Science Paper

September 2, 2014
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        I got my paper back.
        I couldn't say I was surprised to see the sixth letter of the alphabet taking centre stage on the white copy paper, encircled by a bright wall of red, the marker soaking into the back of my project, catching the attention of a kid behind me. 
        On the back I found a note; it was a paragraph long, written in Lenox's signature dark blue ink. I squinted my eyes and tapped by finger and read it word after word after word. 'Silly'. 'Not to the point'. 'Inappropriate for the class'. 'Failing to properly demonstrate confirmation of fact with the use of science…' 
        My finger rapped the sterilized tabletop of the lab faster and faster into a hum, until I seized the insolent biology paper by the throat, formed a tight little ball of hatred out of it, and banished it into the blue recycling bin. It knocked against the plastic sides, after which it was no more. 
For all I knew, I was a genius.

        Such is the plight of the artists who accept science, like that of the few Christians who actually believe that anyone who applies logic is NOT an agent of the Devil sent to draw man away from God. What did I write about? The scales on the forelegs of the African sulcata tortoise. Did I write about my question, hypothesis, experiment, analysis of the results, AND my conclusion? Did I mention that the scientific name of the sulcata tortoise was Geochelone sulcata, put a chi-square in with my write-up, and include my discoveries on chelonian behavior? Of course I did, what else makes a science paper good? 
        Oh yeah, I forgot that I had to bore any reader without a PhD in herpetology by diving headfirst into googled zoology terminologies for an introduction.
       Why do that at all? Because it's fast, it's easy, and it gets a grade. Had I just FAILED for my extra effort? OK, I'm not going to lie about this. I did it to get attention. But that attention came from writing something MORE than the typical science paper, from actually connecting with an audience of people like me, who really don't give a (hoot) about phylogenies or DNA polymerase or dinoflagellates. That attention just came from you, who has read my essay on the art-science conflict up to this point because you saw a paragraph about a high school freshman failing on an essay and the reference to a well-known biology teacher.
        So what did I write in my controversial paper? I wrote that maybe the ninth-grade artist rejected from the community of science is the greatest scientist of all, because he is all science: finding something to experiment on in the thoughts of man, the progression of time, and the chance of fate, and writing about it. I wrote that what we see is merely a watered down version of what it really could be, processed by the government, by science, and by the media for our 'convenience'. I wrote that there is actually a mystery in a world we think science has explained to the atoms, one that none of us may ever truly know. Maybe that's where religion comes in. That's what I put into a biology paper on a lab on the African sulcata tortoise, because what I wrote was also a hard copy of a testimony to the fact that not all scientists may understand art, or all artists science, but in a world where the two are so free and unhindered from mingling with each other, times will come when the two will meet, an interaction at which artists cringe, and scientists scoff. People like me type it up and print it out, neatly joining the document with iron staples, and hand it over to Ms. Lenox on a Monday morning.

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