and health, we will gain an understanding of how we move through this information-saturated world and of techniques for uncovering our creativity and intuition that can lead to effective writing for change.

Students enrolled for 12 credits in the fall will engage in additional work to study theories and practices of community journalism. Students will choose and write for specific community publications about issues within their chosen themes. We will also engage in readings about the history of journalism and the metamorphosis of alternative presses while considering the repercussions to community and oversight of government.

In winter, the additional work for 12-credit students will focus on advocacy writing for college, agency, and nonprofit publications. We will profile the unspoken heroes, problems, and potential of the communities in which we live. Our readings will focus on helping to create movements and organizational change through writing for these groups.

Maximum Enrollment: 50

Advertised Schedule: All students: 6-9:30p Wed, 10a-5:30p Sat (fall: Oct 9, 23, Nov 6, 20, Dec 4; winter: Jan 22-23 [2-day retreat] Feb 5, 19, Mar 5). 12-credit students also meet 6-9:30p Mon starting week 2. (For all students, the first fall quarter class will be Wed, Sep 29 and the first winter quarter class will be Wed, Jan 5 in Sem 2 B1105.)

Required Fees: $20 in winter for an overnight field trip and program retreat at Millersylvania State Park

Preparatory for studies or careers in: journalism, education, and public service.

Campus Location: Olympia

Online Learning: Enhanced Online Learning

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Program Revisions

Date Revision
December 15th, 2010 Program changed to admit freshmen through seniors