Friday, June 23, 2006

Geography 101

After I found my long-lost friend Annie, I made arrangements to give her a phone call. She lives in Michigan and I live in Maine, and I wasn't sure of the time difference. Heck, I wasn't even sure where Michigan was! I was floored when I was told that Michigan was in the Eastern time zone along with us!

Well, that did it. I have known for many years that I am no good at geography. USA geography or world geography - it doesn't matter. I can identify some states - for instance, states adjacent to Tennessee, my home state - and some of the coastal or odd-shaped states (Texas, California, Florida, etc.). But for the majority of states, they are all jumbled up in my head.

The kicker to this is that apparently I could name and identify a significant number of states when I was 3. That fact of trivia even makes me feel more inadequate. And with Caroline well on her way to being able to identify every state in the union, I have decided to drill into my head - accurately and permanently - the exact location of every US state on a map. For this purpose, I downloaded some free maps off the Internet and printed them. Some have state capitals on them, some major cities, and some are simply blank - for me to fill in once I learn them.

I am in competition with myself every day at work. I compete against myself just like an athlete does. An athlete might try to shave some time off a race, whereas I try to increase my line count production from the day, week, month before. This map project should prove interesting, because in essence I am competing against my 3-year-old self. Mind you, this will only depress me if I fail to achieve my objective, for then I will have lost against my 3-year-old self, and that would be mightly pitiful indeed.

So here I go, into the world of state recognition. Considering I once neglected to see the entire state of Virginia when giving map directions to Ed on a family vacation (which ended up with our pulling into a motel in Kentucky at 3 a.m. instead of 8 p.m. the night before), I think this will prove be a challenging experiment.

My country, 'tis of thee,
I knew when I was three
Most of your states.
Now I am fifty-one,
Before I'm dead and done,
I'd like to point out Washington.
Hold those Pearly Gates!


Tif said...

Ah, yes. Now I remember why I was the map reader and not you.

Anonymous said...

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