Lessons learned from my grade school geography…..


I am writing this post on a flight from Boston to Las Vegas. I opted to upgrade my seat and have the room to comfortably use my MacPro and enjoy the view from my window.  I am a little more than half way to the destination. It is about 6pm and the sun has not set yet. I have been watching the landscape change subtly. There was a river in my view running east to west or perhaps west to east.  I don’t know the name of the river nor its direction.

It brought back memories of grammar school lessons. I was struggling with geography.  We had the standard globe displayed in our room.  I struggled because I knew water flowed down. I may not have learned about gravity yet but with my life experiences and experiments with water, I knew water would not flow up without help.  My family home was on a hill and rain storms would result in water cascading down the hill. 

Back to the classroom and learning directions and major river names. The teacher would use the globe. Or she used a map and held it up so the North Pole was above the South Pole. How could a river flow up? How could rivers flow east to west? How could they move at all?  I was a very good student but could not understand these lessons. Both my teacher and I became frustrated with each other.  I believe it was one of the few classes, perhaps the only class I struggled with to pass. I learned to memorize and stop questioning the teacher in an effort to feel better about myself. 

Then I saw a broadcast of the earth from one of our Apollo missions on our television and I understood.  The earth was not on a pedestal with the North Pole above the South Pole! Depending on one’s relative position to the earth up and down were different.  I got it! And I felt better about myself. It was my secret. I did not tell my teacher.  My hand shot up when questions were asked and I just smiled when the quizzes and tests were handed out.

I don’t know how classes are taught today or if the globes are still used. I learned early that there is not one way to learn.  I am a visual learner and there is more than one way to “see”.  When I find myself in a similar situation as my teacher did with me, I look for other perspectives to help get my lesson or point across.  It has helped me in my personal and professional career.  

And to think I learned that from my grade school geography lessons.

HartFelt wishes that you can too can learn from a different perspective

2 thoughts on “Lessons learned from my grade school geography…..

  1. Hi Jamie! What an excellent reminder that we all learn differently, at different times and in different ways. Awww that our parents knew that when we were in school. I think I am a combination of visual and auditory so when I hear something and then write it down it has the most impact for me–hence, writing a blog post about an idea I find captivating helps me remember it and utilize in my life. Of course, probably like you, I hope others find it helpful too…but if I’m honest I do it because it HELPS me 🙂 I hope your trip ended up being wonderful in every way. ~Kathy

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