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!

2 comments:

Tif said...

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

Anonymous said...

Are you a right brained learner? Is it easier for you to remember faces (rather then names) and pictures (rather then facts and statistics)..? Do you want to be able to remember the capitals to all 50 states? If you answered yes to these questions then check out this website:

http://www.rightbrainedlearner.com