Barbara Rowley is the 2012 Mom Congress Delegate for Montana. Barbara is a journalist by trade, but circumstances have also made her an entrepreneurial volunteer—a job that takes up way more of her time. In Barbara’s small and relatively new town she’s had to create or invent what her kids need if any kids were going to have it—whether that meant a high school, a preschool, a summer camp program, a school newspaper or a kids musical theater.
What book is currently on your nightstand? The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.
One thing that is going great in education in your state: Montana’s schools have the dual advantage (and disadvantage) of small schools and little diversity. It makes providing services (and courses) for the whole spectrum difficult and sometimes impossible.
One thing you wish could be improved in education in your state: State funded preschool.
Your favorite teacher (and why): Linda Solomon at Washington University. She was the college dean who shamed me into spelling correctly and learning where to put an apostrophe by marking up my paper in a sea of red. I’m sorry to say there wasn’t a teacher before her who called me on these sloppy habits or who made nearly the impact that she did.
Secret indulgence: Watching soap opera dramas like Grey’s Anatomy and Revenge on my computer late at night when everyone else is asleep. But this is secret: Don’t tell everyone! My family doesn’t watch a lick of television.
Your hero: My husband. Really, he is.
Favorite quote: “I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – Lewis Carroll
Most rewarding/challenging stage of parenthood thus far (and why): I found the baby stage the most challenging, simply because of the physical demands and sleep deprivation that accompanied those years. I feared tweens and teenagers because people told me such horror stories, but I find my girls more interesting and more engaged with us than ever. That doesn’t mean it is the easiest: You really have to pay attention all the time at this age, because they can tell when you aren’t, unlike a toddler or a little kid—and they call you on it.
Favorite family tradition: Decorating a tree for the birds at Christmas, Returning to the same forest service mountain cabin in July, putting out photos of all previous birthdays on our birthdays, growing our own Easter baskets
Favorite family activities: Downhill skiing, rafting, hiking; reading, gardening, listening to NPR, crafts in the kitchen, audiobooks and podcasts, drawing, singing, having tea parties everyday after school, taking our dogs for a walk around the neighborhood, exploring our backyard swamp, writing with chalk on the driveway, blowing bubbles—even as middle and high schoolers.