RISMEDIA, April 2, 2009-To describe my niece as highly energetic is a wild understatement. She’s the kind of teenager who could have your head spinning within two minutes of meeting her and have you performing freakish physical feats with body parts you didn’t even know could move like that. As a kid she used to plant herself in the middle of a doorway and climb the sides with only her hands. She is captivating, infuriating and beyond charming.
When I was in Montreal not too long ago for a family function, we got to spend some time together. She came down for breakfast one morning wearing a t-shirt that read:
E = MC2
After reading her t-shirt and thinking that Miss Bowman must be a new band targeting the teenage audience, I asked, “Who’s Miss Bowman?”
“She’s the Bomb dot com,” was the reply I received.
“Is she a new singer?” I asked.
“No. She’s my math teacher.”
“Your math teacher?” I was amazed and confused. “You had a t-shirt made with your math teacher’s name on it? Why would you do that?”
“I love her. She rocks.”
“What do you love about her?”
“She’s the best.”
“Okay, but what makes her the best?”
“Nothing really, she’s just awesome.”
“I don’t understand. What makes her awesome?”
“She’s just cool. We have a really good relationship. She lets me do things in class.”
“Like what?” I was beyond intrigued. I wanted to know what kind of magic elixir Miss Bowman was brewing to elicit such passion from a tenth grade student.
“Well, let me give you an example. The other day I was lying down on her desk and I saw her pencil case. She forgot it in class. So I opened it up and found this really cool pen and I started playing with it.”
“You were lying down on her desk? Didn’t she get angry?”
“No, that’s the thing, she doesn’t get angry. She’s cool with it.”
In my head, I imagined a circus trainer trying to tame wild animals. She clearly had no ability to control her class. I assumed it impossible for anyone to learn anything in that type of chaotic environment, so I asked her how she was doing in class.
“Pretty good. I got a 98% on my last test.”
“She makes me want to work for her and get good marks.”
Still dumbfounded by the Miss Bowman puzzle, I persisted with this question, “What do you think makes Miss Bowman so special?”
“Nothing really. She just lets me be me.”