Teacher Feature: Ms. Darlene Bowman

Helen Li, Staff Writer

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Ms. Darlene Bowman, Clinic Attendant/Attendance Technician at Maggie Walker, smiles for a picture.

Srishti Sanya
Ms. Darlene Bowman, Clinic Attendant/Attendance Technician at Maggie
Walker, smiles for a picture.

HL: Where were you born and how has that influenced you?
DB: I was actually born right here in Richmond, Virginia. I don’t know…it’s kind of a cross between we’re not too Northern and we’re not too Southern. I like it here, I like the weather. I moved away and lived in Georgia for about five years, which was really rural. I don’t know…I like Richmond. It’s home. I don’t plan on remaining here for the rest of my life though. I kind of like Charlotte, North Carolina [and] Wilmington, Delaware.

HL: I heard you’re getting your Master’s Degree?
DB: Yeah, I’m working on it in Human Services, with a concentration in marriage, family, and children. I’m not quite sure where I want to go with that, maybe work for CASA [Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children], you know, being a court advocate for children. Or if I want to work with social services. I just want to keep working with children.

HL: So, you have a lot of photos on that wall, and I was just wondering what the story was behind all of those pictures?
DB: Well, students started…when we were back at TJ, they started giving me their prom pictures and everything. I would hang them up. And then when we got here, I had all this space. So that’s how it got started. I actually have an album at home with students, from like ’98 and ’99 and 2000. Because we didn’t move into this building until September 2001.

HL: What is the craziest, wacko excuse that somebody has given you for a tardy or attendance?
DB: Oh God! Oh..hmmm. I’ve gotten “I was abducted by aliens.”

HL: Interesting things that people come up with in the most stressful of times!
DB: Well, then I have one guy, not going to say his name, he’s late about two times a week. Every day he’s like: “Just give me unexcused. I have no reason.” You know, throws his hands up like this [gestures].

HL: What’s something you’re really, really proud of?
DB: I’m really proud that I went back to school after 30 plus years and got my degree. I have two years left. And I got a taste of the working world, and I chose that. You know, I was single. Nobody but me. And I was enjoying traveling and everything. If I had one regret, it would be not graduating back in the early ’80s. Because now it’s altogether different, and I’m doing my Master’s online. And I hate it. Oh I hate it with a passion [laughs]. You know I’m still learning a lot about technology-everyday it’s something new. I have a great niece, she’s about four. She can actually show me some things! I’ll be working on a Powerpoint and she’ll be saying: “No! You do this…you do that…” I’m like: How does she know this? You know. I’m proud that I did go back. But you know, I’m 54, and I wish I had done it back in my twenties and I would have been finished with my Master’s! So, that’s kind of challenging. I wish I would have waited like a year after I got my bachelor’s, and then gone to grad school. Because balancing family, full time job, you know, I’m active in my church, and trying to have a social life – it’s like [gestures]. And it’s no Darleen.

HL: What is something that you do in your free time just for yourself?
DB: Just for me? Shop.

HL: Shop. [laughs]
DB: [laughs] I’m so serious. Just for me. Or I’ll go and do a little spa day, but that’s so far few and between! If I get them in two times a year, you know, I get a massage, a facial. I actually had a gift card that was given to me for my birthday last year and it was about to expire. I had never used it. When I went to pull it out, it had actually expired. A few weeks ago.

HL: What is one piece of advice that you would give to your children and the children here at Maggie Walker?
DB: Follow your dreams. Follow your dreams. You know, there’s going to be obstacles and challenges, but follow your dreams. If you said: this is what you are going to do, no matter how long it takes – do it.


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