Writing at the Oregon Extension
We take writing seriously at the OE, and we take time to enjoy the writing process. Skilled writing students find ample opportunity to work on their craft and to receive feedback, while those who are intimidated by writing often find themselves growing more confident in their written work because of the practice and the individual attention they receive.
Every Friday of core week, students bring a one-page “memo” or “one-idea paper” to group discussion to share aloud with their peers and their faculty group leader. The personal memo is many students’ favorite aspect of the OE program of study. This ungraded one-pager is an attempt at relevance to the week’s issues, an attempt at being present to what’s going on inside and out. The memo provides a space to address anything from core reading and lectures to cabin life to moments of epiphany experienced on a walk to the ravine. Meanwhile, the “one-idea paper” gives students an opportunity to practice focused academic writing and engagement with the books they have been reading.
The most intensive writing at the OE happens during the project period, and the faculty advisors accompany students at each stage of the process. We organize academic writing workshops for those who need a little help; we look at several drafts of the paper; we offer editorial suggestions and then the time and space to make the best drafts even better. Many students say that this focus on one paper at a time yields up writing that they’re proud of.
Creative writers often elect to work on a creative piece-memoir or short fiction, spiritual autobiography or travel essay-for one of their projects during the semester. And for writers who just can’t get enough, we often organize a weekly writing group as another space for sharing and receiving feedback.