Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 5, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
24 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Thursday, December 5, 1974 UofL English department planning to triple offerings Interest growing in creative writing courses By LYNNE VAN LUVEN Herald Family Editor There must be a goodly number of budding poets and authors in southern Alberta. At least, so one would assume from the ever increasing numbers of students enrolled in Universi- ty of Lethbridge creative writing courses. English Department Chairman Laurie Ricou says creative writing courses consistently have the highest enrolment of any fourth year English cre- dit courses offered by the U of L. Although the department limits enrolment in the creative writing course to about 12 people in order to maintain viable discussion groups, Dr. Ricou says stu- dent response has gradually increased over the past several years. To meet the growing interest, the depart- ment is planning to triple creative writing offerings next year, to include two new introductory level courses as well as the existing advanced writing course. This fall the UofL offered a non credit course in creative writing for the first time and it also met with good response. "Most people who enroll in creative writing courses do so out of a genuine desire to ex- press themselves in fiction and says Prof. Bill Latta who has been teaching such courses since 1965. "If the class is over susbscribed, it is up to'the professor to try and decide who will most benefit from it. Iff not always easy to tell who has writing potential, so we often ask to see samples of students' work." 'Response to course has been encouraging "Everyone's doing their own says U of L professor-Paul Upton. He teaches the non credit creative writing course now drawing to a close. The 14 students in the course represent a wide array of occupations and interests within the com- munity, he says, but response to the course has been encouraging. "Since this was the first time we'd offered non credit creative says Upton, "we didn't quite know what to expect. The emphasis of the course depends on the students interests, but slowly, most of the class has drifted to prose fiction and a lot of poetry He operates the non credit course in a workshop format but students are also able to seek his guidance "There are a few people in the course who are on the wrong he admits. "For ex- ample, some consider letter writing something to be learned in creative writing." Prof. Upton describes the course as a great benefit to people who always "thought they wanted to write." "It's very subjective he says. "We try and develop their ability to look at their own work and judge it for themselves. At the outset, most students are putting their whole being on the line and take their writing pretty seriously." He says it is important the instructor of a course for beginning writers is sensitive to students' needs and can offer "different approaches to different students." Prof. Upton feels he is often treading a tightrope as he must do all he can to en- courage the reticent students, while not los- ing credibility with the more advanced students "But I find teaching the course quite ex- he adds "And strongly recommend we offer it again." EXCITEMENT UNDERFOOT Carpets by: CELANESE KRAUSE Also other brand names, give you new, favorite even wild colors. We've got every kind of carpet you could ever want at prices you can afford. PLUS THE ALL NEW STEAM CARPET CLEANING A great opportunity for you to save on carpet cleaning at its very best for private or commercial jobs. For only 120 a square foot. BERGMAN'S Floor Coverings 2716-12th Ave. S. (Open Thura. Fri.) Phone 328-0372 till 9 p.m. Prof. Latta describes the format of his creative writ- ing courses as he explains, "we begin with specific exercises to get students started and to give me a chance to deter- mine their writing levels. I en- courage them to develop their writing in the area where their talents lie." His creative writing courses operate in a workshop format students react to each other's work by offering constructive criticism. "Writing can be encouraged but not really says Prof. Latta. "It's important that creative writing students do lots of reading and try working in a variety of styles." Prof. Latta says most creative writing students ob- viously derive personal satisfaction from the course although he admits "some have an overly romantic, un- realistic idea of what writing A few students want to write articles geared to a commercial formula which will sell: most professors regard such a crass approach to writing as less than truly creative. Sometimes too, peo- ple are on an "ego trip" and don't really profit from criticism in the workshop set- ting For" perceptive students, improving their writing in- volves "getting to know capitalizing on their own potential. "My says Latta, "is making sure the criticism doesn t get too sharp and per- sonal or that the critiques don't deteriorate into a mutual admiration society where no one's gaining new awareness of their work. adds the Golden Mile Open Monday through Fri- day 10 a m. to 5 p.m. Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. Next Week: Monday: Keep-fit 10 a.m. French p.m. Tuesday: Singing 10 a.m. Dancing 2 p.m. Wednesday: Potluck 1 p.m. Thursday: Movies "Songs and Stories of funded by a grant from the Canada Coun- cil 2 p.m Friday: Creative decorations 1 30 p.m. Third annual carol festival 2 p.m. com- munity singing, solos and guest artist, First United Church Junior Choir. Lunch will be served Everyone welcome Noteworthy: The bus to Calgary Dec. 18 is full. The centre's Christmas par- ty will be held at 6-30 p.m Dec. 19 Tickets must be pick- ed up by Dec. 12. professor, "students have to learn themselves what forms of expression suit them best and develop their own The surge of interest in creative writing doesn't sur- prise Prof. Latta; he. says similar activity in fine arts and drama has recently oc- curred. "I think people are striving to express their own individuality in a society that discourages uniqueness. They feel hemmed in by a life that, de personalizes everything and feel to fulfill themselves, they have to be able to express themselves well.' The main problem for most students, he adds, "is to look at their own experiences with to order and select experience into a work that's meaningful. he says, "is shaped life, not just raw life." Since he began teaching creative writing, Prof. Latta says he has had people in his class who have "developed far beyond their early beginnings. A notable example is former student Ken Mitchell who has recently earned a reputation as a novelist and poet. "I've had surprises with mothers and housewives who've shown real he adds. "No writer will make too much money until he or she is well he points out realistically. "No one who finally comes out of my classes has any delusions about money. Most people es- sentially want a feeling of recognition, a knowledge that other writers respond to their work. Initially, he says, the most difficult aspect for a burgeon- ing author is "exposing" per-, sonal feelings and experiences in writing. Chris Stewart Ego, life-long interest reasons for entering creative writing class Types of students studying creative writing are as different as the kinds of work they produce. "I have been interested in writing since I was a says Shirley Buswell, a second year student at the U of L and former New Zealand resident. In the past she worked for a travel agency and as a magazine journalist. She has acted in re- cent U of L drama department productions. "I've looked forward to taking creative writing for a long she says, admitting she wrote her first book a pain- staking volume of five pages when she was eight years old. "I went into the course with strong ideas about what I wanted to write, but found out quite a lot about myself I learned I can't write poetry and I can't empathize with everyone in the world." She says the "brutally honest criticism" of the credit course has vastly improved her work. "I would someday like to write a she adds, "but I'm not up to it just now." Barb Vidlin is taking both credit and non credit writing courses at the U of L. The latter she says, she enjoys "just for Ms Vidlin is working toward her BA degree in psy- chology and has her diploma in psychiatric nursing. "I can stand back objectively and look at my problems, but I'm not she says of her writing ability and perception. "I can go right to the heart of the matter, but I'm not able to hang around the edges and set the scene very well "Writing might help a person work out problems and she adds. "But I'd never work out my probems that way "I suppose there are reasons of ego says Greg Hales, a Lethbridge teacher who is studying creative writing at the U of L for credit. "People have told me I had some potential as a writer, and I hope to develop that." He says he hopes to gam "discipline" from the writing course, as well as external "input" from other students and his professor. "I know what I mean when I put it says Mr. Hales, "but I have difficulty abstracting myself, to find if what I've written is believable. Fiction is a whole new approach for me, and it takes hard work." Drop-out rate higher among poor families Christmas Bureau needed The need for a Christmas Bureau through which Yuletide donations for needy families can be channeled has been pointed out by Bob Rechner, administrator of the Citizen's Appeal and Advisory Committee. At present the sole reponsibility for fur- nishing Christmas hampers and aiding the needy falls on the Salvation Army. Such a bureau would amalgamate all local ef- forts, with individuals involved in Christmas sharing.' Dave 17, student assistant at Southminster United Church has been named to the national committee of Involve- ment in Church Strategy in Society. He is an Inter-Varsity representative to international students on the U of L campus, and will attend the IVCF-sponsored International Christmas at Banff, designed to acquaint foreign students with a 'true Cana- dian Christmas' The Norbridge Lions Club, the smallest of the three Lions clubs in the city, will assist with renovations of the Dorothy Gooder School. Barrel Lewko, president, reports members sponsor the 18th Lethbridge Cub Pack which meets at St. Peter's and Paul's School and have raised money for the down payment for dormitories at Coaldale's Sunrise ranch. Raffle proceeds from a tulip-patterned quilt made by Anne Murdock have equipped the Auxiliary hospital with two ad- ditional bed tables as well as swelling the funds for Multiple Sclerosis research. Ms Murdock, president of the local Multi- ple Sclerosis Society reports the disease is on the increase and seems to be confined to cooler countries. Captain Vera Butcher of the Salvation Army has been teaching the St. John's Ambulance Corps course to the 27 Guides meeting Wednesday nights at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church. When city firemen pledged to help the cause of muscular dystrophy they really meant it! One worker from No. 2 fireball is posing as Santa in a downtown department store, with all his earnings going to the fund. Letters requesting contributions have been mailed out locally (this effort earned last year) and muscular dystrophy banks have been placed in local business outlets. Gloria Hyde is a whiz. She heads the YWCA's New-To-You Shop at 415 2nd Ave is a member of the YWCA board, chairs the ways and means committee of the TAU chapter of Beta Sigma Phi and still finds time to serve as secretary of the Canada Winter Games committee. She's assisted in the New- To-You Shop by Fran Wiggins, secretary and Ila Welsh, treasurer, plus 80 volunteers, assisting on a half-day-per-month basis. Persons wishing to donate clothing and requiring pick-up service may phone 327-2284 or 328-5636. t Richard Gordon, turned chairman of the Lethbridge Scouter's Club will oversee 80 Cub leaders in addition to Scouters, Beaver and Venturer leaders. The city has 24 Cub packs, six Beaver colonies, 15 Scout troops and eight Venturer groups with a total membership last year of an increase of 150 over the previous year The Beaver program, introduced three years ago on a trial basis was officially approved by the national Boy Scout organization in November Among the 80 Cub leaders are husband-and-wife-team Helen and Marcel St. Onge, leaders of the 21st Beaver colony which just amalgamated with the 25th Cub Pack Helen, an ex- Brownie leader, also helps with the 8th Lethbridge Brownie pack Wilson Junior High School students Barbara Toth, Leslie Filkowski, Penny Fredrick, Kim Herbert, ana Dan Manntai assist Parkland Nursing Home guests with bowling and bingo. These community-minded Grade 9 students are part of a group who also assist at the Southland Nursing Home and the Dorothy Gooder school. EDMONTON (CP) Educational problems of children of low income families should be combated in the early grades, the Ed- monton social planning coun- cil said in a task force report released recently. Early action would help reduce drop out rate that now is twice as high as that among children of middle and higher income families. JACKPOT BINGO This Thursday Evening, December 5th Sponsored by Ladies' Aid of St. Peter and St Church STARTS P.M. HALL Corner 12lh Street B and 7th Avenue North Jackpot at and won every Thursday 2nd Jackpot in 51 Numbers 5th, 7 numbers Jackpot of Gold 2Se Per Card c 3 for Also Free Cards, Free Games And A Door Prize PERSONS UNDER 16 YEARS NOT ALLOWED. JOSEPH HAIR STYLES 922-5th Ave. N. 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