Occupation: Full-time student at Vanderbilt University
Family: Single. Parents, Tim and Karen Bowers.
After a few moments with Courtney Bowers, it is clear this young lady enjoys the challenge of learning new things, whether it is a medical fact, a new chord or the plot to a book she’s just picked up.
The Heritage High School graduate and valedictorian has worked with Blount Today as a teen book reviewer, providing a monthly review called The Book Shelf. She started in 2009 after working with the Knoxville News Sentinel as a contributing writer.
While she was often asked to do reviews of movies and music, it was books that held her interest. “Sherri Gardner Howell approached me about having my own column when Blount Today added book reviews to their new Monday paper. I’m constantly reading, so it’s like a no-brainer to have opportunity to write about books.”
Bowers was born and raised in Blount County and always enjoyed school. “I loved school. Even classes like chemistry and calculus that I thought would be horrible, I ended up loving,” she says. “The hardest part has been time management and balancing social life and extra curricular and school and college and everything.”
Bowers says she has a neurological disorder called a central tremor and because of that, she plans to major in pediatric neuroscience and psychology in college. “I’ve always been fascinated by the mind. It has made me want to help kids with other developmental disorders. I want to understand how the brain works and hopefully understand my own disorder and help others with theirs,” she says.
Bowers says a central tremor is a genetic disorder where the dopamine receptors misfire and cause her hands to have a slight tremor. “Growing up, kids would fun of me and at first it hurt. It really hurt my feelings. Once I was able to understand why it was happening, it made me more determined to understand more about how a small problem in the nervous system can change everything,” she says. “I want learn and understand it, and, hopefully, change someone’s life by solving some problems in neuroscience.”
When she’s not reading or doing school work, Bowers enjoys playing the acoustic guitar, an instrument she picked up two years ago. “That is my go-to for relaxing. I play and write songs and learn other people’s songs.”
Bowers says she also enjoys writing. “I always write, whether it is work-related, school or just relaxing. I’m always writing and always reading. I also love to work out to Gillian Michael’s video’s from ‘The Biggest Loser.’ I’m obsesses with her workouts. I love that tough-love attitude,” she says.
Here is Courtney Bowers:
What is your favorite quote from television or a movie?
“Most of my favorite quotes are actually from books, so I’ll go with a quote from a movie based on a book. ‘Happiness is only real when shared,’ Christopher McCandless, from ‘Into the Wild.’ The movie is about escaping society and living in solitude, but this revelation about the importance of human connection has always spoken to me.”
What are the top three things on your bucket list?
“Like everyone else, I would love to travel and see the world, particularly Europe and any island I can find. I want to eventually read every single one of those classic literature books that everyone is supposed to pick up at some point in their life. I’m also hoping one of these days I’ll finally get an acceptance letter to Hogwarts (the fictional magicians academy in the Harry Potter series). I’ve been waiting a while for that.”
What are you guilty of?
“Being the girl who drives people crazy by looking at their food and asking, ‘Do you know how many calories/fat/preservatives are in that?’ and then giving a long lecture on healthy, organic food. Sometimes I can go a bit overboard.”
What is your favorite material possession?
“My acoustic guitar.”
What are you reading currently?
“I’m about to start ‘Brave New World,’ by Aldous Huxley.”
What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
“Overachiever is probably the word I hear most often. I’m very disciplined when it comes to accomplishing my goals.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“I wish I didn’t overanalyze. Sometimes it’s a positive and helpful attribute to be a deep thinker, but usually, I just create more problems and stress when my over-thinking leads to worrying.”
What is your passion?
“I would say that learning is my passion. My favorite things are studying medicine and health, playing and listening to music, and reading and writing.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“This probably sounds like a typical teenage girl answer, but Taylor Swift. Her songs and personality really inspired me. We would be instant best friends if we could just hang out.”
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“ I would travel back to 1969 and attend Woodstock. My inner hippie has always been quite upset about missing out on the greatest concert ever.”
What is the best present you ever received in a box?
“My iPhone, my Aunt Debbie Lambdin bought it for me a few months ago. I have never owned a cooler invention.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“Never change yourself in order to impress someone else. ”
Other than your parents, who has had the biggest influence on your life and why?
“I would have to say nearly all of the teachers I had throughout high school, middle school and elementary school.”
Do you Myspace, Facebook or Twitter?
“I actually have an account for all three, but I’m a Facebook addict.”
What irritates you?
“Apathy. It bothers me when people just absolutely don’t care about school or what’s happening in the world or the environment, or even just one another.”
What’s one place in Blount County everyone should visit?
“Southland Books. It has overflowing shelves that are so inviting, and it has this really cool, cozy atmosphere.”
What is your greatest fear?
“I have issues with bugs and spiders. Just the sight of one fills me with complete terror, and I will make a fool of myself screaming and running away.”
I still can’t quite get the hang of…
“Driving in reverse. I’m not a menace to the roads, but please don’t ever expect me to back into a parking spot.”
If you could do one impulsive thing, what would it be?
“I would drive across the country with a friend. I would love to stop in big cities and cool small towns and just see what life is like all around America.”