OBHF Podcast Ep. 5 – Meet the Teen (aka Our Bird)
With Jesse leaving for college in about a month, we try out our plan for remote podcast discussions and give the first opportunity to meet the teen.
In this episode you’ll find out about:
- The difficulty elementary school staff had in dealing with a dad as lead parent rather than mom
- Middle school freedom – riding the bike on one’s own
- The Youth In Government program
- Volunteering for the incredibly important Miracle League
Proudly Sponsored by:
Green Fresh Florals: www.greenfreshflorals.com
- OBHF Podcast Ep. 5 Transcript - Meet the Teen (aka Our Bird)
From the Dusty Urban Ham Shack studio of WB6QWD this is the Our Bird Has Flown podcast.
Paul M Bowers: Well, welcome to the Our Bird Has Flown podcast, my name is Paul M Bowers and I’m joined today by my wife Indra Gardiner Bowers.
Indra Bowers: Hey everybody.
Paul M Bowers: And our special guest is Jesse T Bowers, our son. Meet the teen.
Jesse T Bowers:Hi, that’s me.
Paul M Bowers: How you doing over there?
Jesse T Bowers:Ah— It’s interesting because I’ve never actually recorded a podcast at my desktop, I’ve always recorded it in a studio so this is a nice change of pace.
Paul M Bowers: So you of our family you have to wait a minute
[music] hold on I just hear the chime. The chime means that we have to do our spot, so Jay just hang on. Don’t go anywhere and please don’t play any video games while we’re talking
Jesse T Bowers: No promises.
Paul M Bowers: So the Our Bird Has Flown podcast is sponsored by our friends over at Green Fresh Florals. Carlos Franco’s our buddy, the great guy he does some incredible things with flowers and floral design. You walk into a big building in San Diego the chances are that giant arrangement there was done by Carlos Franco because he is the best in town.
And now Green Fresh Florals has an another service that they’re offering, not only can they accept your order online but they have the chance now to put together different pots in different plants on their website for your order. Different colours, different shapes, both in plants and in the pots. So check out greenfreshflorals.com and tell them that we sent you for an extra added value of some sort.
Indra Bowers: Whatever that might be.
Paul M Bowers: I better talk to Carlos about that
Indra Bowers: Yeah, better.
Paul M Bowers: [Laughter] Any way we’re talking to Jesse Bowers and right now we’re trying out our remote feed because while he’s still in our home, he’s just over in the bedroom over there. We’ve got to make sure this system is working. J is this system working?
Jesse T Bowers: It’s working fine for me; I can hear you fine. I don’t know if you can hear me fine but that’s not on my end.
Paul M Bowers: Well, we’re going to work out some of these technical issues but as long as everybody can hear each other fine then we can communicate now. Can’t we?
Jesse T Bowers: Yes, we can.
Paul M Bowers: Mom can you hear just fine?
Indra Bowers:I’m hearing everything and I look forward to communicating with both of you.
Paul M Bowers: That’s a good thing. J what so you want to start with?
Jesse T Bowers:That’s a good question. You kind of mentioned that you wanted to get to know me a little bit and I’m really good at talking about myself, except I’m not really good at talking about myself unprompted.
Paul M Bowers: We only have twenty minutes anyway.
Jesse T Bowers: Exactly [mumbling].
Paul M Bowers: Well let’s review just a little bit. You were born into a topsy turvy family life where I stayed home and mom went off to work. Tell us a little bit about that. when did you first notice that your family was different than others?
Jesse T Bowers: I don’t know if it ever became like a moment that I first noticed it, I think it was something that always was just present in my life and at some point…maybe I did start to notice it around third or fourth grade. Denise Carrol was the first person I knownnoticed it around, because she asked me one day “when is your mom going to pick you up?” and I said; my mom doesn’t pick me up, my dad picks me up.” And then I kind of from there started to process that like the norm was to ask; when is your mom going to pick you up? or where is your mom taking you? My mom was not a stay at home mom, my dad was stay at home mom, so…
Paul M Bowers: Well, stay at home dad.
Jesse T Bowers:No, you’re a stay at home mom.
Paul M Bowers: Ohhh, you wound me.
Jesse T Bowers: I’m joking.
Paul M Bowers: I think one of the things that I remember is that I was on all the paperwork as the Emergency Contact and you fell while running. [Clears throat] You ran.
Jesse T Bowers: I was tripped. I learned the other day that I was directly tripped by someone.
Indra Bowers: What? You just learned this?
Jesse T Bowers: Yes I did.
Indra Bowers:All these years later?
Paul M Bowers: Nevertheless, you broke your arm and they called your mom instead of calling me. Now of course, she was in some meeting. They had to pull her out of a meeting and then she had to go and it was like. I reminded the school, you know we kind of have a different system and they go, “Oh yeah.”
Indra Bowers: They just couldn’t comprehend. They didn’t even though you were there every day at line up and at pick up, they still called me and I was in a meeting and I had to step out and excuse myself and it was with a client.
Paul M Bowers: Every day and in the P.T.A. and in the governance it’s like “Guys, come on. Haven’t you got this yet?”
Jesse T Bowers: My favorite moment in the P.T.A. was when I showed up with my dad and they asked me where my mom was and I was a little confused because I was like “my mom doesn’t come to these meetings why are you asking?”
Paul M Bowers: So third grade; Denise Carroll was your third grade teacher. Is that right?
Jesse T Bowers: I think that’s correct. No, I think Miss Overton Buck was my third grade teacher.
Indra Bowers: No, Overton Buck was second grade and Denise Carroll was third.
Jesse T Bowers:Right. That makes sense.
Paul M Bowers: It was the first of whatever fancy pants.
Indra Bowers: Seminar.
Paul M Bowers: Seminar, I thought you were a seminar student because [Mumbling] 99 percentiles on the black bird or something like that.
Jesse T Bowers:It was the star test
Indra Bowers: Star for gate.
Jesse T Bowers:One of those two. I really don’t remember it very well. I could have just boggled an answers and they were like “oh you’re really good at this” and I was like “Ahh.”
Indra Bowers: And then you ended up with all the high functioning kids all together in one classroom.
Jesse T Bowers:We had a lot of fun.
Paul M Bowers: Well, you know that was a funny classroom because a lot of parents didn’t like it. It’s like “why are you isolating these other students? And they thought that you were isolated, your class was isolated for some sort of special treatment and the truth is it was for the protection of the other kids because that class was nutty, a fly would go across and everybody would start chasing it and everybody’s eyes would run around and then like playing board games, the whole idea of this profound sense of justice among that group like; you cheated, no you cheated. It was quite something to see.
Jesse T Bowers:That’s why I’m going into politics nowadays.
Paul M Bowers: Was that the beginning of it? [Laughter]
Jesse T Bowers:The start was the seminar with Denise Carroll.
Paul M Bowers: Oh—Lord please help us
Jesse T Bowers:Sorry.
Paul M Bowers: Nonspecific higher power please help us
Jesse T Bowers:I’m kind of still there.
Paul M Bowers: OK, so elementary school you started learning that things were a little bit different but middle school by that time things were pretty well settled as far as it struck me that your cohorts had things kind of settled between them as to who picked up who. But, did you notice anything in middle school? Is there a difference?
Jesse T Bowers:Not particularly, a lot of us didn’t really care about the whole drop off pick up thing, almost at all really, the only time I actually remember caring about drop off and pick up was when I had my teacher come over to me and say “hey, I think your ride is here” and I look in the line-up and your car is not there instead it’s a Dodge. It was a Dodge Charger with you and who was with you? Who had rented the Dodge Charger?
Paul M Bowers: You know who it was, it was Captain Nigel J.P. Watson.
Jesse T Bowers:It was Nigel Watson!
Paul M Bowers: In a Camaro.
Jesse T Bowers:In a Camaro and I lost it. That was the time that everyone was like “Jesse why are you getting picked up in a Camaro?” And I was like “Ah-Ah see you later.” And I walked out.
Paul M Bowers: I kept banging my head on the ceiling and it was a tiny little car. It was crazy.
Indra Bowers: Well, actually what was interesting was that in middle school that was when you started riding your bike yourself.
Jesse T Bowers:This is true. That was my first adventure alone was riding my bike to school.
Indra Bowers: Right.
Paul M Bowers: Yeah and I remember teaching you how to ride because, you know people are crazy and they try to run over kids with bikes and so I had to kind of walk you through it and then there was the big downhill Bandini Street.
Jesse T Bowers:Ah Jesus.
Indra Bowers: Or the uphill, I don’t know which was worse Jesse.
Paul M Bowers: Well, the uphill was no problem because you just walk the bike up, but the downhill; it was like squeaking brakes and I don’t know if I’m going to make it.
Jesse T Bowers:Hey, I got that downhill really well towards the end of, I think seventh grade and I could go down the hill and I would hook that corner really hard and scare the hell out of these parents who were trying to turn into that parking lot. It was fun.
Paul M Bowers: That was a noble thing of you to scare parents. [Laughter]
Jesse T Bowers:I was like buzzing the air traffic control tower in a jet plane.
Paul M Bowers: So then high school, you know in high school I sort of stopped volunteering. I did for one semester but I kind of felt that high school you need to be on your own.
Jesse T Bowers: I think that that was a good decision, personally not anything against you. But I feel like I kind of learned more in high school about being alone, not alone in a bad way than I would have in any other school and honestly I’m not upset about it.
Paul M Bowers: No, I think it was time for you to have a little bit more autonomy and I just couldn’t get along with a lot of the dirt bags in the high school [Laughter] I was not going for that. [Laughing].
Jesse T Bowers: It was an interesting time.
Paul M Bowers: Well, I hear a chime.
And that means it’s time for our next spot. So we’re going to talk about your getting ready for college after this spot from the National Conflict Resolution Center.
Indra Bowers:The Our Bird Has Flown podcast is also sponsored by NCRC, the National Conflict Resolution Center which provides extensive training and programs in mediation conflict resolution and training. Now, I have to tell you I’ve been on the board of NCRC for a very long time and I won’t leave just because I think the work that they’re doing is so important to our society. NCRC is committed to creating civil conversation, helping people learn how to resolve conflict using their words rather than their anger or their fists. They offer mediation services in the community and divorce mediation for families who don’t want to have the legal fight and would like to find a civil way to divorce. So, if you’re interested in any of those things please go to ncrconline.comto learn about this really important organization. Thanks NCRC.
Paul M Bowers: You know, we use those problem solving skills here at home all the time don’t we Jesse?
Jesse T Bowers: I’m going to nod my head but not verbally confirm that.
Paul M Bowers: Well, you understand that we’re on radio and so now your head doesn’t work.
Jesse T Bowers: Exactly the point.
Paul M Bowers: [Laughing].
Indra Bowers:So, Jesse you’ve got less than three month left.
Jesse T Bowers: Please don’t remind me.
Indra Bowers:What, I thought you were excited?
Jesse T Bowers:I’m excited. I’m not ready to have to go through the hassle of getting up and leaving.
Indra Bowers:Well, you have three months to get ready.
Jesse T Bowers:[Long sigh] It’s going to be interesting.
Paul M Bowers: First, why don’t you tell your listeners where you’re going?
Jesse T Bowers:I am going to Quinnipiac University, it’s in Connecticut. It’s really far away, it’s like 3,000 miles away from where we are right now and it’s a great college if you see the way I describe it to people who don’t know what Quinnipiac is, if you see political polls that say something like “oh 93 percenters don’t approve of our current president’s you know way of doing things”
Paul M Bowers: We’re not getting into politics.
Jesse T Bowers: I’m not saying that I am. Underneath it, it says a Quinnipiac poll had said that and that means it’s from Quinnipiac which is the college that I’m going to.
Indra Bowers:You know it’s funny you say that because that’s what people say to me. “Oh is that the school that does the polling?”.
Jesse T Bowers: That’s the school that does the polling, Yes.
Paul M Bowers: So, Jesse is it just your intention to learn how to poll things?
Jesse T Bowers: That’s a good question. No.
Paul M Bowers: That’s why I ask.
Jesse T Bowers: I don’t really want to poll people. I want to be the person that they are polling about. [Laughing]
Paul M Bowers: So tell us what your intentions are? What are you going to do there? Other than suck up all of our retirement money so that we’ll have to live and work until we’re 175 years old.
Jesse T Bowers:You guys ever see the movie Animal House? [Laughing] I’m just kidding.
Paul M Bowers: You are going on double secret probation right now Mister.
Jesse T Bowers: I’m kidding. I’m hoping to at least get through my Gen Ed in like the first year and a half so that I can focus more on a major and minor in my next two and a half years-ish. I don’t think my math is wrong as you can see how well I did in math in high school.
Indra Bowers:It’s not working.
Jesse T Bowers: Yeah, it’s not working out for me. And I’m hoping that the last two-ish years of my college career are focused solely on politics, business, economics and yelling at people to get people to do things.
Indra Bowers: That sounds like so much fun.
Paul M Bowers: [Laughing], so what do you see yourself doing? What are you going to be when you grow up?
Jesse T Bowers: Popular.
Paul M Bowers: You’re killing me here.
Jesse T Bowers: I think when I see myself older and when I see myself as twenty years down the line, thirty years down the line. I either see myself somewhere in an office somewhere, like a political office, somewhere making decisions and changing the world and bringing people to a more to a better position than they were before I went into office or writing a nice book.
Indra Bowers:[Cross talking] Are you thinking that you would get involved in policymaking?
Jesse T Bowers: Absolutely, I very much enjoy the way that policy is made and the way that policy is passed through a group of people and talking to people about things and seeing what people like and don’t like.
Paul M Bowers: Well, that’s sort of on your experience from youth in government.
Jesse T Bowers: Absolutely, it is.
Paul M Bowers: Why don’t you tell us about the youth in government program?
Jesse T Bowers: The Youth in Government Program, this is going to be a little spot for the YMCA so pay me please. The Youth in Government program is a state-wide model legislature in court program done through the YMCA and it’s basically three thousand students from across California get together and become politicians for a week and a half.
Now, this last February we went up to Sacramento and we are the only state program permitted to take over the Capital chambers which means the House and the Senate chambers as well as the governor’s office, we have our youth governor sit in the governor’s office.I got to sit in Todd Gloria’s chair last year which was really cool.
We pass our own legislation, we have our own court system, we have our own budget system. I got to be on the Budget Committee last year, this year I believe and our budget was the only budget to actually pass. We allocated half of our budget to the E.P.A. and still went over with a, — we had a surplus of something like three or four billion dollars. It’s a lot of fun and if your kid is looking at going into politics or is very good at talking to people that is a program you should put them in immediately.
Paul M Bowers:So is the Youth in Government program a national organization or just California?
Jesse T Bowers: It is actually nationwide I believe. Now, each state has their own program and it stays within the state and it’s not one big overseeing group, overseeing all the Youth in Government it’s the YMCA but I do believe other states have a Youth in Government Program, yes.
Paul M Bowers:So the other thing I would like you to tell our listeners about is I’d like you to tell them about miracle league. Miracle League was an incredible experience for you and since we’re doing plugs this is like the plug show. Tell them about Miracle League.
Jesse T Bowers: So miracle legal is this program that I kind of started on a whim. Mom kind of woke me up one day and showed me and I said; Oh, ok half asleep and I was really interested as soon as I woke up as to what it actually was.
Paul M Bowers:That a good thing.
Jesse T Bowers:And I went to my first game with my buddy who Idon’t remember, I had a different buddyy for the first two games but..
Indra Bowers:You have to explain what Miracle League does.
Jesse T Bowers: I will in a second that’s where I’m getting to. Miracle League is a program that helps disabled kids play baseball. Now that’s the most baseline I could put it is, it helps disabled kids play baseball. That’s not really what it’s about, it’s more about forming the connection between you and your buddy and really just making someone’s day every Saturday.
So my buddy is Sarah she is non-verbal sort of. She’s totally almost immobile she can’t walk on her own, she has a walker. And she’s young and she doesn’t really I don’t know what her level of understanding is and yet her and I as soon as we see each other we just go, we run around we play games we play tag and it’s with the rest of the buddies of the Miracle League team and it’s really not about the baseball. It’s about the team and about the people that you’re with and that’s really the most powerful part of Miracle League.
Indra Bowers:I thought that was an incredible community service opportunity and absolutely the work that Miracle League does is so important for kids facing challenges. Just warms my heart every weekend that we go there.
Paul M Bowers:There are chapters of Miracle League all over the country.
Indra Bowers:There are, in fact our friend Jeffrey Vargas who is a contributor on the blog from Generationology. He found a chapter in Denver and I was once, I mean I’ve traveled and seen that they have chapters in other places that someone has to lead the way, to put in a rubberized baseball field so that the kids in wheelchairs can go around but once that happens it’s an extraordinary organization.
Paul M Bowers: All right folks Jesse there’s a whole lot more to talk about and for our listeners we will be doing remote broadcasts with J from college over the next few years as we develop The Our bird Has Flown podcast J last chance anything to say?
Jesse T Bowers: Do I get paid?
Paul M Bowers:[Chuckling] yes, you get to go to college. One of the things you do to get to go to college.
Jesse T Bowers: Worth a try.
Paul M Bowers: But I hear the music truth but I hear the music and that means that it’s time to wrap up the Our Bird Has Flown podcast from the dusty Urban Ham Shack studio of WB6QWD. I’m joined here by Indra Bowers and our son Jesse Bowers. Our podcast is remotely produced by Brian Thomas at Yokai audio in Kalamazoo Michigan. The Our Bird Has Flown podcast sponsors are green fresh florals and the national conflict resolution center. You can visit our website @ourbirdhasflown.comwhere we talk about our topsy turvy home life and our college bird Jesse. Thanks clicking in, everybody say goodbye.
Jesse T Bowers: Bye follow me on Twitter.
Paul M Bowers: What twitter?
Jesse T Bowers: @jessetbowers