Tuesday, November 11, 2008

europe...where's that?

Here's a prompt I just came across:

This week is “National Geography Awareness Week.” Why do you think Americans have such a difficult time locating the United States on a map? What can be done to help change this?

I'm not sure how old this prompt is, but, anyway, it prompted the following memory to pop into my head.

When I was in high school, I knew a few foreign exchange students. One insisted on walking me home from school a couple of times. On one of these occasions, I was making small talk (something I'm still not good at), so I was asking him about his home country. He was from the Czech Republic, which I knew, but I think he just wanted to make sure I knew where it was (which I did).

Anyhow, he was going to explain to me where it was anyway and the first thing said was, "It's in Europe. Do you know where Europe is?"

*Blink. Blink*

"Um, yeah. Who doesn't?"

Apparently I'd be surprised at how many people asked him, "Where's Europe?"

Now, there's plenty that I don't know. Plenty that I've decided that I'll just never know, but I know where Europe is, thank you very much.

And, for all the things I don't know, I can rely on this here trusty interweb, no? The Constant Giver of Valid and Trustworthy Information, no? Well, I can look most things up and pretend that these things represent Truth.

By the way, I can also look up the official site of the Czech Republic. Just in case you're interested.


The Furie Queene said...

You know what? I've always thought that you were really good at small talk. You ask questions. Regardless of who you're talking to, you manage to involve the other person or people. That's a skill I'd like to have.

That said, have you ever seen this (http://www.travelpod.com/traveler-iq) site? If not, I must warn you in advance -- it's very addictive. It's a game that tests geographical knowledge. You can choose where you'd like to test yourself, from the U.S.A, to Europe, to the world... Have fun! (It's actually increased my sense of geography.)

kate said...

Estonia. Because I had truly never heard of the place until then.

And BTW, this whole not being able to find the US on a map scares the crap out of me. My kids can find it. They may not now the difference between and country and a state (god help us), but they can find the US.

kate said...

I could have sworn that guys was from Estonia.