Silver Chips Online

Rogers, Leslie

By Mary Donahue, Online Managing Features Editor
December 21, 2005

Name: Leslie Rogers
Department: Magnet
Education: Graduate degree in Science Education from East Carolina University in 1988
Jobs: taught in Raleigh, North Carolina, coal driller in Appalachia, coal driller in Australia (1982-83), taught at Magruder High School
Hobbies: brewing own beer, caring for and riding motorcycle, mountain biking
Year started at Blair: 1999


One of the fascinating things about Leslie Rogers is that he brews his own beer. And that he rides a motorcycle. And that he worked in Australia. And that he didn't start college until he was 26. Get the picture? Rogers is an all-around fascinating guy.

Rogers, who now teaches earth sciences at Blair, started brewing beer 15 years ago while living in Raleigh, North Carolina. He likes the creativity that can be applied to making beer. "It's like cooking spaghetti," Rogers said. "Everyone has their own special sauce. Every home-brewer—every brewer—has their own special recipe."

Rogers learned a lot about zymurgy, the process of making beer, from a "mom and pop" brewing store that he used to work at down in North Carolina. After moving up to Maryland so that his wife could finish school, Rogers did not brew as often as he did in North Carolina. "When we came up here I didn't brew as much," he said, "but probably because I didn't have access to the ingredients that were available in North Carolina."
Rogers not only brews his own beer, but also renovates his own house. "It's a labor of love," Rogers said of the five-year project with his wife that resulted in a new edition and porch. "We're not finished yet. We still have to work on the bathroom."

Rogers' eclectic talents were acquired early in life through an assortment of occupations. Before he went to college at the age of 26, Rogers worked as a coal miner in the Appalachia. After that, Rogers decided that he wanted to do something new. "We'd drill a hole here and then a month later have to drill a hole in the exact same spot," he said. "It just got too boring. So I asked myself how far away could I get from North Carolina and still speak English? The answer was Australia!"

Rogers only spent a year in Australia working as a diamond core driller, but he bought a permanent residence. "The way our schedule worked we would work for three weeks, get a week off, so it made the most sense to get a permanent residence," said Rogers. With his paycheck, Rogers bought his first motorcycle, a 1972 Yamaha.

Rogers now drives a 1977 Harley Davidson motorcycle that he inherited from his late father-in-law. "There's this 'mom and pop' store in Columbia that I go to where I learn how to maintenance my bike and take care of it," Rogers said. He also goes to a "supervised maintenance" program in Columbia where the owner of the garage lets Rogers use his tools while teaching him how to take care of his bike. "It's really nice and very helpful," he said.

It is because of his different experiences around the world that Rogers went into teaching. "When I was working as an on-the-job trainer the guys I were training told me I taught them well, so that inspired me to go to college and become a teacher," Rogers said.

Above all things, Rogers likes to teach others what he knows. "I've talked to you about beer because I know about beer. I like sharing what I know," he said. "That's what it's all about. Do what you like and I like teaching. If I didn't like teaching, I wouldn't be here."

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/6047