Meet Professor Phillip E. Mitchell, International Songwriter & Online Professor

Phillip Mitchell taught as an assistant professor of English at Gainesville State College for four years. In fall 2012, he left to pursue a doctoral degree in creative writing at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, but continues to teach remotely as an adjunct for UNG.

He has also had seven songs place in the semi-finals and one song place in the finals at this year's UK Songwriting Competition, an international contest that gives winners the opportunity to work with top names in London's music business.

The most challenging part of being an eCore/eMajor instructor is ...….?
Keeping up with the grading. That’s been the biggest challenge of my career.

Describe the most interesting online student you've had.
I’ve had several interesting students. They’ve traveled all over the world. Some have families. Some have been working in professional careers for several years. They all bring a lot to the discussions.

The definition of success is……………………?
Doing what you’re passionate about, what enlivens you and keeps you going.

Who in history would you like to spend an hour with and what would you talk about?
I’d like to talk with John Keats or Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Or any of the Romantics, I suppose. I’d ask about their creative processes and their inspiration for poems. I’d particularly like to know more about Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan.”

Describe the best night of your teenage life.
Graduating high school.

What did you think was “cool” when you were around 8 years old?
Hanging out with my older brother.

Describe your first car.
1988 Mazda 626. Bad alternator. Bad radiator. Stranded me more than once.

The chore I really hate is………………?
Washing dishes.

What would you tell the 10 year old you?
It’s going to be a rough ride but worth it. Hang in there.

Most Sunday afternoons, you can usually find me………………….?

What was the last movie that made you cry?
I’ll keep this one to myself, of course.

What are two things most people don't know about you?
I’m an ordained minister and I like cheesy 80s pop music.

The most used appliance in my house is…………………..?
Dishwasher now, thank goodness. I lived in a flat last year that had neither a dishwasher nor a dryer.

What was your favorite joke as a child?
This is a tough one. I was quite a jokester. I think it’d have to be “what do you get when you cross an elephant with a rhino? Elephino!”

What song makes you sing when driving in your car? Why?
I sing to almost everything I listen to in the car. This is one of the things I miss most about living the US. Now that I’m in the UK, I take the train or long walks. If I were to sing, I’m sure I’d get some funny looks. I’d have to say Jackson Browne’s “Running on Empty” is my favorite driving song, for obvious reasons. Springsteen’s “Thunder Road” is a close second.


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