[DR]: Monday

by Maya (’15)

We spent Creative Writing today presenting rough drafts of scripts we had written in small groups for the show. This took, surprisingly, the entire period, but we gave each other helpful feedback and will continue to develop our scripts and ideas. We presented in the order that the “interludes” will appear in the show. This was helpful because it gave us a better idea (or, an idea in the first place) of the cohesiveness of our scripts, and showed us how we can create more of a through-line. Also, we got necessary feedback on the content of our scripts from Tony and the rest of the class.

Another thing we did was start to cast the main characters in the “interludes,” which, without giving anything away, turned out to be exciting and efficient!

[DR]: Friday

by Lizzie (’14)

As this blog post is delayed and I have had the weekend (which seems like ages) to think (or rather not think) about class, much of my memory of Friday CW has been muddled by the utter blur of Saturday and Sunday. However, here are the details of class that have prevailed—It was a beautiful day, disproving Jenna Maroney’s (of 30 Rock) snarky remark on the Bay Area, “Have fun always carrying a light sweater,” for no outerwear was required. Now this point may seem irrelevant to CW but the presence of the sun completely alters the CW environment—everyone seems to have a sunnier disposition (pun intended). With that in mind, our class discussion on our soon-to-come show was light-hearted and (although correlation is not causation) thus more productive. Yet this was only the first half of class. For the second half, we went, as a class, to the Ruth Asawa memorial held in the Dan Kryston Memorial theater.

It was a well-staged production that reflected and respected Ruth Asawa’s artistic vision. The memorial began with a Taiko performance and ended with a ballad sung by the entire vocal department. Not only did it honor the life of Ruth Asawa but it also boosted the morale of us SOTA students, combining our art forms in a moving and well-executed way.

[DR]: Thursday

by Justus (’15)

After excessive quantities of democracy it seems a sort of constitutional monarchy has been established in Creative Writing: we have our no-longer-negotiable show idea, the still-currently-unnamed show involving aliens and cruise ships (possibly Starboard or Alienation Generation, among other suggestions). We are also not allowed to argue about what the skit– er… interludes’ themes will be anymore, by royal decree of our Monarchs Tony, Rachel, and Carol. Finally.

So today it was time to create our skits interludes, and we split into groups to begin the plot outlining process. I myself was in the group dealing with the opening of the show, in which we attempted to introduce the characters of our alien protagonists, while still making them seem like aliens (“what they communicated via interpretive dance?” and “is crash-landing a UFO a totally normal thing in alien culture?” were just two of the important decisions our group needed to make). The other groups held meetings on how best to discuss the themes of [Redacted][No spoilers] through our unconventional plot thread.

The democracy in Creative Writing has been overthrown. Let the group writing begin.

[DR]: Democracy

by Avi (’15)

Democracy.  It isn’t what you participate in on the first Tuesday in November. Nor is it a system of government through elected officials (thank you Google).  It means to raise your hand and vote!

Today in Creative Writing we closed our eyes, covered our heads, and raised our hands high to vote for the theme of the show we liked the best.

And after the results were in, and ALL tallies were counted, we found our answer, our result, our president: The Yet to be Titled Show Involving Aliens and Cruise Ships!

It took some discussion, it took some frustration, it took some back-tracking, but like a green alien, it finally came to us… in a UFO containing Jules’ brain (what a wonderful genius he is, what a shame he isn’t taking Calculus.)

After voting on whether or not we should choose our script-writing groups, we divided ourselves and began the arduous process of writing our scripts— excuse me, interludes (as skits are FAR too elementary, get with the program.)

For those of you non-Creative Writers reading the blog, you should be— need to be— worried, confused and most importantly, excited. Preferably feel all of these emotions at the same time.  Just know that the aliens of planted CDub are coming to a stage near you… if you live in San Francisco.  Sorry Grandma and Grandpa, you will need to fly out, no C-Dub wants to perform in fifteen feet of snow in suburban Minnesota.

[DR]: In Process

by Emma E. (’17)

One of the most exciting parts of planning anything is watching it begin to come to life. During Creative Writing today, we began discussing details of what we want our fall show to look like. Although we are still in preliminary (and top secret) planning stages, the show already feels real and immediate. To help us begin working on the show itself, we had two artists, Tony and Rachel, come in. One of the nice things about enlisting outside help is you get the benefit of their ideas and opinions. Having Tony and Rachel in helped us make our plans more detailed and organized. It’s crazy how much can happen in a class period; at the beginning of the day, we hadn’t even decided on a theme and now our show is already taking shape! One of my favorite parts of the day was when we each said one thing we could bring to the show that was specific to us; the list included knife throwing and onstage cooking, so it’ll definitely be exciting. Today was both productive and enjoyable and I can’t wait to keep planning our show and seeing the new directions it takes!

[DR]: Onset of Fall

by Jules (’14)

It’s no secret these days that it’s rapidly turning into autumn. It rained this saturday, I can’t wear just a tank top and a sportscoat at night anymore, and, perhaps most importantly, the Fall CW show is just around the corner. Today in Creative Writing we spent most of the period listening to theme ideas from Tony and Rachel and Carol (the person who gave birth to me, for anyone who didn’t know), our artistic directors. They took us through the various stages of David Bowie’s work as an example of an artist who has both gone through a very complete journey, and as an artist who works within in many different personas and genres. We then got to propose our own ideas for the show, which, like many matters of national security, will remain secret until it comes out of our proverbial oven, so to speak (to give a little food analogy retort to Midori who assumes I just never read the blog and so seeks to slander me with being an unpatriotic CW student).

[DR]: de Young

by Midori (’14)

On Friday, we visited the de Young museum, the cherry to top off the ice cream sundae of Maia’s Craft & Critique unit (this is for you, Jules, and all of your food analogies. Except, of course, Jules doesn’t actually read the blog, so I should actually slander his name, the jerk). We received a cute little fold-up worksheet and had free reign over where to go, the caveat being that we should do this quietly, preferably alone, as to enjoy the full museum experience.

I spent most of my time in the Inuit art exhibit, with all of the walrus tusk-carvings of intricate little creatures. I was particularly caught by the smoothness of it all, obviously pieced together yes, but fitted so proportionally that even the seams seemed natural. It’s awe-inspiring to consider it was all done by hand, the stone, ivory, and bone pieces as small decorations around the house, just for fun.

There was a room in particular that caught my eye, for it was really… weird. The de Young channels the sparse, elegant galleries very well, until one stumbles upon this room, with its brilliant array of glass and colors and stuff, all kind of crammed together, so there’s something strange everywhere you turn.

colors everywhere

colors everywhere

stuff everywhere

stuff everywhere

on the ceiling, too

on the ceiling, too

Well anyways, it was super fun (italics absolutely warranted). I work right across the street at the Academy of Sciences, and I rarely go to the de Young. It’s a completely different museum experience than the hustle and bustle and screaming children of the Academy, and I must say, it’s nice to just settle down and enjoy art.


[DR]: Lit Critiques

by Molly (’15)

we practiced critiquing on this painting and its ekphratic poem

we practiced critiquing on this painting and its ekphratic poem

Once a marking period, freshmen, sophomores, and juniors are required to write a review on a piece of published writing, focusing mostly on the craft. I doubt anybody really looks forward to writing these lit critiques, but by now it’s a bit of a rite of passage within creative writing, and this practice improves our essay-skills drastically. Recently, Maia Ipp has redesigned the way lit critiques (formerly lit reviews) are to be written; instead of focusing on the work inside an issue of a literary magazine, we can now choose any work of creative writing, and have the chance to study it in-depth and write a longer, more comprehensive essay.

Today in Creative Writing, Maia, after noting the despairing looks on our faces after being confronted with this new assignment, had us workshop our first lit critique drafts with our writing buddies. She even kindly extended the due-date toMonday so that we can be sure to have greatly improved our essays with the help of peer-editing. Thank you, Maia!

[DR]: The Fall Show Legacy

by Emma B. (’17)

Today in CW we watched Bohemian Rhapsody and The Nature of Offense, fall shows of past years, and then talked a little about our own show, which is coming up soon now. As I watched The Nature of Offense, I couldnʼt help but notice how young everyone looked only a year ago! As a freshman, there were many unfamiliar faces in Bohemian Rhapsody and a few in The Nature of Offense. It was funny to watch the upperclassmen shout out when they saw one of their now-graduated friends, although I donʼt personally know them. I think weʼre all very excited to plan our show, especially the seniors.

[DR]: Brainstorming, Submissions, and Whacking Each Other With Literary Magazines

by Olivia A. (’14)

photo-1Our as yet untitled Fall Show is approaching fast—it’s on October 11th! Today in Creative Writing we did some brainstorming and outlining of potential themes for the show. I can’t speak for other groups, but mine had a very productive discussion out in the sunshine about communism and flour children.

This week is rather unstructured as it was initially set aside for Field Day practice—that is, before the field became a war zone. The WWI-esque trenches have been eliminated recently and it currently looks like a nice place to build grass seed castles or reenact the rest of 20th century military history.

After our group brainstorming sessions, three whole tables were laden with free books that were donated to CW! There was a wide range of literature, from The Dharma Bums to an assortment of newspapers from 1908 (one of which contained an intriguing article about a woman with an award-winning mustache). A civilized kind of feeding frenzy ensued, and everyone I observed seemed to come away from the experience with large, nearly unmanageable stacks of wonderful, wonderful books.

Giorgia (’14) and Frances (’14) then led a discussion about the CW submission requirement, specifically concerning the bios required by many literary magazines. The class had varying opinions as to what should be included in a bio and whether one should use one’s full name or discuss one’s cats. After a democratic discussion—democracy has become the norm in CW lately, introducing a wonderfully effectual aspect of civility to our discussions—we decided to stop talking about literary journals and instead make each other crawl around on the carpet whacking each other with them (it’s a community-building game, guys—for the community).