Educated on family farm in Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia, feeding animals, milking cows, gathering eggs, picking apples and peaches, making hay, harvesting corn silage, swinging a scythe bigger than me and riding a horse much bigger than me. Idle hours, of which there were few, spent harvesting wild blackberries, chinquapins, hazelnuts, black walnuts with my older brother, and for real fun searching for arrowheads in the corn rows after a good rain. Went to to school with my dad as principal (not as much fun as you might think, but I did remember a lot of his jokes he shared on classroom visits). Attended and graduated the U. S.'s oldest school (going back to the Indian school started at what later became the College of William and Mary (B.S. in chemistry). Took further education in Ecuador in the U.S. Peace Corps for two years teaching - yep chemistry. Learned a lot more than I expected from my third world loving hosts. Learned about Che Guevara's motorcycle trip through South America, and with a Peace Corp friend, got educated about Central America on our motorcycles (learned about the problems of BMW cycles with Mexican gasoline the hard way, but learned how to fix the beast when it happened).
Returned to learn how much a young woman meant to me who was waiting at UCLA for my return. After talking her into marrying her learned what an awesome deal I had made- just celebrated that fact this summer 45 years worth of fun and crazies that we both love. Went for more book learning at Va Tech -received a masters in Urban and Regional Planning. After learning that urban planning might not be my forte, joined my wife in learning about communes for 28 years. Learned that communes were not really what they might seem to be, so managed to get booted out to find something new (old). Learned that freedom is an awesome thing that one forgets about in a commune.
I was further educated by five children and now 11 grandchildren that life is good and the future can be good. I have been learning also from students that teenagers are definitely the most refreshing thing since iced tea!
I love teaching and learning with my students.
You can take the boy out of the country, but you cannot take the country out of the boy so I have a vegetable/fruit garden in my back yard that is also home to butterflies, birds, sunflowers and, of course, sunsets.
My wife and I love the beach and after traveling the U.S. by rail, bus, and RV have decided that the Pacific Ocean is one fine
place to be. So we take many opportunities to enjoy the surf, cliffs and warm sand retreating to our RV when the weather gets too hot or too cold.
About My School
Verdugo Hills High School began in Tujunga in 1937. (My wife graduated there in 1963 and our youngest son in 2004) It has beautiful Spanish architecture and a view of the mountains from almost anywhere on the campus. I teach in the Multimedia Magnet School, an integral part of VHHS, but many of our students come from other places -like inner city. Our student population is probably 70% Hispanic, and there are at least 17 different languages spoken in our students' homes including Mandarin and Russian, as well as Greek and French. I am a firm believer in the importance of a well rounded education and welcomed the opportunity to be co-athletic director two years ago. Our school had the highest academic average for the city section in five different sports this year. Interestingly those sports were also the ones we excelled in as sports. My wife has won the hearts of almost every sports team in the school with her now famous cookies. She also nearly got thrown out of a basketball game for ringing a cow bell at the wrong time.
Classes I teach
Presently I teach only two classes because of my athletic duties. Those are Chemistry and AP chemistry
Four years ago I moved out of one home economics room to another with the promise I would soon have a chemistry lab. Patience is a virtue and last spring I moved into my old renovated home ec room into a chemistry room complete with bunsen burners and even an emergency shower (not needed so far but discovered by the students that it actually works). Since the days on the farm when my brother and I made our own gun out of galvanized pipe and left our mark on the tool shed wall I have enjoyed explosions. Whenever there is a BOOM on campus the AP tells everyone to chill, it's just Bowman blowing something up! Seriously I had one student who wanted to take AP chemistry just to do pyrotechnics, but I convinced her to be my T.A instead and we both survived. I believe in hands on learning from day one. Curiosity killed the cat, but if you are careful you can have a lot of fun as a human being curious. I encourage my students to pursue the what ifs (but only with my approval). We all learn a lot more about a lot of things.
For my AP students the pyrotechnics can get pretty exciting, but they have to know what they are doing and why it will or won't work or maybe might or might not. In AP chemistry students really get to explore the why's of so many things. We learn new stuff every day. Notice I said "we". Careful pursuit of the 'what ifs' brings all kinds of surprises and lots of fun. There is a beautiful heart etched in the concrete outside my classroom by last year's AP class with some REAL acid not the kind people drop on the weekend. This is the real stuff dropped also with love, but for love of knowledge and the pursuit of knowledge.