Teaching Tuesday: Michael Martone’s Hypoxic Workshop


cg2The Opposite of the Hypoxic Workshop

I’ve always been a firm believer in the power of critiques. Lately however, I’ve started calling them “Critique Essays.”

“Don’t treat these like off-the-cuff responses,” I tell my undergraduates. “You’re writing a paper about a work of fiction–only it’s still in progress.”

As much as I hate the word “paper,” it’s a word that students understand. It means they have to analyze. They have to say what they mean as clearly as possible, back up their points, refer directly to the text, etc.

I give them a rubric, a template that describes in detail how critiques should look, what I want them to include. Here is my assignment sheet for writing critiques. Day, Critique Essay Directions

And then I grade them. I give out a lot more C’s and D’s on these than on any other assignment in the course. Continue reading

What I’ve Learned from Michael Martone


Screenshot 2013-10-27 15.43.25For the next few weeks, I’m going to devote my “Teaching Tuesday” posts to some of my teachers (in and out of the classroom) and what I learned from them.

Lesson 1: Advocate For Your Homestate

Simply put, art is beholden to the kiln in which the artist was fired.

–August Wilson

On Saturday night, I went to the Indiana Author’s Award, which is also a fundraiser and swanky dinner. The event is intended to raise awareness of Indiana authors, encourage reading throughout the state, and raise the profile of the Library Foundation and its many good programs.

Continue reading