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Teachers After Hours

Philosophy professor also worked as a Snake and Jake’s bouncer

Assistant Life and Times Editor

Published: Thursday, November 29, 2012

Updated: Thursday, November 29, 2012 14:11

Dr. Drew Chastain has checked his fair share of philosophy papers, and up until a few months ago, he had also checked his fair share of IDs at Snake and Jake’s Christmas Club.

Last semester, Chastain found himself working as a professor of philosophy by day and a bouncer at Snake and Jake’s by night. “I just kind of lived in the neighborhood, and it’s a neighborhood bar, so I got to know the people,” Chastain said. “Lately I’ve just been doing mainly adjunct teaching, so I also have other jobs, and this was just one that was pretty easy to do and make a little cash.”

Chastain, who did his undergraduate work at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, and earned his Ph.D. at Tulane, has lived in New Orleans on and off for nearly fifteen years. According to Chastain, the gig at the infamous dive bar struck his fancy because of his interest in bar culture.

“I actually saw more students than I thought I would. For just a month of work I think I saw around six of my students come through between 12 and 4 a.m. I was thinking about it; you have Tulane students and Loyola students who might go by the bar, and there are thousands of those, right? I right now probably have only maybe 50-60 students that I’m teaching, so for six of those to show up was kind of interesting,” Chastain said.

Music senior Leta Davis, who is currently taking “Making Moral Decisions” with Dr. Chastain, was previously unaware of her professor’s stint at Snake and Jake’s.

“He seems like a really worldly person and really laid back. I never really thought about what he does in his free time, but now that I think about it, I guess it’s not terribly shocking based on what I see of him in class,” Davis aid. “I guess the shock only comes from the fact that he’s a professor and not taking him into account as a person because you don’t really think of your professor as having a night life.”

Chastain, however, has remained unfazed by being in the presence of students outside of class in a setting like Snake and Jake’s. “It is weird to be teaching them in the evening and then about 5-6 hours later be checking their IDs. And some I have to turn away — be like nope, sorry,” Chastain said.

As far as the grades of students who try to get in with a fake ID, Chastain said, there is nothing to worry about. “I keep it totally separate.”

Shannon Donaldson can be reached at

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