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[youtube][/youtube]“You don’t learn anything about writing [by] just talking about writing,” says Marianne Gingher, the Bowman and Gordon Gray Term Professor of Creative Writing.

That is why Gingher says she prefers a more interactive classroom experience in which she and her students work together, rather than a traditional lecture format.

This is immediately apparent when walking into her classroom, where she sits at a table surrounded by students as they discuss making improvements to their writing.

She says the more interactive the class, the better. It’s her way of knowing what the students are learning and where she needs to fill in the blanks.

Gingher also teaches a course called “Gram-o-rama,” which has become a very popular course on campus. By the end of the semester, students have written skits to create an entire show about grammar, which they perform in Wilson Library before an audience of about 300 people.

Gingher is also the author of several books, including Adventures in Pen Land: One Writer’s Journey from Inklings to Ink, Bobby Rex’s Greatest Hit, How to Have a Happy Childhood and A Girl’s Life: Horses, Boys, Weddings, and Luck.

She says that there is “a kind of wonderful infusion of both giving and getting back” when a professor is able to bring her creative work into the classroom.

She calls teaching a “collaborative art form.”

Professors with Passion is a video series spotlighting outstanding teachers and scholars in the College of Arts and Sciences. If you know a professor who deserves to be in the spotlight, contact Dee Reid, director of communications, at

 [ Text and video by Beth Lawrence ’12 ]


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