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  • Pros: 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.
  • Cons: 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.

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