Gave good feedback.
Only required reading on module was his own book. He insisted everyone by a copy and was hostile to those that didn't. Absurd behaviour. Otherwise: Technologically inept. Rambles. Having a lecture with him is a bit like having a drunk toad talk at you for 4 hours.
Any 1 star rating on this site must come across as some petty revenge for a poor mark. This is not the case. I received a First upon my completion of this course, but I can say with utmost honesty that Carl had nothing to do with this. He was a rude, dismissive, lazy bore for the entirety of my study, and I can think of nothing good to say of him.
Carl Tighe was a dismissive, lazy bore for the entire duration of my study. He relied on students' awkwardness and naiveté to avoid tackling his shortcomings, and addressed any concerns with self-righteous smirking. It boggles the mind that he is a teacher of any sort, let alone a professor. Admittedly, the Creative Writing course as a whole is perhaps a little underdeveloped in terms of teachable content, and every class is pretty much the same in all but name. Most lecturers made this bearable, however, in their offers of friendly ideas and feedback on each student's independent work. Carl, on the other hand, seemed desperate to maintain a false air of intellectual formality, and his 'lessons' – from first through to third year – would thus revolve around a selection of four dire activities: - Reciting Wikipedia-grade factual content from a sheet. – Addressing the 'subject style sheet' – a basic document on font choice, margin spacing, etc, which was hosted on his personal site, rather than the university's own. Other CW lecturers did not adhere to (or were completely unaware of) this sheet, despite its apparent deity-like irrefutability. – The laughable, nursery-level activity of 'silent reading', bereft of any creative prompt. – Totally unmonitored 'independent study' in the library, i.e. no lesson at all. One-on-one seminars are perhaps the most useful activity in Creative Writing classes, but Carl addressed them as more of a resentful necessity than an opportunity to engage with his students. After a semester of dull, vapid anti-teaching, he would put aside 20 minutes of the final lesson to call up each student and ask the same basic question: 'any questions?'. He seemed genuinely bemused when I attempted to use this opportunity to bring up my laptop and discuss the layout of poetry, saying only 'yep' with a contemptuous chuckle. Attempting to talk to me like a human being? Back to your seat. With regard to feedback, I had the displeasure of having Carl mark my very first piece of nervously composed university coursework. I received a single question mark on one page, and the word 'pass' scrawled across another. This standard improved over the next three years, when Carl would proffer the occasional tick. This absentmindedness apparently made me one of the lucky ones, in that I never had any snide or derogatory marks written on my work. The largest piece of feedback that I ever saw from Carl was a bizarre paragraph that sarcastically scorned a student for using a plastic folder. "Oh look, I'm running out of time to mark, and the sun is glaring off of the page. My fingers are also slipping and causing me to drop the folder. Oh well." I reached out to Carl for intranet support once, sending an email to ask if my coursework topic was appropriate. He replied with a single sentence four weeks later, to tell me that it wasn't. This email came shortly after a class-wide schedule was sent out, leading me to believe that he had not bothered to check his email up until this point. Luckily, I had also contacted another lecturer who carefully deconstructed my topic, telling me that it was difficult, but not impossible. Carl Tighe is approachable only in the sense that one is faced with the overwhelming desire to throw him from the top floor. During his lessons, I found myself doodling pictures of my body hanging from a noose – his disembodied, turtle-like form hovering overhead, repeating the mantra of 'style sheet, style sheet, style sheet' over and over.
Consistently high quality input in lectures, great support materials, his own useful publications, reading lists, handbooks etc. always punctual for class and available for tutorials. A dry sense of humor.
I think his lectures and teaching materials are not appreciated by most students who really don’t want to do much, don’t read, expect him to do everything for them and still expect to pass. Good teaching wasted. Not his fault though.
Different from a lot of lecturers. Knows what he wants. Patient, but demanding. A serious academic.
Nothing really. He tells you what he wants, right at the start, spells it out in the module handbook, gives examples and ideas in class and then expects you to get on with it.
He always encourages questions. If you want to learn he is helpful and generous. Classes are well prepared and up to date, substantial reading lists and module handbooks. His lectures and workshops are great and they make an impression. ‘Colour in language’ from the first year, ‘creative research’ in the second year, and all his third year stuff. Charlie Hebdo, Little Black Sambo, Holocaust denial, Islamic fundamentalism, the lyrics of Beany Man. These things stay with you.
Sadly a lot of students are just not interested and don’t want to work. Some (a lot) are spoiled brats. I didn’t think uni would be like this. Prof Tighe is patient, but I think he is wasted with them. He is one of the few good things here.
Great feedback. Good tutorials. Gave me good advice about dyslexia. He is the only lecture who helped me understand post modernism! Lots of good workshops and great materials on the intranet.
Nothing. Always kind, helpful and cheerful.
I enjoyed all his lectures, but I think my favourite were the ones on Ian Fleming, Little Black Sambo, Linton Kwesi Johnson and Bernard Manning – very unexpected topics and just fantastic! But my favourite module with him was the second year Research Module, which opened up a whole new world and approach to fiction for me. All his Module Handbooks, Workbooks and Directed Study materials were just brilliant, so useful. His reading lists are all very full and directly relevant to each module, and there was always more suggested reading in the Workbooks, and if I wanted more than that he could always suggest other titles from the top of his head. I never needed a tutorial with him because I always spoke with him in class, but I knew from the sign on his door that he was available at regular times each week if I needed to see him. I always found him to be courteous and helpful. He was the one who organised an ambulance when my friend fell on the stairs, and then stayed with her untill it arrived. And when one of the boys started to strip off in class he was the one who realised it was not a stunt but a mental health issue and he dealt with it very quickly and quietly.
Nothing. It is a bit daunting to think you can ask him a question on virtually anything to do with writing, politics, history and find he has read several books on the subject, but that is not a criticism, it is why he is a professor I suppose.
A brilliant teacher, very kind and generous, always ready to answer questions, great sense of humour, deadly really well with the non-heads, very patient. Gave me great advice for my independent study.
Nothing at all.
As part of a comparison study of Creative Writing in UK and USA universities I approached Prof Tighe about shadowing him. He very kindly agreed. I attended classes with him for six weeks spread over the autumn and spring semesters. Prof Tighe, in addition to teaching six modules, ran the third year Independent Study module and did drop-by tutorials every week. I sat in on classes in all three undergraduate years and right off I found Prof Tighe to be open, generous and flexible: he put no constraints upon me, gave me access to handbooks, handouts and follow-up materials: he was available for discussion as and when. For three of the modules there was a substantial anthology of original articles and exercises written by Prof Tighe and put up on the university intra-net. His handbooks were superior to anything I had seen before. They had an attractive design and contained detailed reading lists, a description of the coursework, a learning schedule, a grade scheme and advice on how to do well. When I asked him why he provided something so substantial he said it helped to reduce opportunities for failure, which I held to be enlightened. Each session was an epic four hours long so I had ample time to observe. His classroom style was genial and relaxed, he was never late and never came unprepared, he made use of a variety of teaching methods and used all the technology available:- lectures, discussions, workshops, tutorials, slide shows, music, an extract from the film ‘Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid’, classroom handouts, board work. All very thoro. There was a great variety of topics with talks on aspects of writing, analysis of poetry, language choice, literary technique, politics of writing, ethical problems, plus discussion of student writing. A very entertaining class on Borges stays in my memory. I also attended a tailor-made set of lectures on research for writers. I wish teaching and support materials of such quality had been available to me when I was an undergraduate.
While I was mighty impressed, I have to say only a handful of students showed any real willingness to engage. Prof Tighe regularly set time aside for tutorials but only a couple students attended. Most of his efforts at discussion met with silence because the students had not read the work assigned as preparation. If he asked students a direct question if they were not silent they were often surly, even rude in response. While this was nascent with the first year students it was blatant with the second years and aggressive with third years. When I talked with students they found my enthusiasm for the lecturer and the subject odd. About half clearly intended to get by just on what was said and done in class, the absolute minimum. Several left their handouts behind when class finished. Most of the students were unaware their lecturer was a distinguished writer - none I spoke to had read anything he had published. One student said ‘I’ve looked at the booklist and it’s just a list of books’. Another student complained ‘He made me read a book for my book report.’ Two students boasted they planned to make a complaint about him and figured a grade hike on the back of that. They seemed to think this was legitimate. Clearly there is something very wrong in here. Why did these people choose to take a subject if they have no interest in it? How did such people get into university? What do they think they are paying for? How has such an unpleasant situation arisen, and how (if at all) does the university protect lecturers from people like this? I raised these issues with Prof Tighe but he was as they say ‘sanguine’. The usual class-size in Creative Writing is 15 students, but several classes topped 40+, so I raised this with him. He said this was a long standing issue for teaching staff who have no control over class-size. He saw no willingness on the part of management to take this issue seriously any time soon as reducing class-size would necessitate an investment in staff. Finally I have to say I was surprised to find a professor teaching undergraduates – only undergraduates. At most universities these classes would be handed to a junior lecturer while the professor dealt with postgraduate supervision, research and publication. But Derby does not have MA or PhD candidates in Creative Writing. Prof Tighe is incredibly patient, even with the rude students, but I wonder just wonder how much longer he will continue to labor in this unappreciative and rather hostile environment. Frankly he is wasted here.
Only the coolest lecture on the planet.great lecture on Life Writing, I remember.
Well his taste in sweaters is a bit dodgy.