Typical college students have a difficult time juggling school and work, but between late night study sessions and overloads of coffee, they manage to get through the day.
William Rowley, a musicology Ph.D. student at USC, has accomplished what many may see as nearly impossible.
Rowley has learned to juggle both a professional career as a philosophy professor at Cal State Fullerton and Chapman College, as well as being a student at USC.
“I get up, get the kids ready and take them to school, teach a class at CSUF, drive over to USC and then teach an evening class at Chapman,” said Rowley.
Between writing his own papers, jogging from class to class, driving the kids to school, taking courses at USC and much more, Rowley said the most difficult challenge he faces is time management.
Despite the management between work, school and family being “grueling” and his lack of sleep, Rowley said he has never lost motivation or enthusiasm.
He has always kept a positive attitude by recognizing he is working hard and will soon reap the benefits once he finishes schooling at USC.
For the past 12 years, Rowley has taught a variety of philosophy courses at both CSUF and Chapman College.
At one point, Rowley was teaching eight philosophy courses at five different colleges, which is the most classes he’s taught simultaneously.
Rowley said he was able to teach so many classes because at the time he did not have as many family responsibilities.
“It was easy, no kids,” Rowley said.
Rowley’s enjoyment of philosophy isn’t anything new.
“I have always found philosophy interesting, I wanted to have a career in which I would have flexible hours and could still have time to raise a family,” Rowley said.
Rowley wanted a profession in which he could make a difference in individuals’ lives while doing what he loved. That was when he decided to take up teaching.
Although he said he is very dedicated to teaching philosophy, Rowley’s number one passion has always been music.
He decided to focus on this passion and said he hopes to achieve his lifelong dream of becoming a USC musicology graduate.
Rowley is also a professional musician who loves to sing and play classical music at local events.
“Whenever I have the chance, I like to go down to local events to sing and play music,” Rowley said.
When the opportunity comes around, he said he makes sure to enjoy every second of it.
Rowley also enjoys playing cards, poker specifically, or goes out for a game of golf.
“I’m a fanatic, pre-avid golfer,” Rowley said. “It’s one of my favorite past-times.”
Although his free time is limited, Rowley said he enjoys his job.
The most enjoyable part of his job, he said, is seeing students get excited about philosophy.
Rowley said he encourages his students to major in something they love to do, something which they will wake up every morning and be happy to go to work, just like him.
“Hobbies become jobs,” Rowley said. “I want students to choose a major which they love and not because of the money or the easiness of finding a job.”
Rowley said the biggest satisfaction he gets out of teaching is being able to help students find out what their true passion is.
Many of his students admire Rowley’s passion for philosophy.
“His class was awesome, I really enjoyed it. Professor Rowley is a really funny guy,” said Stephanie Rojas, a former student of Rowley’s.
His colleagues also recognize how dedicated Rowley is to his students.
“He is a terrific colleague. He is enthusiastic and he cares about his students,” said Heather Battaly, a philosophy department chair.