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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Geography and the spatially dyslexic

 There's really no such thing, sadly enough. Apparently the inability to retain the whereabouts of countries does not have a special term attached to it. At least not yet. But you just wait. In a few years there will be a support group for it and thousands of people will come out of the closet and say, "I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE BULGARIA IS" and famous actors will go on talk shows and cry and confess to how they were ridiculed as children because they couldn't point to India when their geography teacher called on them. And specialists will write books about how they diagnosed the condition before anyone else did. And there will be special equipment and software and self-help guides created all with the goal of saving  middle aged women from throwing their Geography books off a cliff and joining convents in places so remote that they don't have to know where anything else is.


But until then,  I must, in the boys' words "IAO" (Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome) the old fashioned way. 

So I've printed off  a half a dozen maps, both labeled and not, and am slowly, painfully, learning how to locate Slovakia and Croatia and Morocco. Sort of. I get the first two confused pretty regularly. 

I've been using this site http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/European_Geography.htm with some success. Today when the professor pointed at countries in Western Europe I was immediately oriented as to where they were and who their neighbors were. The evil woman also wants us to learn where  most of the rivers are as well. Fortunately this site has a section for that too. 

She is a good teacher, doing her best to bring the subject to life. It is not her fault that I suffer from map blindness or European-dislocatus. Or middle-age-mental-absentius.



6 comments:

Scotty said...

You're not on your own, Mary, which is why I usually avoid geography questions in Trivial Pursuit.

:-)

Ro said...

Map?
What is thing of which you speak...?

Anonymous said...

isn't this why the GPS was created...just for us, right? no??
eileen

jeanie said...

Eastern European geography confounds even eastern europeans. Good luck with it. Just remember, if there is a river, there was a war, and most countries are beside a country that if you combine the names of the two countries was once another country.

My word verification is "chedr" - and actually, you could probably do geography based on cheese in Western Europe.

Debby said...

Yeah. There's a reason that maps have names written on the countries and on the rivers and...well...why do we need to memorize them if they're already written down someplace? My take on it anyway.

Mary Paddock said...

Scotty--You too? I've told Gary that's why I married him, so I can ask him where stuff is.

Ro--Absolutely.

Eileen--Exactly.

Jeanie--In a weird (but sad) way, as I'm beginning to piece together who doesn't like who, the geography is beginning to make more sense.

Debbie--My husband said, "You've taught four kids geography, how could you not know it?" I blinked at him. "Because the maps were ALL LABELED!"