New Majors at the University of Tennessee
This last year I’ve talked a lot about my daughter Alexandra and our adventures in Spain but I’ve not said much about my precious Caroline. So the other day she sent me this picture of her Halloween prank on the Physics building, I decided it is her moment to shine.
How I got a child like Caroline I will never know, she doesn’t just march to the beat of a different drummer, she circles an entirely different solar system than the rest of us. Every day she does or thinks something that the rest of us couldn’t even imagine. I’ve spent her life setting big boundaries so that she could be her creative self without falling off the earth.
As a little girl she was adorable, blonde and blue-eyed with rosy cheeks and such a vivid imagination that she was five before she stopped being a cat named Sally most of the time. She didn’t have an imaginary friend, she was an imaginary friend. She would use two combs as her pretend violin until I got her a real violin at four and began the all consuming world of Suzuki violin. The violin was her special place where her uniqueness could shine and be recognized by her peers. By the fourth time through any piece she had it memorized including all her orchestra music. My girls loved to perform and the “fiddlin’ Bowen sisters” went on the road for any and all occasions.
Caroline’s teen years were a challenge, she did well in school and on the violin but life wasn’t easy for her. I wrote about her challenges in Demeter and Persephone. The first few years of college were very bumpy but I made her stay in school because that was what moved her life forward in a positive direction. I would tell her “just take anything but go to school.”
On April 27, 2011 there were tremendous tornados all across the southern states, wiping out whole towns, Caroline got caught in one of these powerful systems and had almost like a near death experience. That storm changed the course of her life and she became fascinated with weather. So after four years as wandering art student she taught herself college algebra and trigonometry and remade herself into a scientist. She is now almost finished with her Physics degree and has minors in Art and Math. OK, she is the last person on earth that you would expect to be a physicist but she loves it. People ask me all the time “what will Caroline do with when she graduates?” I always reply “something none of us have ever thought of.”
Caroline at 16 trying to have a “Close Encounter of the Third Kind” at Devil’s Tower Wyoming.