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Amanda Hurteau
Ms. Kusinitz
Writing 104
3/29/16
The Art of Science and the Principles to Becoming Who You Are
The air was a melting pot of different smells, from the awful, nauseous fumes of old
acrylic paint, to the rich, leather smell of saddles. A regular old art room to some, but to the
students who enter it on a daily basis, it is anything but. There resided Ms. Mac, skipping and
bouncing her way all around her room to spew all sorts of encouraging words to the masses. Her
step was lively unlike others who lived in their mid-sixties. Now and again, Ms. Mac will pull
the students eyes from their electronics to eye some of the greats in the world, and staring for
herself with wide eyes. Shes so ditzy, always around the room and commenting on everyones
art, Is a common term when art students talk about their art teacher, and that much is true. It
would seem ridiculous to assume such a character could be a science teacher, right? An artist
who even during the interview was carving and printing away at her next big project for her art
classes.
From even the younger years, Macdonald had both the curiosity of science and a love of
art. Her parents were both people of science, her mother a nurse while her father was a physician
that worked in their home town. To say that Macdonald had a good childhood was an
understatement. I will always be grateful for my young life, how lucky I was to have such
loving parents who loved each other. They were so supportive of me, all throughout my life, and
I couldnt do the things I do today without their help. Her love of art was cherished by her
family, and when Macdonald expressed her love of science as well, to her surprise, it was

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Macdonalds father that wanted her to go into art. He was very religious, and he believed that
my art skills were a blessing and that I should go with it. My father gave me art supplies to help
me out and for that I am very thankful, even with my career path. It was a very positive family
upbringing that lead Macdonald towards what she is today, and she still goes on about how much
her parents meant to her and how much they have inspired her.
However, art wasnt the only thing that interested the young Macdonald. I always want
to know how things work, why they do this and why they do that. I always wondered why no one
else wanted to see, how intricate science is and how beautiful it is just like art. Or, how much art
and science is so similar. After getting her Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts, Macdonald had a
revelation of all her studying and how she was going to live her life. In that there was no jobs out
there for a person with just an Art Degree. I smartened up and went into Pre-Med. There was no
jobs out there for people with just Fine Arts degrees, and I wanted to make something of my life.
It was the sixties and I didnt want to end up like all the others at the time. A story from this
time was when Ms. Macdonald had been when she was rejected before ever handing in her
application.
Two years into her pre-med education, Ms. Mac wanted a transfer to a California Medical
school to continue her degree. She thought she had a clear shot of getting in, until her old school
had sent a transcript with her failing grade in Chemistry, even though Ms. Mac knew she was
passing. The school rejected her, and Ms. Mac didnt bat an eye. She marched right up to the
admissions officers and demand a relook, since she at the time was passing and even succeeding
in such a class. It had been a mistake, the school sending the wrong transcript of another student
instead of Ms. Macdonald! Macdonald recalls it in nostalgic look, and says that she had
transferred but again transferred away to UMass. What a waste.

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Ms. Mac traveled from school to school to get her degree, until Macdonald finished it at
UMass, but never continued to get her doctorate. Instead, Macdonald worked for an animal
shelter, but with how unpredictable the pay would be, it was time to turn to something else. I
was looking up jobs in the area and I saw that there was an opening for me as a science teacher. I
didnt have a lot of options to choose from, so I took it and Ive been in the teaching business
ever since. Her hands were covered in black ink at this point in the interview, and I had to go
get paper towels for Mac so we could continue. Always a mess.
Continuing where we had left off, Macdonald had taken the job as a one-on-one special
needs teacher for science at a Massachusetts High School. The job was overwhelming and
Macdonald recalls it as The most stressful and hard working job I had ever had to do as an early
teacher. After working for two years there, Macdonald quit and moved on to become an 8th
grade teacher. It didnt appeal to Ms. Mac that it was more telling than student-driven. In
Middle School, its more of telling children what to do than letting them teach themselves. I hate
that, but it was the only job I could find that would take me in. Lets just say that Macdonald
had many stories to tell not only from middle school, but in her teaching at high school as an AP
Chemistry teacher.
One of these stories had made Macdonald jump and smile at just the thought of it, and I
could tell why. A student from her chemistry class years ago, had done what most science
teachers feared the most: Students playing with a bunsen burner. While Ms. Macdonald had been
working with other students on how a bunsen burner works, a girl had been turning the knob the
wrong way and caused the little cap to completely fall off. Everyone around her screamed in
panic as a giant wave of fire went across the table, burning up all the paper on top. Which they
shouldnt have had in the first place, but it was high school and they did it anyways. With only

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her mind stable at the scene, Macdonald quickly fixed the burner so it would turn off the gas and
cleared away all the fire. Everyone calmed down afterwards but lets just say that the girl wasnt
allowed to touch the burner for awhile.
Ms. Mac, now in her fifties, was teaching all over the place. Now, Ms. Mac taught all
sorts of classes, ranging from AP Chemistry to regular science classes of chemistry, biology, and
anatomy. After all of her years of teaching, Ms. Mac wasnt happy with it anymore. I was done
with science at a point, I just couldnt teach it anymore. I wasnt getting the student-driven work
I wanted, it was just me talking and having no outside help from my students. Macdonald was
always changing, so finally, at Cumberland High School, there was an art teacher job just for her,
right after she had finished her Masters Degree in Fine Arts at RISD. Ever since then,
Macdonald has been at the school teaching art. Her life changed drastically, becoming more
focused on her art, having gallery showings of her art, commissions, everything an artist could
want!
Macdonald does not forget about her years of teaching science, as she explains how it
shapes her art. I know things that other artists dont about how crayons are resistant to oil and
how to get acrylic off of jeans. Its about chemical reactions and solutes, and thats what I mean
about it. Science is about how the world works, and I love learning about all these different
things about it. Macdonald stops her work, looking over at her plants and other animal drawings
around the room with a soft smile. They dont teach science right, if they taught it like it should,
there would be way more people with careers in it. Just not me, Ill always be fascinated with
science, almost just as much as I love art. In a way, Macdonald uses her skills for science in her
art. Learning from others, teachers, and even students, life for Mrs. Macdonald is always about
changing it up, trying to take everything out of life. She takes life to the fullest, to test the limits

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of herself and stick up for the things that she cares about. Something that took longer than most,
but with so much energy, Macdonald can do anything.
Rubric: Profile

MS 1
Builds
Eviden
ce

MS 2
Conve
ys
compl
ex
ideas
and
concep
ts

MS 3
Organi
zation
of
Writin
g

MS 3:
W 2c

MS:
3W 2f

Distinguished Command

Strong Command

Moderate Command

Partial to No
Command

Develop the topic with


well-chosen, relevant,
and sufficient facts,
extended definitions,
concrete details,
quotations, or other
information and
examples appropriate to
the audiences
knowledge of the topic.
Field research is
extensive and thorough;
expertly used in profile.

Develop the topic with


relevant facts,
definitions, details,
quotations, or other
information and
examples appropriate to
the audiences
knowledge of the topic.
Field research is
extensive and used well
throughout profile.

otations, or other
information and
examples. Field
research might need to
be extended or used
better in
profile.Develop the
topic with relevant
facts, definitions,
details, qu

Student attempts to
develop the topic
with relevant facts,
definitions, details,
quotations, or other
information and
examples but
provides limited
evidence. Limited
field research or
underdeveloped in
profile.

Student develops the


topic with well-chosen,
relevant, and sufficient
facts, extended
definitions, concrete
details, quotations, or
other information and
examples appropriate to
the audiences
knowledge of the topic
(rhetorical situation)..

Student attempts to
develop the topic but
some the facts may be
irrelevant or
insufficient and/or the
rhetorical situation has
not been fully
considered.

Student attempts to
develop the topic but
most of the facts are
irrelevant or
insufficient; lacks an
understanding of the
rhetorical situation.

Introduce a topic and


organize ideas, concepts,
and information to make
important connections
and distinctions.

Introduce a topic and


organize ideas,
concepts, and
information.

Student attempts to
introduce a topic
and organize ideas,
concepts, and
information but
provides limited
evidence.

Use varied transitions


and sentence structures
to link the major sections
of the text to create
cohesion.

Use transitions and


sentence structures to
link the major sections
of the text.

Student attempts to
use transitions and
sentence structures
to link the major
sections of the text
but provides limited
evidence.

Provide a concluding
statement that supports
the information or
explanation presented
(e.g., articulating
implications or the
significance of the topic).

Provide a concluding
statement.

Student attempts to
provide a concluding
statement but
provides limited
evidence.

Student develops the


topic thoroughly by
selecting the most
significant and relevant
facts, extended
definitions, concrete
details, quotations, or
other information and
examples appropriate to
the audiences
knowledge of the topic
(rhetorical situation).
Introduce a topic and
organize ideas,
concepts, and
information to make
important connections
and distinctions; include
formatting (e.g.,
headings), graphics
(e.g., figures, tables),
and multimedia when
useful to aiding
comprehension.
Use varied transitions
and sentence structures
to link the major
sections of the text,
create cohesion, and
clarify the relationships
among ideas and
concepts.
Provide a concluding
statement or section
that follows from and
supports the
information or
explanation presented
(e.g., articulating
implications or the
significance of the
topic).

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MS 3:
W4

Produce clear and


coherent writing in
which the development,
organization, and style
are appropriate to task,
purpose, and audience.

Demonstrate command
of the conventions of
standard English
grammar and usage
when writing or
speaking.
MS 4
Langu
age
and
Conve
ntions

78

Uses precise language


and specific vocabulary
to manage the
complexity of the genre
and topic; conveys a
knowledgeable stance
in an appropriate style
to the discipline and
context, as well as the
expertise of the likely
readers.

Produce clear and


coherent writing in
which the development,
organization, and style
are appropriate to task.

Demonstrates an
understanding of the
conventions of standard
English grammar and
usage when writing or
speaking. Writing may
contain a few errors that
do not detract from the
over meaning.
Uses precise language
and specific vocabulary
to manage the
complexity of the genre
and topic.

Produce writing in
which the
development,
organization, and style
are appropriate to
task.

Demonstrates an
understanding of the
conventions of
standard English
grammar and usage
when writing or
speaking. Writing may
contain a few errors
that do detract from
the over meaning.
Attempts to use
language and specific
vocabulary to manage
the complexity of the
genre and topic.

Student attempts to
produce writing in
which the
development,
organization, and
style are appropriate
to task but provides
limited evidence.
Student attempts to
demonstrate an
understanding of the
conventions of
standard English
grammar and usage
when writing or
speaking. Writing
contains many
errors that do
detract from the
over meaning.
Attempts to or fails
to use language and
specific vocabulary
to manage the
complexity of the
genre and topic;
provides little or no
evidence of skill.