Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Carefully, I added the lines of the rigging and moved my pencil slowly from the crow’s nest to the side railing. It was starting to look like something real, a three-masted sailing ship. As I began adding the detail on the carved bowsprit, I must not have been aware that that my fourth grade teacher had asked me a question about the explorer Magellan. This was history period and we were learning about the early explorers who had come to this continent. I expect that as I started to think about these seafarers I began to visualize what the ships looked like. Since I always carried drawing paper around, I was prepared to drift into my own mental world. My drawing skill had developed quickly through the first three grades, as was apparent by the advanced level of perspective with which I had drawn my ship. From this particular unusual point of view, one could see the design of the whole structure. I was the only one in my class who could define an object correctly from many angles. It felt good to be a little special. I had been totally absorbed in bringing this image to life, oblivious to the rest of the class staring at me or to the teacher standing over me. Suddenly startled, I looked up into her angry face. Before I could proudly reveal my masterpiece, her lightning hand reached out and grabbed my ship. I was so attached to the drawing that it felt like me she had crumpled up and thrown toward the trashcan. I remember most vividly the pain I felt as she shouted, “And don’t waste paper like this in my class again.” I laid my head on my folded arms, unable to hold back tears. For the rest of the period all I could hear was “waste paper like this.”


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