Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Scream" by Edvard Munch

Reasons for Teacher Shortage

After finally receiving my substitute teaching certificate in the mail, as advised by the regional offices, I made some phone calls to the school districts in our county to find out what I need to do to get on their sub lists only to be told by each one I called, they don't NEED any more substitute teachers. This has happened at every school district I contacted. I then phoned the regional department of education again and asked them why I was led to believe there would be "instant work" for me to do once I got my certificate. The lady on the phone told me that employment is up to each individual district and they have nothing to do with that. I told her when I was at the regional office, she and others made me believe there was a great need for substitutes as I was forking over my application fees! She just said to keep calling around.

Another frustrating obstacle I encounted at the individual school districts level was that they told me I need a doctor's statement of good health. I already have one on file at regioinal!. I am required to have a state certificate to teach, and to get a state certificate I had to have a MEDICAL DOCTOR STATEMENT OF GOOD HEATH --which is IN MY FILE! I tried to explain this to them to no avail. It was like talking to a bunch of space aliens. They said that is their rules and I have to have ANOTHER statement from the doctor for them if I want to be considered for their sub list (which is overly full at the moment). I can just imagine asking my doctor to write out 40 "good health" statements for me, as if he has all this free time to accomodate the county school system.

In addition to the extra doctor's statements of good health, there are a variety of forms I must fill out for EACH individual school district withing the larger regional district. I am beginning to wonder if all this hassle is worth it. Probably not. If anyone wonders why there is a shortage of teachers, just try to get a job as a substitute or regular teacher sometime!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

by D. Bowden
Hammonasset Beach in Connecticut
by D Bowden
Mary at the Beach
colored pencil

Monday, November 21, 2005

"When they are alone they want to be with others, and when they are with others they want to be alone. After all, human beings are like that."
~Gertrude Stein~

Andy Warhol

Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century:
Gertrude Stein
. 1980, 40 x 32"

Water is always moving. Air currents, wind, lunar effects, Earth’s motion, gravity and an
occasional undersea tremor all contribute to the movement that occurs constantly in large bodies
of water. Frozen water of blue-algae glaciers trickle down from the mountains and fall from
mighty waterfalls, and cascade through river rapids on their way to the great seas. Wind blows
across large bodies of water, forcing the water to move in one direction and then another.
Waves roll up onto the beaches of lake shores and seashores. Droplets evaporate to form clouds
which travel in fat clouds. Rain and mist fall across the thirsty land. The whole process is a
never ending cycle with no beginning and no end.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Javelina Are Not My Friends
D. Bowden

In December 1993, our oldest son was in a marching band competition in Phoenix, and we decided since we went all that way, we would visit some good friends of ours who live in Tucson. Their house was on a desert reserve. While they could build a house on the land, they could not change the landscape. Wild animals and other critters roamed around free to go wherever they wanted. One day, my friend, Terri asked who wanted to take a walk to see where the javelina live. My daughter, and Terri's younger two daughters were the only ones who wanted to come along. How adventurous I felt! Going to see where the javelina live! There might even be some babies! For those who do not know what a javelina is, it is a wild pig. They are called Javelina because of their razor-sharp teeth. (Javelina is Spanish for javelin or spear.) They are very stinky creatures; you may smell a javelina before you see it! Javelina have very poor eyesight, but VERY good hearing and I was warned that if we came upon one, or more, to stand still behind a bush and don't move because they won't be able to see me, and if I don't move they would not be able to hear me, and will go back to their babies once they feel the threat is gone.
So we are walking along, walking along and suddenly Terri says "shhh! There's one now!" We all stopped and within only a few yards from us was a mama javelina! It SAW us! It scraped one of its hooves on the ground and charged! I forgot everything that Terri had told us and I RAN LIKE THE WIND! I heard the beating of hooves behind me but I did NOT look back. I ran and left my ten-year-old daughter to fend for herself! I heard her voice "Mom, DON'T RUN, STOP RUNNING!" I kept going, looking for a tree or something! "MOM DON'T RUN...PLEASE DON'T RUN!" Terri yelled, "DEB STOP RUNNING, IT'S OK, IT'S OK!" and I ran and ran till I found something that looked like a tree and climbed into was a creosote bush! "Ow! Ouch! Ouch!" I cried as I found myself in the middle of that bush! Terri came and was laughing! The girls were all laughing and I was so upset! Terri said "Deb, you should have stopped! It was only a DOG running behind you, the javelina turned back after only a couple of feet!" I looked around to be sure! No javelina around, but the dog was wandering through the bushes! We started walking for home and none too slowly! When we got to the barbed wire fence I leaped over it as agile as an acrobat! I was done with nature walks, at least in the desert southwest!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

“Petrovic’s Grocery”
By D. Bowden

An old photograph of Joe Petrovic shows him standing in front of his old grocery shop. This moment is now only a faded memory. Joe’s shop, simply called “Petrovic’s Grocery” was a place that smelled of good things, fresh things. Bins and shelves filled to the brim with tomatoes, squash, green beans, lettuce, apples, and other good things that were offered at various times depending on the season. Potatoes, however, were always abundant, always satisfying and always affordable. They were the staple of everyone’s sustenance, they were the main source of old Joe’s income. The neighborhood is not the same anymore. Petrovic’s, its potatoes, and Joe are all gone. The building still stands empty in a changed neighborhood of poverty and neglect. All that is left is a picture in a photo album, and in the minds of those few who are still here to remember.

Monday, November 14, 2005

photo by Timothy Fadek

the con job
by Charles Bukowski

the ground war began today
at dawn
in a desert land
far from here.

the U.S. ground troops were
made up of
Blacks, Mexicans and poor
most of whom had joined
the military
because it was the only job
they could find.

the ground war began today
at dawn
in a desert land
far from here
and the Blacks, Mexicans
and poor whites
were sent there
to fight and win
as on tv
and on the radio
the fat white rich newscasters
first told us all about
and then the fat rich white
told us
and again
and again
on almost every
tv and radio station
almost every minute
day and night
the Blacks, and Mexicans
and poor whites
were sent there
to fight and win
at dawn
in a desert land
far enough away from

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali

Time Quotes

Everything happens to everybody sooner or later if there is time enough.
George Bernard Shaw

Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.
William Penn

Much may be done
in those little shreds and patches of time
which every day produces,
and which most men throw away.

Charles Caleb Colton

Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.
Henry David Thoreau

Time is the coin of your life.
It is the only coin you have,
and only you can determine how it will be spent.
Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.

Carl Sandburg

But what minutes!
Count them by sensation,
and not by calendars,
and each moment is a day.

Benjamin Disraeli

Clocks slay time...
time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels;
only when the clock stops does time come to life.

William Faulkner

You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by;
but some of them are golden only because we let them slip by.

James M. Barrie

Don't say you don't have enough time.
You have exactly the same number of hours per day
that were given to
Helen Keller, Pasteur,
Mother Teresea,
Leonardo da Vinci,
Thomas Jefferson,
and Albert Einstein.

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Until you value yourself, you won't value your time.
Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.

M. Scott Peck

Time is just something that we assign.
You know, past, present, it's just all arbitrary.
Most Native Americans, they don't think of time as linear;
in time, out of time,
I never have enough time, circular time,
the Stevens wheel.
All moments are happening all the time.
Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess, Northern Exposure

I don't think of the past.
The only thing that matters is the everlasting present.
W. Somerset Maugham

Time is like a conveyor belt,
it keeps moving forward
while some fall off along the way
and many stay on to the very end of the line.
D. Bowden

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Am I Old?
D. Bowden

While I was over visiting my niece and her little family today, her 4-year-old daughter, Kaleh was sitting on my lap looking at a book with me. One of the characters on one of the pages was an old woman. Kaleh looked at me real close after looking at the cartoon gray-haired lady. I said "She is very old, isn't she?" Kaleh nodded. I then asked her "Am I old?" Kaleh tilted her head shyly and said "Yes," as she sort of gave me an embarrassed smile. I then asked, "How old do you think I am?" and she studied my face and then responded, " Forty-three" and I laughed a little and said "and that is old?" and she nodded again. I told her, "I have a secret, I am even OLDER than that! I am fifty-one!" Her eyes got big as saucers and she said, "WOW...are you older than Gootgamy?" (Gootgamy is her name for MY mother, Kaleh's GREAT grandma!) I was stunned at first but then laughed and laughed! I told her that no, I am old, but Gootgamy is VERY, VERY OLD! Kids can make your self-esteem plummet in an instant sometimes!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

More Red Tape . . .
Will It Ever End?

D. Bowden

I woke up early this morning and drove over to Joliet to drop off the two documents that are needed to complete my file so I can get fingerprinted and get the show on the road with this substitute teaching thing. When I got to the street that the Will County building is located on, there was not a parking place to be found! I drove around, and around and around, passing down Chicago Street at least a half dozen times in hopes that someone would leave and I would take their space. No such luck since there were many others in the same predicament I was in. Only I was brave, (more like fed up) and parked in the dry cleaner's lot across the street under a big sign that said "DRY CLEANING CUSTOMERS ONLY. VIOLATORS WILL BE TOWED AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE." I took the chance because I just wanted to drop off the stupid papers and be on my way.

I crossed the busy street and went inside the Will County building for the fourth time in less than a week because of the incompentency of the administrative staff to give me the proper documents I needed all at one time, which would have prevented me from having to run back and forth, wasting precious gasoline just to be able to get a part-time job as glorified baby sitter! I know that in this world of perverts and danger, schools must take precautions, and I am not complaining about that. I am irritated because they don't have their shit together and no wonder all this bullshit happens in schools these days! Look who is in charge! They can't even register a substitute teacher properly and in a timely fashion!

Entering the Regional Office of the Will County Department of Education, I saw one of the ladies who has been involved in getting my file together. I gave her the documents and said I would like to set up my appointment for fingerprinting (the LAST thing I must do before being allowed to work). Now it should take about five minutes or less to take someone's fingerprints. It is not hard. Press fingers on ink pad, press fingers on document, and wash hands. Done. But this lady tells me I cannot get an appointment time until November 17th! Then it will take 48 hours for "processing" and then I can check back to see if I can start working.

By the time I get going, I will be ready to retire.

Monday, November 07, 2005

What Am I Getting Myself Into?!
D. Bowden

I have decided to substitute teach to have something constructive to do, and to make a little extra money, but I have to tell you that my teaching frustrations have started already and haven't even subbed for my first class yet! I took in all my bureacratic forms and "red tape" to the Will County Regional Offices of Education last week. I printed all the forms from the Internet and followed the directions given online. Well, apparently "procedures" have changed somewhat, and those procedures have not yet been updated on the website, and I was told that they no longer accept personal checks and I had to have a certified check or money order, though the regional fees could be a personal check. I drove all the way back to New Lenox, forfeiting the money I put in the parking meter (or so I thought), to get the money orders I needed from my bank. I drove all the way back to Joliet and luckily my meter was still open and unexpired. I walked back to the office building and downstairs where THREE ladies looked over all my paperwork, documentation, money orders, etc. They said all was in order. I asked specifically if the doctor's signature on the form was adequate for the health statement and they all said yes, it was fine. I asked if they were sure everything was there. Yes, fine...they would call me to set up an appointment for fingerprinting and my temporary certificate would arrive in a few days. I recieved my temporary certificate a few days later, however, cannot "activate" it until I have a DOCTORS STATEMENT OF GOOD HEALTH! WTF??? AND they had failed to give me two more forms that needed to be dated and signed! GRRRR!!! I filled those out and then have been trying to get ahold of my doctor all day long today to have him write this statement of health thing. My husband called me after a few hours of waiting and said maybe the ditzy ladies made a mistake and overlooked the doctor's other statement because how many statements of health does one need? I called the number that the ladies from the Department of Education attached to the two additional forms with a post-it. Some guy answers by saying "Rick here". I said, "This isn't the department of education?" and "Rick" says "nope." I dialed again using the area code seeing if maybe that would make a "Rick" again. I went online and looked up the department of education number again and rang up this Pam who had sent me the post-it note with the forms and request for doctor's statement. I asked her if they had by any chance overlooked my doctor's statement form that was signed by him last week. She pulled my file and came back to the phone and said "OHHHH...teeheeeheee...It's here already. We must have overlooked it! I am sorry...teeehheeeheeehheee!" She said to bring in the other two forms tomorrow and they will schedule my fingerprinting so I can start working next week. I am not so certain I want to get involved with the education system after being away from it for so many years now. I will give it a shot, but I better brace myself for stupidity to the max! It's like birth pains, one forgets what they are like after a lot of time passes.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Photo by D Bowden

My Forever Friend and Love
D. Bowden

Every morning before the light of dawn
He rises without complaint,
Quielty so as not to disturb
Those nestled in the cozy beds
While he goes out into the wee hours
In all kinds of weather,
Day after day, week after week,
To provide for his family.
No matter what life deals him,
He plods along relentlessly.
When people ask him "How are you?"
"Better and better!" is his reply!
He is like a rottweiler, I like to say;
Loyal, protective, and strong.
Loving and funny and brilliantly smart.
His sense of humor makes his green eyes shine
With mischief and affection
He is my lover, my soul mate,
my forever friend.

by D. Bowden

My firstborn, my golden-haired son,
Has made me proud in so many ways.
He is thoughtful and thought-filled . . .
Intellectual, articulate, talented.
He can play music of a symphony,
Or quote philosophy,
And politics, history, anything!
He has a wicked sense of humor,
A wry, cynical wit,
But teases with a sparkle in his eye.
Comes through good or bad,
With dignity, humbleness and quiet pride.


By D. Bowden

He was only two days old

When he first smiled at me

With a big, toothless grin,
His whole face showing joy.
And still today

His smile lights up a room,

And chases all the clouds away,
And his laughter can be heard for miles around!
He is a good man,
Multi-talented and hard-working,

With a heart of gold,

And a strength like his Dad's.
by D. Bowden

She lights up a stage
With a radiance and grace

That is magnificent to behold,

And it is amazing to me

That she is mine
But not to be held

As my possession.

For she is owned by no one,
Indpendent and strong,
She plays her own song,
With intelligence and beauty,
And my heart cheers
With admiration and love

For the woman she has become.

Friday, November 04, 2005

HAIKU by D. Bowden

Autumn leaves drifting down
Floating gently to the ground
Forming pools of gold

Waves at Sunset
D. Bowden

Waves roll in
Waves roll out
In the golden glow
Of sunset on a summer's eve

Waves roll in
Waves roll out
Over rocky shores
And back out again to the deep

Waves roll in
Waves roll out
Lapping at my feet
Calming all my anxieties

Waves roll in
Waves roll out . . .

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Photo by: D. Bowden "My favorite tree in New Lenox, IL"

by D. Bowden
All the leaves are falling round

Drifting, piling on the ground.

Red and gold and purple hues,
Hiding any summer clues
That are left from yesterday

When all the children were at play,

Cheering with voices merry
Amongst the strong green willow trees.

Days grow shorter, evenings cool,

The children are all back in school.

With their noses in their books,

Out the windows stealing looks,

Longing for those summer days

And for endless, carefree ways.

They have a long time to await

Till winter winds and snows abate
And springtime flowers bloom anew

A new season starts for me, and you.

Simulated Romance
by D. Bowden
Photo by D. Bowden

ne of the things my husband and I did while in Las Vegas was to take a ride in a real Venetian gondola, piloted by a real gondolier who serenaded us with his beautiful singing as we glided along the shallow canals on the second floor of the Venetian Hotel and Casino complex, under fake skies with their painted puffy white clouds. Simulated daytime and nighttime flew by in one hour increments. The gondolier's singing was wonderful, and made us feel very romantic. During a pause in his arias we got to chat with the young man for a few minutes and found out he was actually from Italy and came all the way to America, to Las Vegas to pilot a gondola on the second floor of a fake Venice in an artificial canal in the middle of a desert. This shows just how bizarre human beings really are.

Excerpt from :

"A Week in Las Vegas"
D Bowden

After a leisurely dinner at a nearby buffet we went back to our hotel room to get ready for bed. We were still weary from our three-day drive to get to Vegas. Our second-floor room at the Tropicana was nice enough, done in a tropical motif of turquoise, green, orange-red and yellow. Prints of beach scenes and palm trees decorated the walls. I turned the air conditioning on high and crawled between the crisp white sheets. After hubby was tired of flipping through the television channels, we settled into bed for the night. It usually takes me a long time to fall asleep when on vacation, but I fell asleep right away. Suddenly, only an hour later shouts and noise of slamming around came from the next room. “Gimme my money Mutha fuckaaaaa!” someone screamed and there was the sound of thumping and crashing. More yelling: “I want my goddam money, Mutha fucka! Gimme my goddam money or I’m gonna kill you!” I thought to myself, ‘holy shit! This is what happens in movies like Scarface and Casino!’ We were afraid to get up from our bed. I reached over for the phone and it didn’t work! My imagination ran wild! Had someone cut the phone lines? We lay flat, not moving. Listening. My husband said not to get up. What if they started shooting? The cheap walls were paper-thin. I wanted to just leave and go home! Go camping, anything! After several minutes of the “war” going on next door, the Las Vegas police and hotel security showed up. “Open up, Vegas police, open the door!” Things suddenly stopped and got very, very quiet. Again, the policeman banged on the door next door and shouted “Police, open up!” Then there was the sound of a door opening and loud talking in the hallway. "What’s going on in there?” we heard another voice ask. “Nothing officer,” I heard a voice reply nervously. Then there was thumping around again and then the sound of feet traipsing in and out of the room. Then silence. We heard nothing more. I was too wound up to sleep the rest of the night.
photo by D. Bowden - Zion National Park

Alone Looking at the Mountain
by Li Po

All the birds have flown up and gone;
A lonely cloud floats leisurely by.
We never tire of looking at each other -
Only the mountain and I.