Emily Rodgers is a Pittsburgh-based adjunct English professor at AI, Duquesne University, and the Community College of Allegheny County. Outside of her role as an instructor, Rodgers is a musician who is both singer and songwriter in Emily Rodgers Band. She has been praised by NPR All Songs Considered, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Burgh Sounds, Pittsburgh City-Paper, and Tribune-Review. During our interview, Rodgers talks about balancing life as an instructor and a musician, a juggling act that is no easy task for the faint-hearted. To find out more, visit http://www.emilyrodgers.com.
Emily, what originally led you to pursue and teach English?
It was a bit haphazard. I was unhappy in my work and applied to Carnegie Mellon’s English program on a whim not thinking I’d get in. I did, with a small fellowship, so I figured I’d better go! While I was there, I worked as a teaching assistant and really liked it. I liked working with students on their writing, but also meeting them and being part of their first year experience. The class was for international students who were in their first semester. After graduation, I applied to teach at a number of schools and was hired as an adjunct at both Robert Morris University and Community College of Allegheny. I loved getting to know the students and our discussions in class and I was hooked. I’m not longer at RMU, but am still at CCAC, as well as Duquesne University and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.
As an English teacher, what is the most difficult obstacle you face?