Michael Rodgers, Ph.D., is Professor of Chemistry at Southeast
Missouri State University. He holds the B.S. in Chemistry from the
University of Virginia (1978), the B.A. in English from Iowa State
University (1983), and the Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Iowa
State (1984). As a faculty member in the Chemistry Department, he has
worked to integrate computer hardware and software into the
Department’s instructional program since 1985. In 1995, Dr. Rodgers
was named a Technology Associate of the University’s Center for
Scholarship in Teaching and Learning; in that capacity, he has
contributed significantly to the planning and teaching of the Center’s
“Technology Serving Learning” Institutes each year since they began in
1997. Dr. Rodgers has taught online introductory Chemistry courses at
Southeast Missouri State University since Fall 2000. He also taught
the course, "Teaching Advanced Placement (AP) Chemistry" for UCLA
In August, 2007, Dr. Rodgers was named Director of AP Programs at
Southeast Missouri State University. He will be responsible for AP
Teacher Development throughout Missouri.
See Rodgers' Current Weekly Schedule
I am a beach person: my favorite place
is the Outer Banks of North Carolina. In fact, I have recently been
blessed to have the opportunity to buy a vacation home in
Emerald Isle, NC. I like non-motorized outdoor activities: hiking,
canoeing, fishing, camping, but my work schedule keeps me from doing
as much of those activities as I'd like. I will read just about
anything that is not utter trash, and I enjoy movies, especially
classic films. Here is my list of favorite books and movies:
J.R.R. Tolkein's Lord of the Rings
trilogy. An amazing mix of adventure, conflict, journey, and magic
that explores the meaning of, and the battle between, good and evil.
The Hunt for Red October, by Tom
Clancy. This is the ultimate spy adventure! When I read this, I could
not put it down. I know that's a cliche, but it is true, and when I
finished the book, I actually walked around in a daze, utterly
astonished by the story I had just read.
Paradise Lost, by John Milton.
The portrayal of Satan in the first three books of this epic poem is
so compelling that one almost begins to root for his success. I don't
know of a more fascinating character in all of literature.
Jeff and Michael Shaara's Civil War books:
Gods and Generals, The Killer Angels, and The Last
Full Measure. If you have ever cried because you knew that you
were in the presence of greatness, you will understand my response to
The Little House on the Prairie
series, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Who can resist the basic goodness of
the girl who grew up in poverty on the American frontier. Can a person
really endure such hardship and still find great joy in life?
The Screwtape Letters, by C.S.
Lewis. Well, anything by C.S. Lewis makes my list, but this one is the
most entertaining. And much like Satan in Paradise Lost,
Screwtape appears powerful, clever, and strangely appealing at the
start, but ends up looking, empty, foolish, and pathetic.
Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt
Vonnegut. OK, I know the book is trashy, but Billy Pilgrim represents
all of us who don't quite understand how we "fit" in this world.
Casablanca. There is no better
movie than this. In the midst of war and turmoil, two people find each
other, lose each other, and then find each other again. And even
though it is not a happy ending for Rick and Ilsa, we can be happy
that the right ending unfolded. Add to this the sparkling
dialogue, the wit and humor, and the colorful supporting characters,
and you have a movie for the ages.
The Magnificent Seven. Actually an
Americanized proxy for the great Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai,
I love the way the movie explores the Seven's motivations for
protecting the weak villagers.
Spartacus. What do you do when
you have nothing to live for, but everything to die for? A
superb story about the meaning of freedom.
Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes. Just
because you defeated the Incas, do you think you can subdue the Amazon
River? Aguirre thought so. This film has the most beautiful
on-location shots of any film I know!
The Godfather. As a law-abiding
American, my only interest in the Mafia should be how to keep them
away from me, yet this movie draws me into the Corleone family
Sunset Boulevard. "Hey You're Norma
Desmond, You used to be BIG!"... To which Norma responds... "I AM BIG.
Its the pictures that got small."
Rocky. I get to root for the
underdog! But there's more: Rocky must come to grips with who he is,
and when he finally decides that his goal is to go the distance with
the mighty Apollo Creed, he scores his biggest victory.
Dr. Zhivago. I like epic love
stories, and this one is excellent in every way.
I watch too much television, but I pay
attention to much less than I watch. These shows get my full
attention, however: 24, Dallas, Survivor, WKRP in Cincinnati,
Magnum PI, The Rockford Files, and the original CSI series. More
so than books and movies, I have found that TV shows rapidly gain and
lose my interest. Consequently, many series that I loved in the past
are now off the list. For example, The Avengers, All in the Family,
Star Trek, and The Simpsons are much less
entertaining than they once were.