Best of both worlds

Best of both worlds

Yaamini Venkataraman

Math teacher Jennifer MacDonald balances vectors with vocals

Want the best of both worlds? Well, ditch the blond wig, keep the vocals and get ready to work your cerebral cortex.

MacDonald's room is open to students and members of MV Stars. Photo by Yaamini Venkataraman.Algebra I and Pre-Calculus teacher Jennifer MacDonald isn’t your average math teacher. Instead of merely sporting one degree in math, she also majored in vocal training when she studied at George Washington University. But why math and music? To an outsider, the two subjects couldn’t be farther apart, but to MacDonald, they are yin and yang.

All through school, MacDonald took voice lessons and sang in local choirs. When there were rehearsals, the other kids whined while she remained upbeat, ready to sing all night. This passion for music convinced her to focus all her energy towards a Bachelors of Musical Arts degree in Voice Performance, a grueling experience that left] her with no free time. During most of her college career, she shoved math and science aside to focus on music.

"I burned out [from just taking musical class and I missed doing quantitative work. I preferred to have both sides in my life," MacDonald said.

Because she had enough credits, she pursued a major in vocal training, and a minor in math. At MVHS, she is influential in both spheres. During her free period, MacDonald helps choir teacher Sheri D’Epiro with the choirs. This year, MacDonald is helping out with the A Choir.

"She’s a great asset," D’Epiro said. "She likes to work hard, and she has a great rapport with the students."

Sophomore Sophia Krakower agrees. As a freshman, Krakower had MacDonald as a math teacher and was in the choir class that Macdonald helped out with.

"For [Algebra I] , she seemed to really love math and was good at making sure you understood the topic," Krakower said. "If you did not understand something, she would explain it in a way you could understand."

Although loving two extremes seems impossible for some, it’s just a part of life for MacDonald.

"I really enjoy music. I really enjoy math. I realized I really don’t enjoy my life without [the two]."